In all of the talk about tax reform, nobody is considering the more fundamental problem facing America – the size and scope of the federal government.
Peter Schiff has described the Republican tax plan as “tax cuts masquerading as reform.” When it’s all said and done, Americans aren’t going to get tax relief. They are going to get big government on a credit card. The balance will come due down the road.
The real issue is the total cost of government. In an article originally published on the Mises Wire, Ryan McMaken argues that if Republicans really want to ease the burden of government, they need to cut spending.
The middle class is not getting tax relief under the Senate plan currently under consideration. It’s getting big government on a credit card.
Here’s a fun fact. Did you know virtually all of the individual tax cuts in the Senate version of tax reform are temporary?
Indeed, what the Senate giveth, it also taketh away. Most of the tax cuts for individuals would expire in 2026 under the Senate plan.
So what’s the reasoning behind sunsetting the tax cuts?
Last week, the House passed its version of “tax reform,” along party lines. The final vote came in at 227-205, with the entire Democratic caucus opposing the bill. Thirteen Republicans joined the Democrats in voting no.
The debate now shifts to the Senate where things will likely become more contentious. Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson has already announced he opposes the current Senate plan. And the Senate bill differs from the House version – significantly putting off corporate tax cuts for a year. If the Senate can get something passed, the two chambers will have to figure out a compromise plan.
Peter Schiff has been saying the Republicans aren’t even really attempting to reform the tax system. He called the GOP plans “tax cuts masquerading as reform.” Peter is not alone in this thinking.
Ron Paul has identified an increase in what he calls the “most insidious tax” buried in the GOP tax reform bill.
A lot of Americans have put a lot of hope in tax reform. As Peter Schiff said in a recent Fox Business interview, the prospect of economic growth spurred by tax reform and other Trump policies have generated a great deal of optimism. But the question remains: can the GOP Congress deliver? And even if Congress does get a reform package passed, some question whether it will actually lead to the economic growth promised. Absent spending cuts, the tax plan will increase the federal debt even further. Evidence indicates high debt levels retard growth.
In a recent article published on the Mises Wire, Ron Paul identified another problem with the Republican tax plan. It actually increases the most insidious of all taxes – the “inflation tax.”
There’s a lot of optimism out there that passage of the Trump tax plan will juice the economy. Many analysts say tax cut optimism is one of the factors that continue to push stocks up, and that has created headwinds for gold and silver. But as we’ve pointed out, there are reasons to question this mainstream narrative.
Now some in the mainstream are even starting to question the mainstream narrative.
Obamacare repeal 3.0 went down in flames Tuesday. According to Bloomberg, opposition from three Republican Senators derailed the latest attempt to dismantle the Affordable Care Act.
Leaders decided the Senate won’t vote before Saturday’s deadline to use a fast-track procedure to keep Democrats from blocking a GOP-only bill. On Monday, Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine added her opposition to that of GOP Senators John McCain of Arizona and Rand Paul of Kentucky, enough to sink the legislation in the 52-48 Senate.”
This raises broader questions: Can Republicans get anything done? Is there any chance of Trump pushing through his ambitious economic agenda?
Remember tax reform?
It seems like a lifetime ago. But it was just last month that the Trump administration rolled out its ambitious tax reform plan. The single-page blueprint was really more of an outline and offered little in the way of specifics. Still, it sparked hope that Republicans would push forward with significant tax reform this year.
Since then, we’ve heard pretty much nothing. Talk of significant tax reform got sucked into a black hole of FBI director firings and Russia probes. In fact, many analysts are starting to doubt Republicans will be able to get tax reform done at all.