With yet another chance missed on repealing and replacing Obamacare appearing imminent, President Donald Trump is moving right along to the next item on his legislative docket — tax reform.
Trump discussed his tax plan in detail during a speech to supporters in Indiana. In essence, the plan is not terribly different from the draft released by the White House just months ago — it reduces the number of tax brackets to three categories, and makes a broad cut to corporate tax rates in the country.
“Under this framework, the first $12,000 of income earned by a single individual will be tax free, and a married couple won’t pay a dime in taxes on their first $24,000 of income,” the president explained. “So, a married couple — up to $24,000 — can spend their money on their family, on their children, on what they have to do.”
The plan appears to target every single level of income for a cut, including the rich and poor.
“In other words, more income for more people will be taxed at a rate of zero. At this zero percent rate, taxable income will be subject to just three tax rates of 12 percent, 25 percent, and 35 percent,” Trump added.
Reactions to the announcement were pretty predictable, breaking completely along partisan lines. Some Democrats went as far as to say that this was somehow a betrayal to Trump’s base in the middle class.
“Under this plan, the wealthiest Americans and the wealthiest corporations make out like bandits while middle class Americans are left holding the bag,” Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer opined on Wednesday.
The plan did garner praise from prominent tax cut advocates, including Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist. During an interview with Fox News, Norquist pointed out that Democrats are blatantly ignoring the fact that broad tax cuts have been associated with substantial economic gains each and every time they were implemented — including when they were done under the leadership of one of their own decades ago.
“Those are the same statements they put out when Reagan cut taxes, and when Bush cut taxes, and they probably would have said the same thing when John F. Kennedy cut taxes,” he said. “At some point, the Democrats have got to acknowledge that their policy of higher taxes had slowed and hurt the economy, and we need to get tax rates down to be competitive internationally.”
For anyone who has been following the tax debate in Washington, DC in any capacity, these arguments are all too familiar. Democrats like Schumer will likely continue pushing the idea that wealth is somehow finite, and that the richest Americans will be the only ones to benefit from tax reform for the rest of this legislative cycle.
But this political showdown is larger than this age-old, debate — it’s about whether or not the Republicans can actually use the legislative advantage they’ve had for almost a year now.
Considering Republican lawmakers in Congress have been essentially impotent in passing any key legislation, moving forward with Trump’s initiative is sure to be a tall order. The Graham-Cassidy bill, the third attempt by Republican leaders to repeal and replace Obamacare, was derailed in the 11th hour with moderates like Arizona Sen. John McCain calling the cuts to the program too steep, while traditionalists like Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul argued the overhaul did not go far enough.
At this point, it’s fair to say many conservative Americans are losing patience with the Republicans they elected to control every branch of the federal government. This includes a comfortable majority in the House, a slim but workable lead in the Senate, and of course, the presidency and the judicial majority that comes with it.
Republicans have more power than they have had in a long time, and its time for them to actually use it. If they don’t, they will likely lose popular support, and American taxpayers will continue to suffer from job-punishing rates indefinitely.
~ Conservative Zone