Tax Reform

Tax Bill Passes Congress—Are You Dead Yet???

Another day of cartoonish outrage in Washington.



If you didn't die after the U.S. pulled out of the Paris climate accord and you didn't die after the courts suspended President Trump's travel ban, or you were bummed about losing the opportunity to die when Republicans couldn't seal the deal on a healthcare bill, you have one more chance. Some critics of the tax bill that just passed Congress and is expected to be signed into law today say this is the policy that might end your life.

"Kill the bill, don't kill us!" protesters chanted on the Senate floor last night.

The hyperbole, as usual, is disconnected from reality. The tax reform bill is a "conventional Republican tax plan," as Peter Suderman wrote yesterday, "with all the predictable problems and benefits."

The left-leaning Tax Policy Center estimates that 80 percent of taxpayers will see a cut next year. (The numbers change abruptly in 2027, when much of the tax bill expires.) Hardly tales from the crypt. But that hasn't stopped the apocalyptic rhetoric.

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon) called the bill a "bank heist," conflating the private pockets of Americans with the "national treasury" (which might as well be a box with a $20 trillion IOU in it):

Here's Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Ct.):

Well, it's nice to see Democrats say they care about the debt again (and illuminating to see Republicans stop caring about the debt, for anyone who still believed their old rhetoric on the subject).

But it's not just Democrats with bad takes.

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), often a swing vote, claims that media coverage of her support of the tax bill was "sexist," as if Republican males who backed the tax bill were treated any less unfairly in much of the media.

And this round-up wouldn't be complete without mentioning the mini-meltdown by Rosie O'Donnell, the president's favorite celebrity:

Russia/Trump conspiracy theorist Louise Mensch, of all people, stepped in to warn Rosie that this would be bribery, a federal crime. Rosie disagreed.