the G.O.P. still ended up with a pair of bills that look, once again, like the caricature of Reagan-era Republicanism the party has become: heavy with tax cuts for corporations and the heirs of millionaires, lighter on relief for the middle class, lighter still for the working class, with a complicated slew of provisions and score-gaming expiration dates that have made it hard to discern whether lots of non-rich Americans (including the plan’s supposed model beneficiary, a family making $60,000 with multiple kids) even get a tax cut at all.
..The Republicans seem to be trying, in their none-too-competent and ideologically straitjacketed way, to cut taxes for two major constituencies, employers and middle-class families, while paying for some of these tax cuts by goring well-off professionals in high-tax liberal states... The (much more modest) Republican proposal to tax the richest university endowments is admittedly more of a targeted culture-war jab.. the problem is what the Republicans are doing with the money. Specifically (and entirely predictably), they are plowing way too much of it into tax cuts for their donors, and not enough into tax cuts for everybody else... Senate Republicans seem to be turning to a more complicated and irresponsible alternative instead — one that gets more money for parents and middle-income taxpayers up front by making all their tax cuts sunset after 2025 (even as the corporate cuts are made permanent).. And it tells you something depressing, if unsurprising, about the G.O.P. that this combination is apparently vastly preferable to asking the donors and ideologues to just accept half a corporate-tax-cut loaf... At some point the party’s moderates and would-be reformers have to take a stand for the wild-and-crazy proposition that the Republican Party should pass legislation that has some chance of being popular and isn’t insanely jury-rigged.