Have you ever wondered why politicians of BOTH political parties want to get their grubby little hands on the tax code? In one word....OPPORTUNITY! Every tax bill in the history of the world has had winners and losers. So, it stands to reason that the tax code is the perfect way to reward political friends and punish political enemies.
Not coincidentally, now we have a new President with a new Congress and, lo and behold, what's at or near the top of their to-do list? You got it. Tax reform! Now the cover story will be that we NEED to reform the tax code and cut taxes. Why? Easy! We have to stimulate the economy and produce more jobs. Yes, everyone knows that if you reduce taxes this automatically gives economic growth such a boost you wouldn't believe. Skeptical? Just ask law makers in the state of Kansas, they'll tell you all about the stimulative effect of a gigantic tax cut. At any rate, who can be against prosperity and jobs? Nobody, right? Well, nobody except liberals and Democrats, but you already knew that! So then, all we have to do is tweak the tax code a bit and voila, instant prosperity for everyone! Right? Well, as a wise man once observed, "The devil's in the details!".
If all that this new tax bill that will be proposed did was to reduce the tax rates on us poor, over-burdened taxpayers, the bill would be about ten pages long, twenty tops. But if I were a betting man, I'd guess that THIS tax bill will be closer to a thousand pages long, with more favors and give-aways that characters in a Russian novel.
As you peruse the new tax bill when it's finally presented for your scrutinization, what are you likely to see? Buried under an avalanche of wherefores and howevers will be a swarm of articles, sections and sub-sections and hidden underneath all that verbiage you will find a treasure trove of rewards and punishments.
One of the eagerly anticipated punishments will be the elimination of the deduction on state taxes. Now what could be wrong with that you ask. After all, isn't the elimination of extraneous deductions at the HEART of tax reform? You'd think so, wouldn't you. But the intent of the elimination of this specific deduction is to punish the so-called big tax states, places like Massachusetts, Illinois, New York and New Jersey. And why would Congress want to do THAT? It's easy enough to understand. Just look at the results of the last Presidential election and see how THOSE states voted. How much you want to bet they voted for Hillary?
Oh, I'm sure there will be gifts for big Republican campaign contributors. There'll be something for Sheldon Adelson, there might be a bauble or two for the Koch Brothers. And the beauty of it all is that Congress will pass this gigantic bill before anyone can take a good look at it. There will be few if any hearings. The time for debate will be severely limited. What's the rush? Well, if you or anyone else found out just who the winners were and, perhaps more importantly, which losers were being screwed up the behind with a splintery baseball bat, maybe then you wouldn't be so all fired in favor of THIS form of tax relief!
Yes, it's very likely that THIS bill will slide on through. Susan Collins, Linda Murkowski, Jeff Flake and Dean Heller won't be there to save us. They will be shaking in their boots, shivering at the prospect of being challenged in a Republican primary by some deranged wing-nut. So they'll give "tax reform" a pass this time, all in the name of supply side economics and jobs. And if a few million middle class taxpayers get hurt in the process? Well, like they used to say, "You have to break a few eggs to make an omelet!". Hope you fellow eggs don't mind!
Filed under: Politics