Category: Paul Walker

Sorry GOP, tax reform will not be easier than replacing ObamaCare

Sorry GOP, tax reform will not be easier than replacing ObamaCare

The Hill
By Howard Gleckman
Image courtesy of Tom Williams

You hear it all the time these days: Republicans should just move on to tax reform. It will be so much easier than overhauling the law on healthcare.

No, it won’t. Indeed, if the GOP thinks replacing the Affordable Care Act has been a nightmare, just wait until they try to reform the tax code.

Tax reform, at least the version that raises the same amount of revenue as the current code, will create far more losers than a health bill. It will divide the business lobby, produce a storm of criticism from charities and home builders, and set off a firestorm among political ideologues. It will sow confusion and uncertainty among ordinary taxpayers. And it will split congressional coalitions, not just by party, but by geography.

Think of it this way: Nearly two-thirds of Americans get insurance through their employers, Medicare, or the military, and they would be largely immune from changes to the ACA. By contrast, nearly every American and all businesses could be touched by a major tax bill. Even those who currently pay no federal income tax could be at risk, depending on how reform is structured.

Supreme Court could tackle partisan gerrymandering in watershed case

» From The Washington Post
» Written by Robert Barnes
» Image courtesy of Morry Gash/AP

With newly elected Scott Walker in the governor’s office and a firm grip on the legislature, Wisconsin Republicans in 2011 had a unique opportunity to redraw the state’s electoral maps and fortify their party’s future.

Aides were dispatched to a private law firm to keep their work out of public view. They employed the most precise technology available to dissect new Census Bureau data and convert it into reliably Republican districts even if the party’s fortunes soured. Democrats were kept in the dark, and even GOP incumbents had to sign confidentiality agreements before their revamped districts were revealed to them. Only a handful of people saw the entire map until it was unveiled and quickly approved.

In the following year’s elections, when Republicans got just 48.6 percent of the statewide vote, they still captured a 60-to-39 seat advantage in the State Assembly.

Now, the Supreme Court is being asked to uphold a lower court’s finding that the Wisconsin redistricting effort was more than just extraordinary — it was unconstitutional.