President Donald Trump was supposed to simplify the tax code. There doesn’t seem to be anything simple about a 479-page bill that passed the Senate early Saturday along strictly partisan lines.
This tax-cut package is not a done deal yet, but it certainly appears that the Republican majorities and the president are determined to get something enacted before the end of the year, no matter the cost, no matter the last-minute deals that have to be cut to win over GOP holdouts — even if it means turning their back on what is supposed to be a core Republican principle: fiscally responsible government.
There is no one who credibly argues that this $1.5 trillion package will produce more revenue for the federal treasury than it will cost. The latest official analysis is that, even when accounting for economic growth spurred by the tax cuts, the treasury will still be worse off by $1 trillion over the next 10 years.
That’s no way to get down a $20 trillion debt that Republicans railed about until they actually had the power to reduce it.
It’s possible that the American people will be fooled that this tax cut is about helping them. It’s really about helping the wealthy and corporations, including the businesses of the president and his family. It doesn’t take 479 pages to give a tax break to folks who don’t require the services of an accountant to complete their returns.
Indeed, an analysis by a nonpartisan congressional committee says that the tax break for most U.S. families under the Senate plan will be modest and short-lived. A decade from now, after Trump is long gone from office, those earning $75,000 a year will be paying more in taxes, not less, the analysis shows.
This isn’t a middle-class tax cut. It’s a middle-class tax sham.