Republican Senators passed a tax reform bill last night without reading it

Republican Senators passed a tax reform bill last night without reading it

Just hours before the Senate was to vote on the GOP tax reform bill yesterday, the nearly 500-page document was finally provided to the members. Not one Senator had time to read it before 51 Republican Senators approved the bill around 2AM this morning.

With changes scribbled in the margins of the pages and other sections crossed out, no one really knows what the impact the bill will have on small businesses.

The Washington Post has two stories out today (here and here) attempting to explain what is in the bill.  FamiliesUSA has released its assessment of the impact on private and public health insurance (it isn’t good).

The South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce and Businesses for Responsible Tax Reform advocated for three goals of tax reform:

  1. A level playing field between small business pass-through entities and big corporations.
  2. Simplicity in the tax code affecting small businesses.
  3. Economic growth from the middle and lower income Americans having more money to spend on Main Street thus creating more consumer demand.

What we know right now is that none of these goals were achieved. There might have been some effort toward parity between small and big businesses as to tax cuts but until the heavy fog lifts and the details become clear, I’m holding my judgement.

What we do know is that the Senate Republicans, despite railing against deficit spending, voted for a plan that will increase the national debt by $1 – $1.5 trillion.

I expect that more revelations about the Senate GOP plan will be coming. Then the House and Senate will need to reconcile their two different bills before it goes to President Trump for his signature.

So the fight to modify the final product to make it better for small businesses goes on. Stay tuned.

Frank Knapp Jr.