Tax Policy

Making Laws and Sausages: Not A Pretty Sight

My Comments on December 4, 2017:

A quote attributed to 19th century German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck crosses my mind frequently of late.  “Laws are like sausages.  You should never watch them being made.”

He is right.  For a time, I lived and worked in the sausage factory on the Potomac.  Law-making wasn’t pretty then. It still isn’t.

As I keyboard (formerly I typed), I await the probable conferencing between the Senate and the House of Representatives to work out the differences between their versions of tax reform.  I am not encouraged about what may result.

The Congressional Republican majorities compare their work nostalgically to the Tax Reform Act of 1986.  The TRA of 1986 was thoughtfully designed in a bipartisan effort with time to hold hearings and to deliberate carefully.  Even in such an environment, Congress designed a plan that unintentionally destroyed much of the real estate business and many (albeit already weak) savings and loan institutions.  Many commentators have concluded that the TRA of 1986 eventually hurt or did not help very much the economy.

This proposed sausage very likely will be toxic, even though its manufacture is, in some cases, well-intentioned.  I predict that the legislation that may result will be one of the oddest and most confusing tax laws ever enacted in the course of human habitation of this orb.  Historically, little good has come to our country when Federal taxes and not Federal expenditures are cut.

So, I’ll keep watching the current events on Capitol Hill, even though they are pretty disgusting.  People pay me good money to be current on the tax law and its evolution.   They have to.  Ugh.

VKM

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