JAKE TAPPER (HOST): Brianna, aren’t Republicans essentially kicking the can down the road and probably raising the deficit at the same time? Two things that they constantly criticize Democrats for doing.
BRIANNA KEILAR: Yes, but Republicans, Jake, want to get this done. They need and they want a win ahead of a crucial midterm election. But their tax plans are propped up by, frankly, dishonest math. They violate the very promise that the GOP has made time and time again, that they will not saddle future generations with more debt.
KEILAR: Republicans are championing a plan that many deficit hawks say is anything but fiscally responsible. The tax plan’s $1.5 trillion price tag is a low-ball figure. It’s the price tag they need to come under in order to use special Senate rules requiring them to need only 51 votes. The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a fiscally conservative advocacy group, puts the real cost at $2.2 trillion.
MAYA MACGUINEAS: There are a lot of gimmicks they’re slipping into the bill to make the costs look less than they actually are.
KEILAR: Here’s one major gimmick: While the corporate tax cuts would be permanent, the tax cuts for American taxpayers would expire after ten years, on paper anyway, even though it’s expected Congress would ultimately just make the cuts permanent. That fishy math allows Republicans to claim a smaller price tag.
MACGUINEAS: On one hand, they’re saying, “Sure there is all of these expiring tax breaks, but don’t worry, we fully intend to extend them, and you won’t have to worry about your taxes going up.” And on the other hand, they’re saying, “Don’t worry about the cost of the bill. Sure, we’re borrowing $1.5 trillion,” — which, I would say, everybody should be worrying about — “But we’re not going beyond that limit,” when really, they are.
KEILAR: There is also a dubious promise that the White House is making about the tax overhaul. The congressional liaison for the White House, Marc Short, saying that every income bracket will see a decrease in taxes and every working family will see a decrease, as well. That’s not fully true. Independent analyst shows that in the long-term American families earning less than $75,000 a year are, over time, going to pay more in taxes.