Conservatives Heap Praise on Tax Plan to ‘Turbo-Charge’ Economy

Speaking before a gathering in the Trump International Hotel on Tuesday night, one of Washington’s most influential conservatives told an elite gathering the coming tax reform proposal would be worthy of praise.

Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, told attendees in the hotel’s ballroom that corporate and individual rates would be slashed.

Norquist, speaking at a dinner honoring The American Spectator's 50th anniversary, revved up the conservative crowd — which included former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and White House adviser Kellyanne Conway — promising the economy would be "turbo-charged."

It was more than just speculation. Norquist has been working behind the scenes on the proposal that President Donald Trump and the Republican-led Congress unveiled on Wednesday. But it was ultimately up to Trump and the "Big Six" — six members of the House, Senate and administration — to write the proposal.

On Wednesday, they released the proposal in the Capitol, while Trump unveiled the plan to the American people in Indianapolis.

The proposal would consolidate individual rates to three and possibly a fourth later. The rates would be 12, 25 and 35 percent, with a possible higher rate on the very wealthy. The standard deduction could be doubled. Individual filers could see their paperwork reduced to one sheet of paper.

The corporate rates would drop to 20 percent from 35 percent, which is better than expected, though Trump had promised 15 percent on the campaign trail. Unincorporated businesses would see their rates drop to 25 percent. The GOP tax plan would also expand tax credits for children.

On Wednesday, after seeing the latest draft, Norquist stuck by his "turbo" prediction.

"The Republican tax reform plan will turbo-charge the economy, create millions of new jobs, and make America the best place in the world to invest, build and create,” Norquist said in a statement emailed to LifeZette.

Norquist said reform this year will only happen if the Republicans pack the law into budget reconciliation. That way, the Democratic minority cannot filibuster it.

"The first step toward passing this tax reform plan is for Congress to pass a budget resolution that unlocks reform," Norquist said.

Other conservative quarters reacted well to the tax reform plan.

The crucial House Freedom Caucus, a group of 40 Republicans who helped kill the first draft of Obamacare repeal, said they were on board.

"President Trump has delivered a forward-looking tax reform framework that will let hard-working Americans keep more of their money, simplify our system, end carve-outs for special interests, and will help make our businesses competitive abroad," the caucus members wrote in a statement. "The Freedom Caucus looks forward to sending a final bill based on this framework to President Trump's desk as soon as possible."

Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) issued a joint statement, saying the child tax credit was welcome.

"It is clear from the release of the Big Six framework today that an enhanced child tax credit remains the best way to provide meaningful tax relief for working American families," Lee and Rubio said. "We are very encouraged by the plan's priority for a 'significantly increased' child credit as its vehicle for this relief, and applaud the tax writers for this choice."

An influential Tea Party organization, Tea Party Patriots, also gave a thumbs-up.

"Tea Party Patriots and our network of grassroots activists are excited by the framework President Trump and Republicans in Congress have released for top-to-bottom tax reform," said Jenny Beth Martin, president of the Tea Party Patriots, in a statement. "After eight years of a stagnant economy under former President Obama that left too many American families behind, we are confident that fundamental tax reform will help Americans keep more of their hard-earned money, and will also foster an economic environment that will lead to greater job creation and prosperity for all Americans."

Martin said the business tax cuts are also important.

"The framework also makes important changes to our corporate tax system that will make American businesses more competitive, while also encouraging them to bring profits made overseas back to the United States," said Martin. "Tea Party Patriots and our supporters look forward to working with President Trump, his administration and Congress to pass tax reform that will benefit all Americans."

Generally, the Right said the tax reform was welcome — with one major exception.

Matt Drudge, perhaps the most influential conservative on the web, criticized the plan for raising taxes on the wealthy. Drudge also highlighted on his site, the Drudge Report, the elimination of local-and-state tax deductions. Those tax deductions help subsidize big government spending in New York and California, Republicans argue, by distorting how much those states are really taxing.

"First keep Obamacare, now raise taxes on top earners?" Drudge tweeted on Wednesday afternoon. "At least illusion there is difference between parties is finished once and for all!"

(photo credit, homepage and article images: Gage Skidmore, Flickr)

Last Modified: October 4, 2017, 8:51 pm

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