Partisans Divided Over GOP Tax Plan
President Donald Trump’s tax reforms bill may face the same fate in Senate as did his healthcare proposal to repeal Obamacare if the Republicans fail to form a consensus on the matter.
The Republicans do have a simple majority in the Senate, making it easy for them to pass the tax bill. However, their internal divisions may end up giving the Democrats an upper hand in the final vote count, as what happened in the case of the Obamacare repeal bill.
The tax reforms document has so far failed to identify some very important details, which is making some of the GOP leaders wary. The proposal leaves out details on how the government plans to fill the budget deficit, which will widen after the tax cuts. Income tax brackets have also not been assigned in the proposal as of yet.
President Trump has been proposing that his tax reforms will be revenue-neutral, such that the loss of tax revenues will be countered by the economic growth resulting from the corporate tax cuts. However, lack of critical details is blowing an air of uncertainty within the GOP ranks.
For instance, many Republicans agree that the government will have to figure out a way to cover for the budget deficit once it loses the tax revenue following the tax cuts.
Bob Corker, the Republican Senator from Tennessee, estimates that the government will have to find avenues to raise as much as $4.0 trillion following the tax cuts in order to keep the budget deficit from widening.
Likewise, some Republican Senators, like Pat Toomey from Pennsylvania, Rand Paul from Kentucky, and Ted Cruz from Texas, argue that the tax reforms will boost little economic activity if they are revenue-neutral as proposed by President Trump.
Other Republicans have fundamental differences over the nature of the tax cuts being proposed. Trump’s tax proposal includes an altogether elimination of estate tax. However, the Republican Senator from South Dakota, Mike Rounds, is not ready to get rid of it just yet.
Similarly, many Republicans are now mindful of the fact that outside groups are beginning to label the Trump tax plan as one that disproportionately favors the rich over the middle-class Americans.
To sum it all up, Republicans not only have to counter the Democrats in the Senate, they also have the daunting challenge to convince the few skeptical Republicans who have the power to turn the final vote count against the like-minded GOP majority.
“These Are the Tax Issues Threatening to Divide Republicans,” Bloomberg, October 9, 2017.