Neither snow nor rain nor crippling deficits nor a monumental upset in Alabama stays these Republicans from the swift completion of passing a tax bill that few understand and even fewer seem to want.
That’s right; undeterred by nonpartisan proof from the Joint Committee of Taxation that the $1.5 trillion in proposed tax cuts will not “pay for themselves,” and unwilling to wait for Doug Jones, the new Democratic Senator from Alabama, to take his seat and possibly jeopardize their goals, the GOP continues its spirited yet shameful sprint towards the most comprehensive overhaul of the tax law in 31 years.
Let’s review: Last month, the House of Representatives went from proposing 479 pages of legislation in the form of HR 1 — the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act — to passing the bill in a mere two weeks. Not to be undone, the Senate managed to surpass the hilariously-harried pace set by its counterparts in the House, taking its version of HR 1 to a floor vote just days after the 429 pages of legislative text were made available.
The making of many things — from movies to marriages to mac and cheese — can be rushed without adverse consequences. Not so with the tax law. It’s very nature – a complex morass of provisions that interact with one another in nuanced and often unanticipated ways — requires a deliberate approach; something the Senate, in particular, refused to acknowledge. In fact, in such a hurry was the Senate to pass its bill that it asked its 100 members to vote on a piece of legislation that had been radically redesigned just hours earlier; quite famously, the “final” version of HR 1 was replete with margins full of hand-written text and multiple strikethroughs and redactions.
The results were predictably hilarious. While the bill passed by a 51-49 margin, as a result of the numerous 11th-hour negotiations, the Senate managed to make a $289 billion mistake in its drafting of the legislation; inadvertently killing off a tremendously popular incentive — the research and development credit — that it had intended to keep.
Authored by Tony Nitti, Withum Partner and writer for Forbes.com.