Democrats and Republicans in Congress don’t typically agree on tax policy. But late last month, 216 House Democrats joined with 198 of their GOP colleagues to pass legislation advancing a cause that both parties have championed in recent years: ensuring that high-income individuals can stuff even more money into their tax-advantaged retirement accounts. Only five House members — all Republicans — voted no.
Overwhelming Republican support for the bill — known as the Securing a Strong Retirement Act of 2022, or Secure 2.0 — comes as no shock: Tax-cutting has long been a central plank of the GOP platform. What’s more surprising is that every Democrat in attendance backed the measure, too. Even Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) — a pillar of the party’s left wing who at a gala last September sported a gown with the slogan “TAX THE RICH” — voted to bestow billions of dollars in benefits on the very taxpayers whom she says should pay more.
Bipartisan support for Secure 2.0 is part of a decades-long pattern: While loudly and proudly proclaiming that their goal is to nurture nest eggs for the working class, lawmakers have constructed a complex of tax shelters for the well-to-do. The lopsided result is that as of 2019, nearly 29,000 taxpayers had amassed “mega-IRAs” — individual retirement accounts with balances of $5 million or more — while half of American households had no retirement accounts at all. Overall, according to the Congressional Budget Office, the top 10th of households reap a larger share of the income tax subsidy for retirement savings than the bottom 80 percent.
Read more at The Washington Post