Republicans already backing away from tax bill they haven’t even released

Republican lawmakers are already backing away from plans to eliminate a tax break after it became clear that doing so would hurt middle-class Americans while the nation’s wealthiest benefitted handsomely from the overall tax plan. But axing the provision, which would have eliminated state and local deductions for some 40 million taxpayers, threatens to torpedo the GOP’s whole framework since it provided the plan’s only revenue stream. The New York Times writes:

The state and local tax deduction is estimated to cost $1.3 trillion over the next decade and its repeal is central to paying for a sweeping tax rewrite unveiled last week by Republican lawmakers and administration officials. But elimination of the provision has emerged as a flash point in the nascent debate over the plan, with Republicans in high-tax states worried about backlash from residents who could see their tax bills rise. […]

Representative Chris Collins, Republican of New York, said in an interview on Tuesday that party leaders had assured him “there’s not going to be full repeal” of the state and local tax deduction. Mr. Collins, who represents a district in upstate New York, is among the more than 30 Republicans whose residents make heavy use of the deduction and would be more likely to see their tax bills rise if the provision is be eliminated. […]

He said both Mr. Brady and Mr. McCarthy acknowledged full repeal would be a “non-starter” with a large block of Republicans in the conference, and that “it’s safe to say, we’re no longer going to be talking about a full repeal.”

This is beyond moronic. The Republicans released a basic framework for tax reform that was almost entirely premised on a provision GOP leadership now calls a “non-starter.” These guys couldn’t shepherd their way down from a gently sloping hill, as one Daily Kos reader aptly noted.

But they just couldn’t resist finding a way to benefit rich people even if it meant squeezing the middle class in the process. When the Tax Policy Center released an analysis last week showing nearly 30 percent of middle-class Americans would see their taxes increase, even Rand Paul took a pot shot at the GOP’s opening bid.

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