“We are going to give the American people an early Christmas present with a big, beautiful tax cut.” President Donald Trump
For once in his sad, useless life, Trump is not lying in saying that. Just remember what Mitt Romney taught us, “Corporations are people too my friends.” What that makes the rest of us, who don’t have the letters LLC after our names, or don’t issue millions of shares of stock to pay our rent I don’t know, and I have the feeling that I really don’t want to know.
This tax bill is gonna be just one more anchor around the collective necks of the GOP in 2018. When you sign a bill that has a 24% popularity rating into law, you’re doing something wrong. Even the Affordable Care Act wasn’t this unpopular when Obama signed it into law, and it still took 6 years for it to hit the break even mark in popularity. What do they say? Oh yeah, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”
And now the GOP is pouring gasoline on the fire of discontent. One of the most destructive portions of the new tax law to everyday Americans was capping the State And Local Tax or SALT clause that caps federal deductions of state and local taxes at $10,000. This is devastating for states with high income and property taxes, because all of them are lumped into that one $10,000 total. states with high tax rates are scrambling to allow residents to “prepay” their 2018 property and school taxes in 2017, when they can claim the entire amount on their 2017 federal tax returns.
But the Trump rn IRS is trying to screw that up too. They are saying that you can only claim your 2018 property taxes on your 2017 tax return if you have received a “tax warrant,” or final bill from the state, county or town. This has put those locales behind the 8 ball since they normally don’t finalize their budgets and warrant the assessments until after the New Year. Now those states are scarmbling to finalize their assessments before close of business on Friday to allow their constituents to pony up and avoid the crunch. MSNBC reported on one county assessor, a Republican, who was defeated in November. He simply refused to expedite the assessment finalization process out of spite for the people who voted against him.
Here’s where the cream curdles. The SALT provision of the tax bill was a purely discriminatory, rob-Peter-to-pay-Paul provision. It almost exclusively hits large urban population, Democratic controlled states. It was a Machiavellian act of petty vengeance by the GOP, make Democratic leaning voters pay through the nose to provide tax cuts for millionaires and corporations. But there’s one small flaw in this tiny twist pretzel logic.
Blue states elect Republicans too, especially at the state and local level. Right now, the GOP is swimming upstream in a thunderstorm towards the 2018 midterms. In California and New York alone there are enough GOP held House seats to flip the House to Democratic control. What’s their incentive to vote for GOP incumbents when whatever federal tax break they got disappears into their local property and school taxes? Texas is a red state, but there are some pretty nice, high priced homes that pay property taxes. And there’s a Democrat on the ballot in every congressional district in Texas in 2018
And that’s just the federal races. The 2020 census is coming up quicker than the Republicans would like. If the blue wave of 2018 crashes down around GOP ears, and continues into the impending referendum on Numbnuts in 2020, that 36 state GOP majority may well be nothing but a long gone, fond memory, and just in time for redistricting in 2021. Gerrymandering was supposed to create a “permanent Republican majority” in the House, but the way the GOP is governing, it may ultimately end up creating a long term minority instead.
When your kid slugs his brother again once you’ve told him not to, he ends up with a nice little time out in the corner. The GOP just slapped their brother again, it will be interesting to see how long their time out in the corner ends up being. Pass the popcorn, extra butter please.