EDITORIAL: House Republicans roll out their tax plan

Sunday, 05 November 2017, 07:04:07 AM. It’s not perfect, of course, but it’s a reasonable attempt to simplify the code in the name of fairness and efficiency.
House Republicans on Thursday unveiled details of their tax reform package, and — despite the predictable caterwauling from the left about “the rich” — there’s much to like. In fact, the proposal provides relief to most middle-class families and includes a number of sops designed to get a handful of moderate Democrats on board. It’s not perfect, of course, but it’s a reasonable attempt to simplify the code in the name of fairness and efficiency. Given that the top 1 percent of all earners foot half the U.S. income tax bill, it’s hard to craft relief that won’t benefit the wealthy. Likewise, complaints from progressives that the Republican measure doesn’t offer enough help to wage earners in the bottom quarter is disingenuous, given that they don’t pay any federal income taxes to begin with. The proposal compresses the number of tax brackets from seven to four while leaving the top rate at 39.6 percent — although it increases the level at which it kicks in. It also permanently cuts the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent, something even many Democrats have advocated for years. In terms of simplification, it repeals personal exemptions and reins in several popular deductions. For instance, the popular mortgage-interest deduction will apply only on first loans up to $500,000, ending the deduction on second homes — hardly a handout for the rich. The bill limits deductions for state and local taxes to a maximum $10,000 write-off for property taxes. It also kills the...Read more
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