WaPo: Republican Tax Plan Will Be Temporary

Like the leaves of autumn, the Republican tax bill will be a glorious but fleeting sight. Corporations are advised to enjoy it while they can.Yin Bogu/Xinhua via ZUMA

This is going to be a helluva tax bill that Republicans plan to unveil on Thursday. In addition to the motley collection of spit and duct tape already holding it together, House leaders have tossed in yet another last-minute switcheroo:

In a late switch, they now say the initial version of their bill will not contain one of President Trump’s major promises. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Tex.) said Wednesday that the bill he will introduce would not permanently lower the corporate tax rate to 20 percent. Instead, the cut would be temporary, and that reduction would expire in around eight years, according to a person briefed on the planning who wasn’t authorized to disclose details.

….“It’s going to take several steps through the process to achieve” permanence on the corporate rate, Brady said, citing what he termed “those awfully funny” Senate rules.

Even Republicans used to agree that a temporary corporate tax cut would be all but useless, but I suppose that goes out the window now. The entire noise machine will be dedicated to the proposition that a temporary cut will be a huge economic boost. In fact, why stop there? Maybe the new party line will be that this is even better than a permanent cut.¹

Alternatively, maybe Donald Trump will promise to veto anything temporary and send Republicans into total chaos. These days, who knows?

On the bright side for the super rich, I assume that repeal of the estate tax will continue to be permanent. There are limits, after all.

¹For reasons to be invented later and then hastily confirmed by Greg Mankiw and John Taylor.