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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Paul Krugman: The Biggest Tax Scam in History

"will they manage to pull off this giant con job?":

The Biggest Tax Scam in History, by Paul Krugman, NY Times: ...The bill Republican leaders are trying to ram through this week ... is the biggest tax scam in history. It’s such a big scam that it’s not even clear who’s being scammed — middle-class taxpayers, people who care about budget deficits, or both.
One thing is clear, however: One way or another, the bill would hurt most Americans. The only big winners would be the wealthy — especially those who mainly collect income from their assets rather than working for a living...
The core of the bill is a huge redistribution of income from lower- and middle-income families to corporations and business owners. ...
Meanwhile, the bill would partially repeal Obamacare, in a way that would sharply reduce aid to lower-income families and raise the cost of insurance for many in the middle class.
You might wonder how such a thing could possibly pass the Senate. But that’s where the scamming comes in.
While the underlying structure of the bill involves raising taxes on the middle class, the bill also includes a number of temporary tax breaks..., in the first few years most middle-class families would see modest tax cuts.
But the operative word here is “temporary.” All of these tax breaks either dwindle over time or are scheduled to expire at some point; by 2027 the bill is ... a tax increase on the middle class used to pay for tax cuts that mainly benefit the wealthy. ...
So it’s a giant scam. And while the exact nature of the scam may be unclear, ordinary American families would end up being the victims either way.
For suppose those temporary tax breaks did end up becoming permanent, so that the budget deficit soared on a long-term basis. Then what? You know the answer: Republicans would suddenly revert to the pretense that they’re deficit hawks, and demand “entitlement reform” — that is, cuts in Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security... In fact, they’re already talking about those cuts...
So will they manage to pull off this giant con job? The reason they’re rushing this to the Senate floor without a single hearing, without a full assessment from Congress’s own official scorekeepers, is their hope that they can pass the thing before people figure out what they’re up to.
And the question is whether there are enough Republican senators with principles, who believe that policies should not be sold with lies, to stop this bum’s rush.

    Posted by on Tuesday, November 28, 2017 at 10:51 AM in Economics, Politics, Taxes | Permalink  Comments (66)


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