In his first legislative victory, President Donald Trump signed a contentious tax bill into law towards the end of last year. While the tax plan was pitched by the Trump administration as helping the middle class and encouraging economic growth, it does so only minimally and temporarily, if at all.
On the other hand, unsurprisingly, the bill that was literally scribbled by the Republicans the last minute, gave a major boost to the wealthiest in the country – hence making the rich get richer.
One of the major beneficiaries of the GOP tax bill was Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL), who celebrated passing the House version of the bill in quite a lavish way.
According to newly released financial disclosure forms, Buchanan reportedly spent between $1 million and $5 million on a yacht on November 16, 2017 — the same day he, along with other 226 Republicans, voted to pass their tax bill. It is important to mention none of the Democrats voted for the bill.
The major tax cut that disproportionately benefit wealthy individuals saved Buchanan—one of the richest members of Congress—over $2 million.
According to a Roll Call report, Buchanan, a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee, is the eighth wealthiest member of Congress with net worth of $73.9 million.
However, the Republican’s extravagant sea ride could soon turn into a political liability as the Democrats, without wasting any time, quickly seized on the report.
The Florida Democratic Party sent out a release where it claimed Buchanan voted for the bill for personal gains.
“If we needed more proof that Vern Buchanan wrote the GOP Tax Bill to benefit himself, now we have it,” the party said in a statement.
Moreover, David Shapiro, the Democratic candidate challenging him in the November elections, took to Twitter to blast his opponent and the Republican-constituted law, saying “we can’t let politicians enrich themselves at the expense of their constituents.”
My opponent Vern Buchanan bought a multi-million dollar yacht the same day he voted for the #TaxScam giving himself a $2.1 million windfall. We can't let politicians enrich themselves at the expense of their constituents. Join me at https://t.co/ACZW0K0Hrihttps://t.co/WfHvmk0bVZ— David Shapiro (@Shapiro4FL16) July 11, 2018
Subsequently, Buchanan’s spokesman Max Goodman said news of the yacht purchase was being given undue attention and was part of a “coordinated attack” four months before the election.
“It’s no coincidence that this partisan smear comes at the same time a dark money group is airing a TV ad against Vern that is so dishonest one newspaper called it ‘stunning in its deception.’ Vern has owned boats for more than 20 years and it’s no secret to his constituents that he has lived the American Dream,” he said.
Nevertheless, such revelations just reinforce the suspicion that the tax plan, instead of primarily working towards the welfare of Americans, is actually helping the administration achieve some of its controversial goals.
Also, along with the Democrats, the tax plan is pretty unpopular amongst majority of Americans as according to a Monmouth University poll released last month, just 34 percent of Americans approved of the Republican tax reform package, compared to 41 percent who disapproved.
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