Ohio U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown got into a short but important verbal dustup with the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee pushing a smash-and-grab tax bill Republicans want President Trump to sign before the year’s out so they can finally tell voters back home they got something done.

Street Fighting Man

The altercation wherein Brown bested Hatch bigly by blasting him with both barrels of simple clarity and biting reality showed why he’s on track to win a third term next year against any candidate Republicans throw at him, especially Ohio’s term-limited Treasure Josh Mandel.

Brown shut down Republican committee chairman Orrin Hatch of Utah by skewering him where it hurts most, informing him that the bill under consideration makes rich people richer at the expense of poor people. It’s a timeless gambit that has worked throughout history, and it’s why fiscal and social conservatives like Hatch, and faux Republicans like Trump, want to take from the poor and give to the rich by using their majority party status to do so while they can, now that 2018 looms as year when voters will recoil from elected officials whose agenda is to confuse then dismantle Obama-era policies and programs, especially the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).

No Escape Hatch For Orrin

What did Sen. Brown say that tripped Hatch’s wire bad enough that he let loose with some serious malarkey of his own?

“I just think it would be nice, just tonight, before we go home, to just acknowledge, well that this tax cut really is not for the middle class, it’s for the rich,” Brown said. “And that whole thing about higher wages, it’s a good selling point, but we know companies just don’t give away higher wages. They don’t just give away higher wages just because they have more money. Corporations are sitting on a lot of money now. They’re sitting on a lot of profits now. I don’t see wages going up.”

Chairman Hatch’s reply, which was so off the mark as to be injurious to his health and the health of other Republicans bent on using tax reform and tax cuts to feather their nests even more than they are today, included this temper tantrum rhetoric:

“I’m just going to say to you that I come from the poor people. And I’ve been here working my whole stinking career for people who don’t have a chance. And I really resent anybody saying that I’m just doing this for the rich. Give me a break.”

Hatch, Portman and Republicans like them, including Ohio Gov. John Kasich, should know better but don’t, that reducing corporate and income taxes leads to a more regressive tax system, which in turn disadvantages most taxes payers who aren’t super wealthy.

What makes sense now, according to experts on the topic, is to reduce the payroll tax and increase income taxes, especially the estate tax by making it unavoidable), and reducing the deficit Republicans so worried about when Obama was president, that they have no problem increasing now that they’re in the majority. All this entails going the opposite direction from where they are today with their smash-and-grab bill that reduces the burden on high income earners, then offsets it with more debt that shifts the burden of paying for it on to low-to-middle income families.

Sherrod Brown needs to look for more, not less, chances to nail smash and grab Republicans like Hatch and Ohio’s other senator, Rob Portman, who is full steam behind the bill that will be a gift to the rich while being a stumbling block to most others, especially the vaunted middle-class both sides claim benefits from the Senate bill and its not perfect reflect passed in the U.S. House of Representatives last week.

More Dustups Please

If Brown loses his reelection race next year, completing a headhunting expedition Ohio Republicans have carried out so successfully over the years, Ohioans will be the worse off for it. If he survives his contest with Trump-style Republicans who will throw even more millions at him to defeat him, a glimmer of hope might survive that the Buckeye State doesn’t fall perpetually into the hands of dying Republican dogma that’s failed so often, yet continues to haunt the state and the nation.

Brown’s economic populism agenda (restoring value of work) was revealed at the front part of the year and is centered on workers, their pay and benefits and rights. Brown is absolutely correct to say that corporations with historic profits and low tax rates can boost the paychecks of their workers, but haven’t.

And the smash and grab bill Hatch is riled up about will only smash their dreams as it grabs their cash to give to the already wealthy who have no reason to do anything different when rates and special programs for them are handed out gratis.

 

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