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The Republican Tax Reform Plan:
Believers and non-believers

December 16, 2017

Chronicle staff

(WASHINGTON, D.C.)  --  The Republican Party’s proposed tax plan, which appears to be on a fast track to pass next week, is being touted as a great step forward for working class Americans.

Senator Marco Rubio tweeted on Friday, " For far too long, Washington has ignored and left behind the American working class. Increasing the refundability of the Child Tax Credit from 55% to 70% is a solid step toward broader reforms which are both Pro-Growth and Pro-Worker."

But there are as many detractors as supporters of the legislation; perhaps more detractors than supporters. One of those, Fareed Zakaria, a Washington Post Columnist and host of CNN's Global Public Square program says this legislation will "ultimately starve America of much-needed investment and hobble future generations’ ability to compete," Zakaria writes in his latest Washington Post column.

Indeed, he writes, this just might be the “worst piece of major legislation in a generation.”

And more. 

“The medium and long-term effects of the plan will be a massive drop in public investment, which will come on the heels of decades of declining spending (as a percentage of gross domestic product) on infrastructurescientific researchskills training and core government agencies. The United States can’t coast on past investments forever, and with this legislation, we are ushering in a bleak future,” Fareed writes.

“[D]uring the Depression, World War II and much of the Cold War, a sense of crisis and competition focused America’s attention and created a bipartisan urgency to get things done. Ironically, at a time when competition is far more fierce, when other countries have surpassed the United States in many of these areas, America has fallen into extreme partisanship and embraced a know-nothing libertarianism that is starving the country of the essential investments it needs for growth.

“Those who vote for this tax bill — possibly the worst piece of major legislation in a generation — will live in infamy, as the country slowly breaks down.”

The editorial board at the Washington Post calls the legislation a bill that is, "Slanted toward the wealthy...the GOP plan to lower the top income tax rate to 37 percent would sharply and unexpectedly increase incomes at the top. As with previous iterations of the GOP plan, the overall picture is still of a tax reform that offers little benefit to many ordinary people while handing huge benefits to the rich at the expense of the country’s long-term fiscal health."

Republicans insist the bill’s provisions will kick-start economic growth and all Americans will share in what will certainly be prosperity.

The Post, and others, says the "Growth effects will probably be mild, and the price tag will probably be a trillion-plus dollars in new debt, according to nonpartisan projections. This debt will further burden low- and middle-income Americans in future generations as their government loses the means to invest in research, education, health care and infrastructure."

In addition, notes the Post piece, "independent analysis after independent analysis concluded that the GOP tax framework would exacerbate economic inequality and add massively to the debt — well more than the Obama stimulus Republicans attacked as an irresponsible monstrosity — for relatively little in return. The Republican response has been to ignore the experts, attack the messengers and double down on bad policy."

TheHill.com notes, " There is a zero percent chance that the tax bill Republican leaders have promised to vote on and pass next week will generate the economic growth projected by the White House. Rather, the bill is guaranteed to increase deficits and mortgage future generations with crushing debt, making it that much harder for America to be great again any time soon."



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