Economys strong, but Trump worrying Republicans

Minnie Murray
September 17, 2018

House Republicans introduced legislation on September 10 that would lock in individual tax provisions contained in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that are set to expire in 2025.

As Democrats enter the fall midterm campaign with palpable confidence about reclaiming the House and perhaps even the Senate, tensions are rising between the White House and congressional Republicans over who is to blame for political difficulties facing the party, with President Donald Trump's advisers pointing to the high number of GOP retirements and lawmakers placing the blame squarely on the president's divisive style.

Democrats say those cuts mainly helped the wealthy and corporations.

House tax committee Chairman Kevin Brady, main author of the "Tax Reform 2.0" package, plans to put it to a committee-level vote on Thursday, with a full House vote expected by Oct 1.

Passage in the Senate would require a 60-vote supermajority because the legislation would add to the already burgeoning federal deficit. That would bring the total cost of tax cuts under Trump to well over $2 trillion in lost government revenue.

House Republicans said the legislation on the tax cuts would add to economic momentum and create 1.5 million new jobs in the long run, citing numbers from the nonpartisan Tax Foundation. (Trump administration officials have said the economic gains are largely due to the massive tax overhaul signed into law in December, the largest since President Ronald Reagan was in office). This might fly if he was the president of Russian Federation but not here in the U.S.

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Even so, Glen Bolger, a leading Republican pollster, and many other prominent Republicans now believe they are likely to lose control of the House.

Aside from making individual tax cuts permanent, Republicans say the legislation will including savings provisions meant to help small businesses offer 401 (k) retirement plans, allow 529 education savings plans to pay for apprenticeships and provide access to retirement savings for costs related to births and adoptions.

The Protecting Family and Small Business Tax Cuts Act of 2018 (H.R. 6760), which would lock in the lower individual rates, larger child tax credit and larger standard deduction from last year's tax law.

The op-ed has overtaken news in Washington and led to something of a witch hunt in the White House after the nameless official said White House staffers routinely work to stall and sabotage President Donald Trump's orders when they feel they are not in the best interests of the country. A smaller share take the positive angle on each one, with 28% calling him more in touch, 27% more honest or less corrupt and 22% more intelligent.

Carter also noted polls showing independents souring on the Republican administration. Obama, who saw GDP growth of just over 1 percent, doubted that Trump could achieve 4 percent expansion. "Still plenty to do!"

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