Republicans in Congress who voted for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act may have rushed through an underdeveloped, sloppy bill. They may be guilty of hypocrisy for increasing federal budget deficits after campaigning against them (although in my view their actions have been consistent, and I don’t really care much about hypocrisy anyway). Economists almost universally don’t believe that these tax cuts will have the economic effects that the bill’s supporters claim will happen.
But I’m quite confident that Paul Ryan and most Republicans in the House and Senate sincerely believe they are improving the nation by passing this bill. I’m an outsider, so on-the-ground reporters might have insights I don’t have from my distance, but I think the bottom line here comes down to a party that agrees on almost nothing but the positive effects of cutting taxes, especially on the wealthy.
The same, however, cannot be said about the provision in this tax bill to eliminate the Obamacare individual health insurance mandate. In that case — and in all the other ways that Congress and the Donald Trump administration have tried to depress participation in the Affordable Care Act individual markets — they are actively trying to make the nation worse, in hopes that some good will come of it eventually.
(Related: 4 Good Things in a Bad Tax Bill)
I know that because that’s what Republicans say they are doing. Bloomberg’s Stephen Dennis quotes Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn saying as much: “Arguably, doing away with the individual mandate makes the Affordable Care Act unworkable.”