Republicans Aren’t Going to Eliminate Any Tax Breaks

This deserves a long, mordant chuckle:

Republican leaders are backing away from a proposal to fully repeal an expensive tax break used by more than 40 million tax filers to deduct state and local taxes amid pushback from fellow lawmakers whose residents rely on the popular provision.

….The White House and Republican lawmakers are considering alternatives to an outright repeal, including allowing taxpayers to choose between deducting their mortgage interest or state and local taxes, a limit on the deduction or a special tax break for middle-class families that live in areas with high property taxes.

Representative Chris Collins, Republican of New York, said in an interview on Tuesday that party leaders had assured him “there’s not going to be full repeal” of the state and local tax deduction….He said both Mr. Brady and Mr. McCarthy acknowledged that full repeal would be a “nonstarter” with a large bloc of Republicans in the conference, and that “it’s safe to say, we’re no longer going to be talking about a full repeal.”

Republicans have now backed down on the following tax breaks:

  • Mortgage interest
  • Charitable donations
  • State and local taxes
  • Retirement accounts
  • Education accounts
  • EITC

You may be wondering what’s left. According to the Joint Committee on Taxation, not much:

The top ten tax breaks are in red, and they add up to nearly $800 billion. Although Republicans might—might—still find ways to reduce them a bit, they’ve all but given up on eliminating any of them. That’s nearly three-quarters of all the tax breaks in the individual tax code. There’s nothing more to go after except for the hundreds of piddly little things that would each represent a huge fight that isn’t worth it.

And yet we’re still supposed to believe that on the corporate side Republicans are going to show some backbone and eliminate tons of tax breaks to make up for their huge rate cut. Sure they are.


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