GOP banker spends $11 million on his campaign — and whines the middle class don’t pay enough taxes: report
Mike Gibbons (YouTube).

On Friday, The Washington Post reported that newly unearthed footage from a media event last fall shows Mike Gibbons, a candidate for the Republican Senate nomination in Ohio, complained that the middle class does not pay enough in taxes.

“The top 20 percent of earners in the United States pay 82 percent of federal income tax — and, if you do the math, and 45 percent to 50 percent 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,” said Gibbons in the video. He added that the rich already pay too much, saying, "How much of the total tax bill can a very small percentage of the nation pay and still be a democracy?"

Gibbons, a wealthy investment banker, has largely self-funded his own campaign, putting $11.4 million of his own money into the effort, according to The Columbus Dispatch. He has raised less than $1 million from other donors.

"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," noted the Post. However, "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."

In response to the story, Gibbons' campaign made clear that he does not plan to raise taxes on middle-class Americans if elected to the Senate. However, noted the report, "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.'"

Gibbons' complaints are similar to those put forward by National Republican Senate Committee Chair Rick Scott (R-FL) in his policy plan intended to outline what Republicans could accomplish with a Senate majority.

In his plan, Scott, himself one of the richest members of the U.S. Senate with a net worth over $200 million, complained that half of all Americans pay no income tax and should be forced to contribute more to have "skin in the game" — even though many people who don't pay income tax are retirees, primary caregivers, or students. His plan has become so toxic that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has made clear he doesn't support it.

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