Is the tax bill a good thing for the USA? Probably, on the whole it is likely a step in the right direction. Are there things in it that we will have problems with? Very likely. Does it make progress with regard to unraveling some of the burden imposed on Americans and business during the Obama years? Yes it appears so. Will Dems see anything in it that they like? It doesn’t look like it. Are Republicans making Democrats swallow a nasty pill in a way not unlike what Dems did to Republicans with Obamacare? Almost. Will the GOP tax bill create the kind of uproar the passage of Obamacare did? To some degree, but not on par with the Obamacare unhappiness. Will the GOP pay at the polls? Maybe. Could the GOP benefit at the polls? Maybe.
Is the establishment media freaking out? Absolutely.
Remember, one of the key pieces of the anti-Trump strategy as outlined by the post election confab with Democrat strategists and George Soros was to deny Trump “legitimacy.” They’ve been failing on this front, and even in the face of the Flynn plea, legitimacy for Trump is a clear reality. Now particularly with this bill which will soon (in all likelihood) be law.
Below, a number of different perspectives on the bill.
What was included? You can read my summary of the proposal before the additional mark-ups here. After the vote, it appears that most of those original provisions stayed largely intact. Here are some highlights:
Under the Senate version, the corporate tax rate would be permanently lowered from 35% to 20%.
The Senate version would also lower tax rates for individuals but those lower rates will not be permanent (they will expire after 2025).
The Senate bill retains the same number of individual tax brackets as we currently have (seven) though the brackets look different (the House version of the bill proposed just four). You can see how those rates would compare to what we have now here.
The individual mandate under Obamacare would be repealed under the Senate version (the House version did not include a repeal of the mandate).
The Senate bill increases the child tax credit to $2,000 (the House version would increase the credit to $1,600). Both versions would be subject to income phaseouts.
State and local property tax deductions would remain under the Senate and House proposals but would be capped at $10,000. State and local income tax deductions would be eliminated.
A last minute change introduced by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) passed after a tie-breaking vote from Vice President Pence, expanding education savings accounts (ESAs) to include expenses related to religious schools and home-schooled students (the House version has a similar provision).
(From The Hill)
Democrats have blasted Republicans for the bill’s impact on the deficit, saying the Joint Committee on Taxation’s analysis contradicts claims by the GOP and President Trump’s White House that the bill will pay for itself.
“This score that I’ve just gotten ends the fantasy about magical growth and claims that tax cuts pay for themselves,” Sen. Ron Wyden
Funny that Democrats are so concerned about paying for things now. How about we start cutting government along with taxes? Then we’ve got no problem on that front. That’s where things have to start but Dems (and many in the GOP) don’t have the guts to do that.
“This Congress doesn’t work for working families,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) tweeted in the early hours of Saturday morning. “It works for corporate lobbyists & campaign donors in backroom deals & 1:30 a.m. votes.”
She added, “This corruption is hollowing out America’s middle class & tearing down our democracy.”
Spare us the indignation Senator Warren. Your CFPB has become a cauldron of cronyism and corruption.
Craft breweries might be about to crack open a celebratory cold one.
Under the Senate tax bill, alcohol producers would save $4.2 billion from 2018 to 2019, according to Congress’ Joint Committee on Taxation.
The measure would help small-brewery owners like Kevin Sharpe, the founder and president of Dark City Brewing Co. He hopes to use the extra money to expand his business in Asbury Park, N.J.
“More money means better beer, and hopefully more of it,” he said.
This is excellent news for our home town. (And many others.)
(From The BBC)
The US Senate, a seemingly insurmountable roadblock for the Republican agenda for much of this year, has at last given its assent to a major piece of legislation.
Perhaps unsurprisingly it was sweeping tax cuts – always beloved by conservatives – that finally brought the party together and gave President Donald Trump the opportunity to claim a landmark legislative achievement.
It wasn’t always pretty. Senate negotiators were handwriting amendments to the massive bill practically up until the final votes were taken. Deals within deals were cut to satisfy recalcitrant legislators. Democrats howled at the permanent cuts provided to corporations, while middle-class taxpayer benefits had sunset clauses.
In the end, however, a combination of hope and fear were enough to drag a slim majority into the yes column. The hope is that a booming economy will give Republicans a chance to run on their tax policy when they stand before voters next November. The fear was that yet another failure would have led to a revolt among the party’s big donors and traditional business constituencies.