Why are the Republicans doing this? It is primarily driven by reelection concerns. The main motivation for doing something so indefensible is the fear of a primary opponent funded by the far-right and billionaire contributors who want their tax break. These big money folks are just getting into really using their power, thanks to the Supreme Court and Citizens United, which opened up the floodgates to unlimited spending on political campaigns. Campaigns were expensive before, but now they are off the charts and we are starting to see the real results.
The tax plan as it is now, which will likely continue to change, will include rolling in Republican’s earlier failed effort to repeal Obamacare (ACA). Remember the earlier efforts, opposed by every component of the health industry, with all sorts of changes that Americans oppose in significant numbers? These changes are now apparently back up for consideration. Keep in mind that this is being done at a time when sign up for the ACA is higher than ever before, despite the Administration's every effort to discourage enrollment.
Now in fairness there are a few good parts, like tax credits for child care, in this tax reform package, and it is no surprise our Kansas Congressional Delegation is pushing these parts as their primary defense in supporting this reckless legislation. What makes their support most difficult to understand is as Kansas Republicans they should know one of their own, Governor Sam Brownback, tried this tax reform policy only to become one of the most disliked Governors in the country. It just goes to show how big money can drive common sense off the table.
The only way we get tax reform that can really benefit the American people is from a process that is more open to public involvement, where objective experts can publicly testify, and where bipartisanship is a component. Tax reform is an area that is unbelievably difficult even when it is done correctly. But, without input and some votes from the minority party, it just means when the minority party is back in power, their number one priority will be to repeal the law they all opposed when they were in the minority. It didn't use to be that way when we elected the likes of Dole and Kassebaum.
It is probably too late to communicate to our delegation and expect any positive results when our earlier messages were just dismissed. But we can remember come election time, who they represented with their votes and remind them at every opportunity that we know where they stand, and it is not with the vast majority of Kansans.