The Corner

Politics & Policy

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.

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Strzok by a Farce

An investigation is one of two things: a search for the truth, or a farce. The House is conducting a farce. That fact was on full display during ten hours of testimony by Peter Strzok, the logorrheic lawman who steered the FBI’s Clinton-emails and Trump–Russia probes. The principal question before the ... Read More

Democrats Are Dumping Moderates

The activist base of the Democratic party is lurching left fast enough that everyone should pay attention. Activists matter because their turnout in low-turnout primaries and caucuses almost propelled leftist Bernie Sanders to victory over Hillary Clinton in 2016. Last month, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez unseated New ... Read More
Film & TV

Stalin at the Movies

Toward the end of The Death of Stalin, two Communist Party bosses size up Joseph Stalin’s immediate successor, Georgy Malenkov. “Can we trust him?” one asks. “Can you ever really trust a weak man?” his comrade answers. Good question. Last week brought the news that the head of Shambhala ... Read More

‘The Warning Lights Are Blinking Red Again’

One of President Trump’s outstanding appointments has been Dan Coats, his director of national intelligence. Coats is a former House member, former senator, and former ambassador to Germany. He is a Hoosier (i.e., from Indiana). Whether he plays basketball, I don’t know. At Wheaton College, he played soccer. ... Read More