Republicans are now looking to pass a temporary tax cut that would balloon the deficit: report

The GOP is calling it an "eye candy" option for tax reform, and would include lots of deficit spending

By Matthew Rozsa
April 17, 2017 4:21PM (UTC)
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(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Critics have already pointed out that the tax reform plan developed by House Speaker Paul Ryan would be a giant tax cut for the rich more than any kind of meaningful reform. That said, Republicans now seem to be considering an alternative that they're hoping will achieve an impossible ideal — all gain, no pain.

The so-called "candy option" would lower both corporate and personal tax rates, along with limited repatriation, and would be funded primarily through deficit spending, according to a report by Axios. It would also include what's being referred to as an "Ivanka credit," which would apply to child care. Because it would add to the budget deficit, the tax cuts would have to be temporary, since permanent cuts can't be made through the reconciliation process if they increase the deficit. This raises questions about whether the candy option would actually count as real tax reform at all.


One Republican lobbyist told Axios: "It's something they can pass. We need to junk our current tax code for one more suited to the modern economy. But the ability to accomplish that goal just isn't there." That said, both House and Senate Republicans are skeptical as to whether the candy option could actually be passed.

Former chief White House ethics lawyers Richard Painter and Norman Eisen both argued in a Saturday editorial for USA Today that "at a minimum, before this administration even thinks of proposing any changes to the tax code, we should see what tax code provisions the president himself has been and is taking advantage of, and how much tax he has paid in the past few years. Otherwise we are bound to end up with a deal where the rest of us pay yet more tax while he, and probably his business partners and political allies, pay less."

Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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