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Politics

If the tax bill is so great, why does the GOP keep lying about it?

Catherine Rampell on

4. This will be the biggest tax cut in history.

Arguably, the biggest tax cut ever was in 1872, according to Tax History Project Director Joseph Thorndike. That's when Congress decided to get rid of income taxes entirely.

If you think going back 145 years is unfair, note that it's also not the biggest tax cut in the past 100 years. Or the past 50.

In fact, it's not even the biggest tax cut in the past five years, in either inflation-adjusted dollar terms or as a share of gross domestic product, according to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

5. The economy desperately needs a big tax cut.

Lots of headline measures, such as unemployment, suggest the economy is doing well. The time for deficit-financed stimulus is when the economy is in recession, not one of the longest expansions on record. Otherwise we'll have no powder left in the keg when the economy actually needs it.

 

So: Why all the falsehoods? Why not just sell their tax agenda on the merits?

Presumably because Trump and Republican lawmakers know they're offering a plan the public doesn't want. Ergo, they need to promise things the tax plan doesn't do.

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Catherine Rampell's email address is crampell@washpost.com. Follow her on Twitter, @crampell.

(c) 2017, Washington Post Writers Group

 

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