We've seen signs that congressional Republicans were backing away from their plan to eliminate state and local tax deductions to pay for a portion of their tax cuts for the rich, but now we have an idea of what they hope to replace it with.
Their possible replacements, however, are basically more of the same and not all Republicans are in favor of preserving state and local deductions.
One such Republican is Senator Bill Cassidy, a man who I can only describe as an idiot for saying this:
“I think the administration is thinking about some minor sort of real estate tax break for those middle-class families in high real estate tax jurisdictions,” said Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, a Republican on the Senate Finance Committee.
Mr. Cassidy lamented that fate, saying it is unfair for residents of Louisiana to subsidize wealthy taxpayers in California who write off the state’s high taxes.
I nearly shot up out of my seat when I read this.
Louisiana does not subsidize California! Louisiana is a net-welfare state that draws money from New York, California, and even Texas. This would be true even if you eliminated state and local deductions. In fact, that would increase the share of taxes redistributed from California to Louisiana. That is literally the intent of paying for tax cuts by raising taxes on blue states. The idea that Senator Cassidy doesn't understand this is mindboggling.
And these men are responsible for passing "tax reform" or, in Cassidy's case, "health care reform."
Cassidy's profound ignorance actually provides a new window of perspective into his horrible, failed health care bill. It's possible he genuinely believed it would accomplish things that it had no chance of accomplishing, because he is a moron.
It's plausible that Cassidy believes taxpayers in Louisiana are paying for health care for poor people in California. That is how insurance works, but in reality the opposite is happening and no one in California is complaining about it.
That would explain why Cassidy structured his bill to direct more money to Louisiana at the expense of other states. He believes Louisiana is bailing other states out, rather than the other way around.
Bill Cassidy is amazingly ignorant.