Tax cuts before turkey! The GOP Congress should deliver a giant, beautiful, massive tax-reform bill to President Donald J. Trump’s desk no later than Wednesday, Nov. 22. That’s Thanksgiving Eve. Enacting a $1.5 trillion tax cut will let Washington Republicans savor their roasted birds after a job well done. (The U.S. House of Representatives’ 216-212 passage of the U.S. Senate’s budget blueprint on Thursday morning advances this goal.)
More important is what follows Thanksgiving — Black Friday.
Consumers with lighter tax burdens will turbocharge the Christmas shopping season. The shaky retail sector will rebound. This should boost 4th quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth, hiking corporate earnings in the first quarter of 2018.
Atop a chop in corporate taxes from 35 percent to 20 percent, instant expensing of business purchases, the death of the death tax, and more, the economy should roll swiftly forward — like a bowling ball speeding toward the dusty pins of the Bush-Obama years.
As Republicans constantly must remember: Good policy is good politics. If, 12 months hence, GDP growth roars at 3 to 4 percent — or more — Republicans should keep the House, hold the Senate, and possibly capture at least eight net seats among the 25 that Democrats will defend. This would yield a 60-vote, filibuster-proof GOP majority and empower Republicans to erase the lingering traces of Obama’s legacy of national self-humiliation.
Time is the best friend of those who protect every crooked nook and cranny of today’s convoluted tax system. Thus, the longer tax reform languishes on Capitol Hill, the longer K Street will have to nitpick this legislation to death. This will be especially true if Republicans needlessly and foolishly buckle beneath the Democrats’ class-warfare rhetoric and impose a fourth tax rate on the wealthy, rather than stick with their original proposal: collapsing today’s seven rates (between 10 and 39.6 percent) to three: (12, 25, and 35 percent). If Republicans join Democrats, bash "the rich," and impose a higher, fourth bracket, they will surrender the moral high ground.
If top earners’ tax rates are not cut, they will fight even harder for their loopholes and exemptions. Denying America’s most successful citizens this trade off will entice them to deploy every beltway-based lobbyist, lawyer, and arm-twister to shield each wretched crevice in the U.S. Internal Revenue Code.
That will make it tougher to power-wash the reeking stable that is today’s tax structure.
Republicans also must abandon all talk of phasing in corporate tax cuts over several years. This would be disastrous. Tax cuts must be immediate, at least.
Imagine this sale at your favorite store: "November: 10 percent off every purchase. December: 20 percent off. January: 30 percent off." November and December sales would implode as consumers awaited January’s bargains.
Similarly, Ronald Reagan’s 1981 tax cut postponed the full 25 percent reduction in levies until Jan. 1, 1983. The result: The 1982 recession. GDP cratered until New Year’s Day 1983. Robust growth then zoomed along until Daddy Bush ruined everything with his "Read my lips: no new taxes" increase in June of 1990.
Republicans should learn this lesson: Tax cuts should not be delayed. They must kick in right away, if not retroactively. Yes, ex post facto laws are fishy.
Congress should not be a time machine that travels in reverse. That said, Democrats have raised taxes retroactively — most notoriously, when Bill Clinton signed tax hikes in August of 1993 effective that Jan. 1 — 19 days before his inauguration. A GOP tax cut dated Jan. 1, 2017 is this record’s B side. Still, it’s better to legislate backwards to hand people their own money rather than to vacuum their pockets.
As clouds part for Republicans on taxes, a storm gathers for Democrats on ethics, namely the exploding Clinton-Obama Uraniumgate scandal. Choosing between the growth party and the graft party, Americans in November 2018 will flush the Democrats down the commode.
This dream scenario begins with Americans giving thanks on Nov. 23 for a brand-new, beautiful, $1.5 trillion tax cut.
Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor and a contributing editor with National Review Online. He has been a media fellow with the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace at Stanford University. Read more opinions from Deroy Murdock — Click Here Now.
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