From this morning's Washington Post:
Congressional Republicans have implanted nearly 50 expiring provisions in their tax-cut bills that, if left unaddressed, would transform what Republicans promised would be middle-class tax relief into a law that raises taxes for tens of millions of Americans.
More than 80 percent of the tax breaks set to go away would be taken from households. The perks for corporations are generally permanent, including the biggest single benefit in the bill: a permanent reduction of the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent.
An editorial in Wednesday afternoon’s Wheeling News-Register, “Tax Reform Benefits Outweigh Concerns,” sloughs this off as “nitpicking” and it feigns ignorance as to why the corporate taxes are permanent and personal taxes are temporary:
In all likelihood, there is some technical reason why the bill’s language provided for that.
Yes, it’s a simple “technical reason” (and I’m sure the editorial writer knows it) – the bill won’t pass without it. As the Post article explains:
Republicans set the individual cuts to expire to comply with procedural rules limiting how much a tax bill can add to the deficit and still pass in the Senate with 50 votes, rather than the 60 typically needed.
But the News-Register editorial reassures us that Congress would never let those tax cuts expire. Today’s Post article documents that they have in the past. In the mean time, the budgetary pressure caused by the proposed tax cuts will likely force cuts to current government programs:
These expiring tax breaks are just some of the many elements of the GOP tax plans that would require future congressional action to stave off severe tax and spending changes that would affect the middle class, low-income people and the elderly.
The House GOP tax bill would, as currently designed, trigger $136 billion in spending cuts in 2018 because the changes widen the deficit, according to the Congressional Budget Office. This is because the tax plan would violate a 2010 law that prohibits new tax cuts from adding to the debt without offsets.
Of those spending cuts, roughly $25 billion would come out of Medicare, the government-run health-care program for older Americans.
The editorial concludes that:
the bottom line is that Americans win — and that is what counts.
I can only surmise that the News-Register has a different definition of “win” than I do.