Congress is twisting itself into a pretzel to hold down the cost of tax cuts, but it’s overlooking a ready pot of gold there for the taking: ditching the ObamaCare mandate.
The move, the Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday, would save a whopping $338 billion over the next decade, mostly in lower outlays for ObamaCare subsidies and Medicaid.
Senate tax plan protects mortgage deduction, delays corporate tax cut
The Senate’s GOP tax-reform bill would wipe out federal deductions…
That would more than cover a fix for the most glaring mistake in the plan the Senate released Thursday: a delay in cutting the onerous 35 percent corporate rate to 20 percent until 2019.
This is lunacy: History has shown that such delays don’t just put off economic growth — they actually reduce it in the years before the cut kicks in.
Indeed, the phase-in of Ronald Reagan’s tax cuts (passed in 1981 but not fully in effect until 1983) helped trigger a recession — and voter anger that led to big Democratic gains in Congress.
In any case, the economy needs the kick now, to get the job-creation engine roaring after eight slow Obama years. That 35 percent corporate rate, remember, is higher than the levy in every other developed nation in the world.
Which is why companies have fled America for lower-tax countries — taking their cash, jobs and tax revenue with them.
Bizarrely, some GOP lawmakers are reluctant to mix an ObamaCare issue with tax reform. Sorry: The Supreme Court mixed the issues when it ruled that the penalty for defying the mandate, which requires everyone to buy insurance, is a “tax.” (Ironically, that was the only way the justices could find to render it constitutional.)
Plus, the mandate is unpopular all across the political spectrum. That’s why then-candidate Barack Obama promised in 2008 not to impose one. (File that vow next to “You can keep your insurance.”)
Democrats are sure to whine that killing the mandate will mean 13 million fewer people covered by 2027, according to the CBO. But these would be people (mainly young, healthy ones) who’d rather not buy expensive coverage.
CBO also says ObamaCare markets will remain “stable” without the mandate — so the move’s not even a blow to the exchanges.
Neither the House nor Senate includes this change, but it belongs in the final bill. Axing the mandate beats axing the economic growth America needs.
New York Post · by Post Editorial Board · November 9, 2017