The White House is doubling down on its efforts to elevate Sen. Rick Scott’s tax proposal ahead of the midterm election.
Democrats see the proposal to raise taxes from Scott, R-Florida, the National Republican Senatorial Committee chair, as a useful tool to wield against Republican candidates ahead of an election when the party is expected to lose seats to Republicans.
A White House document touting small business growth since President Joe Biden took office is the latest example of how Biden’s party plans to use Scott’s plan as a negative against Republicans this election.
Two pages of the 21-page document are focused on Scott, the only senator of either party to warrant a mention. The White House document states that a Biden-Harris administration analysis found that Scott’s plan would increase taxes on 49.7% of small business owners nationally and 81.6% of small business owners earning less than $50,000.
The White House’s latest criticism against Scott came the same day that the U.S. Department of Commerce released a report showing the country’s Gross Domestic Product shrank by 1.4% during the first three months of the year. Biden has also been grappling with the political fallout of record inflation in recent weeks.
Scott’s tax plan, released in February, offers Democrats ammo on economic issues at a time when they’re on defense. In Scott’s home state, Rep. Val Demings, the likely Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate, has repeatedly sought to tie Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, to the plan from the state’s other senator.
Scott has repeatedly denied his plan represents a proposal to increase taxes, but the plan’s plain language states that “All Americans should pay some income tax to have skin in the game, even if a small amount. Currently over half of Americans pay no income tax.”
In Florida, it would increase taxes for 56.8% of small business owners and result in a median tax increase of $1,400 a year for small business owners, according to the White House analysis. Mississippi would see the biggest percentage of small business owners paying a higher rate at 62.5%, according to the White House analysis, with a median increase of $2,800.
To arrive at these numbers, the White House defined small business owners as tax filers whose active income accounted for at least 25% of their adjusted gross income. The analysis excluded passive income, which may have affected the percentages.
The White House did not immediately explain the decision to disregard passive income in the analysis.
Scott’s spokesman McKinley Lewis brushed off the White House document.
“That the most unpopular president in recent history is spending more time lying about Senator Rick Scott’s plan than addressing the myriad crises he’s created says everything you need to know about Joe Biden and this White House,” Lewis said in a statement.
“Joe Biden could learn a thing or two about governing from Senator Scott who cut taxes more than 100 times and balanced the budget as Governor of Florida, and is proposing common-sense solutions to rescue our country from the Democrats and their disastrous agenda.”
Scott’s tax plan has been a popular point of discussion in Washington for weeks, but it stands little chance of becoming law even if Republicans take control of Congress as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has already publicly disavowed the idea.
This story was originally published April 28, 2022 8:39 AM.