Goaded by President Trump, Republican leaders outlined a tax-reform plan this week that is marginally less generous to the wealthy than many conservatives would like. As the GOP struggles to cobble together an actual bill that can unite their fractious party, it’s tempting for Democrats to sit back and enjoy the show. When your opponents are fighting each other, why interfere? In fact, Democratic leaders in Congress are reportedly discouraging their colleagues from outlining their ideas for reform.
But that’s shortsighted. How can Democrats steer Congress toward constructive reform without a proposal of their own? And how can the Democratic Party rebuild its own credibility on economic issues if it has no vision on tax policy?
For Americans, and for the viability of their own party, Democrats need to offer a progressive road map for tax reform that clearly spells out what they would change in our existing tax laws, and why. The party is going to need a coherent and principled basis for judging and improving the package that Republicans come up with, which, based on the vague outline released this week, will explode the debt while delivering the biggest tax cuts to the nation’s wealthiest families.
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