Taxes

The Price of the GOP Tax Cut Bill Just Went Up

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

We already knew the GOP's tax cuts for the rich would be a deficit-spending bonanza, but the cost of their plan has just increased by about $430 billion.

Trump's chief economic adviser Gary Cohn said state and local tax deductions would be entirely eliminated under their bill, but House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady has committed to preserving property tax deductions. This is significant for several reasons.

“At the urging of lawmakers, we are restoring an itemized property tax deduction to help taxpayers with local tax burdens,” House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady said in a statement Saturday afternoon.

The announcement was welcomed by Representative Chris Collins, a New York Republican, who said the compromise would address the need “to protect middle income working families” in states like his own. He predicted it would assuage Republicans’ concerns.

As I've said before, I believe this is more regressive than simply eliminating every deduction. A large and growing number of Americans are renters, not property owners, and even among those who do own property the number of people who itemize a property tax deduction is limited because the number of people who can claim a property deduction that's bigger than a standard deduction is limited. In other words, the majority of Americans do not own property that is worth enough money to make it worthwhile.

The National Association of Home Builders and the National Association of Realtors apparently have similar thoughts. The home builders association has announced their full opposition to the tax cut bill including an ad campaign against it because the overall framework of the bill will put ownership deductions (property or mortgage) out of reach for most people.

This also significantly increases the cost of the bill which is already deep in the red before Republicans even unveil it on Wednesday of this week. Reducing revenue in the bill by over $400 billion means the GOP's magic asterisks will have to become even more magical.

All of this may be moot in the end because Senate Republicans are still working on their own tax cut bill and the GOP can only pass what the Senate is willing to pass. Senate Republicans just recently voted for a budget resolution that creates space for $1.5 trillion in deficit-financed tax cuts, but House Republicans just signed away over $400 billion of that.

In summary, everything is stupid and their bill is already a clusterfuck and it hasn't even been unveiled yet.

  • notanncoulter

    it’s for the babies. it’s all about the babies.

  • Badgerite

    Explain to me why a tax cut is necessary in an economy where the unemployment rate is around 4 percent, there is middle class wage growth occurring, and the growth rate is a respectable 3 percent, I believe. Only one reason I can think of.
    GOP ultra rich donors want one. And they will withhold campaign funding next time if they don’t get it. Citizens United is a bitch if you want to base policy on what is good for the country verses what is good for a small number of ultra rich people who would like more wealth or for the federal government to subsidize their investments in automation via the back door of a “tax cut”.

  • muselet

    The only good news here is that the Rs are too incompetent to destroy absolutely everything. They’re going to keep trying, though.

    –alopecia

  • gescove

    Wait… wasn’t this movie already released with the title “Repeal & Replace”?

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