TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Kleinbard: Senators Picked Americans' Pockets Via Degraded Tax Policy Process

The Hill op-ed:  Senators Picked Americans' Pockets Via Degraded Tax Policy Process, by Edward Kleinbard (USC):

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, this year’s Christmas present to the donor class, is an abomination. Its top-heavy distribution of cuts, its wasteful mistargeting of incentives, and its funding of permanent corporate tax cuts via tax hikes on millions of ordinary taxpayers have been widely publicized.

From the other direction, whatever virtues the bill might have are completely swamped by its trillion-dollar plus impact on government deficits. But before moving on, we should review some of the process through which this bill was fashioned.

Over the long haul, the politicization and perversion of what had been a bipartisan approach to tax lawmaking will prove at least as damaging as the substance of this bill. Further, the debates surrounding who will pay how much as a result of the legislation reveal that the standard tools used to make these judgments are in need of revision.

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I think the rhetoric is a bit overstated here.

Posted by: mike livingston | Dec 5, 2017 4:06:50 AM

This tax bill is the mirror image of the enactment of Obamacare. The only missing piece is the loss of a Republican senate seat in a special election followed by a House vote to enact a defective Senate bill.

Posted by: AMTbuff | Dec 5, 2017 7:04:49 AM

If he's referring to the elimination of certain deductions that will affect high income and property tax states that happen to be blue, good. These voters have been asking to have their pockets picked for a long time, so they should be happy to put their money where their mouth is.

Posted by: MM | Dec 5, 2017 7:28:12 AM

Where was all this "hand wringing" when the prior Administration both raised taxes and historically ($8T) raised the national debt?

Posted by: Tom N | Dec 5, 2017 10:07:43 AM