GOP's Corporate Tax Cuts Might Not Really Be Permanent

GOP's Corporate Tax Cuts Might Not Really Be Permanent
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File

The same pressures that led to the GOP debacle on health care are also shaping the current effort at tax reform. As happened with health-care reform, these pressures might end up making tax reform less popular and undermine some of its core goals.

Because Republicans have spent 2017 trying to pass major legislation on a party-line basis, to avoid a filibuster in the Senate they have limited themselves to measures that can be passed by “reconciliation.” Reconciliation legislation mostly focuses on finance (which limited the GOP's options on health-care reform), and under the Byrd rule it cannot add to the deficit after a set window (currently, ten years). This concern with the deficit has caused Republicans to lard up tax reform with legislative gimmicks and potentially divisive measures, such as the elimination of popular deductions.

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