Well, it happened.
Early Saturday morning, Senate Republicans narrowly passed the most sweeping tax reform bill in three decades.
President Donald Trump is now steps away from his first legislative victory.
Gone is the alternative minimum tax worth $700 billion.
Gone is the estate tax worth $150 billion.
Over $200 billion in cuts will be put toward a provision allowing a greater deduction for dividends on foreign earnings.
$600 billion will be allocated for reducing taxes on “pass-throughs” and other businesses not registered as corporations, such as law firms and doctors’ offices.
Important state and local income tax deductions on which working Americans rely, however, will be eliminated.
Select state and local officials and performing artists will similarly be affected.
The bill also repeals the individual mandate required under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), expected to leave millions of American without healthcare.
And while public sector employees watch their incomes decline, corporations will be still be able to benefit from the same deductions they always have.
The non-partisan Tax Policy Center reports, after accounting for increased economic growth, this tax code will balloon the deficit $1.2 trillion.
Joseph Rosenberg, a senior research associate at the Tax Policy Center commented:
“By 2027, all that’s really left is a big corporate tax cut. This primarily benefits high-income people — people with a lot of capital income — shareholders, people who have capital gains dividends, and people who have interest income.”
Hours before vote, senators were handed the 479-page bill filled with changes and was different from the original version that cleared two Senate panels a few weeks ago.
Some of those changes were handwritten and illegible.
Democrats criticized the secretive process and the last-minute revisions since they had were expected to vote on a sweeping piece of legislation affecting the entire country mere hours after seeing the bill for the first time.
Sen. Jon Tester (D-Montana) tweeted:
“I was just handed a 479-page tax bill a few hours before the vote. One page literally has hand scribbled policy changes on it that can’t be read. This is Washington, D.C. at its worst. Montanans deserve so much better.”
Senate Minority Whip, Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), tweeted:
“UPDATE: Senate Republicans are so desperate to pass their tax bill tonight that they’re now making handwritten changes to their already handwritten changes… Seriously.”
Durbin held up the hand-scrawled pages on the Senate floor, and said:
“I defy any member of the Senate to stand here, take an oath that they have read this and understand what in the world it means to businesses and families and individuals.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer commented:
“Tonight, I feel mostly regret at what could have been. Tax reform is an issue that is ripe for bipartisan compromise. There is a sincere desire on this side of the aisle to work with the GOP, particularly on tax reform, but we have been rebuffed, time & time again.”
Since the GOP tax reform plans have passed both houses of Congress, the House and Senate are next expected to reconcile differences and deliver a final version to President Trump for his signature.
Once that happens, it’s a whole new America.
Image credit: metro.us