February 25, 2022

Rick Scott Repeats Romney’s 2012 Mistake

The GOP senator proposes a platform that includes a call to tax Americans who don’t pay the federal income tax.

Republican Senator Rick Scott (FL), chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), recently released the party’s platform of ideas. Unfortunately, it included what amounts to a needless and foolish self-inflicted wound. One of the platform ideas states: “All Americans should pay some income tax to have skin in the game, even if a small amount. Currently over half of Americans pay no income tax.” Ask President Mitt Romney how well that worked for his 2012 campaign.

Arguably one of the most politically damaging mistakes Romney made in his failed bid for the White House was his infamous claim that 47% of Americans were dependent on the government because they paid no income tax. Despite the fact that Romney’s comment was accurate on the merits, it provided an easy setup for Barack Obama and the mainstream media to bash him as a wealthy, out-of-touch elitist who lacked compassion for the struggles of working Americans.

Which brings it back to Scott and his boneheaded decision to essentially repeat Romney’s mistake. Joe Biden and the Democrats are seemingly in a polling free-fall, thanks almost entirely to Biden’s disastrous policies combined with his abysmal leadership on the world scene. Biden has brought rampant inflation, supply chain disruptions, and war in Europe. Moreover, the Democrat Party is in the midst of destroying itself with its full embrace of the radical Left, and Scott has effectively thrown them a political lifeline. Note to Scott: You should have let them sink.

Now, like Romney, Scott is not wrong on the merits. Nearly half of Americans don’t pay federal income tax and thus don’t quite have “skin in the game” when it comes to most federal spending. However, they do pay taxes. If you earn a paycheck, you see Uncle Sam take a sizable bite before you even get the money. The difference between payroll taxes and federal income taxes is that the latter are initially deducted and then reconciled, often with a refund, when individuals file their annual tax returns. Many folks may not see or care about that distinction, and when they hear the claim that they aren’t paying taxes when they know they’re paying taxes, they find it insulting.

Furthermore, Republicans have long been the small-government, low-tax party. That was brought home in 2017 when Republicans passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, a law that reduced rates, doubled standard deductions, and effectively lowered taxes for everyone across the board.

After Scott’s pitch, it didn’t take long for Democrats to blast Republicans for wanting to tax Americans more. “Senator Rick Scott explains the Republican plan to raise taxes on more than half of Americans,” railed Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. “He wants working families and seniors to pay more.” The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee was also quick to drop an ad claiming, “We’re making sure voters know the facts about Senate Republicans’ agenda: a tax hike on millions of seniors and over half of all Americans,” and ending with the tagline: “if Republicans win, we’ll pay the price.”

Thankfully, Scott’s blunder came months before the election and in the midst of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine — and as Biden has flailed about in a vain effort to hold Vladimir Putin at bay. There’s still time for Republicans to dump this proposal and instead propose cuts to out-of-control government spending in the wake of the national debt hitting $30 trillion.

Start a conversation using these share links:

Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news analysis, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!

The Patriot Post and Patriot Foundation Trust, in keeping with our Military Mission of Service, are proud sponsors of the National Medal of Honor Heritage Center, the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, Folds of Honor, Honoring the Sacrifice, Warrior Freedom Service Dogs, Officer Christian Fellowship, the Air University Foundation, the Naval War College Foundation, and the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation.


“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

Join us in prayer for our nation, that good and righteous national leaders would rise and prevail, and that division would be healed so we would be united as Americans. We pray also for the protection of our military Patriots, first responders and their families, and comfort for veterans who are suffering.

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2023 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.