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President Will Sign Tax Reform Bill Before Heading South

The President will sign his tax reform package sometime this morning to cap off what has been a bizarre and entertaining year in politics. There had been talk that the signing wouldn’t take place until January, but given that this bill was passed so close to the end of the year, every single day counts when it comes to allowing agencies and businesses time to adjust numbers for the upcoming year.

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ABC News just confirmed the signing, which takes place in about 30 minutes, via twitter:

Report from CNN:

President Donald Trump will likely sign the $1.5 trillion tax bill into law Friday, White House officials predict, shortly before he departs Washington for his holiday vacation in West Palm Beach, Florida.

The bill passed the House 224-201 for a second time Wednesday after a procedural hiccup, with no Democrats backing it and a dozen House GOP members voting no.

Trump and congressional Republicans celebrated their win at the White House Wednesday, but the bill was not yet “enrolled” and ready for the President’s signature.

The plan, which critics say benefits the wealthy more than the middle class, lowers the corporate tax rate down from 35% to 21%, nearly doubles the standard deduction for individuals, repeals the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act and restructures the way pass-through businesses are taxed.

The President wasted no time this morning, the last real business day before Christmas break, to tout some of the immediate effects of the bill, as Business Insider reports:

President Donald Trump on Friday celebrated the passage of his tax plan and its reception in corporate America as a “new source of ‘love.'”

“Our big and very popular Tax Cut and Reform Bill has taken on an unexpected new source of ‘love’ – that is big companies and corporations showering their workers with bonuses. This is a phenomenon that nobody even thought of, and now it is the rage. Merry Christmas!” Trump tweeted.

Though the tax bill was not universally popular leading up to its passage, a cascade of corporations publicly announced bonuses for their employees after it passed through Congress.

AT&T, Boeing, Fifth Third Bancorp, Wells Fargo, and Comcast all announced bonuses following the bill’s passage.

The passage of the tax bill marks the first major legislative victory for Trump, whose agenda has otherwise stalled.

Legislatively, this is certainly the largest agenda item that Congress managed to put on the President’s desk. There was a lot riding on this bill, in terms of promises made by the President, and something positive for Republicans to campaign on in 2018.

Democrats, on the other hand, saw this bill as an opportunity to differentiate their views in 2018, as CNN reports:

At-risk Democrats likely felt less political pressure because the legislation has polled poorly and the President’s approval rating remains low. But Democrats from red states will still need to win over a share of Republican voters next year, many of whom view tax reform and the President favorably.

“There’s no doubt Democrats have the wind at their back, but that doesn’t mean that these red state Democrats are going to get a free pass on their votes,” said Neil Newhouse, a Republican pollster and co-founder of Public Opinion Strategies. “The more these guys act and vote like national Democrats, the more they are putting their campaigns at risk in 2018.”

Lauren Passalacqua, communications director for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, said Democrats “were eager to work on bipartisan reform” with their Republican counterparts, “but at the end of the day, Republicans simply weren’t interested, and that’s because this was never about the middle class — it was about massive tax cuts for corporations and billionaires.”

The party out of power is always looking for ways to point out failures of the current administration. Republicans in 2010 and 2014 ran against President Obama’s economic policies and the ongoing health care changes caused by the Affordable Care Act.

Democrats in 2018 will be using the tax reform plan to argue that the President did not do much to benefit employees on the low end of the pay scale, but rather signed on to help multi-billion dollar corporations keep more money. The determining factor will be whether the benefits from the tax plan trickle down throughout the economy in the next eleven months.

Nate Ashworth :Nate Ashworth is the Founder and Senior Editor of Election Central. He's been blogging elections and politics for almost a decade. He started covering the 2008 Presidential Election which turned into a full-time political blog in 2012 and 2016.

View Comments (31)

    • If you are a liberal than yes it probably was a nightmare. Those who support the President were pleased with his accomplishments.

    • Are you stuck in a time warp and reliving the O'Bugger days??

      I can't think of a more incompetent, unpatriotic fool than the clown O'Bugger to ever stain and pollute the grounds of the White House!!!??

  • The plan, which critics say benefits the wealthy more than the middle class, lowers the corporate tax rate down from 35% to 21%, nearly doubles the standard deduction for individuals, repeals the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act and restructures the way pass-through businesses are taxed.

