How the GOP uses ‘family values’ to slash taxes

Roundup
tags: tax cuts, GOP, Trump, Family Values



Molly Michelmore is an associate professor of history at Washington & Lee University and the author of "Tax and Spend: The Welfare State, Tax Politics and the Limits of American Liberalism."

The GOP’s failure to unequivocally condemn U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore of Alabama amid allegations of sexual misconduct has raised new questions about the party’s commitment to “family values.”  Similar questions arose last year, when the party failed to distance itself from Donald Trump in the wake of the “Access Hollywood” tape.

Given these failures, it’s fair to ask: Is the GOP really the party of family values? The tax reform debate provides more evidence that it’s not. Instead, family values seem likely to be sacrificed on the altar of tax cuts.

Which shouldn’t surprise us. The modern GOP, which took shape in the 1970s and rose to power in the 1980s and 1990s, has long pursued tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy at the expense of most other public policy goals.

The same thing is happening today. Despite House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady’s (R-Tex.) insistence that his committee had written a “family-friendly tax code,” the GOP plan will raise taxes on many middle-income families. Even the provisions that defenders trumpet as “clearly pro-family,” such as the elimination of the tax code’s “divorce subsidy,” will actually make families worse off.

But although some have accused the right of using culture-war politics to distract from its economic agenda, the real story is how the GOP has successfully married its cultural and economic agendas by casting the federal government as the real threat to family values. ...




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