Sadly, despite this simplifying improvidence, the G.O.P. still ended up with a pair of bills that look, once again, like the caricature of Reagan-era Republicanism the party has become: heavy with tax cuts for corporations and the heirs of millionaires, lighter on relief for the middle class, lighter still for the working class, with a complicated slew of provisions and score-gaming expiration dates that have made it hard to discern whether lots of non-rich Americans (including the plan’s supposed model beneficiary, a family making $60,000 with multiple kids) even get a tax cut at all.
But if the initial House and Senate bills were flawed, it’s also been very easy to see what would make them better. The Republicans seem to be trying, in their none-too-competent and ideologically straitjacketed way, to cut taxes for two major constituencies, employers and middle-class families, while paying for some of these tax cuts by goring well-off professionals in high-tax liberal states.
This would not be a bad way to design a right-of-center tax bill.