National Review recently posted an article that captures a lot of my thoughts on the recent tax reform. On a whole, this is a good thing. This reform opens the possibility of further economic growth and a modest break for most of us. As a frequent critic of the president, who has had no major legislative victories to show for after nearly a year in office, this is definitely a win. For that, I congratulate him and the congressional GOP who showed they are in fact capable of passing bills.
That said, this tax reform is modest compared to the tax reforms of the 80's. And for good reason: this was passed with zero Democratic input or support. Perhaps that's partially because we're in an era where the minority parties seeks to dig in their heels and attempt to obstruct any progress whatsoever. Perhaps. But the GOP is partially to blame here too. Having decried the Democrats shoving ObamaCare down our throats with closed-door meetings and making every effort to prevent Republican input, the GOP is guilty of the same shameful behavior in pushing this bill through. This isn't good for the country. Massive legislation takes the consent of both parties, and both parties are dishonorably avoiding the collaboration, compromise, and civility necessary to arrive at desirable reforms.
As the article points out, the biggest problem with the tax reform is it opens the door to even deeper deficits and it does not appear this current group of lawmakers are much inclined in fixing entitlements are reigning in spending in any meaningful way. Much pompous blustering has been made about draining swamps and reducing the size of government. But ignoring entitlements such as Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security, while touting the elimination of some distant Federal program is like trying to rescuing a box of Kleenex and a lint roller from a burning house and calling that progress.
So, much work lies ahead in continued efforts to reverse this troubling trend of hyper-partisan identity politics and reducing the size of an ever-growing government.