    I can't think of a single thing be it this bill or practically anything else that doesn't in some way benefit those who are wealthy more than the average joe. Now if we live in a SOCIALIST state like O'Bugger was steering this country towards or as Uncle Bernie had envisioned, we all would be the same.?

    I guess we should ask the people of Venezuela, who are burying their young because they don't have enough food to feed them, how peachy socialism is.?

    • I don’t have a problem with taxes if every citizen receives equal breaks. Without taxes we would have no roads, public education, public health, military defense, national parks, and environmental protection, to name a few things that for-profit entities can never provide. I have major problems with Trump and a Republican Congress that have taken America more than 3 giant steps backward into even greater income equality loss. At a time when they should be working to address the enormous problems facing our country such as the lack of universal health care, our crumbling infrastructure, our declining middle class, and the impending doom of climate change, the Republican leadership is basically saying the only thing they will do is absolutely nothing but destroy these basic needs. Trump’s budget is staged so that each years more severe cuts go into effect. Since Donald Trump owns more than 400 pass through businesses he just gave himself millions of dollars. And that sounds good to you?

      1 million poor unemployed individuals will no longer have access to food assistance. And you feel good about that? Our underprivileged children will lose Snaps that ensured babies would have milk and hungry children would have snacks at school. And you approve of that? Areas that would no longer qualify for government help include the high-unemployment and economically hardest hit areas such as southern Alaska, the Navajo Nation in Arizona, parts of California’s Central Valley, and areas within Appalachia. And you approve of Trump starving fellow Americans?

      What would really help the economy of this country would be to increase the working income of the bottom 50 percent by raising the minimum wage to a living wage, and demanding (via people’s outcry) that corporations decrease their income gaps.

      • Your last paragraph: The minimum wage will be increased as businesses improve their profits. That's the way our system works.

        "Demand that Corporations decrease their income gaps." Try Venezuela I'm sure you'll enjoy life there.

        Do you really think that the wealthy are going to give up their profits? They'll make the Average Joe happy Only if they are profiting.

        • What’s with you and Venezuela?

          Trump isn’t worried about human rights or living conditions of the Venezuelan people. What has Trump so ruffled is that the Russian state-owned oil company Rosneft might end up owning Citgo, a US energy company based in Houston, Texas. It wasn't a direct takeover. Instead, it hinges on the ability of Venezuela's state-run oil company to pay back its Russian loan. The Venezuelan company owns Citgo, which was used as collateral for the Russian loan. Citgo stock can also be found in Trump’s stock portfolio. Losing his personal money does put Trump on edge.

          You have a bad habit of misconstruing the written word. To refresh you, I wrote “What would really help the economy of this country would be to increase the working income of the bottom 50 percent by raising the minimum wage to a living wage, and demanding (via people’s outcry) that corporations decrease their income gaps.” Now, tell me where you found “The minimum wage will be increased as businesses improve their profits.”

          • ALL wages will increase as businesses profit. Employment will increase as businesses profit. Successful businesses, for example, won't start new employees at $7.50 but $10. That's just an example.

            The federal minimum wage is completely different than the starting wage of successful businesses.

            I never said that I didn't want the bottom 50 percents minimum wage not to increase. After all the bottom 50 percent doesn't tend to save but spend.

            What I'd said is that I don't want corporations to decrease their income gaps. If corporations aren't successful then wages for Everyone will decrease. The wages will decrease because of unemployment. Corporations won't expand.

            You'll never agree. Because you'll never agree I said live in Venezuela or a communistic country. Then you'll realize how it is in good the USA i

          • It's a fallacy that lower income workers benefit from corporate tax cuts. Businesses have no loyalty to workers, only to their owners--the stockholders. When corporations get extra money, the first thing they do is buy back stock, to boost its price for shareholders--and then give bonuses for managers.

            The only time worker wages increase is when workers have more money to cause more demand, causing a need for more production, requiring more workers, causing a labor shortage--and only THEN do corporations raise wages--as a last resort and necessary evil.

