Thursday, December 21, 2017

Tax “Overhaul” Bill Passes Congress ↦

Damian Paletta and Jeff Stein reporting for The Washington Post:

Congress on Wednesday passed the most significant overhaul of the U.S. tax code in 30 years, delivering a landmark legislative victory to President Trump and the Republicans that had once seemed impossible for the fractured party.

The sweeping measure imprints a clear conservative vision on the tax code that will affect nearly every household and business. Corporations will see a massive tax cut, while most Americans will see temporary savings of various sizes. And in a move that may prove politically perilous, Republicans delivered the biggest gains to the wealthy.

I do have to take issue with some of the characterizations of this bill in that article. The idea that this bill is an “overhaul” and “imprints a clear conservative vision on the tax code” is a complete farce. First and foremost, there is absolutely, positively nothing that is clear about this bill:

The passage kicks off an intense period of uncertainty for consumers and businesses as both scramble to understand the changes[…]

Second, this bill does nothing to realize the vision conservatives have talked about for decades with respect to taxes: “A tax system so simple, your tax return would fit on a postcard.” If anything, this bill makes the tax system more complicated, not less.

The bill is also deeply unpopular. It’s almost as if the Republicans are resigned to losing in a big way in the 2018 elections and are just trying to line their pockets before they go.