On the verge of a Tax Reform
Headlines, threats, fears and Republican support have surrounded the famous tax reform demanded by President Trump. With its approval, the Republicans will finally achieve the president's first legislative victory.
Last Thursday, the United States Senate approved a $ 4 trillion budget for the fiscal year 2018, leading the way to a Tax Reform that President Trump is yearning for.
But very few understand what this reform is about and how it could affect us as US citizens.
Let's start with the basics:
The US Congress is a bicameral legislative system. That is, containing two groups (chambers) of legislators: the Senate and the House of Representatives.
All legislators are elected by direct election, but there are some vacancies in the Senate that can be completed by government nomination.
The Congress has 535 members, who can vote for or against new laws and legislative measures, of which 435 are members of the House and 100 of the Senate. According to the US Constitution, both the House of Representatives and the Senate are "equal entities" in the legislative process, and no law can be passed without the consent of both agencies.
However, each of them has different missions: the Senate ratifies treaties and approves presidential appointments, while the House initiates projects of revenue collection.
Donald Trump came to the US government with a majority in the Senate, with 52 Republican seats (versus 46 Democrats and 2 independents). It also has a Republican majority in Congress, with 241 of the 435 seats (194 of which are Democrats).
With this majority, any bill that the Trump government - backed by the Republicans - would like to push forward, shouldn’t meet many obstacles.
This, however, has not been the case. Faced with the urgent need to repeal the structure of the Obama administration, President Trump has done everything possible to rescind the health reform, known as Obamacare, and push for a new fiscal reform, echoing his electoral promise to build a “Better America”.
Disagreements within the same Republican Party have not favored him too much in repealing the first. But the Fiscal Reform, on the other hand, seems to go a long way.
Last July, GOP members unveiled their 2018 budget bill before the House of Representatives, setting out their ultimate goal of reforming the US tax system.
After twelve hours of debate, the plan - named Building a Better America - was approved, authorizing its passage to the Senate to be put to a vote again.
The bill aims to balance the federal budget by cutting spending and reforming the government, with the promise of "achieving exponential growth of the economy."
As CNN reported at the time, "the 2018 budget would be a vehicle to change taxes. In the same way that they proposed in their program to repeal Obamacare in the 2017 budget, the leaders of the GOP are using a budget tool called 'reconciliation' to pass tax legislation in the Senate with a simple majority. "
And that was precisely what happened last Thursday, October 19th.
As the Washington Post reported, the Senate approved the Republican budget, allowing the GOP to use a procedural maneuver to pass tax legislation through the Senate with 50 or more votes, clearing the need for any kind of support from Senate Democrats.
And it's that Republicans cannot cut taxes without first getting through the budget resolution, and that's why all their efforts have focused on making this the first thing to be approved.
At the same time, and as the Post continues, by agreeing to a "massive tax cut," Senate Republicans have officially shifted the party away from its "promised goal" of ensuring that the "fiscal bill would not increase the deficit."
"The White House and House Republicans had promised that the tax cuts would be offset by revenue from the elimination of certain deductions, but that is no longer the GOP's goal. Instead, they have abandoned traditional party orthodoxy in the face of deficit reduction and are seeking a political victory after months of frustration on Capitol Hill. "
The government proposes to balance the budget for the next decade, cutting hundreds of billions in mandatory expenditures (expenditures on programs required by current law). This type of cut would seriously affect the citizenship that depends on those funds. For example, with regard to compulsory programs, the Republican reform states that: "In areas such as health, safety, environmental regulation, education, workforce development and transportation, we put federal spending on a budget and we empower states that are better able to address the individual needs of their citizens and communities. "
To do this, both the president and Congressional Republicans hope to approve a package of tax cuts to corporations, small businesses, and individuals by January, arguing that the cuts "will boost US economic growth, employment and profits".
In response to the question we ask ourselves about the source of all this money, the answer was given by the Democratic Democrat in the House Budget Committee, John Yarmuth: "If you are listening to this and you are not a millionaire, it will probably come out of your pocket. "