Not Letting It Go: National Democrats to Keep Hitting Ron Johnson on GOP Plan to Raise Taxes

Graphic by Desiree Tapia

By Pat Kreitlow

May 12, 2022

Facebook ad campaign starting Thursday targets Wisconsin seniors whose out-of-pocket expenses would soar if the plan became law.

There’s only one Republican tax plan floating among the GOP’s US Senate candidates up for election this year—including Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, who has praised the concept. So as long as that plan continues to include major tax hikes and threats to end Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, national Democrats will likely keep using one of the most powerful reactions to it. 

From a Fox News anchor.

In a new ad that started running on Facebook Thursday morning, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) uses the words of Fox News Sunday anchor John Roberts as he interviews Sen. Rick Scott, the Florida head of the Senate Republicans’ campaign committee and author of the plan. Scott is seen as Roberts recites the plan back to him, but never heard.

“So that would raise taxes on half of Americans and potentially sunset programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. Why would you propose something like that in an election year?” Roberts asks.

In the full interview, Scott tried to claim that the criticism is a “Democratic talking point,” but the ad goes right to Roberts interrupting him, “It’s not a Democratic talking point. It’s in the plan.”

And it is.

In the interview, Roberts reads directly from the proposal, “All federal legislation sunsets in five years. If a law is worth keeping, Congress can pass it again.”

It is all but a promise that every five years there will be a showdown debate on whether most federal benefits, programs, and offices will survive intact, be reduced, or ended.

“Wisconsin seniors depend on the Medicare and Social Security benefits they’ve been paying into for decades to access life-saving care and afford basic necessities—and Republicans are putting their right to these hard-earned benefits in jeopardy,” said DNC States Communications Director Brooke Goren. “Without these crucial programs, more than a million Wisconsinites could stand to face higher costs, and Democrats are committed to spending every day between now and November making sure that voters know it.”

Democrats know they have to work to ensure “that voters know it,” as polling from two weeks ago indicated 94% of Americans had heard little to nothing about the Scott plan. However, of those Americans who did learn the details of the plan, only 15% said they supported it while 71% of all respondents—and 62% of Republican respondents—said they would oppose what Scott wants Republicans to do if they take control of Congress in this November’s elections.

If Scott’s plan were to become law, it could have a significant impact on Wisconsin families as it has the potential to:

  • End Social Security and Medicare for more than 1.2 million Wisconsinites 
  • End Medicaid coverage for 1.3 million people in the state
  • Raise taxes on 32% of Wisconsinites, according to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy 
  • Raise taxes on 52% of small businesses, with the typical business paying an extra $700 per year in taxes, according to a White House analysis.

More than 1.1 million Wisconsinites depend on Medicare for their health coverage, according to a DNC release about the new ad, and more than 1.25 million rely on their Social Security benefits for daily household expenses. Ending those programs would explode out-of-pocket costs. 

While some congressional Republicans have said they would not support the plan, Johnson has praised it, telling Breitbart News Daily in March that he agreed with “most of” Scott’s plan and believed it to be a “positive thing.”

“I would have changes in certain things,” he said, but even after weeks of hammering from Democrats and others, Johnson has not offered specifics on what elements of the Scott plan he would firmly oppose.

President Joe Biden has put a bullseye on the Scott plan—”ultra-MAGA,” he called it—while referencing Johnson’s praise “Imagine all the bargaining that’s going to take place,” Biden said. “How well are we going to sleep at night knowing that every five years…We’re going to have to vote whether you’ll have Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and what amounts you’ll have in each of those programs.”

The DNC ad buy will target seniors on Facebook in New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Wisconsin, Nevada, and Arizona.


  • Pat Kreitlow

    The Founding Editor of UpNorthNews, Pat was a familiar presence on radio and TV stations in western Wisconsin before serving in the state Legislature. After a brief stint living in the Caribbean, Pat and wife returned to Chippewa Falls to be closer to their growing group of grandchildren. He now serves as UNN's chief political correspondent and host of UpNorthNews Radio, airing weekday mornings 6 a.m.-8 a.m on the Civic Media radio network and the UpNorthNews Facebook page.



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