What’s Really Going On With the Republican Tax Bill?

What’s up with the Republican tax bill, anyway? The Senate voted to approve a maximum increase in the deficit of $1.5 trillion over ten years, which is why it took so long to cook up the legislation. When you’re planning to give away a few trillion dollars in pass-through taxes to small businesses like, um, The Trump Organization, it’s hard to find offsets that will get your deficit down to a mere $1.5 trillion. But apparently they did.

But here’s the thing: thanks to the usual reconciliation rules, they still have to reach a deficit number of $0 in the long-term. One way to do that is to have the bill expire after ten years, but that’s not what it does. Another way is to declare that your bill will supercharge the economy so much that it will pay for itself down the road. That means they need CBO to score the bill something like this:

This is unlikely in the extreme. CBO just isn’t going to end up with something like this. So the only way the bill works is if Republicans override CBO and have the Finance Committee chair invent his own numbers and then everyone just votes to accept them. But I’m guessing that there are at least three Republicans who won’t go along with a charade this blatantly and obviously fraudulent. And if the Senate GOP leadership can’t get 50 Republican votes, they can’t pass the bill.

So what the hell is going on? They must have something in mind, but what?

THE TRUTH...

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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