FILE - Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., talks with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, on Jan. 20, 2022. He was talking about President Joe Biden's first year as president. Two widely supported bills are encountering delays in the Senate. The House easily approved the measures last week with broad bipartisan support. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)
Avlon calls out GOP senator for denial on Fox
01:32 - Source: CNN
Washington CNN  — 

On Tuesday, National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Rick Scott unveiled a series of policies under his 11-point “Rescue America” plan, which includes completing the border wall then naming it after former President Donald Trump and a call for all Americans to pay an income tax.

After Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and White House press secretary Jen Psaki both criticized Scott for proposing to raise taxes, he went on Fox to defend his plan.

Fox’s Sean Hannity called out Schumer’s criticism specifically, joking that the plan to raise taxes must have been in “invisible ink.”

“Chuckie Schumer saying that your plan is to raise taxes on more than half of Americans. I didn’t see that in your plan. Did you have that in your plan? Was that in invisible ink in the copy that I got?,” Hannity asked, to which Scott responded, “Of course not.”

Facts First: This is false. Scott’s plan does call for raising taxes, specifically that all Americans should pay “some” income tax, even the “over half” of Americans who don’t currently pay any.

One of the 11 points in Scott’s plan focuses on the economy and growth, specifically his goal to “grow America’s economy, starve Washington’s economy, and stop Socialism.” Scott’s plan to achieve this consists of several action items including that “All Americans should pay some income tax to have skin in the game, even if a small amount.” He states that “currently over half of Americans pay no income tax,” suggesting that under his plan taxes would be raised for those Americans.

While it’s true that over half of American households paid no federal income tax for the past two years, the non-profit Tax Policy Center estimates that number will fall to under 42% this year. And according to an August 2021 Tax Policy Center report, most of those households don’t have federal income tax liability because their household income is below a certain threshold. Several households have also benefited from stimulus packages and tax credit expansions passed in response to the pandemic which may have reduced or eliminated their federal tax liability in 2020 or 2021.

When asked to clarify the Florida senator’s comments, NRSC spokesman Chris Hartline told CNN that, “No Republican in the country has been a bigger advocate for cutting taxes than Rick Scott and he will always support tax cuts. Senator Scott believes that everyone should pay their fair share, and everyone should have skin in the game. “

However, it’s misleading for Scott to suggest those who do not currently pay federal income tax don’t have any “skin in the game.” The Tax Policy Center reported that “nearly everyone,” even those who do not pay federal income tax, paid some form of taxes, like sales taxes or payroll taxes.