Tuesday, 11 December, 2018

GOP budgets to permit first steps on tax overhauls

Shiloh Perry Shiloh Perry
Melinda Barton | 07 October, 2017, 03:20

The GOP-majority Senate now aims to rehaul the USA tax code through budget reconciliation, a process that would only require a simple majority and would bypass the requirement of any support from Democrats, Reuters reports.

U.S. House Republicans have positioned their party to pass a tax reform bill without Democrats' support. The House barely scraped together enough votes for its bill after multiple attempts, and after falling several votes short in July the Senate eventually gave up.

The Senate Budget Committee's budget resolution is a nonbinding guideline for committees that are creating their own spending bills. A floor debate would come later in the month.

Exasperated Republican donors are exhausted of hearing excuses from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan, and are turning to Steve Bannon to get some return on their investments.

The idea that the plan's comparatively meager tax cuts for the middle class would, in any way, allow them to dramatically change their lives is preposterous. And the five moderate "no" votes could presage possible Senate problems from Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins, and perhaps even John McCain, who no longer seems to feel much of a compunction to yield to partisan or ideological demands for conformity. The proposal itself doesn't mandate actual policy changes, but proposes a Republican vision for a balanced budget.

At the meeting this morning, Katko said NY and New Jersey Republicans pushed back against a narrative pushed by President Donald Trump's administration that the deduction is a federal tax break that subsidizes their states.

Instead, the nonbinding budget's chief objective is to set the stage for a tax overhaul plan that is the party's top political priority as well as a longtime policy dream of key leaders like Speaker Paul Ryan.

Leadership was able to secure the votes needed to pass the measure last week, following the release of the Republican tax reform framework. Republicans have a slim 52-48 majority in the Senate, meaning they could pass a tax bill without the help of any Democrats. This could end up being a serious issue for any eventual tax bill. When asked why the GOP keeps tripping over itself even after seven years of promises to repeal and replace the dreaded Affordable Care Act, the senator was remarkably candid: "I thought everybody else knew what the hell they were talking about, but apparently not".

Last week, the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center (TPC) found that 79 percent of Trump's tax cuts would go the top 1 percent by 2027, despite Trump's claims that the wealthy will not benefit.

"Republicans have for years railed against deficits", said Democratic Rep. Linda Sanchez of California.

"The fact is all that's being talked about right now is rates", Corker said Wednesday.

If you are a working-class student trying to figure out how you could possibly afford college, your dream of a college education could evaporate along with 8 million other students because of more than $100 billion in cuts to Pell Grants and other student financial assistance programs.

While most Republicans backed Black's proposal, Mast said it did not cut spending while adding to the national debt. "That's very much what we're afraid of". Her partner in negotiation with Trump, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.), has also received criticism for his willingness to work with the president.

The plan calls for more than $5 trillion in spending cuts over the coming decade, including a plan to turn Medicare into a voucher-like program for future retirees, slash Medicaid by about $1 trillion over the coming decade, and repeal the "Obamacare" health law. But the Trump administration is proposing up to $6 trillion in personal and corporate tax cuts at a time when many economists feel the country does not need massive stimulus.