“for the rich”
“will destroy the economy and increase debt”
“people will lay dying in the streets”
“will drive the state into further economic despair”
Sound familiar? You’ve probably heard these things and much more said about the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” passed yesterday in Washington.
But the quotes I provided in the beginning were not (just) said about the most recent bill but about the Bush tax cuts in the early 2000’s. Almost everything we are hearing was being said about those minor tax cuts and being said by many of the same people and/or organizations.
They were wrong then, and they are wrong now!
As the Missouri House Budget Chairman at the time of the Bush tax cuts, we were faced with assessing the impact of the federal tax cuts just as those in state positions are doing now. Then as now, there was a lot of hand-wringing and “end of the world” scenarios being spouted regularly.
But I knew that with very, very few exceptions, tax cuts have had tremendous positive impacts. We know that revenues do increase after tax cuts, if not almost immediately within short order.
While the naysayers were using blunt axes and static models to come up with their dire predictions, we used scalpels looking at everything in detail and basing our projections on real-world data. The results were almost exactly what we had projected and nowhere near what the naysayers had predicted.
The same will be the case for the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act”. The naysayers are quite simply wrong!
In the experience described above, I at least believed that most of the naysayers were sincere in their attempts to project misery. They were sincerely wrong but sincere none-the-less.
I can’t say that about the naysayers today. They are clearly and demonstrably projecting misery solely for political gain.
Was the bill the best it should have been? No, but it is a good start.
And while there is more that can and should be done, we cannot let better be the enemy of the good.
The bill addresses much needed tax relief for the middle class who are the predominate beneficiaries. It also addresses our non-competitive corporate tax rates making it probable that earnings currently kept overseas will be brought back home and invested here.
Many areas could have been better such as the individual tax cuts with no expiration date, elimination of many more deductions, and reduction in the growth in spending combined with the tax cut. America still has a spending problem that must be dealt with.
United for Missouri will continue working toward additional tax reforms that address the items that were left on the table as well as supporting much needed tax reform on the state level. In politics and in the hard business of governing passing meaningful legislation is more about the art of the possible.
As a former legislator, I have the utmost respect for my colleagues that are tasked with that great responsibility. As an organization we will continue to uphold the high standard of American conservatism and carry the tax relief and spending cuts fight forward with the help of our 80,000 members. There is no reason to wait another 30 years.
The time is now!