Politics & Policy

The Corner

Shock: The GOP’s Tax Bill Is a GOP Tax Bill

The tax bill is almost finished, and, with the exception of a couple of its minor provisions, it looks to me like a pretty standard Republican effort. Effectively, Paul Ryan and co. are doing the things they either didn’t get to do at all back in 2001/2003, or the things that they did do back in 2001/2003 but that were subsequently undone. The 2001/2003 measures didn’t seriously touch the corporate income tax, so they’re doing that now. The 2001/2003 measures did cut the top rate of tax, but that change was undone during the Obama administration — both by an explicit increase of the rate, and by Obamacare’s attendant taxes — and so they’re re-cutting it. On top of this are a couple of policies that have been popular in Republican circles for decades — reforming the SALT deduction, and cutting the mortgage interest deduction are in there, albeit weakly — and a small expansion of a “reformicon” policy that Marco Rubio has managed to extract at the last moment. Whatever one thinks of the bill, the notion that it is in some way unusual is a peculiar one. This is what Republicans do when they get the chance to cut taxes.

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