Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez poses a rhetorical question while pitting the nation’s “yacht owners” against those who advocate for more healthcare and veterans services. The Congresswoman from New York wants to examine why the rich get such preferential treatment from a political party — the GOP — that increasingly relies on MAGA-style populist rhetoric.
Ocasio-Cortez’s suggestion to examine her colleagues’ motivation stems from the bill House Speaker Kevin McCarthy just pushed through the House as part of his debt ceiling negotiation strategy. McCarthy’s ‘Limit, Save, Grow Act’ claims it would “reduce the federal deficit by roughly $4.8 trillion over 10 years,” according to a CBO estimate.
McCarthy’s plan finds its savings by targeting cuts to programs, like SNAP and Medicaid, that help the poorest Americans. Yacht owners are largely unaffected by McCarthy’s ‘Limit, Save, Grow Act’, except by the lower likelihood that they will be audited. McCarthy’s plan nixes plans to hire thousands of new IRS agents.
AOC: We should examine why our colleagues in the Republican Party are so invested in protecting the wealthiest people and would rather attack healthcare and services for our veterans than repealing tax cuts for yacht owners and private jets pic.twitter.com/XITeiJ80Dp— Acyn (@Acyn) April 26, 2023
“Instead of looking at climate and instead of looking at cuts to healthcare,” Ocasio-Cortez says, mentioning two areas where GOP congressmembers are looking to take away funding, “we should examine why our colleagues in the Republican Party is (sic) so invested in protecting the wealthiest people in this society. And would rather attack healthcare and services for our veterans than repealing tax cuts for yacht owners and private jets.”
With her choice of language, Ocasio-Cortez tacitly names an issue for a future investigation as she says: “we should examine why Republicans are so invested in protecting the wealthy.” House GOP members have already launched a multitude of investigations since convening the 118th Congress, with House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan leading the charge.
Is the GOP’s fierce protection of vested interests directly linked to who invest in Republicans? Ocasio-Cortez hints that she thinks an “examination” may find those links — why else say “we should examine”?
“In tax cuts in 2017 passed by the other side of the aisle,” Ocasio-Cortez said, addressing what are usually called the Trump Tax Cuts, “we see wonderful tax cuts for yacht owners and private jets. But in order to balance our budget now, we’re talking about cuts to SNAP, to food out of babies’ mouths, instead of actually reexamining the inequities within our tax system.”
Ocasio-Cortez is one of 200 signatories on a letter to McCarthy urging the Speaker to “raise the debt limit without any extraneous strings attached.” The letter attacks McCarthy’s game of debt ceiling chicken on the grounds that it’s bad for America, bad for equality, bad for the planet, bad for the poor — bad for nearly everyone but wealthy donors to the GOP. The letter says in part:
“The first act of House Republicans in the 118th Congress… was passing legislation—which Democrats unanimously opposed—to rescind funding for IRS enforcement against tax evasion by wealthy individuals and large corporations. The CBO estimated that by reducing revenue, that legislation would increase the deficit by $114 billion over 10 years.”
The CBO report also acknowledges the favorable deal McCarthy tucks in for his oil and gas friends, noting it requires: “the Department of the Interior (DOI) to conduct additional sales of oil and gas leases on the Outer Continental Shelf; reduce royalty rates for new onshore oil and gas leases…”
McCarthy’s legislation would also “repeal EPA’s authority to collect fees from certain energy-related facilities for methane emissions that exceed a threshold specified by law. CBO estimates that enacting the provision would reduce revenues by $6 billion over the 2023–2033 period.”