op-ed

A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE: Actual Governance Is Breaking Out On Tax Reform In Washington

Something remarkable is happening in Washington: Actual governance is breaking out, and Republican leaders are working together on an important issue. The House and Senate have passed tax packages. The president appears to be leading on tax reform. He says he wants to give us “a huge tax cut for Christmas.”

Though criticism is flowing from the keyboards of pundits everywhere, the average conservative activist is currently satisfied with the reform for three main reasons.

First, what is being proposed is better than the status quo. Conservatives want more jobs and higher real wages. They understand that over $1 trillion in money is parked overseas by corporations that won’t invest in U.S. job and infrastructure creation until some repatriation rates are lowered, at least temporarily. In order to spur increased job creation, the corporate tax rate must be dropped to internationally competitive levels. What’s been suggested so far — though not nearly as good as it should be — is better than what is currently in place.

Second, conservatives want the blue states to face reality. Some conservative critics say the Senate bill, which will eliminate state and local tax deductions (including property taxes) is punitive, a purely political move designed to punish high-tax states. Nothing could be further from the truth. Eliminating deductions for state income and property tax is reasonable, and even popular among conservatives who pay the price in the current system. Why should people in low tax states be forced to share the burden of some blue states’ stupidly high taxes and governmental inefficiencies? I live in the state of California, and even I believe that writing off my state taxes is unfair to the rest of America.

That might seem counterintuitive to pundits and politicians. However, conservatives who believe in fiscal responsibility don’t like the idea of our states being able to pass on their inefficiencies though a federal tax deduction of state income and property taxes. The Senate is taking is a major step towards making blue states pay the real price for their profligacy. All of the grassroots conservatives I know feel this is a fair, reasonable, and rational solution.

Finally — and most importantly — it appears the government is actually working. It’s gratifying to see the various entities cooperating through a legislative process in a transparent manner. Several hearings were held. More than 350 amendments were filed in the Senate Finance Committee alone — and 69 received a vote. That’s a far cry from the Democrats’ heavy-handed “we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what’s in it” approach to governance. The Republicans, by holding an actual debate, are demonstrating the beauty of the democratic process.

Though no one is holding their breath that this tax reform will be perfect, conservative activists are encouraged to see the wheels actually beginning to turn on this very important issue.

Mark Meckler is a political activist. He was a co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots and of the Convention of States Project. He currently serves as president of Citizens for Self-Governance.


The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.