The Corner

Politics & Policy

‘Nancy Pelosi’s Tax Apocalypse’

I wrote for Politico today about Nancy Pelosi’s case against the tax bill. There are legitimate criticisms to make of the bill, just not this one:

Pelosi’s seemingly damning factoids come from the year 2027, an odd date to focus on, since it’s not when the bill goes into effect, but when part of it lapses. In 10 years, many of the tax cuts on the individual side expire. This means that the middle-class tax cuts go away, which Pelosi portrays as a Republican plot to loot the middle class.

It’s a very strange argument against passing a bill to say horrible things will happen once the legislation no longer fully applies. This is more logically a case for extending the bill than for blocking it. Indeed, it is almost certain that the middle-class provisions would eventually be preserved. (This is one reason Republicans were willing to let the individual tax cuts sunset and not the corporate tax cuts.)

If Pelosi were being more scrupulous, she’d say, “If 10 years from now, Democrats for some reason don’t agree with Republicans to extend the middle-class tax cut — then they will go away and it will be shame on us.”

What is, by the way, this looming middle-class wasteland in 2027? Pelosi is relying on the liberal Tax Policy Center for her figures. As that outfit puts it, “on average, in 2027 taxes would change little for lower- and middle-income groups.” Oh.

Rich Lowry — Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review. He can be reached via email: comments.lowry@nationalreview.com. 

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