Opinion: GOP tax reform efforts show early signs of promise

The gang that finally shot straight? (Jim Lo Scalzo / via AP)

Despite efforts by the left to demagogue a tax-reform plan as if they already knew enough details to evaluate its effect on taxpayers and federal revenues, there are signs the “framework” unveiled by key GOP leaders last week is getting the kind of support it needs to win congressional approval.

It’s early. A lot of work remains to be done. Insert other words of caution here. But three bits of news this week point in the direction of legislative success — especially in contrast to the GOP’s failure to move an Obamacare bill.

  1. A new poll by Politico/Morning Consult shows a plurality of voters support the current framework, with strong majorities for individual elements of the plan. Importantly, Republican voters were much more supportive of the plan — a crucial failing of the various GOP health bills — and support for the bill rose by 11 points after poll respondents heard about a series of the bill’s elements (see pages 7-8 here and starting at page 94 here).
  2. Members of the House Freedom Caucus, some of that chamber’s most conservative members, are signaling a willingness to pass tax reform even if it means the current top marginal rate of 39.6 percent remains in place.
  3. At the same time, members of the Blue Dog coalition — what’s left of the House’s once-strong collection of conservative Democrats — broke with the rest of their party and voiced support for a couple of key elements of the framework: lowering the corporate-income tax rate, and setting the rate on “pass-through” income from businesses at 25 percent.

Again, much is left undone at this point. As the details of the framework are filled in, public support may rise or fall. The House Freedom Caucus may or may not be satisfied with the rest of the bill, regardless of what happens to the top rate. And the Blue Dogs may not have enough of their other demands met to actually get to “yes” on a tax bill.

All that said, this is an entirely different dynamic than we saw play out on the GOP’s Obamacare efforts. It reflects a more considered, thoughtful approach. And maybe that’s because this bill didn’t come with seven years of built-up expectations and promises. Whereas “they’ve had seven years” was seen as a reason Obamacare repeal should have been easy for Republicans, it also meant seven years of people being able to stake out various positions that so far have been impossible to reconcile (at least in the Senate). That isn’t as much the case with tax reform.

But it might also owe to the fact tax reform is going through a much more regular legislative process. Even assuming the green shoots of hope come to fruition in the House, we still have to see what will happen in the Senate. But those who complained about the lack of process and Democratic input when it came to health care will have to find another excuse if they’re to stand in the way of tax reform.

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133 comments
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panacifuga

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jutujugi
jutujugi

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DeepStateDawg
DeepStateDawg

Oh man. I'm out one day and Kyle puts a grapefruit on at tee. 


The debt Kyle, what about the debt? 


Where are all those fiscal hawks? How will this be paid for? 

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

Tax reform is being completely overshadowed with the LV shooting, at least at the networks.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@breckenridge

You people put a whole new perspective on Hope Springs Eternal.

Steele has been discredited, he won't communicate with Congressional committees, and if there was anything of value Mueller's group learned, certainly if explosive, it would be out, big news with your talking heads blabbing 24/7.

Suggest you notice Dim leaders have pretty much moved on about Trump and Russia.

Oh you hear about Russia meddling in the election - news flash - we meddle in other countries elections.

This whole Russia collusion thing will prove to be ruse concocted by Dims to counter the Trump election, especially the initial honeymoon period.

Despicable, a pox on them all. 

_Aaliyah....
_Aaliyah....

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breckenridge
breckenridge

Reports are that Trump is going to decertify the Iran nuke deal next week.  That would be a big mistake. 

Starik
Starik

@bu22  It can't be Trump's administration. Quite naturally. 

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

The short of the posts on GDP below is this.....

If Obama's 2% resulted in 10 trillion additional debt, why would anyone think 2% is OK?

Even if we give Obama 5 trillion grace because of the recession, why would 2% growth with a 5 trillion debt be OK with anyone?

There is only one way out the debt - growth. 

MarkVV
MarkVV

In comparing the recovery from the latest recession with other recessions, Obama detractors, including Kyle and now Doomy, are “playing with numbers” which have no real significance. Each recession is different, and unless they can prove – which they cannot – that something else could have been done that would have produced better results, their “evidence” is meaningless.

What would they say if somebody argued that because the latest mass killing was worse than any other in the US history, it was Trump’s fault that it was so bad? It would be just as idiotic as blaming Obama for the slow recovery.

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

@MarkVV 

It was Obama's economic policies that impeded the recovery. Over regulation and high taxation particularly on the small business sector. The upbeat mood of the private business sector and rapid rise in the stock market aren't an accident.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@MarkVV

Nope

The data shows the Obama recovery the slowest in modern times.

The GDP hit 3 only one quarter in 8 years, plus the recession was technically over about 8 months into Obama's first year.

All it took was the indicator there would be a Republican president and the economy jumped up.

As to blaming Trump for the LV shooting, you can turn to the Obama administration who in 2010 approved the bump stocks allowing semi-automatic rifles to become automatics.

