When Did the Republican Tax Plan Ever Focus on the Middle Class?

View Comments A Washington Post article on the Republican tax proposals being considered by Congress implies that they are sharp departure from the plans Donald Trump put forward in the campaign in the benefits it provides to the rich. The headline is “as tax plan gained steam GOP lost focus on the middle class.” This description is pretty much 180 degrees at odds with reality. While Donald Trump always promised to help the middle class, the proposals he put forward during his campaign were hugely tilted toward the rich. The…

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Beat the Press Economic Justice 

Washington Post Tells Readers Republicans Believe Tax Cuts Will Make Rich Donors Happy

View Comments Of course the Washington Post would never make such an assertion, even if there is good reason to think that it is true. Instead an article on Friday’s jobs report told readers: “President Trump and Republicans on Capitol Hill have said they hope to pass sweeping changes to the tax code by the end of December, a move they believe will create more good-paying jobs and supercharge economic growth.” This is again an inexplicable excursion into mind reading. The Post really has no idea what Republican politicians believe….

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Is There Any Reason to Think Republicans Believe their Tax Plan Will Pay for Itself?

View Comments Sure, Republicans say this, but did we think that they would say that they expect their tax plan to increase the debt by $1.5 trillion, but rich people need tax cuts? Given their endless tirades about deficits under President Obama, Republicans are pretty much required to say that their tax cuts will pay for themselves regardless of what they actually believe. So why don’t we recognize this very simple fact and stop telling people what Republicans believe, as this NYT article does? “But the bill’s passage was made…

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Republicans Proposed Trigger Mechanism in Tax Bill Would Make Recessions More Severe

View Comments The Republicans had planned to include a trigger mechanism in their tax plan, which would have automatically raised taxes in the event of budget deficits that exceeded targets. This is classically bad economic policy. It means that if growth slows and the economy falls into a recession, the government would be raising taxes. Such a tax increase when the economy is already slowing would further dampen growth, making a downturn worse. This is very basic economics. The fact that the Republicans were prepared to include it in their…

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Jeb Hensarling Has Never Heard of George W. Bush and Bill Clinton and Neither Has NPR

View Comments On Morning Edition yesterday, Representative Jeb Hensarling, the chair of the House Financial Services Committee, was interviewed by David Greene. At one point, Greene asked him about the Republican tax cut proposal. After blaming President Obama for the slow growth of the last eight years, Hensarling commented: “Every time we’ve had a pro-growth fundamental tax reform, be it under President Reagan, President Kennedy — you can even go all the way back to President Coolidge. We have seen paychecks increase, economic growth be ignited and actually more revenues…

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NYT Says Republican Lawmakers View SALT Deduction Repeal As Opportunity to Kick Democrats in the Teeth

View Comments Okay, that’s not quite what the NYT said. Instead, an article on the impact of ending the tax deduction for state and local income taxes told readers: “Eliminating the deduction has long been a goal of many Republican lawmakers, who view the tax break as a subsidy that poorer red states provide to richer blue ones that spend heavily on government services.” Contrary to what the NYT tells us, their reporters really don’t know how Republican lawmakers “view” the tax break. However, for some reason they couldn’t just…

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The Republican Tax Bill and Cuts to Social Security

View Comments Reductions in Social Security benefits are extremely unpopular across the political spectrum. The program enjoys enormous support among both Democrats and Republicans and people are far more likely to say that benefits should be raised than cut. For this reason, the public should be paying attention to a little noticed provision in the tax bill passed by the House today and which also appears in the bills under consideration in the Senate. In both cases, the basis for indexing tax brackets would be shifted from Consumer Price Index…

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