Pelosi: Let's retroactively roll back SALT caps to help out blue-state millionaires

Nancy Pelosi must think she’s on a roll right now. Sunday, Pelosi compared Trump’s response to the coronavirus to Watergate saying, “What did he know and when did he know it?” As the Wall Street Journal editorial board pointed out, the attack on Trump was calculated to score political points from the country’s rising death toll.

The Speaker is a political professional who doesn’t pop off by accident. She clearly went into the interview with a plan to attack Mr. Trump at the start of a week when she knows that the infection and death tolls will mount.

Why go there? The cynical interpretation is that Mrs. Pelosi and her allies have seen the polls that show a majority of the public approves of Mr. Trump’s handling of the pandemic. Perhaps she wants to undermine that perception. She may also be sending a message to her left-wing that even if Mr. Trump wins re-election, she will be happy to investigate and impeach him again for his virus response.

Whatever the reason, this was an ugly note when the public wants signs of cooperation across the government—and when Mr. Trump had been praising Democrats in Congress for helping to pass the $2.2 trillion relief bill.

Speaking of the relief bill, Pelosi is already eager to get started on a “phase 4” bill and, just like the monstrosity she turned in last time, this one is going to be loaded down with items intended to please her progressive base. The NY Times reports one of her priorities for the next bill is rolling back the SALT caps which limit the amount of money homeowners can deduct from their taxes.

“We could reverse that for 2018 and 2019 so that people could refile their taxes” and receive more money back from the government, Ms. Pelosi said. “They’d have more disposable income, which is the lifeblood of our economy, a consumer economy that we are.”

In the 2018 midterm elections, Democrats wielded the SALT limits in House campaigns against Republicans in wealthy blue-state suburbs of cities like New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. Democrats voted last year to repeal the cap, but the effort died in the Republican-controlled Senate.

This is what Pelosi and her crew would normally refer to as a “tax cut for the wealthy” or a giveaway to the rich. Even the NY Times seems a bit mystified by the obvious hypocrisy: “Democrats had roundly denounced the 2017 law, which included rate cuts for businesses and individuals, as a handout to the rich. But the SALT deduction overwhelmingly benefits high earners.” In an earlier piece the NY Times spelled it out:

According to a new analysis by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, a liberal think tank. More than 85 percent of the benefits would go to the top 5 percent of American income earners. The top 1 percent of income earners would see an average tax cut of $35,000 each.

Sen. Cornyn offered an explanation for the sudden about face. “They’re approaching it — it seems like — as an opportunity to pass their political and ideological agenda. We’re approaching it as, ‘How do we protect the public health and our economy?’” he said.

Yesterday, Sen. Lindsey Graham was asked about Pelosi’s comments about the president and he called them “shameful” and “disgusting.”

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John Stossel 5:30 PM | July 13, 2024