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ICYMI: Ron Johnson has a long history of voting for regressive tax laws that benefit himself

Oct 26, 2022

ICYMI: Ron Johnson has a long history of voting for regressive tax laws that benefit himself

“He has repeatedly said that he opposes any efforts to make millionaires like himself pay more.”

MADISON, Wis. — A new report details Ron Johnson’s efforts to not pay his fair share in taxes, even going so far as to use his position in DC to have the tax laws changed in a way that benefitted himself and his biggest donors.

Wisconsin Independent: Ron Johnson has a long history of voting for regressive tax laws that benefit himself

Key points:

  • A trust fund created by Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson and his wife went from paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes annually to the state of Wisconsin to contributing zero dollars a year since 2016.
  • This fits a long pattern by Johnson of trying to pay as little as possible in taxes.
  • He is one of the nation’s wealthiest senators, with an estimated net worth of more than $48 million in 2020. He has complained that his holdings have “gone up only double” since he became a senator.
  • Johnson has previously come under fire for paying little in state and federal taxes.
  • In September 2021, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that he paid just $2,105 in state income taxes despite taking in a six-figure Senate salary and significant additional income. The story noted that a typical married couple with $40,000 in joint taxable income would have owed more than what Johnson paid.
  • In 2017, Johnson insisted on adding provisions to former President Donald Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to cut taxes for pass-through entities, businesses that are taxed through the personal filings of the individuals who own them.
  • This resulted in a handful of Johnson’s top campaign contributors saving millions of dollars on their federal tax bills.
  • Johnson, who owned a plastics company called Pacur, also saved a large chunk of money because of the Trump tax cuts.
  • He has repeatedly said that he opposes any efforts to make millionaires like himself pay more.
  • Johnson voted against President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan, which included an expanded 2021 child tax credit for families making under $440,000 annually.
  • “I’m not a fan of using the tax code for either economic or social engineering,” he tweeted at the time. “A flat tax structure, with no credits, would be much easier. But since we’re stuck with the current system, I want to make sure it’s administered fairly.”
  • Johnson has repeatedly called for a flat tax, which would eliminate deductions and exemptions, instead of the current progressive tax system.
  • Experts say such a proposal would result in the richest Americans paying a lower share of the tax burden and middle-income families paying a lot more.
  • “No matter how a flat tax is structured,” noted a 2015 report by the progressive Center for American Progress, “the wealthy would always win.
  • Johnson told Breitbart News Daily in April that he backs the bulk of National Republican Senatorial Committee Chair Rick Scott’s controversial “Rescue America” plan, which calls for a tax hike for the more than 100 million mostly retired and lower-income Americans who do not currently pay any federal income taxes, as well as for the expiration of safety-net programs such as Medicare and Social Security every five years.
  • The Johnson campaign did not immediately respond to an inquiry for this story.

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