“It’s time to actually drain the swamp and fire Sen. Ron Johnson from public office” — that’s what the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says in a new editorial after a report revealed how Johnson helped procure hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks for a selection of his biggest donors. Amid the COVID-19 crisis, Johnson has publicly gone against some of the basic science surrounding the national response, potentially putting lives at risk by spreading misinformation — but when it came to the interests of his wealthiest donors, Johnson acted with troublingly effective precision.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Editorial Board: Ron Johnson's backroom dealing shows who he's working for. It's not you.
"He's unfit to represent Wisconsin citizens. The sooner he's removed from office, the better for our democratic republic."https://t.co/rEQlEpO326
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) August 15, 2021
Johnson undertook that effort that ended up obtaining benefits for those donors of his amid negotiations surrounding the tax reform bill that Trump signed into law in 2017. Ahead of that bill’s passage, Johnson announced that he would vote against it, insisting that more benefits should be included for so-called “pass-through” businesses, whose profits pass through to their owners. According to revelations from ProPublica, Johnson directly advocated to Treasury Department officials for a boosted tax break for pass-through businesses — and eventually, he got it. The provision was added to the legislation, Johnson voted in favor of it, and according to ProPublica, “Johnson’s last-minute maneuver benefited two families more than almost any others in the country — both worth billions and both among the senator’s biggest donors.”
Those who donated to the effort to elect Johnson and then dramatically benefited from his part in crafting the 2017 tax reform bill include Dick and Liz Uihlein, who own the packaging company Uline, and Diane Hendricks, who owns a large construction supplies firm called the ABC Supply Co. “The expanded tax break Johnson muscled through netted them $215 million in deductions in 2018 alone,” ProPublica explains, referring to the Uihleins and Hendricks, and the publication adds that at that rate, the provision “could deliver more than half a billion in tax savings for Hendricks and the Uihleins over its eight-year life.”
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel added as follows regarding the situation:
‘Though he tried to defend himself on Wednesday, Johnson’s secret, closed-door maneuvering on the tax bill is one more reason he’s unfit to represent Wisconsin citizens. The sooner he’s removed from office, the better for our democratic republic.’
Specifically, the Uihleins and Hendricks donated some $20 million to groups supporting Johnson’s 2016 re-election campaign — the year before the tax bill was passed, placing the donations and legislation in swift succession. Those donors, the Journal Sentinel says, “got quite a return on their investment,” as “Johnson proved to be the best senator money could buy.”
The Journal Sentinel added the following:
‘Republicans claimed that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act — what Trump called his “big, beautiful Christmas present” — would goose economic growth and result in a simpler, fairer system. What it actually did, according to a study by Treasury economists, is hand out most of the tax savings to the richest 1% of Americans. They got nearly 60% of the savings — and most of that went to the top 0.1%, ProPublica found. These are the people who benefit most from our interstate highways, our national defense, our financial system safeguards and our other shared public services — even as some do all in their power to pay as little as possible for them. These are the people Ron Johnson truly represents and works for — even as he panders to people who are less well-to-do yet continue to believe in Trump and his promises to shake up the status quo and “drain the swamp.”‘
The Senator “knows he needs the former president’s less wealthy supporters in Wisconsin if he decides to break his earlier promises and run for a third term next year,” the Journal Sentinel also adds. Read their full article going against Johnson at this link.