Should-Read: As I see it, the Republicans in congress set out to write a tax bill that would (a) reward Donald Trump and his family as much as possible, (b) ensure that nobody in a state represented by a Republican senator got an immediate tax increase, and (c) stayed under 1.5 trillion dollars in its 10-year cost. They did not succeed. But that was their goal. And it created a real dog’s breakfast:
Paul Krugman: On Twitter: GOP tax bill is awesomely bad: “GOP tax bill is awesomely bad, raising taxes on half of middle class while mainly benefiting the idle rich. Why?…
…I think the way to see it is as result of tension between two goals: minimize taxes for Trump and friends versus limit deficit impact. So we have estate tax repeal, of course, and low taxation of pass-through income—e.g. on family businesses like Trump org. But this, plus corporate cuts-gotta pay off big business—costs a lot. So bunch of limits on top end and deductions lost lower down.
Rules to prevent every highly paid doctor and lawyer from becoming a pass-thru tax haven privilege passive investors, i.e., idle rich. Meanwhile, removal of many deductions, for medical expenses, state and local tax, etc. hurt many in middle class. The result is a tax bill that effectively rewards those who are rich but don’t work for it, preferably because they inherited the money. And it penalizes people who actually work for a living, even high-paid professionals. Populism!
Sounding more and more like healthcare: after years to prepare Rs completely unready for obvious downsides of plan:
Brian Faler: Republicans thrown on defensive after study shows tax hike: “Republicans are on the defensive after a new analysis shows some middle-income people would see tax increases under their plan to rewrite the tax code…. 20 percent would pay higher taxes by 2027, the Joint Committee on Taxation said Tuesday…. It promises to be an explosive issue, especially given President Donald Trump and other Republicans’ promises to make the middle class the focus of their tax plans…”