by Washington Examiner · September 12, 2018
When Congress passed its big tax reform bill in December, Democrats and progressives nearly lost it.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., led by example with her own hysterical comments, claiming that it was “the worst bill in the history of Congress.” That implies, without any gray area, that the tax bill was worse than the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 and the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798, among others.
Despite this and many other red flags about the sincerity of their arguments, Democrats received quite a bit of help from the news media in their efforts to convince voters that the bill wasn’t a tax cut at all, but a tax increase. They based their misleading arguments mostly on the fact that its individual income tax relief provisions had been made temporary, expiring on paper in 2026.
Why were these tax breaks made temporary? Because without 60 votes, no bill can pass the Senate that increases the deficit on paper more than 10 years beyond the budget window. In other words, by withholding their support from the bill, Democrats forced individual income tax relief to be temporary; then they turned around and claimed that the tax bill was the worst legislation in history because the individual income tax relief was temporary.
As Democrats attempt to take over the House, this is the moment to call their bluff. If they really want to make individual tax relief permanent, Democrats will now have the opportunity to vote to do just that.
House Republicans have proposed a “Tax Reform 2.0” package, whose main plank is to make permanent the popular changes to the individual income tax. The bill would extend the cuts in income tax rates, the doubling of the child tax credit, and the newly higher standard deduction into the indefinite future.
It would also allow small employers to band together to offer their workers 401(k) plans, something that current regulations make unnecessarily difficult. Finally, it creates a new universal savings account, which would allow households to invest modest amounts of after-tax money for nonretirement purposes without facing capital gains taxes when they sell.
Admittedly, this bill is highly unlikely to pass the Senate with the 60 votes it will require. But at least it puts Democrats on the spot.
If they are truly and sincerely concerned about the temporary nature of these tax provisions, they will have a chance to fix the problem. If they do vote for it, they might have to admit that most of their propaganda from last December about what they incessantly called (and still call) the “Republican tax scam” was just so much ridiculous prattling. But if they vote against it, then they will have at least come clean for the record that they want you all to pay higher taxes, and that’s all.
That way, the voters will at least know what they’re getting themselves into this November.
Washington Examiner · by Washington Examiner · September 12, 2018