Can GOP Pass Tax Overhaul and What Would it Mean for Michigan?

“There isn’t a whole lot of what I would call tax reform,” says MSU Economist Charles Ballard. “It’s mostly a tax cut.”

Republicans are in a prickly position in Washington right now.

After years as an opposition party to a Democratic president, they now have total control over the policy-making process.

And yet, after months of one-party control, not much has gotten done.

The GOP has had their eye on overhauling the country’s tax system for a long time now. 

Taking into account the GOP’s recent failures to make good on their top priority and biggest campaign promise–repealing Obamacare–how likely is it that they’ll be able to overhaul the federal tax system? 

Libby Casey, on-air reporter and anchor covering politics and accountability for The Washington Post, joins Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson and speaks about the likelihood of a Republican tax overhaul. 

Casey points out that Republicans are largely on the same page about this proposal, which has not been the case with healthcare.

That said, “we don’t have a lot of concrete details yet…and Democrats are not on-board at this point in any way,” says Casey. 

According to Casey, some details about a proposed overhaul have been released. For example, the corporate tax rate would be reduced and it expands tax credits for having children. 

However, “because there will have to be some take-aways, some things that go away, we’re not entirely sure yet what it might mean for a family.” 

Michigan State University economist Charles Ballard also joins the conversation and discusses what the tax overhaul proposal could mean for the state of Michigan.  

“There isn’t a whole lot of what I would call ‘tax reform,'” says Ballard. “It’s mostly a tax cut.” 

For Ballard, the tax plan as it stands now would make sense if there was a large unemployment rate. However, “we’re already very, very close to full employment,” he says. “My sense is that the arguments that (the tax overhaul proposal) will create jobs…doesn’t make a whole lot of sense right now.”   

Click on the audio player above for the full conversation. 


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