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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

The Political Madness of "Tax Reform"

In Defying the Odds, we discuss the tax issue in the 2016 campaign. Trump railed against special interests and claimed to be the champion of ordinary Americans.

Republicans are reportedly considering a tax "reform" that would cap the mortgage interest deduction, and the ability to deduct state and local taxes; and tax 401(k) contributions up front. And, of course, the bill would cut taxes for corporations.

Political madness.

Tax reform is tough enough. Even the 1986 law-- which was far more reasonable -- was not especially popular with the public. In an October 1986 poll from Cambridge Reports, 36 percent said that it would raise their taxes, compared with just 16 percent who thought that it would reduce them. Over the next three years, the former group would grow to 50 percent.

And in the first election after the bill passed, Republicans lost their majority in the Senate. There were other reasons for that outcome, of course, but there is no evidence that the legislation helped any Republican senator.