'Tax Reform 2.0' Unveiled by House GOP

Jimmy Carter

Jimmy Carter

Even if the initiative fails to pass, it could put Democrats in the position of opposing the new tax-cut plan on the House floor, which Republicans could seek to use to their advantage in the November 6 elections where control of Congress will be at stake. Republican Rep. Kevin Brady of Texas, who heads the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, is looking toward a vote on the legislation by the House this month.

Several Republican House members, facing tough re-election fights in high-tax, Democratic-leaning states like NY and New Jersey, voted against the tax legislation a year ago and would prefer to do without this new version as well.

The GOP's "tax reform 2.0" aims to make permanent the tax cuts for individuals that President Trump signed into law in December 2017, including the law's temporary reductions in individual filers' rates, a doubling of the Child Tax Credit, and cuts to the estate tax paid by a small fraction of the wealthiest families. The solid Republican majority in the House almost ensures passage before the November elections. And in those same suburbs, Democrats enjoy a whopping 56-to-34-percent advantage over Republicans on who Americans are more likely to vote for.

A dozen House Republicans opposed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act last December.

Experts claim the rule affects high-tax states like California, New York and New Jersey - all which have highly contested midterm races.

There are sharp partisan splits on both questions, with about 8-in-10 Republicans calling it inappropriate for a White House official to act against the President, that drops to about half of independents and about a third of Democrats. But that has been undercut on the campaign trail by worries about Trump's policy on trade tariffs and a lack of evidence that tax cuts have delivered promised pay increases to workers.

The new legislation would add another $576 billion to the deficit, even taking potentially higher economic growth into account, the Tax Foundation said.

The bill includes several retirement-related provisions that would allow small businesses to more easily offer 401 (k) plans, as well as new individual savings accounts for education and newborns.

Critics have said the proposed changes would primarily benefit the wealthiest taxpayers, while Republicans have argued their tax cuts help fuel the American economy by putting more money in consumers' hands. That would bring the total cost of tax cuts under Trump to well over $2 trillion in lost government revenue. That's 4 points below his previous 2018 low of 35% approval among political independents in CNN polling, and 1 point below his previousall-time low among independents in CNN polling, reached in November 2017.

As on the President's approval rating, the shifts in Trump's favorability rating and attributes are driven largely by movement among independents. In July, 40 percent of registered voters in the Midwest approved of Trump's performance versus 38 percent in September, and his disapproval rating among Midwesterners jumped from 50 percent in July to 55 percent in September.

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