Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown dared to point out the truth about the Republican tax plan … and Republican Senator Orrin Hatch didn’t appreciate it.
Brown: I think it would be nice to, tonight before we go home, to acknowledge that this tax cut is not for the middle class, it’s for the rich. And that whole thing about higher wages? Well it’s a good selling point, but we know companies don’t just give away higher wages just because they have more money. Corporations are sitting on a lot of money, and I don’t see wages going up. Just spare us the bank shot. Spare us the sarcasm.
Hatch: I’m going to just say to you that I … come from the poor people. And I’ve been here working my whole stickin’ career for people who don’t have a chance. And I really resent anybody saying that I’m just doing this for the rich. I think you guys overplay that all the time and it gets old. And frankly you ought to quit it.
Brown: Mr. Chairman, the public believes …
Hatch: Wait a minute, I’m not through. I get kind of sick and tired of it. It’s a nice political play, but it’s not True.
Brown: Well, Mr. Chairman, with all due respect, I get kind of sick and tired of the richest people getting richer and richer …
(Hatch and other Republicans cut Brown off as Hatch hammers his gavel.)
Hatch: Listen, I’ve honored you by allowing you to spout off here ...
Hatch used his gavel and his position to “win” the argument by stopping Brown from making his points. So poor people will get what they need most … a tax increase on everyone making less than $75,000 and a a tax break on their private jets.
Hatch may claim that he came from the “lower middle class,” but if so, that was many decades in the past. Because the 83-year-old Hatch is one of the richest members of Congress.
Hatch's net worth was 4.7 times more than the average member of Congress and 81% more than the average senator.
Hatch is upset because he’s exactly the kind of person who this tax cut would help.
Hatch returns to his claims of personal poverty.
Hatch: I come from the lower middle class, originally. We didn’t have anything. So don’t spew that stuff on me. Let me just say something. If we worked together, we could pull this country out of every mess it’s in.
Brown: Let’s start with CHIP.
Hatch: I’m not starting with CHIP. I’ve got more bills passed than everybody on this committee put together.
Brown: Start with CHIP today.
Hatch continues about how “worked up” he is over “this bullcrap” put out by Democrats. But note that his points are: He was once one of the poor people. He’s passed a lot of bills.
Not one word of his “defense” addresses the charges that Brown levies about the bill, or about the fallacy that giving corporations more money will result in higher wages.
Still … every poor person is looking forward to getting money back on their private jet.
And what was it that Hatch recoiled from as soon as Brown brought it up? It was this.
Nine million children could lose coverage in a matter of weeks. Additionally, 25 million people could lose health care at community health centers, which also haven't been funded since Sept. 30. States are now preparing letters to send to families to tell them their coverage is going to end. In some states coverage will end next month, in some the month after. So that's some Christmas greeting for these families to be receiving.
That’s CHIP funding—which Hatch doesn’t even want to discuss while telling about his tragic youth.
Poor Orrin Hatch got his law degree in 1962 and worked as an attorney until he was elected to the Senate in 1976. He hasn’t worked outside Congress in over forty years and hasn’t been either poor or middle class for at least fifty. Even if Hatch’s point is that he managed to climb out of the middle class and become wealthy, the system that allowed that was fifty years ago.
And in that very first run for the Senate, Hatch had something to say about people who sat in Washington so long they were unfamiliar with the lives of regular folks.
"What do you call a Senator who's served in office for 18 years? You call him home." — Orrin Hatch, 1976