President Donald Trump is telling House GOP members they need to pass the budget to make sure tax reform becomes a reality. He first called it building on Reagan’s legacy in a USA Today op-ed yesterday, proclaiming the “era of economic surrender” was over.
American families should not have to send more money to the government than they spend on building a better life for themselves and their children. You are the ones who carry this nation on your back, and it is time for you to get the relief that you deserve.
That is why we are taking action to dramatically reduce the burden that the sprawling federal tax code has become on our citizens.
Our plan will transform the tax code so that it is once again simple, fair and easy to understand. We want you to spend your valuable time pursuing your dreams, not trapped in a tax compliance nightmare.
He then pushed even harder during a conference call with House GOP members later in the evening, saying if they didn’t pass tax reform, the GOP would probably see their congressional majorities go away like the taxes he wants to cut. Multiple reports say Trump told the House GOP they were on the verge of something “very, very historic,” and wants to see them pass the Senate’s budget by this week. He also promised his loyalty to the Republicans, which is a little weird, but could be to make sure he doesn’t go off the reservation if the Democrats do win Congress in 2018.
The key reason why the budget needs to be passed is to make sure Congress and get tax reform done without any support from Democrats. It’s a move which can work, but only if the GOP is united in their desire to see taxes slashed into the three income brackets the Senate proposed: 12%, 25%, and 35%. It’s a bit similar to Jeb Bush’s proposal from 2016, as well as the one Trump made during last year’s campaign.
It’s great to see the White House so adamant taxes need to be cut. It will give people the chance to keep more of their money, and given how health care costs are still rising, having a little extra is excellent. The cuts should be for all brackets, and the nation’s corporate tax rate should also be slashed to lure more companies into the nation. It’d be nice if the government got rid of taxes all together, but that’s just my personal opinion.
The problem is the GOP is completely missing the boat on the second part of tax reform: spending cuts. The budget passed by the Senate does nothing to decrease spending, which will harm the economy in the longterm because the government will end up getting more and more of the GDP. It’s bad enough the national debt is $20T+, but at some point the government is going to freak out about not having enough money. Especially if those debt markers end up being called in. There’s also the fact cutting spending, along with government, helps the economy in the long-term because there are plenty of things the government spends money on it has no business doing, or something states already do for one reason or the other. The less involvement of government in Point A of the economy the better, regardless if it’s federal, state, or local. This includes considering military spending cuts, something which the GOP isn’t interested in doing at all because, hey, we gotta be involved in all the world conflicts, and screw the idea the military fails and maintaining a budget.
I always go back to Calvin Coolidge when it comes to spending and taxes. One thing he discovered during his presidency was how shocking (note sarcasm) it was to see the government actually brought in more money when it cut taxes and spending. It’s simply logical, since this is something almost every single person in America does (or should do) when they discover they’re spending more than they take in. It’s not always successful (see credit card debt), but the idea of having money left over to handle an emergency need or three (see debt markers being called in) because spending is slashed is something both Americans and the government should embrace like two lovers at bedtime. The fact Republicans fail to realize is frustratingly unsurprising, because this is the same party which recoiled in fear over spending cuts when they got the House and Senate (and presidency) in 2004.
It’s absolutely fantastic the White House and Senate are pushing hard for tax reform, and hopefully the House will also see fit to join their ranks. The sad thing is it’s only half the equation, and the GOP is failing at the rest and ignoring the idea less spending, and less government, is infuriating. The government needs to be slashed. The fact it won’t happen is disgusting, and probably will cost the GOP in future elections.
Update: Originally said that the deficit was $20 trillion rather than the national debt. Fixed above, and thanks to Joana Piercy on Twitter.