weather icon Clear

Victor Joecks: Tax cuts increased take-home pay of Rosen’s campaign staff

In February, the campaign team of Democratic U.S. Rep. Jacky Rosen saw a pay bump — thanks to the Republican tax plan.

Rep. Rosen is challenging U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, and she has repeatedly voiced her opposition to the tax cuts Republicans passed last year. The tax cuts will “increase the economic anxiety of too many Nevada families at their kitchen tables,” she wrote in November. In December, she called it a “disastrous tax scheme” and accused Heller of raising taxes on “hardworking Nevadans.”

Given their refusal to return phone calls seeking comment, it’s debatable whether Rosen’s staff qualifies as “hardworking.” What’s not debatable is that Rosen’s FEC report shows their take-home pay increased in February 2018. That’s when new IRS withholding tables — which reflected the new tax law — went into effect. An example on the FEC website advises that campaigns should separate out an employee’s take-home pay from the taxes withheld by the campaign. This allows you to see differences in take-home pay.

Rosen pays her staff twice a month, although at the end of each quarter, she pays her staff at the beginning of the next month. That artificially boosts her cash on hand for reporting purposes.

Rosen’s highest-paid employee is campaign manager Daniel Kazin. From Oct. 1 to Jan. 31, his bimonthly paycheck was $5,353. Starting Feb. 15, his paycheck jumped to $5,555. That’s a 3.8 percent increase worth more than $4,800 a year.

It wasn’t just Kazin. Every single Rosen campaign employee who was on salary in January and February saw a pay bump. Helen Smith saw the highest pay boost by percentage. Her check went from $2,222 to $2,313, a 4.1 percent increase. That increased her net pay by more than $2,100 a year.

Even Rosen’s lowest-paid employee, August McGinnity-Wake, saw benefits. His paycheck jumped from $1,077 to $1,093, a 1.5 percent increase. That’s worth $384 a year.

Yet to the public, Rosen and her staff continue to bemoan the tax cuts. In April, her communications director, Stewart Boss, tweeted that the “GOP tax bill didn’t benefit American workers.” In December, he tweeted that “regular people get crumbs, or tax hikes.”

Boss’ paycheck, however, told a different story. In February, it increased by 3.7 percent, going from $2,744 to $2,847. The Republican tax cut plan boosted his take-home pay by more than $2,400 a year.

These facts fly in the face of Rosen’s rhetoric, but despite the mainstream media’s spin, the Republican tax plan cut taxes for most people. Ironically, the individuals most likely to see a tax hike from tax reform are rich people who live in high-tax states such as California and New York. That’s because tax reform capped the state and local tax deduction at $10,000. You know who pays more than $10,000 in state and local taxes? The rich.

This has the Democrats who run high-tax states in a panic.

The unlimited deduction for state and local taxes acted as a federal subsidy for their state’s high levies. Now that the rich — including the “1 percenters” liberals so often revile — have to pay the full cost, Democrats are worried they’ll move. So leftists, including Democrat governors in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, have created loopholes for millionaires seeking to avoid higher federal taxes. The IRS has already warned states about such schemes, but Democrat leaders are so eager to help to the rich avoid paying taxes, they’re trying anyway.

Think about where that leaves Democrats such as Rosen. They’re stuck attacking tax cuts that are putting more money in the pockets of working Americans — including her own staff — but are raising taxes on the rich in blue states.

No wonder Rosen’s been able to raise so much money in California.

Victor Joecks is a columnist for the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
DAN SCHINHOFEN: Special session fiasco part 2

During this current “special session”, our Democrat-controlled Legislature has prioritized police “reforms” and seem to have forgotten that we are in, what they call, “a health emergency”. While Nevada does have some bad officers, from the vast majority of police in our state, we have not seen racism as a driving issue. Still our state Democratic leaders think that getting on the record with specious “reforms” is a priority, so that their other Democratic friends feel good.

TIM BURKE: Nevada Democrats force November mail-in ballot

The act of physically going to a polling location and casting my vote in-person has always given me a feeling of satisfaction that I am participating in the election process.

THOMAS KNAPP: Afghanistan Bounties: Pot, Meet Kettle (and Turn Off the Stove!)

“These are anarchists, these are not protesters,” President Donald Trump said on July 20th, defending his decision to unleash Department of Homeland Security hooligans on anti-police-violence demonstrators in Portland. Anarchist-bashing — referring to “radical-left anarchists” in Minneapolis, “ugly anarchists” in Seattle, etc. — has become a consistent Trump campaign theme since May.

CHUCK BAKER: Land, Land, but not an inch to spare

“Don’t Fence Me In” was a popular song in the 1940s. Some might say it could be today’s theme song for Nellis AFB. Between all the land held in Nevada by the local air base and the Bureau of Land Management, it appears that control over boundaries and borders will be with Silver State entities for quite some time. And not just in the south.

TIM BURKE: First Amendment protects free speech, not violence

In the rural counties of Nevada, it is not uncommon to have residents assemble and express their conservative viewpoints. Here in Pahrump, during patriotic holidays like the Fourth of July, you might find someone standing along the main roadways waving an American flag to show their support for this country. It is also common to see American flags attached to residents’ cars and trucks around town. These residents are exercising their First Amendment rights.