            Now, Trump is campaigning to get companies to raise prices, in order to cause inflation.

            https://finance.yahoo.com/news/donald-trump-wants-bring-inflation-back-142233815.html

            You know what inflation is? It's TAXATION by corporations. So that three percent "break" you may get from the tax bill will go directly to corporations.

          • We must stop All businesses. We must have total state controlled businesses. All private businesses are so greedy. They Only think of themselves. The poor workers. Whoever thought of the system? I'll tell you. It was greedy and back stabbing rich business owners.

            When we have government controlled businesses Everybody will be treated equally. Wages will be equal. Everyone, managers and workers, will make around $5000.

            Now the government people that run the companies they'll make a lot more but that's ok. CNN, etc will have us believe those people are doing what is best for us.

            Everything will be free. Well, there will be plenty of bread for or us in the state run grocery stores. No such thing as a Disney World or Applebee's for the worker class. There will be a Disney/restaurants for the elite. But that's ok, right?

          • Well. It seems I'm fighting against the world.

            Like I know I was the only one to vote for Goldwater. I was his strongest supporter. And I guess only supporter.

            Goldwater must not have been on the ballot in the other 51 states. Dang. The guy was creamed.

          • What wind of fortune blew your mind into believing ALL wages will increase as businesses profit? When CEOs at US largest 350 companies makes over 300 times the wage amount of their average employees there is severe inequality in play. With the exception of a little known company named Costco, can you name a major company that does not have minimum wage employees on it’s payroll. Even the mega rich Exxon has people employed in the US at the minimum wage and below. And remember, all employees, regardless of employer, still has to pay social security, state, federal, taxes etc. which takes another 15% from their small earnings. Walmart, the US top money earner, does not hire for 40 hours work weeks which allows them leverage to work employees when needed without overtime pay. Putting away for retirement and rainy day funds for emergencies, is simply pipe dreams for these people.

            Another gift Trump gave himself and friends is that Social Security will be taxed only on the first $127,200 of taxable wages. The new law states that once you hit that limit in 2017, you are no longer taxed for Social Security. Another Trump & Company big boon for the wealthy and super rich.

            It’s not that I would never agree with you. It’s just that I find the overly greedy you champion to be a blight on other’s constitutional rights.

          • Jobs are plentiful during a good economy. The salary for teachers, bus drivers, secretaries, school administrators, policeman, engineers, etc also Increase. But you and Gothe don't agree. What can I say but what I did below.

          • Yes, demand is definitely present in a good economy. Housing demands more engineers, plumbers, etc. People can afford another car. Then, as you know, there's more demand for steel, plastic, whatever.

            I'm saying workers make more during a strong economy. Well, the ones I know make more.

            I'm saying there is more hiring and wages increase because of a strong economy.

            The minimum wage might not increase but contracts increase for professionals. Housing costs increase because prices and wages increase.

            If someone wants to say that businesses favor stock holders that's fine. Because it's true. Stock holders will always benefit. But workers also benefit. Not as much as some people want but they benefit.

          • The problem is that you're using "strong economy" as some kind of ethereal term--magic. It just happens!

            No, a strong economy doesn't just happen. It is 100% caused by increased demand, and increased demand is caused by more money being spent, and more money is spent by those who don't have much of it. So if workers have more money, you get a strong economy. You'll get MUCH less benefit to the economy if more money goes to those who don't need it.

          • How are workers going to get more money? If those at the top expand and build more businesses, right? JFK believed it. Reagan believed it. Trump believes it.

          • It's about cause-and-effect. Supply-side economics suggests that "if you build it they will come." That is, if you build a big plant, capable of making a lot of stuff, everybody makes more money.

            But that's not how the real world works. You build a big plant without demand, and you lose it all.

            The trick is to get more money into the hands of the general public. They will then buy stuff, shelves will empty, and manufacturers will see opportunity, so after they see they'll make money, they will demand overtime of their workers, and as an absolute last resort, they'll hire somebody new.

            I'm not saying, "mean old corporations." It's just how the system works. But that IS how the system works. If you and I sat down with a beer, we'd probably end up agreeing on just about everything.

          • How about Walmart? Their concepts was laughed at. However, They built it and people came.

