Utah congressman Chris Stewart gave the game away.
The horrendous tax scheme that Republicans rammed through the Senate in the early hours of Saturday morning — with no debate and a pile of scribbled revisions added in the margins — is an absolute mess.
The GOP has sold this bill as relief for the middle class, and a way to simply close “loopholes” in the corporate tax code. But that facade was dropped almost the second the bill passed, when Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Sunday that it was “impossible” to guarantee a tax cut for everyone in the middle class.
And on MSNBC Monday, GOP Rep. Chris Stewart of Utah finally revealed the game in conversation with Stephanie Ruhle and Ali Velshi — who demanded to know what loopholes the bill closed:
RUHLE: What simplication, what loophole, is being closed specifically for corporate America? I agree with you — our tax rate is too high, and it’s too complicated. Let’s lower it and close the loopholes. What loopholes for corporations are going to be closed?
STEWART: Oh my gosh, there will be dozens. But I’m talking primarily —
RUHLE: Like what? Excuse me, sir, please tell me one.
STEWART: With interest deductions, with expensing accounts, there’s all sorts of deductions and loopholes. But primarily —
RUHLE: Just tell me one. One — one example of a loophole that’s being closed.
STEWART: I just did. But —
RUHLE: You didn’t.
STEWART: — primarily we’re focused on those loopholes for individuals and simplifying for individuals. I’m not arguing —
RUHLE: Then why wouldn’t you be — hold on, why — sir, let me finish my point. Why wouldn’t we close a loophole for corporates? The argument was, you have to lower the tax rate and get rid of all these loopholes that they go through.
VELSHI: And you broaden the base so that everybody pays a lower rate.
RUHLE: So what loopholes are being closed for corporates, because if you don’t close any loopholes, you’re going to lower the base and keep the loopholes so they’ll end paying even less. Please give me an example of one.
STEWART: That’s our point. For corporations to pay less. That’s the point.
And there it is. Republicans want this bill to enrich their donors. They could not care less whether it helps the middle class.
And some of them, like Stewart, have apparently given up even trying to hide what the bill does, and are openly bragging about the damage it will inflict on the vast majority of Americans.