MacIver News Service | December 20, 2017
By M.D. Kittle
MADISON, Wis. – On the brink of the GOP tax reform package’s passage in the House Tuesday, Speaker Paul Ryan declared that the vote “has been a moment decades in the making.”
On Wednesday, after the U.S. Republican-controlled Senate passed the bill, a video montage of Ryan’s long struggle for tax reform made the rounds on Twitter. The vid begins with a clip of a fresh-faced 20-something kid just elected to the 1st District Congressional seat he has held for nearly 20 years.
“Our tax system is punishing all those qualities that make America great,” the Janesville Republican says in the clip, from 1998.
Ryan has spent his political career hammering home the inequities of the U.S. tax system, which include one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world.
“For America to be competitive in the future we need to lower taxes,” Ryan says in another clip.
As he and his fellow conservatives were about to realize a dream 30 years in the making – the last time congress overhauled the tax system Reagan was in office – Ryan rallied the troops, asserting, “We are in a generational defining moment for our country.”
Amid all the overheated rhetoric from a Democratic Party that could not find one congressional member to vote for a tax cut that will benefit the vast majority of taxpayers, Ryan took a well-deserved victory lap Wednesday.
And what a victory it is.
The tax bill slices individual tax rates and lowers the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent. For a Republican-controlled congress that flubbed the repeal of Obamacare, the tax reform package is a huge win. And for President Trump, who is expected to soon sign the measure.
Polling on the bill has not been so good, but that, Republicans say, has much to do with the dour and dire way liberals politically painted it.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) described the reform package as “the end of the world” and “Armageddon.”
Sen. Chris Van Hollen, one of the more hyperbolic Dems, insisted that giving taxpayers their money back was “one of the biggest legislative heists in history.”
While the legislation has its warts, it delivers on promises made by Republicans for longer than Ryan has been in office.
Ryan predicts perceptions will change once American workers start seeing more money in their paychecks beginning next month.
“When we get this done and people see the withholding improvement, when they see the jobs occurring, when they see bigger paychecks, that’s what’s going to produce the results,” the Speaker told reporters.