Thursday, 14 December, 2017

We still need to see Trump's tax returns

White House and Republicans keep ducking through tough tax choices Getty Images
Vera Richards | 04 October, 2017, 00:47

"I just don't think that's the case", Mnuchin said. That's why Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer warned Trump on Wednesday that Democrats would not support any tax reform plan that helps the wealthiest American earners. Many would argue that part of the American Dream rests in one's ability to pass one's wealth down to one's children, but this can not be fully achieved when up to 40 percent of a deceased person's wealth is required to go to the federal government, according to the Internal Revenue Service. Instead, this plan would set the rate at 20 percent for corporations (down from 35 percent) and 25 percent for small businesses (down from 40 percent for many firms). By continuing to pair successive revenue raisers with additional cuts, tax rates can be pushed even lower and more distortions can be removed from the tax code.

They went on to use the money saved during the holiday to buy back stocks, "a way to enrich insiders and executives". "If we simply look at this as being deficit-neutral, you're never going to get the type of tax reform and tax reductions that you need to get to sustain 3 percent economic growth".

"As a general matter in tax reform you have to acknowledge that you can not negotiate with everybody's single pay-for", said Doug Holtz-Eakin, who runs the American Action Forum, a conservative group that's working with GOP leaders on taxes. We need a 21st century tax code that keeps business here, grows the economy, and allows the American people to keep more of their hard-earned pay.

For these reasons, repealing the state and local tax deduction would be an important move toward broadening the tax base.

Trump and the Republicans won the election by promising jobs and prosperity. Then, they'll have to be merged into one bill in a conference committee that can pass both chambers. And despite repeatedly claiming they would provide a "middle-class tax cut", it was clear from the meager details provided that this plan offered nothing of the sort. While this is definitely Reaganomics in the works - cutting taxes at the top to see employment gains at the bottom - it is only so to a degree that we may indeed see gains in employment, rather than the massive gains in wealth inequality that we saw during the 1980s.

Donald Trump's latest tax-cut plan would be a steroid injection for the US economy. Hatch cast doubt on the prospect, saying he prefers to limit it to three brackets, but hinted that political pressure could motivate the White House to add a fourth one.

For seven years, they promised to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and when they gained control of everything still could not get it done, even under special procedural rules that skipped such niceties as public hearings, open debate and amendments by members.

Across Washington, lobbyists of all stripes have been waiting for months to see tax details and keeping their powder dry until full details are revealed - suggesting that ready-made opposition awaits actual tax legislation.

Whether you support the idea of eliminating the SALT deduction probably depends less on some inherent virtue of that longstanding tax break and more on the practical question of how that money will be used. They also face concerns from within their own party that the cuts would explode the deficit.

Corker warned that raising trillions of dollars to pay for the individual and business tax cuts will require making "very tough decisions" that'll be made tougher "when the army of lobbyists roll in here" to protect their treasured carve-outs.

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