The Impending Tax Reform “Debate”- Oh Goodie!

Now that the Republicans have miserably failed to “repeal and replace” Obamacare with anything that is better (including nothing) we are told congressional attention will now shift to tax reform. Great! In a political environment divided by a malfunctioning two-party power structure and a sensational-story seeking media, this should work out really well!

It is predictable that the Democrats will oppose any measure of tax reform (no matter how much common sense it makes or how good it is for their constituents simply because the Republicans are the ones proposing the idea). It would be the exact same if the shoe were on the other foot, just the opposing arguments would vary slightly.

Here is what I mean. Republicans will likely propose to lower and simplify both corporate and individual tax rates. Who does this help? Well, it actually helps everyone including businesses- large and small, shareholders, consumers, and workers- rich and poor. Though from the Democrats you will only hear about how it helps big, bad, businessmen that already have “like” billions of dollars- Wait! You mean people like Mr. Trump? Perfect…the Democrats will stress that those are definitely the only people that will benefit from tax reform, Mr. Trump and his billionaire friends, “hrumph! hrumph!” (but not George Soros, Warren Buffet, Oprah, Michael Bloomberg or any of the other billionaires that feel guilty enough about their money to think that the government and not them, should take care of those “less fortunate”).

And everyone else? You know…the common people? Well you will get to hear from the Democrats that they will be far worse off and closer to death because they will have more of their own money, with which they may choose to purchase cigarettes, guns, fossil fuels, or Big Macs and we won’t have the governmental means to save them from the consequences of those decisions. We might not even have enough federal money left to ensure everyone has a cell phone…can you imagine the world in which the Republicans want us to live?

Also, we will suddenly see Democrats have an epiphany and become very concerned about government deficit spending and the national debt- an epiphany that has taken only about a century to arrive- and is certain to dissipate as soon as the Democrats regain any kernel of Congressional relevancy.

While this circus proceeds, rest assured we will also get to see the Republicans’ backsides as they flail about in hypocrisy and again display their inability to even agree amongst themselves. Now that the financial burden of Obamacare will remain, at least for now, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) will undoubtedly score this attempt at tax reform to show a sharp rise in deficit spending and debt.

Don’t think about the last eight years of Republicans lambasting Democrats about deficits and debt. It was the most important thing; remember? It was worth shutting down the government over. It was worth government employees being furloughed. But it isn’t anymore, because now the whole concept of shrinking deficits and debt gets in the way of what they want to do. The counter argument from the Republicans will note that although there will be a decreased tax rate, tax revenue will actually increase due to productivity increases driven by the decreased tax burden. That might be true, but the CBO will not score it that way, and the CBO numbers are what this debate will be center around.

If this rushed attempt at tax reform fails, Republicans and President Trump risk not delivering on something…anything, in the first 100 days of the Trump administration. Which, by the way, WHO CARES besides the news media and political punditry about this completely arbitrary metric? I would much rather a good solution be reached after a logical, principle-based debate on day 200 or 300 or 643 than something rushed, just to show that anything had been done before day 100.

However, President Trump assured his supporters that they would just be absolutely tired of all the winning he would do in the first 100 days of his administration. The Obamacare repeal and replace debacle along with the flawed roll out of the immigration executive order certainly puts a pair of big ones in the loss column; so let the circus begin on tax reform to try and even the score. Thanks for reading!

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