Procrastination for October 15, 2017

Should-Read: Bruce Bartlett: I helped create the GOP tax myth. Trump is wrong: Tax cuts don’t equal growth: "Even if they had released a complete plan — not just the woefully incomplete nine-page outline released Wednesday...

...Republicans have failed to make a sound case that it’s time to cut taxes. Nor have they signaled that they’ll commit to a viable process.... The first version of the ’81 tax cut was introduced in 1977 and underwent thorough analysis by the CBO and other organizations, and was subject to comprehensive public hearings. The Tax Reform Act of 1986 grew out of a detailed Treasury study and took over two years to complete. Rushing through a half-baked tax plan... should be rejected out of hand. As Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has repeatedly and correctly said, successful legislating requires a return to the “regular order.” That means a detailed proposal with proper revenue estimates and distribution tables from the Joint Committee on Taxation, hearings and analysis by the nation’s best tax experts, markups and amendments in the tax-writing committees, and an open process in the House of Representatives and Senate.

There are good arguments for a proper tax reform even if it won’t raise GDP growth. It may improve economic efficiency, administration and fairness. But getting from here to there requires heavy lifting that this Republican Congress has yet to demonstrate. If they again look for a quick, easy victory, they risk a replay of the Obamacare repeal fight that wasted so much time and yielded so little.