            Let's say everyone on the low and middle part of the spectrum had a bigger tax cut. Great. Lots of money to spend. Shelves are empty in those srores. Economy booms in those stores/companies and for those employees.

            Owners are happy at first. But their paying too much tax. Which actually is passed on to the consumer. Owners want more but won't expand. Why?

            Owners have 5 stores in a town. If they are flush with cash they'll open stores on the west, east, and north side of town. Not flush they'll stick with the 5 stores. Fewer employees. More employees equals more the economy will boom.

            Many believe the owners will keep their money in their pockets. I believe the owners, and other entrepreneurs, will take risks. I know I would.

          • Your not going to agree with anything that I say. You and Gothe agree. You're wrong but that doesn't matter.

            All I know is that when the economy is good jobs are also plentiful. You disagree. You and Gothe feel the greedy business owners are Only out for themselves and their stock holders. So become a business owner or a stock holder. You'd have risk. But......

            I have to wonder how businesses grow. Do you know? Maybe the business grows because the government allows them to get bigger.

            So, why doesn't the government just run all businesses? That way only the government would make huge profits. No one would question them. As They are the Government. Bernie said; "Sherriff Apio be careful what you say as the president has lots of power." Power.

            The workers would make $200 a month. Enough to buy bread, beans, and toilet paper at state run grocery stores. Workers could splurge once and awhile and buy gum.

            No trips to Macys. No that is strictly for The Government. Workers can buy clothes at the salvation army stores.

          • I didn't say anything at all about government "control." I was just pointing out that, as Henry Ford illustrated, if you put more money into the workers' pockets, you'll increase sales and profits. Lower income people have no choice but to spend extra money, and that makes the economy work.

            "Greed" is a value judgment. You can't disagree that owners want maximum return on investment. You don't have to call that "greed."

            You ask how businesses grow. They grow because of demand, and demand comes from the public, not from the owners and managers.

          • True. It is also true that the poor don't tend to save at all. They keep the economy growing.

            I also know is the owners and managers are always going to be there in some form. It will either be private people or the government elite.

            I'd prefer the Rigleys, the Gambles, the Waltons and so on. The wealthy are going to get their cut. It doesn't matter who is in the White House.

            You knew the saying "If all the wealth was given to the poor/average joe it would come right back into the hands of the wealthy. " They own what the rest want.

          • I think you and I agree on more than you think. I have never suggested nationalization of the means of production.

            I am only making the point that the less that people have, the more important money is to them--and the more stuff they "need" as opposed to "want." If they need stuff, they have no choice but to boost the economy.

            Trump's tax cut will give lower and middle income people about 3% more to spend. But the very next week, he says he wants higher inflation--which is just a tax levied by corporations--to wipe out that 3%. So shareholders will benefit twice.

          • This is where I'm coming from: I've never been a believer in SS. So, I invested early with the Janus Fund and Fidelity. I didn't care one bit how much the fund managers, etc make as long as i make $250,000 or whatever.

            I know these businesses are going to make money. I know they are dealing with clients that have accounts a lot bigger than mine.

            But back to the tax cut. Isn't a tax cut a tax cut? The big boys are Always going to get a bigger tax cut. I think They should. It's either them or Bernie's government elite.

            Why would you be concerned with the shareholders? They are going to win in the good times and bad times, right?

            What I think was wrong was when they bet on the housing crash. They knew. Some say Bush rigged the system and his buddies benefited. I don't doubt it.

  • Do we know what's in the bill? I know they were penciling in stuff up to the last minute.

    I've heard that the individual exemption will be increased, but that's barely a "gratuity," since I live alone. And the tax rate will drop two or three percent. Big whoop.

    Last time I heard, they're going to introduce "double taxation," by making people pay taxes on the state income, property, and sales taxes they pay.

    But the big killer for me is that I'll have to start paying tax on the thousands of dollars I pay banks in interest every year--on my home equity loans. I don't have a mortgage, since a mortgage and home equity loan used to be synonymous, economically--till now.

    Do we know what other ways this bill is going to kill me?

  • Also, the end of charitable donation deduction.

    Isn't conservative ideology that we should encourage private charities, so the government won't have to run the breadlines?

    • True in a way, right? Isn't it just harder to deduct?

      Also, I never gave enough to get anything back.