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Tom Purcell: GOP Congress must remember why it was elected

| Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017, 9:00 p.m.
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, whose panel is charged with writing tax law, pauses for reporters just after the House gave a significant boost to President  Trump's promise to cut taxes, narrowly passing a GOP budget that shelves longstanding concern over federal deficits in favor of a rewrite of the tax code, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017.
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, whose panel is charged with writing tax law, pauses for reporters just after the House gave a significant boost to President Trump's promise to cut taxes, narrowly passing a GOP budget that shelves longstanding concern over federal deficits in favor of a rewrite of the tax code, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017.

“I've never seen anything quite like it,” said a political-insider friend of mine as we sipped coffee.

“What is it?” I said.

“Several members of the Republican-controlled House and Senate are suffering from a rare form of memory loss. Until recently, I fear, they completely forgot why they were elected.”

“Explain, please.”

“When Republicans took over the House in 2011, they did so because the majority of Americans were fed up with ObamaCare, wasteful spending and a federal government that was running amok. They wanted the Republican House to thwart President Obama's policies.”

“I remember the 2010 election well,” I said.

“During the 2014 election, the Republicans took back the Senate because the majority of American people were fed up with ObamaCare, wasteful spending and a federal government that was running amok. They wanted the Republican Senate to work with the Republican House to overturn Obama's polices.”

“There was a sense of great hope at that time,” I said.

“Then in 2016, despite several ‘expert' predictions that Hillary Clinton would become America's first female president, Donald Trump was elected. That's because the people in most U.S. states wanted to repeal and replace ObamaCare, get federal spending under control and overturn Obama's policies — including many executive orders that many considered presidential overreach at best and unconstitutional at worst.”

“Well, Trump has been successful overturning Obama's executive orders, but he hasn't enjoyed much success passing big bills through the Republican House and Senate.”

“That is correct, and I fear it is due to mass memory loss. You see, too many Republicans seem to have forgotten that they had promised to repeal ObamaCare, but repeal efforts failed repeatedly.”

“That's frustrating to the voters who put Republicans in power.”

“Trump has been struggling to get any big bills through Congress, including his infrastructure bill, despite the fact that Republicans own the White House, House and Senate. I figure they have one chance to wake up and remember why they are there or we are all cooked.”

“What is their one chance?

“They must come together to give the country its first comprehensive tax reform since President Reagan reformed the tax code, and they'd better do it this year!”

“Hear, hear! How are they doing?”

“A cynic like me is afraid to get too hopeful, but it would appear they are finally making real headway on real tax reform.”

“I'm afraid to be hopeful, too. What does their plan include?”

“Investor's Business Daily reports that the Republican reform plan includes reducing America's outdated corporate tax rates, which are among the highest in the world. They plan a top corporate tax-rate reduction to 20 percent, which would unleash significant economic growth, create new jobs and increase wages for millions of Americans.”

“Bring it on.”

“The reform plan would introduce other commonsense measures to reduce rates for small businesses, while allowing them to write off business costs faster. As it is now, they have to depreciate many investments over many years — thus, it takes them many years to recoup their costs through tax savings. Such a simple move would spur significant investment and growth, benefiting everyone.”

“Bring that on, too.”

“Tax filing would be simplified for everyone, with fewer brackets and increased standard deductions and child credits. Democrats are rolling out tired old lines about the rich getting huge tax breaks while the middle class gets the shaft, but it is just not so. The fact is, the real commonsense reform that Republicans are working on will hopefully return our country to a massive 5- or 6-percent growth rate, which will benefit us all. But it will only happen IF Republicans overcome mass memory loss and remember why they were elected in the first place!”

Tom Purcell, a freelance writer, lives in Library. His books include “Misadventures of a 1970s Childhood” and “Wicked Is the Whiskey,” a Sean McClanahan mystery. Visit him on the web at TomPurcell.com. Email him at: Tom@TomPurcell.com.

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