By year’s end? Sure! House Speaker Paul Ryan insists that Americans will “wake up on New Year’s Day 2018 with a new tax system.” However, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin hedged a bit, saying, “We don’t need to set a specific date. We’re going to get this done as quickly as we can.”
But what will the overhaul will look like? That is still up in the air. President Trump still wants a 15 percent corporate tax rate, but Ryan said, “[The President] obviously wants to push this as low as possible…[but] at the end of the day, we have to make these numbers work.” The House Freedom Caucus would like a 16 percent rate. Ryan says a rate in the mid- to low-20s is an achievable goal.
Former Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has some thoughts. “Start by doing no harm…” He noted that tax cuts would add to the national deficit and harm the economy. He told CNBC that a corporate tax rate as low as 15 percent is only possible by “cheating on the numbers and adding to the deficit.”
Meanwhile, the Senate approves a huge three-pronged money bill. The $15.25 billion bill funds disaster relief by twice as much as the version passed by the House on Wednesday, extends the debt ceiling, and continues government funding until December 8. It would avoid a government shutdown on October 1.
About that the debt limit. House conservatives say they’ll oppose Trump’s plan to extend the debt limit and keep the government running for another three months. White House aides will go to Capitol Hill today to try to change their minds. And in yet another rebuke to Hill Republicans, Trump now says he’s willing to work with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to end the congressional practice of voting regularly to increase the debt ceiling. The Republican Study Committee, to nobody’s surprise, objects. So does Speaker Ryan.
Utah wants to test a tax on miles traveled. The state’s department of transportation wants to start a pilot program that would charge residents for every mile they drive. Odometer and other device readings would provide the necessary data. Utah officials foresee that in 20 years or so, they will need to recapture disappearing revenue by replacing the per-gallon tax at the pump with a per-mile driven tax. The pilot program, with perhaps 100 volunteers, could start as soon as next year.
Sixteen states want revenue from fantasy football “gaming,” not “gambling.” Are you ready for some football betting? TPC’s Richard Auxier explains how states have to run a “tax policy reverse” to score extra tax dollars, since it’s against federal law to “gamble,” or rely on “chance,” but it’s okay to “game” or rely on “skill.”
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