“Every day you see one more card.” What we know so far: The House tax bill still is expected to be released today, though Politico reported last night that it could be delayed yet again. Published reports say the measure would eliminate the estate tax—though not right away—and repeal the deductions for state and local income and sales taxes. It would retain the deduction for local property taxes, and lower but not eliminate tax-free contributions to 401(k)s and IRAs.
“Don’t it feel like heaven right now?” About the corporate income tax rate: The GOP tax bill also would immediately cut the corporate tax rate to 20 percent, though the rate cut may be temporary.
“Don’t it feel like something from a dream?” What to call a tax bill? Among the myriad unresolved details that delayed the release of the GOP tax bill yesterday: What to name it. President Trump has insisted that it be called “The Cut Cut Cut Act.” House Speaker Paul Ryan and Ways & Means Chairman Kevin Brady are not fans, and declined to say whether the bill will ultimately be known as “Trump tax cuts.” An aide to Ryan called the bill’s branding is a “non-issue.”
“Don’t let this go too far.” Keeping that top individual income tax bracket isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. TPC’s Joe Rosenberg gives three reasons why the House GOP tax bill plan to keep the top 39.6 percent individual income tax rate for households with very high incomes is likely to create more problems than it solves.
“Tonight might never be again.” Trump tries to put repeal of the ACA mandate back in the tax debate. A day after Brady said the House would not include repeal of the Affordable Care Act mandate to purchase health insurance its tax bill, President Trump tweeted, “Wouldn't it be great to Repeal the very unfair and unpopular Individual Mandate in ObamaCare and use those savings for further Tax Cuts or the Middle Class.” The Congressional Budget Office estimates repeal would save over $300 billion over 10 years. But it also would leave 15 million more Americans without health insurance. And it has no chance of passing the Senate.
“All it ever got me was down.” Tax reform is hard… because everything costs money. Case in point: Doubling the standard deduction. TPC’s Gene Steuerle considers the idea, and explains its pitfalls. There are many—for just one simple idea. Now “think of what Congress and the President must tackle in a bill that revises the taxation of capital and labor, multinational corporations and partnerships, pensions and insurance.”
“We know better than to try and pretend” for a tax-subsidized dream… The Tax Hound returns with a look at a massive development project in Detroit. Will it transform downtown, adding jobs and residents? Will it be worth half-a-trillion-dollars in state tax subsidies to a billionaire who dreams of a new city skyline?
“Don't let it kill you baby, don't let it get to you.” The president also has found people to blame if the tax bill fails. While Trump is traveling in Asia, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and economic adviser Gary Cohn will have the tax portfolio. And says the president, “if I have any problems, I will be blaming Mnuchin and Cohn. Believe me, they'll be hearing from me."
“I’ll be your cryin’ fool” to drink and be merry and talk tax fairness… TPC’s Len Burman dismantles the beer analogy that White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders used this week: “She did a good job illustrating why some analysts think the percentage change in tax liability is the right measure of progressivity for a tax change. Her anecdote also makes quite clear why that measure is inappropriate for assessing deficit-financed tax cuts.”
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