AP

Ohio GOP Senate hopeful: Middle class doesn’t pay fair share

Apr 8, 2022, 3:05 PM | Updated: 3:20 pm

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Mike Gibbons, a leading Republican Senate candidate from Ohio, said at a media event last fall that middle-class Americans don’t pay “any kind of a fair share” of income taxes.

“The top 20% of earners in the United States pay 82% of federal income tax — and, if you do the math, and 45% to 50% don’t pay any income tax, you can see the middle class is not really paying any kind of a fair share, depending on how you want to define it,” Gibbons said.

The comments by Gibbons, a millionaire investment banker from Cleveland, were made in a September episode of “The Landscape” podcast by Crain’s Cleveland Business. But they could take on new resonance after Republican Sen. Rick Scott of Florida, a potential 2024 presidential candidate, introduced a governing plan in February that has divided the party over its call to raise taxes on millions of Americans who don’t earn enough to pay federal income taxes.

Scott, who leads the Senate Republicans’ campaign arm, has said that paying even a small tax would give poor people “skin in the game” to boost their interest and involvement in how tax dollars are spent.

Other leading Republicans, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, have distanced themselves from Scott’s proposal, worried that the prospect of raising taxes on lower income Americans could prompt election-year attacks from Democrats.

Campaign spokesperson Samantha Cotten said Friday that Gibbons does not support raising taxes on businesses or individuals. “He’s not for raising taxes on the middle class. He signed a no-tax pledge,” she said.

Yet, ahead of the May 3 primary, Republican rivals are looking to use the comments against Gibbons. One opponent, Republican Mark Pukita, has had it posted on his YouTube page for the last three weeks with the caption “Tax Hike Mike Gibbons.”

Asked about the Scott plan during a Republican Senate debate last week, former Ohio Republican chair Jane Timken said she opposes his proposal to raise taxes on the middle class, while “Hillbilly Elegy” author J.D. Vance said the GOP needs to stand for “middle-class people being able to raise a family and do it on a single income.”

In the video, Gibbons is pictured before a campaign backdrop and criticizes Democrats for advancing an “absolutely false” narrative that “the middle class is getting screwed and the wealthy, the elite, are cheating everybody” because they “need the middle class to win an election.” He says he doesn’t have a problem with a “progressive tax system structure” but notes that the wealthy already pay a lot in taxes.

Gibbons asks: “How much of the total tax bill can a very small percentage of the nation pay and still be a democracy?”

President Joe Biden included a “Billionaire Minimum Income Tax” in his 2023 budget proposal. In announcing the tax proposal, the Democrat asserted that “a firefighter and a teacher pay more than double” the tax rate that a billionaire pays.

According an analysis of 2019 Internal Revenue Service data, the most recent available, by the fiscally conservative Tax Foundation, the top 10% of Americans earn 47.3% of reported income and pay 70.9% of the income taxes. The bottom 50% of American wage earners report 11.5% of the income and pay 3.1% of the taxes. That leaves the middle 40% of Americans earning 41.2% of the income and paying 26.1% of the income taxes.

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a left-leaning think tank, argues that such figures do not reflect considerable amounts of wealth among high-income Americans that are shielded from taxation or are taxed at lower rates than wage earners.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Protesters in Phoenix shout as they join thousands marching around the Arizona state Capitol after ...

Associated Press

Abortion ruling supercharges Arizona to be an especially important swing state

A ruling this week instituting a near-total abortion ban supercharged Arizona's role, turning it into the most critical battleground.

8 hours ago

Former President Donald Trump, center, appears in court for his arraignment, Tuesday, April 4, 2023...

Associated Press

Manhattan court searching for jurors to hear first-ever criminal case against a former president

Jury selection is set to start Monday in former President Donald Trump's hush money case — the first trial of the presumptive nominee.

9 hours ago

Emergency personnel arrive on the scene after a  an 18-wheeler crashed into the Texas Department of...

Associated Press

1 dead and 13 injured in semitrailer crash at a Texas public safety office, with the driver jailed

A driver rammed an 18-wheeler though the front of a building where his renewal for a commercial driver’s license had been rejected.

10 hours ago

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a Get Out The Vote rally ...

Associated Press

Trump pushes Arizona lawmakers to ‘remedy’ state abortion ruling that he says ‘went too far’

Donald Trump urged Arizona lawmakers on Friday to swiftly “remedy” the state court ruling allowing prosecutors to enforce an abortion ban.

12 hours ago

Biden to require more gun dealers to run background checks....

Associated Press

Biden administration will require thousands more gun dealers to run background checks on buyers

New Biden rule to require thousands more firearms dealers across the United States will have to run background checks on buyers.

1 day ago

Instagram blurring out nudity with new app tools....

Associated Press

Instagram blurring nudity in messages to protect teens from sexual extortion

Instagram says it’s deploying new tools to protect young people and combat sexual extortion by blurring nudity.

1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

...

DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Avoid a potential emergency and get your home’s heating and furnace safety checked

With the weather getting colder throughout the Valley, the best time to make sure your heating is all up to date is now. 

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Valley residents should be mindful of plumbing ahead of holidays

With Halloween in the rear-view and more holidays coming up, Day & Night recommends that Valley residents prepare accordingly.

Ohio GOP Senate hopeful: Middle class doesn’t pay fair share