It doesn’t really matter what side of the aisle they’re on. Virtually every pol on Capitol Hill agrees that comprehensive tax reform is necessary. Without that reform, cutting the deficit is virtually impossible. Of course, there are differing viewpoints. Cut taxes to the wealthiest down to 25% from the current historically low 35%. Cut loopholes and tax breaks to corporate giants that pay less than their share by exploiting the tax code. Flat taxes. No matter what the path they want to take is, there’s one thing for certain.
It ain’t happening anytime soon.
From The Hill:
Lobbyists have begun collecting tens of thousands of dollars in fees from corporate clients in anticipation of a battle over tax reform this Congress.
But some lawmakers and senior aides are skeptical there will be any comprehensive tax reform package this year, apart from negotiations to raise the national debt limit.
A senior Senate GOP aide said the debt-limit talks being led by Vice President Joe Biden are “taking up all the energy and it takes a lot of energy to do tax reform.”
Republican leaders have declared tax reform and tax increases “off the table” in the Biden talks.
“An area where there is widespread agreement that we need to tackle is comprehensive tax reform, that cannot be done between now and August. There are all kinds of both intended and unintended consequences attached to comprehensive tax reform,” Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) told reporters last month.
He went on to say, “There will be no tax increase in connection with raising the debt ceiling.”
Rep. Sandy Levin (Mich.), ranking Democrat on the Ways and Means Committee, said tax reform won’t be possible if Republicans rule out tax increases.
Levin predicted it would be difficult to accomplish individual or corporate tax reform before the end of the year.
“Republicans would have to agree that revenues are on the table,” he said.
Lawmakers and aides who spoke to The Hill said it will be near impossible to accomplish tax reform in 2012, a presidential election year.
“If it doesn’t happen this year, it certainly isn’t going to happen next,” said Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.).
So, business as usual. Nothing gets done, and the money keeps flowing from corporations to the lobbyists. It’s a stalemate of sorts, except that lack of action helps the corporations, and the Republicans won’t take any action that even hints at making the corporations pay their share.
So, we’re 5 months into the Congressional session, there have been no job bills presented, at least 13 focused on reproductive rights/abortion, and the Republicans continue to defend their corporate masters at the expense of the American middle and lower income classes. And they can continue to do it because they have all the breaks going for them. They’ve got the money, and they make more and more because of the action – or in this case, inaction – of lawmakers to make the tough calls to raise taxes on their wealthy friends.
So, it’s the same old same old. Not a surprise, is it?