Flake and Corker Played a Dangerous Game on Tax Reform

Flake and Corker risk creating a purity test in GOP primaries based on loyalty to Trump.

UPDATE: This piece has been updated to reflect Senator Jeff Flake is now embracing the GOP's tax plan.

Senators Jeff Flake and Bob Corker were holding the Senate Republicans' tax plan hostage to their concerns, which could be addressed elsewhere and which neither have been too committed to in the past few years to do much about. They suddenly care about spending after giving Barack Obama a blank check to raise the national debt.

It actually looks more like they wanted to derail anything that could help President Trump and, consequently, derail anything that might help Republicans mitigate the damage that will otherwise be inflicted next year. If that is the case, I think Guy Benson is right that they risk setting up the GOP for a real purity test on support for President Trump's agenda. If Republican voters see people like Flake and Corker, supposedly Republicans, derail the President's agenda when even John McCain supports it, they'll be demanding blood oaths in primaries that candidates support Donald Trump.

This is a really dangerous game Flake and Corker have been playing. They claim to support the plan, but they have some concerns. They'd be more believable about their concerns if they'd ever really stuck to their convictions on those concerns in the past. Their willingness to obstruct the tax reform package will just make the GOP primaries in their home states even nastier and increase the odds of the Democrats taking back the Senate. But it seems pretty clear they do not care, or at least did not seem to care till Jeff Flake came out this morning saying he would not support the plan.

As of this writing, Senator Corker is still a hold out, though he says the plan will pass. Senator Flake has agreed to the concessions made by the Senate GOP leadership. They are, to put it bluntly, cosmetic changes of no major value. But they are enough so Senator Flake can show he got a concession and also show he is a team player. The question now is whether Senator Corker will want on the team or go it alone.

Had the men scuttled this plan, they would have been publicly blamed by the President and by Senate leaders. In both states, with primaries already turning into referenda on who is most likely to support President Trump, the men would be persona non grata within their own parties. Passing the tax plan not only helps the GOP at large, but it helps them both too. Jeff Flake knows it and Bob Corker will probably figure it out.

Comments
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Bear8
Bear8

Sometimes I pause to reflect on the bygone days. Then I think; do our political leaders set the moral example for the people to follow; OR, does the people set the standard of morality that the political leaders follow?

ekay
ekay

Time for a third party to mess up the mess the two standing parties have made of just about everything that concerns the people. "The Rich" don't have enough money to pay off our national debt, so who is going to pay it off? Our grandchildren and their children. But the most likely scenario will be that the United States will eventually collapse under its fiscal burden, with the help of those we owe money to of course. We send people to Congress and what do they do? Pass bills and bills and more bills that all too often negatively impact our private lives, and worse our pocket books, and then they "pass the buck" back and forth between themselves. There is no way that the people can hold them accountable when there are just two choices, but a third party could especially if it is made up of and supported by people who really care about this country. If some take on this project they will have to care about this country because it would be a real fight, but a fight that is doable given the anger of so many people.

GenEarly
GenEarly

The largely socialist government dominated USSA is helplessly in Debt and refuses to downsize government and cut actual spending. The former DC Swamp pogrom was to regulate and gut the private sector middle class while enabling approved international progressive corporations. Raising taxes to pay for more spending while increasing the debt leading to a dead end 3rd world status for the USSA like the Detroit model. Now Trump realizes the economic engine must be ReStarted to avoid this scenario. Also as a second step the Feral government must be downsized in people and departments, while gradually ending FDR's ponzi social security scheme with tax exempt savings plans. DemocRats will never agree to reform and ChamberPot Repubs will never do what is necessary either. The DC Swamp never suffers for their actions, they are always exempt from their actions. Now throw in these two defeated Repub senators who have found their conscience to continue the DemocRat's economic demise plan by wrapping themselves in the "Deficit" argument. It is a valid argument AFTER a tax cut jump start, and these two despicable weasels know this. DemocRats are just Marxists and not worth the effort other than to charge them for treason.

LibertarianHarry
LibertarianHarry

1) Individual rate schedules need to be adjusted to allow for inflation in the price index since the last major tax reform 30 years ago, which causes bracket creep. Those with taxable income over 200K (married) don't need tax reduction, let them pay their fair share as they benefit from the "system" and need to give back. Move the corporate rates to 15% to 75K, 25% 75k to 100K and 30% over 100K. That's all that's needed.
2) Go after Apple Computer etc. tax schemes which rob the Treasury of Billions.
3) Keep the AMT in place for those with taxable income over 300K (married).
4) Flow-thrus don't need a special tax rate - leave as is. Carried interest abuse needs to be reined-in - where the promoters get a cut of the deal even if they cash out 5 years later, they should pay at ordinary income rates when they cash out.
5) Child credit should be increased to at least 2.5K. Adoption credit should stay in place.

GenEarly
GenEarly

If we had an economic discussion minus the political machinations which is impossible the following scenario emerges.

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