Everyone and his mother has some kind of objection to the tax bill that the Senate Budget Committee passed on Tuesday. For most, it’s a question of whether their own special interest provision is erased.
But for others, especially Democrats who oppose many provisions they supported a year ago, it’s about denying President Trump and a Republican Congress a needed victory. So far, so understandable.
But sometimes, you come across an attack so ill-conceived that it’s hard to understand the motive or even the idea behind it. The Left has launched two such dumb attacks this week.
Both have the same theme and both thus demonstrate why the bill is worth supporting. Liberals are upset that tax reform might leave ordinary people freer to live as they please. Control freaks hate that.
The Washington Post and Democratic-leaning think tanks say the bill would kill people. Yeah, right; how's that? Well, because it cuts excise taxes on small beer breweries by half. Liberal Democrats, including George McGovern of Massachusetts, have supported this change for years, but liberals are freaking out that people might buy more artisanal brown ale. ThinkProgress, the in-house publication for a neo-Prohibitionist think tank, says lower taxes would lead to 1,550 more deaths each year.
Even if true, that's very few deaths in a population of 330 million. But anyway, didn’t we already try Prohibition? How did it work out? Why doesn't ThinkProgress come right out and say the failure to ban alcohol outright causes some 80,000 deaths a year?
The second objection to the tax bill that doesn't pass the laugh test is that it would cost poor people millions of dollars. This will surprise all those people who've noticed that the tax rates and exemptions in the bill mean most low earners won't pay any tax at all.
Even fear-mongering that is misleading to the point of deliberate falsehood necessarily contains a grain of truth. Squint your eyes hard enough at the repeal of the Obamacare individual mandate and you'll see that people won't have to buy expensive health insurance they don’t want and thus they won't get subsidies. Presto — they'll lose millions!
If you're really obtuse or mendacious, this constitutes a "tax hike" on low earners. For everyone else, it's a cautionary tale against judging tax bills on how many dollars they dole out to each income group. If someone gives up a tax benefit on purpose, they don't "lose" anything; they demonstrate that they don't want it. They vote with their feet.
The common feature of both of these frivolous objections is that the tax bill would help working-class people decide to live their lives the way Democrats don't want them to. As we saw in November 2016, Democrats have a hard time coping with the idea that people will defy them and make free choices.
They do, and sensible people are thankful for it.
We advise Democrats, the working class, and everyone else to toast tax reform by raising a glass filled by the newly vibrant craft beer industry. While you’re at it, keep buying health insurance; for most people, it’s worth it.
Unlike Democrats, however, we want you to be able to ignore our advice without having to pay a large financial penalty.