Millennial and Generation Z conservatives should support tax reform, but only if it is projected to be deficit neutral.
Unfortunately, deficit neutral reform seems increasingly unlikely. As President Trump tries to get his mix of tax cuts and deduction cuts through Congress, he's facing increasing pushback from various vested interests. As I noted last month, Republicans from high-tax states are resistant to the possible elimination of the state and local tax deduction.
Another challenge is posed by those Republicans who believe that deficit-exploding tax reform is OK, because tax cuts will promote greater economic growth to offset revenue losses. If this thesis sounds too good to be true, it is. The vast majority of conservative economists reject these claims for what they are: voodoo economics motivated by politicians unwilling to make hard choices.
Of course, Democrats have no interest in deficit reduction either. If Trump goes to the opposition party asking for votes, they'll demand tax hikes on wealthier Americans and spending increases for various discretionary programs. Incidentally, this is why Sen. Bernie Sanders' socialist appeal with young voters is so problematic: We're the ones who will have to make all the sacrifices when the costs cannot be put off any longer.
There are two specific reasons on why young Americans need to speak up here.
Most obviously, we're the ones who will be most affected by the new hundreds of billions or even trillions of dollars that deficit-centric tax reform might add to the national debt. The national debt is a problem in that it posits trend-sustained higher interest rates, higher taxes, and reduced opportunity.
Second, if we don't contest this issue from the Right, no one will. We need to face up to the fact that if it puts more money in their pockets, many Americans will accept the fake news claim that tax cuts can pay for themselves without eliminating deductions. The politicians know this, and so are doubling down on the elixir of easy choices.
Ultimately, this is quite simple. If young conservatives seek a better future for ourselves and our country, we must make our voices heard.