Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Best Buy CEO Brad Anderson penned an op-ed in the USA Today warning Republicans that they have about 4 months left to pass tax cuts or suffer the inevitable consequences of massive losses in the 2018 mid-terms that will return control of Congress to Nancy Pelosi.
The specter of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is looming.
Following Republicans’ failure to fix the country’s health care system, polls show Americans are increasingly flirting with Democratic governance in Congress next year. This means Republicans must change their game plan. The next six months must not be the same as the last six months.
To regain their legislative momentum and keep their majority, Republicans must clearly demonstrate they are fighting for the country’s hardworking taxpayers. This means passing a major tax cut by Thanksgiving — and making it retroactive to the start of this year.
By 2018, the tax cuts will have spurred economic growth and wage increases, giving Republicans substantial momentum and a popular record of success to tout during their campaigns.
Of course, just like with the failed Obamacare repeal and replace effort, the infighting among various factions of the Republican party will inevitably make quick progress on a tax bill very difficult, if not impossible.
The first step for Republicans writing the tax cut legislation is to reject the notion that it needs to be revenue neutral. Instead, Republicans should argue that the tax cuts should be deficit neutral — meaning they wouldn’t add to the deficit because of the economic growth they'd produce.
We know that deficit neutrality might ruffle the feathers of some fiscal hawks. For them, we have only one question: Which will be more expensive, having House Speaker Nancy Pelosi attempt to implement a Democratic agenda, or passing a deficit-neutral Republican tax cut ensuring that voters will view Republicans as the party of middle-class prosperity in November 2018?
We also know that there are some in Congress who want to pursue comprehensive tax reform that also addresses deductions, loopholes and other less publicized taxes. We think these are valid goals. However, the tax code is complex, and Republicans don’t have time to pursue such massive and controversial reform.
Tax cuts by November beat comprehensive reform next spring because changes will take time to take effect and for voters to feel the impact. A Republican majority can always come back to tax reform in 2019.
Serious tax cuts will bring Americans more — and better — job opportunities, with higher take-home pay. That’s why we think this is the key to keeping the Republican majority in 2018.
In short, Republican lawmakers must come together over tax cuts for hardworking taxpayers before hardworking taxpayers come together against Republican lawmakers.
In conclusion, if Gingrich is right that the fate of the Republican Congress is truly dependent upon passing tax legislation by November, we suggest people get accustomed to seeing a lot more of this bright smiling face after next year's election cycle.