Getting healthcare reform legislation through Congress has proven to be a very difficult task. Not only due to the lack of support from the Democratic minority, but from divisions within the Republican majority. Recently, it took the quick return to Washington of Senator McCain after a terrible medical diagnosis, along with the Vice President’s presence to cast a tie breaking vote just to keep health care legislation moving along only for it to eventually fail a short time later. Are we to expect the same when it comes to tax reform? Many believe, unfortunately, yes. Though there appears to be universal Republican consensus on at least some areas of tax reform such as the lowering of individual and corporate tax rates.
The Republican Party is made up of some who are more moderate than others. And those philosophical differences can be hard to overcome when it comes down to the voting on legislation. In the Republican healthcare debate, some moderates within the party want to preserve more government healthcare benefits for lower income Americans, while the more conservative Republicans want to scale back that government support. And so it goes for tax reform. With conservative Republicans wanting spending cuts tied to tax cuts, while the moderates want to preserve more on the spending side.
Healthcare reform and tax reform are some of the major issues of our time. Even if both come to fruition, to pass such legislation with only the thinnest margin of votes and with zero support from the opposition party, would seem troublesome for the current and future status of any such legislation passed.
Hopefully our elected representatives can find a way to work with each other for the good of all and avoid such a scenario and the future uncertainty that can result with such legislation when the minority party suddenly becomes the majority party.
Dale F. Jensen, CPA