Doomy
Doomy

@MarkVV


"and unless they can prove – which they cannot – that something else could have been done that would have produced better results, their “evidence” is meaningless."


Sort of like proving a negative? You must come from the Harry Reid school of proving negatives. 


Furthermore, past performance of economies from harsh recoveries is all the proof you need. You simply choose to ignore the evidence because you can't face up to the anemic growth under the Obama years. 

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@SGTGrit @JohnnyReb @MarkVV

I agree they should be banned.

No civilian needs automatic fire.

The legitimate autofire weapons are banned without special permit and pre 1986 manufacture.

Why would a rig to go around that ever be made legal?

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

@Starik @JohnnyReb @MarkVV 

First of all it was not a Bush recession. It was a result of laxness on the part of both parties that refused to foresee the issuance of home mortgage loans to people that clearly couldn't meet the financial obligation and the greed on the part of the financial sector.


As for wars of choice at least Bush was responding to the worst attack on the United States since Pearl Harbor. LBJ was responding to what in Vietnam?

MarkVV
MarkVV

@Doomy @MarkVV Apparently, the meaning of the word "proof" escapes you.

Past performance is "all the proof you need?"

No, it is all the proof YOU need, no matter you little it is.

MarkVV
MarkVV

@SGTGrit @MarkVV You forgot to mention that you use "alternative facts" and opinions instead of real facts. 

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

@Starik @SGTGrit @JohnnyReb @MarkVV

A secular regime that had nothing to do with 9/11. Well perhaps but also a regime that financed and supported Islamic terrorism. Hussein, sat on top of huge financially productive oil reserves. He was a menace in the region and proved it with his invasion of Kuwait.

Starik
Starik

@SGTGrit @Starik @JohnnyReb @MarkVV  He was punished by the Real President Bush for Kuwait. I don't believe he financed Islamic terrorism. He was secular. Why Afghanistan? Just invade enough to try to catch Bin Laden, then leave. 

bu22
bu22

@SGTGrit @MarkVV  And it was his mouth.  He destroyed consumer confidence by belly-aching every day about how bad things were and had it was just going to get worse.  Millions were thrown out of work because he couldn't keep his mouth shut.  In late February, Bill Clinton had to tell him to just shut up.  Bill did have some common sense.  I had sent the same advice by e-mail just after he was elected, not that I expected anybody to pay attention.  But I tried.

bu22
bu22

@MarkVV @Doomy  Texas had a worse real estate recession in the mid 80s.  It was estimated 1 in 4 people in Houston lost their jobs in 1986.  Virtually every S&L failed.  All but one of the top 10 banks failed.  They had no trillion dollar "shovel ready" bailout.  And things were back to normal in 3 years and have been humming ever since. 

Starik
Starik

@SGTGrit @bu22 @Starik @JohnnyReb  We were friendly with Saddam during his war with Iran. Convenience. He was a nasty dictator, true, but...was it worth 4,000 Americans killed to replace him with chaos? 

RoadScholar
RoadScholar

@SGTGrit @MarkVV Could having a dysfunctional Congress have an effect? A Congress that only participated by saying "No"?

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

@MarkVV @SGTGrit

The Politico/Morning Consult poll to which Kyle linked.

Who can better handle.....

Doomy
Doomy

"Miliband and others are getting all misty-eyed talking about growth rates over 3%"- Mr_B


Unfortunately, Mr. B and other progs don't seem to understand that increased GDP growth means more production of wealth and higher standards of living and income. And a much wealthier society can then afford many things that a poorer, slow or no growth society, could never possibly afford.

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@Doomy As I posted in a comment thread the other day, the difference between averaging 3% growth and averaging 2% growth is the difference between each generation of Americans being better off than their parents, and not. It's just math.

I would like to know if the 2% crowd is willing to acknowledge the implications for future generations of their newly lowered expectations.

Doomy
Doomy

@Kyle_Wingfield @Doomy


The folks at marginal revolution once did a comparison of 2 hypothetical nations with the same income per capita and compared growth at 3% for 100 years vs gdp growth of 2% for 100 years. At the end of 100 years the country with 3% avg GDP growth would have 4 times the wealth as the nation that had 2% GDP growth. 


That is one reason why I feel GDP growth is so important. I'll try and find that video for our friends on the left. 

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@Doomy At 3% growth, the economy doubles every 24 years. At 2%, every 36 years. So if GDP is $100 at the start, at 3% growth it'd be $1,922 after 100 years. At 2%, it'd be $724. 

So, not quite 4x, but more than 2.5x. Once you account for population growth, it is the difference between each generation being better off than their parents, or not.

Mr_B
Mr_B

@Kyle_Wingfield @Doomy Kyle, you are assuming th at each succeeding generation is more numerous than the preceding one. When we Baby-boomers die off in the next thirty years, the population will begin to shrink.


Mr_B
Mr_B

@Doomy Sorry, but so far what I've seen is an increase in the wealth of a vanishingly small portion of the total population at the expense of everybody else.