There’s a lot to like about the Trump tax code reform, especially on the estate tax front:
Republicans’ race to rewrite the U.S. tax code on the heels of this month’s election relies on years of work that is suddenly—and quite unexpectedly—poised to pay off.
A 2017 tax overhaul would be a case study in the benefits of dead ends and behind-the-scenes preparation. Failure would show again how hard it is to reshape the U.S. tax system, even with rare political momentum and one-party control of government.
Republicans have long sought a rate-lowering, base-broadening revamp of the tax code, fusing differing business interests within the GOP coalition. Corporations would get a rate cut and lighter taxes on foreign income. So would small businesses, who report profits on their owners’ individual tax returns. Individuals would get those lower rates and simpler annual tax filing.
Whether the overhaul would give the economy a big lift is open to question. The conservative-leaning Tax Foundation says it would boost investment, after-tax income for all groups and create 1.7 million jobs in the long run. That’s an optimistic view. Economic models that are more sensitive to budget deficits suggest more modest results.