Let’s move ahead with the tax bill
Nothing as complex as the U.S. tax code, linked as the process is to the federal budget, can be amended in a manner that will make everyone happy.
Negotiators for the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives seem to have come up with something close, however.
If approved, perhaps this week, by both chambers, the measure would go to President Donald Trump for his signature. If that happens, it would be an early Christmas present for virtually all Americans.
A key to tax relief is lessening the burden on businesses, allowing them to create new jobs and pass some of their tax savings on to existing employees. By taking the top corporate tax rate down to 21 percent, from the current 35 percent, the compromise bill should accomplish that.
The new proposal also would eliminate Alternative Minimum Tax provisions some businesses worried would hurt them badly.
Critics of the plan rest their case on two claims:
First, that enactment of the bill would “explode” the national debt. Even if it does not create new federal revenue by expanding the economy, the proposal is “scored” at costing the Treasury about $1.5 trillion.
It is strange indeed that most of those worried about increasing the debt by letting Americans keep some of our own money in our pockets had few qualms about truly exploding it during the past 12 years, to grow government. During former President Barack Obama’s tenure alone, the debt grew by $9.4 trillion. It now stands at $20.6 trillion.
Another claim by critics is that tax reform will help only the rich.
In addition to many other breaks for the middle class, the measure would increase the standard deduction to $24,000 for a married couple. Look at your own tax return. Pleased with the change? You probably should be.
Lawmakers should approve the compromise bill. Americans deserve more jobs. We have earned tax relief for ourselves. It’s long past time for Congress to worry about our budgets.