Democrat pushes big payouts for working-class Americans

Democrats are taking aim at Republicans’ tax law, with at least one senator hoping to partially replace the tax cuts with new legislation that would give qualifying middle- and lower-income households free cash.

The new initiative, called LIFT– or Livable Incomes for Families Today – the Middle Class Act, would provide families with a refundable tax credit for as much as $6,000 per year, or $500 per month, to live on. For individuals, the amount would be halved to $250 per month, or $3,000 per year. The payouts would be phased out as incomes increased.

The credit would be available for all households earning under $100,000 per year and single filers earning under $50,000 annually.

It was introduced by Sen. Kamala Harris from California, with the U.S. midterm elections a little more than two weeks away. Harris positioned her proposal in opposition to the Republicans’ tax cuts – which she said are “tax breaks for the top 1 [percent] and corporations.”

“We should put money back into the pockets of American families to address rising costs of childcare, housing, tuition, and other expenses … we should be lifting up millions of American families,” Harris wrote on her website.

Harris’ office told Politico as many as 80 million Americans would benefit from the proposal, however cost estimates are as high as $200 billion per year. Harris has proposed repealing parts of Trump’s tax cuts to pay for her legislation.

There is speculation Harris could be eyeing a presidential run in 2020, though she has yet to make a formal announcement.

Harris’ bill is similar to legislation introduced last year by Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif.