Strap in; it’s time to talk about that most awesome of topics, tax policy! Woohoo!
Nobody knows exactly what’s in the Republicans’ tax bills or what its total effects will be, least of all the Republicans. But one thing we do know is that it will get rid of something called the “SALT” (state and local tax) deduction. You see, taxpayers can currently deduct the cost of their state and city taxes from their federal taxes — and so by getting rid of this, most people will see their federal tax bills go up. Some more than others.
The conventional wisdom holds is that this is a change specifically designed to steal from blue-state voters with their high state rates as punishment for voting Democrat. Hell, conservatives even brag about this as a selling point. It’s not designed to convert voters or sway them to vote Republican. It’s there just to hurt people, thus representing the brutal ugliness of the New GOP of Donald Trump and Roy Moore.
Unfortunately, Republicans didn’t entirely think this one through.
Yes, it’s true that bad ol’ New York and California look like they’ll get it in the neck. But who else? The results certainly surprised me (courtesy of the not-exactly-liberal Tax Foundation):
So, taxpayers in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa are also going to see their tax bills go through the roof, once they can no longer deduct those confiscatory state taxes from their federal. These are critical battleground states – WI only went for Trump by a razor-sharp margin. Do you think voters there remember who to blame about their tax hikes?
Also, did you check out South Carolina’s rate? 7.0% in the reddest of red states! It’s almost as high as the People’s Republic of New York! Oh, but it gets better:
Look closely. Unless you’re pulling down seven figures — as a single filer, natch — NY’s top rate won’t even affect you, while SC’s top rate kicks in at a mere $14,650 a year. This means almost all SC residents are literally paying more in state taxes than us hippie gun-hating baby-killing godless heathens up here in Babylon. Why aren’t South Carolinians asking Lindsey Graham why he’s hiking up their taxes to pay for his deep-state big-government programs?
And compared to the 6.45-6.85% that most New Yorkers pay, the top rates for Arkansas (6.90% at just $35k of income), Georgia (6.0% at — I’m not making this up — $7k) and Idaho (7.4%, $10.9k) are certainly comparable, if not higher. Wonder what the #MAGA voters there will think of how things are going when they file in 2018? I’m sure they’ll be comforted by all the tax breaks personalized for the Trump family.
Texas is usually held up as the shimmering city on the hill by Republicans, with its lack of income tax. But this ignores local and property taxes that also fall under the purview of SALT. But, hey. It’s not like Texans like big houses on big estates, right?
If Republicans had actually tried to pass legislation through the “regular order” that John McCain used to care about — hearings, studies, all that boring stuff on CSPAN that people try to ignore — instead of literally passing handwritten notes as legislation, this might have all come out. But their manic rush to get something done before 2017 is up, at the behest of their ochre overload in the White House, and with as little oversight as possible, will predictably blow up in the faces of themselves and their voters.