President Donald Trump wants a legislative win. Any legislative win since he hasn’t had one in his 319 days in office. Now he’s pressuring Congress to wrap up a “new international tax regime” before Dec. 22 deadline and the chosen plan would go into effect on the first of the year, skipping any transitional period.
The extraordinarily partisan and entirely dysfunctional Congress is effectively slapping together plans, doodling in the margins, and trying to sell America legislation with consequences farther-reaching than health-care. Any questions?
Predictably, experts are finding some serious “glitches” with the tax plan that will cause long-term problems. Not to mention that the plans do little for the middle or lower classes. It all points to the colossal disaster of a Republican-controlled government, where partisan politics has never been uglier or so self-serving.
“The more you read, the more you go, ‘Holy crap, what’s this?'” said Greg Jenner, a former top tax official in George W. Bush’s Treasury Department. “We will be dealing with unintended consequences for months.” https://t.co/4eRygtdnIt
— Justin Wolfers (@JustinWolfers) December 6, 2017
Cutting taxes on pass-through businesses which includes S corporations and limited liability companies, could create “broad avenues for tax avoidance,” according to Politico. The Senate seems to have tried to prevent tax avoidance by deciding, at the last minute, to keep the alternative minimum tax, or (AMT).
Now, two GOP senators, Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio), “one of the chamber’s main tax writers,” and Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) already want to repeal that part. The repeal could cost $40 billion over a decade, according to Bloomberg.
“We couldn’t go all the way because we needed the revenue,” said Senator David Perdue (R-Ga.) on why the AMT was included at the last minute.”
One part of the Senate tax plan that tried to curb tax avoidance could reportedly discourage people from starting companies in the first place. Not exactly what anybody, including the GOP, intended.
Now for the random glitches: We will never remember the Trump administration as friendly to education *cough-DeVos.* Their tax bill randomly includes taxation on the investment earnings of private universities’ endowments, without clarifying exactly how that would work.
Republicans acknowledge they messed up the details on how a one-time tax for multinational companies’ offshore profits would work.
It should surprise nobody, especially legislators, that rushing a process like this in two weeks would cause yuge problems. To give some perspective, the last time there was a tax overhaul was 31 years ago, when former President Ronald Reagan worked with Jim Baker, which Bloomberg called:
“The most politically skillful Treasury secretary of modern times.”
Trump’s administration will never go down in history for the most politically skilled – anybody – unless that skill is taking “partisan and reprehensible” to a whole new level. The year 1986 was a time when “bipartisan efforts” were a real thing.
Today… Yeah, no… Not. At. All.
The current devolved Republican Party basically insults every American by trying to appease a man likely to be impeached with a tax plan as a legislative “win” to place on his mantle. That’s bad enough, but they’re also trying to sell the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” to America as if we all don’t know for sure that the losers will be most of the American people –unless you happen to be wealthy or a corporation.
“Fifty-three percent of U.S. voters disapprove of the Republican overhaul plan, and 64 percent say it favors the wealthy, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday.”
RT if you’re one of the 56% of Americans who disapprove of the GOP tax plan. https://t.co/QcEr5QWYqm
— Sen. Maria Cantwell (@SenatorCantwell) December 5, 2017
“The result will be ‘something that is perfecto,’ Trump said of a conference committee working to “refine” the tax plans.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s response:
“This is a great day for the country. [The bill would] …Provide substantial relief to the middle class.”
McConnell continued in typical hypocritical fashion while indicating his political plans for the mid-terms:
“There was not a single Democrat that thought this was a good idea. We’re going to take this message to the American people a year from now.”
Forbes published an article entitled, “GOP Tax Bill Is The End Of All Economic Sanity In Washington,” and author Stan Collender really meant it.
“If it’s enacted, the GOP tax cut now working its way through Congress will be the start of a decades-long economic policy disaster unlike any other that has occurred in American history.”
As an amusing final thought, the Congress appears to be rushing the sloppy plans through precisely because they don’t want further feedback from the special interests they seem to have customized American tax policy to appease in the first place.
Politico’s Brian Faler wrote:
“Republicans are trying to muscle the plan through the Capitol before special interest groups can mobilize opposition.”
Watch Senator Orrin Hatch actually say out loud that the tax plan would help “millions of young people in our society” in the video below.
He knows better.
He was there for the last tax overhaul:
Featured image: Screenshot via YouTube video.