The Democrats’ $1.75 trillion tax and spending bill is filled with special interest giveaways to trial lawyers, union bosses, wealthy blue-state taxpayers and even reporters.
Aside from being a blatant giveaway to favored political interests, this is an effort for the Left to utilize the tax code for social engineering and to push woke policies. Here are six ways Democrats are using the tax code to reward special interests:
1. Giveaways to the News Media
The bill provides a $1.6 billion tax giveaway to media companies of all sizes. In addition to the conflict of interest created by politicians giving reporters a special tax carveout, large media companies will get an enormous tax cut. Even huge, established media companies – broadcast, digital, and print – will receive $50,000 per year per reporter, for up to 1,500 reporters per company. It is likely that even the New York Times and Washington Post will qualify.
As reported by the Associated Press: “Gannett, one of the nation’s largest remaining newspaper chains, could gain as much as $127.5 million over five years, according to an analysis by the AP.” Gannett corporation had $3.4 billion in revenue last year and has significant overseas holdings.
2. Giveaways to Wealthy Blue State Taxpayers
Democrats want to lift the cap on state and local tax (SALT) deductions from $10,000 to $80,000. This would be a huge giveaway to wealthy blue state taxpayers and would help shield these taxpayers from the high taxes imposed in their state.
The Center for American Progress has stated that this provision would “overwhelmingly benefit the wealthy, not the middle class,” while the left-of-center Tax Policy Center found that the top 1 percent of households would receive 56 percent of the benefit of repealing the cap.
Worse, Democrats are prioritizing this giveaway at the expense of other provisions -- as noted in a recent analysis by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, this would be the second most expensive item in the bill.
3. Green Energy Giveaways
The bill includes a massive $12,500 tax credit for electric vehicles and also includes a credit that would see taxpayers subsidize $900 of the purchase of an “electric bicycle.” The bill would allow for a married couple earning $150,000 to purchase two new electric bicycles every year and claim up to $7,200 in e-bike credits before the provision expires in 2026.
The plan also includes multi-billion-dollar grants and credits for the promotion of unspecified “environmental justice” spending and lavish carveouts for the "green workforce” including the deployment of a 300,000-person Green New Deal youth patrol which will receive taxpayer funded housing, food, and uniforms. Just when small businesses are struggling to find workers, Democrats are shoveling your scarce dollars to a make-work program so young adults can play in the woods.
4. Giveaways to Big Labor Union Bosses
As mentioned, the bill provides a $12,500 electric vehicle credit. However, for a taxpayer to receive $4,500 of the $12,500 credit, the EV must be union-made. This would provide manufacturers with a unionized workforce with a significant advantage over manufacturers without a unionized workforce.
The bill also includes an above-the-line deduction for up to $250 in “dues” to a labor organization, including the portion earmarked for political spending. Most of this political spending goes to left-wing candidates and causes.
5. Giveaways to Universities
It creates a carveout for academia through the creation of a “public university research infrastructure credit.” This credit applies to 40 percent of qualified cash contributions made by a taxpayer during such taxable year for a qualifying project.
This credit can give a single public colleague or university credits for projects of up to $100 million per year and provide a total of $500 million in any one year for the next five years.
Federal bureaucrats would have broad authority to award these credits as long as they went towards the science, mathematics, engineering, and technology projects.
Middle-class Americans aren’t the usual donors to colleges and universities. Especially not when it comes to project-specific donations. It is unclear why wealthy donors require billions in tax handouts to buttress universities.
6. Giveaways to Trial Lawyers
This bill also includes a tax giveaway for trial lawyers, by allowing them to deduct contingency-fee expenses. This would include costs spent on depositions, discovery, expert testimonies, and more. Trial lawyers typically front these costs in return for a share of the client’s settlement or award. If they do not win the case or settle, trial lawyers can already write off the costs they fronted.
This $2.5 billion giveaway is designed to encourage frivolous lawsuits against corporations and other American businesses, while providing a huge payout to top Democrat donors. Nearly 95 percent of lawyers’ political donations go to Democrats. The top trial lawyer lobby, the American Association for Justice, directs over 97 percent of its political contributions to Democrats.
While Democrats claim their trillion-dollar socialist spending bill is about helping working families, there are many cases where this is not the case. Instead, the Left is providing clear giveaways to favored special interests at the expense of taxpayers and the middle class.