The GOP tax plan released this week has a lot of promise. There are really good things in there that need to absolutely pass, and we as conservatives should endorse the good that is in there.
However, there is also a responsibility for conservatives to call out and oppose the bad. And, sadly, there is some bad that has to be addressed before this bill becomes passable as a conservative achievement. There are some little things that can be overlooked, sure, but there are four big issues that absolutely have to be fixed before I, and I believe most conservatives, can support this bill fully.
1. Small Businesses Are Being Left Far Behind
There is a provision in the bill that would supposedly help businesses. The provision, the pass-along provision, would allow for certain businesses to “pass along” tax costs to those who pay for a product or service. However, the rules in the provision are very narrow, and small business groups are claiming that the tax reform effort would not ease burdens on most small businesses.
This presents a couple of problems for the GOP. The first is that it only helps opponents label the GOP as friendly to big businesses before all else. Trump-family businesses and big businesses like them stand to benefit the most from this package as it stands.
2. The Child Tax Credit Does Not Do Enough
Currently, you get $1,000 per child in credit toward your taxes. Most folks seeking tax reform agree this is not enough compared to the burdens of raising a child in America today. The GOP’s proposal raises that to $1,600 per child, but I am in full agreement with Marco Rubio here: That’s not enough. Here’s what Rubio had to say:
As the party of working families, Republicans must not let this opportunity go to waste. We must ensure comprehensive tax reform includes specific and meaningful tax relief for parents. After all, families are the fundamental building blocks of our communities, and the health of our society depends on families being able to provide safe and secure homes, raise active citizens, and love their children unconditionally in ways no other social institution can. Families are how values are passed on from generation to generation. We simply cannot have a strong nation without strong families.
Mike Lee has also voiced his support of Rubio’s proposal, and it’s hard to disagree with it. And, speaking of American families…
3. The Adoption Tax Credit Should Not Be Eliminated
I cannot fully fathom why this was even up for consideration. The Republican Party is supposed to be pro-family. We oppose ideas that would weaken the family. We want to incentivize adoption, not strain the system by making it so incredibly expensive that it is impossible to do so. Or, worse, create a system so terrible for kids that abortion is perceived as preferable. Our own Kimberly Ross will explain this in more detail later this morning, but to borrow a talking point from former RedState Dear Leader, Erick Erickson, why would the Republican Party choose to fund Planned Parenthood and get in the way of adoption?
4. Employer-Paid Tuition Would Be Taxable Income
Again, it’s an idea that seems anti-Republican, but here we are. Under the current system, if an employer pays tuition for you to continue your education, you won’t get taxed for that. It’s an opportunity for self-betterment and advancement in the workplace. We’re looking at ending those opportunities now. That’s absolutely unacceptable, and the bill’s drafters should know better.
There is, of course, time to make the necessary fixes. The GOP wants this done by the end of the year, and even with amendments and fixes, it can still get passed. But, right now, it needs these fixes (plus some more) to be an acceptable bill.
And, this is where it’s important. We know the GOP is listening right now, more than ever. They want to get this done, because they need a big win. This is the best time to get yourselves heard. So do it.