For Republicans, ‘failure is not an option’ on tax cuts—except that it is

The Republican do-nothing Congress is simply desperate now. After entirely crashing and burning on their six-year promise to repeal health care from the nation’s most disenfranchised, all the Republicans have left is delivering a tax giveaway to the nation’s wealthiest. If they can’t at least accomplish one side of their wealth distribution scheme, what is their reason for being? They may not be the sharpest tools in the shed, but they do seem to be getting clear on the existential question facing them. The New York Times writes:

Given the swirling tumult, one political and legislative reality is suddenly becoming crystal clear: Republicans must deliver a tax cut or face an epic backlash that would pose a significant threat to their governing majority and long-term political health. […]

The party would have virtually no argument for re-election in 2018 and Senate and House incumbents would be wide open to

from both the right and the left. Big donors who are already sitting on their wallets would have no motivation to open them up. Mr. Trump’s ongoing Twitter feuds have complicated the task, but the Republican Party really has no choice — it must find a way to get a tax cut to the president’s desk. […]

Mr. Bradley, the chamber official, said he agreed that in a more conventional political environment, existing divisions among Republicans could be sufficient to kill a tax bill. “But there is such a growing realization that failure is not an option that they will be able to overcome a lot of these policy and political conflicts,” he said.

Mr. Bradley has apparently forgotten that we’re talking about the Republican caucus here.

The Senate’s first test comes next week when Republicans will need to pass a budget bill that sets the stage for passing the tax overhaul with a simple majority. The House passed that budget bill last week by a razor-thin margin, with 18 Republicans defecting. Leader Mitch McConnell will be walking an even tighter rope in the Senate while the blowhard in the White House is sure to be whipping up a supportive bout of gale-force winds.

Leave a Reply