GOP Seeks to Destroy Outside Tax Group Over Analysis of Party’s New Tax Plan
Congressional Republicans have declared war on the non-partisan Tax Policy Center (TPC) for reporting the truth about their proposed tax framework.
The Tax Policy Center is an independent joint venture between Brookings Institution and Urban Institute. They routinely deliver independent analysis of tax policies by Republican and Democratic administrations.
Last Friday, the TPC released their independent analysis of the recently released GOP tax plan. They reported the plan will overwhelmingly favor wealthy Americans at the expense of the poor and middle class. The report was widely reported in the media including The Liberal Advocate News, Washington Post and New York Times, among others.
TPC said the GOP plan would lower federal revenue by up to $2.6 trillion in the first decade, raise national debt by $20.9 trillion by 2036, increase taxes on some middle class American families and eliminate cherished tax deductions for the poor while keeping those deductions favored by the rich.
That has the Republican Party up in arms. This week, prominent Congressional Republicans and other conservatives accused TPC of being biased against the party and using faulty data to reach their conclusions.
“The right-leaning Wall Street Journal editorial board blasted the TPC report while encouraging Republican lawmakers to go to war with the outside organization as well. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) office issued a press release on Tuesday highlighting the Wall Street Journal editorial and criticisms of the TPC by other GOP lawmakers.”
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), leaders of the House and Senate panels tasked with writing tax legislation guided by the plan put out statements Friday in reaction to the analysis by TPC blasting the report.
This week, both legislators are not letting up on their criticisms of TPC. “Their analysis was a work of fiction that Stephen King would have been proud of. In truth, we are driving tax relief to the middle class,” Brady said Monday.
During a House hearing on Tuesday, Hatch fumed that “it’s odd … that the analysis came with a disclaimer that it was expressing only the views of the authors, not the think tank itself. Even more unusual, no specific authors were listed on the analysis, probably because no respectable academic or researcher was willing to have their name associated with something so haphazardly cobbled together.”
This week, the White House jumped into the fray. Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders called the Tax Policy Center analysis “useless and misleading.”
“The Tax Policy Center analysis is useless and misleading because the unified framework does not include details that are necessary to determine either the cost or distributional effects of the framework,” sanders said.
The right-leaning Wall Street Journal editorial board blasted the TPC report while encouraging Republican lawmakers to go to war with the outside organization as well. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) office issued a press release on Tuesday highlighting the Wall Street Journal editorial and criticisms of the TPC by other GOP lawmakers.
The reaction by GOP lawmakers serves to highlight the importance attached to the tax framework going into the 2018 midterm and 2020 presidential elections by Republicans who have struggled to pass any major bills, having failed to move healthcare and DACA through Congress. They believe tax is one area they may be able to reach a consensus.
But so far everything do not appear to be moving as planned. Democrats have intensified their criticism of the GOP tax plan as a huge giveaway to the rich, using TPC’s analysis as a backdrop while Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul has been expressing deep concerns about the tax plan.
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