GOP plans to make California fire victims pay for billionaires’ tax cuts

What is worse than raising taxes on the middle class? Raising taxes on natural disaster victims.

One breathtakingly cruel aspect of the GOP’s tax scam bill is that it raises revenue for billionaire tax breaks by eliminating small tax writeoffs designed to help the most vulnerable taxpayers, like disabled veterans or teachers buying school supplies for poor kids.

And now we can add another group to that list: victims of the California wildfires.

According to a new report from the Daily Beast, “Tucked into the 450-page bill is a provision eliminating the ability of filers to deduct personal casualty and theft losses resulting from natural disasters not covered by insurance, save those that apply to victims of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.”

Massive fires flared up in northern California in October, killing 44 and destroying 8,400 structures, and this week, new fires erupted around Los Angeles and San Diego, covering over 160,000 acres.

Under the Republicans’ tax scheme, the victims of these immense natural disasters would take another huge hit come tax filing time next year — all in the interest of offsetting the giveaways in the bill to the super-rich and corporations.

Indeed, the tax scam seems to disproportionately hit taxpayers in blue states. Both the House and Senate bills roll back the deduction for state income taxes, but preserve at least some form of deduction for local property taxes. This would mean states like Texas see a lower tax increases than states like New York or California.

The greedy political calculations within the bill were already known to be callous and cruel. Targeting disaster victims makes it even more obvious.