Politico’s headline reads “With GOP on the verge of a tax victory, Rubio throws in a wrench.” Nearly every newspaper and tv newscaster in the nation is running similar leads and stories — of how the Florida senator nearly scuttled a Senate-House conference committee’s bill on the verge of being sent to President Trump for his signature.
Rubio’s piling on a special-interest provision at the last minute could sabotage the bill and along with it any glimmer of hope for Republicans maintaining control of the House and Senate after the 2018 elections. There are multiple risks:
- Other unreliably Republican senators could jump back in with their own pet requests,
- Senator McCain or another Republican senator could die and further reduce the party’s fragile majority in the Senate, either temporarily or permanently. That majority will already shrink from 52-48 to 51-49 on January 1st when Alabama’s senator-elect Doug Jones takes his seat.
As we go to press, the conference committee reportedly capitulated to Rubio’s demand for an increase in the child tax credit. The change
“would allow 70 percent of the $2,000 per-child tax credit to be refundable, up from 55 percent in the original draft of the bill, according to lawmakers and those briefed on the change. The change would allow families with no tax liability to claim up to $1,400 in tax refunds per child…The change appears to be a victory for Rubio…”
Each last minute special-interest request such as Rubio’s makes damaging inroads on the genuinely pro-growth elements of the tax reform bill. The corporate tax rate of 20% that was originally agreed to by both the House and Senate has had to be changed to a higher 21% rate to satisfy last-minute special-interest requests. This will have “real economic consequences,” the Tax Foundation emphasizes, It will reduce economic growth, make for few jobs, and lower wages.
A Cato visiting fellow seconds this view, urging the Republicans to “Lower the Corporate Tax Rate As Much As We Can, While We Can.”
Another Cato scholar grades the Senate-House tax bill just before the Rubio demand was conceded.
The Democrats are unanimous in their opposition to the Republican tax bill, have put forth no alternative bill of their own, and hope that Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation will nail President Trump and his associates to halt further Republican successes. The Mueller strategy is running into increasing difficulties, however….
Poll reveals public distrust of Mueller probe and FBI
That’s the headline of the latest issue of American Thinker.
Novelist and screenwriter Roger L. Simon has exposed a new scandal, written up in a Pajama Media piece called “The FBI’s Ship of Fools.” We excerpt: