Wall Street Journal columnist Kimberley Strassel is applauding California Republicans, who largely held the line on tax reform, voting to pass the House bill this week when party members from other high-tax blue states, like New York, did not.
In her Friday column, Strassel wrote:
The House GOP passed its tax-reform bill on Thursday, and special medals of valor go to the 11 of 14 California Republicans who voted in support. The lobbyist brigade had joined with Democrats to target the Golden State delegation, seeing it as their best shot at peeling off enough Republicans to kill the bill. The assault was brutal, dishonest and all-out.
Their resistance instead shows the virtues of aggressively arguing the tax-reform case. Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and House Ways and Means member Devin Nunes are Californians themselves, and they worked to keep the delegation armed against the disinformation…
The tax reform’s clampdown on SALT deductions is more politically fraught, given that six million Californians claim these tax breaks annually. But tax writers made sure state Republicans came armed with analyses showing how other reforms—cuts in individual rates, the doubling of the standard deduction, the elimination of the alternative minimum tax—would more than offset a SALT elimination, and members forcefully made the case.
What proved most effective, however, was the state Republicans’ willingness to go on offense and throw SALT in Gov. Brown’s face. California has the heaviest tax burden in the country and only just implemented a punishing new 12-cent-a-gallon-increase in its gasoline tax. Mr. McCarthy used the occasion to release a video pouncing on that hike and noting that “if Gov. Brown is worried about the tax burden, let’s make cutting [taxes] a federal and state project.”
Read the full column here.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the “most influential” people in news media in 2016. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.