Wealth Inequality Workshop
Why I Fear Government

Tax Reform

Jonathan B. Wight

Given last night’s Hail Mary pass of the turkey tax reform that passed the Senate, I would have hoped that at least two Republican senators of conscience would have made a speech along these lines:

“There is no immediate economic crisis that forces hasty action in the dead of night. With the economy growing last quarter over 3%, with the Dow up more than 25% this year, with unemployment hovering near full employment, and with corporate profits near record highs, there is no urgency for a major fiscal stimulus that would pump another trillion dollars into the economy, coming from increasing the pubic debt--unless it directly addresses the crisis of crumbling infrastructure.

"I would support a tax bill that is revenue neutral, and that can be implemented on a permanent basis, not with the gimmick of tax rates jumping by 2027.

“I would support tax reform that makes the system fairer, simpler, and more efficient.  This would include a tax cut on corporations, since they rarely pay the current nominal tax rate by using an army of accountants and lawyers to fill every loophole.  Hence, let’s agree to lower corporate tax rates but eliminate all the loopholes. 

"I would support a bill that does not make income and wealth inequality larger, and would hopefully make it smaller.  

Larry  curley  moe“But I refuse to vote for any tax bill churned out without a single public hearing, and without waiting to hear from the non-partisan Joint Committee on Taxation what the latest changes mean for the bill’s cost and impacts.  (There was no debate on the final bill presented to the Senators for a vote.)

“This current process for making law is broken, and no bill is better than something passed simply because my party claims to need it for political cover.”

But where are such principled Republican leaders to make such a statement?  

The major Obamacare health legislation had many public hearings and longer deliberative debate, but was not without skullduggery.  Still it is looking like a paragon compared to this charade.

Buffoonery in the name of special interests has reached recent new highs and reminds me a lot of the legislative process witnessed in my youth in Brazil. 

[Image: By Columbia Pictures/Pillsbury (eBay front back) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons]


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While there is 'no immediate economic crisis,' there certainly was an immediate /political/ crisis. Crises, really, between the acceleration of the Mueller probe and the sheer lack of accomplishment to date. It's the politician's fallacy in a nutshell: 'Something must be done; this is something; therefore it must be done.' It's actually a caricature of the fallacy, because usually 'something must be done' in response to a real problem, rather than an invented one, as is the case now.

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