Republicans Working Hard to Make Tax Bill Even Stupider

Alex Edelman/CNP via ZUMA

From CNBC:

Sen. Bob Corker said Tuesday a “backstop” to curb future budget deficits could help to win his crucial vote for the GOP tax bill. The Tennessee Republican and others are seeking the protection in case the nearly $1.5 trillion in proposed tax cuts do not meet the GOP’s expectations for sparking economic growth. The “trigger” described by Corker would raise taxes if the plan does not boost the U.S. economy enough.

“What several of us have asked for is a backstop or trigger in that event we don’t meet the projections that have been laid out — since we’re not going to score it — that we have a backstop. And so that’s what we’ve been working on throughout the weekend and feverishly today,” Corker told CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”

The Senate could just wait to score the bill, of course. That would certainly be the easiest option. The thing is, everyone knows what a CBO score would show: even with dynamic effects taken into account, the Republican tax bill blows up the deficit big time.

So instead of dealing with that certainty, Republicans are apparently trying desperately to whomp up some kind of “trigger” language in record time. I’ll toss out three options for how this could turn out:

  1. The trigger will be mostly for show and will have little actual power.
  2. The trigger will be effective, which means that taxes will go up when the economy is slow and down when the economy is booming.
  3. The trigger will be a Rube Goldberg concoction and no one actually knows what it will do.

Mitch McConnell, of course, would prefer #1. Corker, presumably, prefers #2 even though it makes no sense. And in the end, I suppose we’re most likely to get #3.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.