By Jon Keller

BOSTON (CBS) – It’s been a political cliché for as long as I can remember – everyone hates paying taxes and loves the idea of a tax cut, right?

So the Republicans’ tax reform plan, which includes goodies like a higher standard deduction and a larger child tax credit, should be a slam dunk, right?

Not so fast.

It seems the appetite of everyone involved for tax cuts isn’t quite what it’s been cracked up to be.

House Speaker Paul Ryan is reportedly struggling to lock down Republican votes, with some members objecting to tax breaks that are taken away in the bill.

The polls are showing few voters see tax reform as a top priority and many see the GOP bill as a sop to big business and the wealthy. And speaking of business, there was an amazing moment from a Wall Street Journal forum with business executives featuring Gary Cohn, President Trump’s chief economic adviser.

The executives were asked – “If the tax reform bill goes through, do you all plan to increase investment? Just a show of hands?”

Just about every executive kept their hands down – meaning they won’t increase investment.


Perhaps because they plan to use their tax breaks to pay down debt and pay off investors instead, a common pattern in recent years.

Of course, people would like to keep more of what they earn, and if they thought tax cuts for business might boost their own wages, they might be more enthusiastic about the GOP push.

But they’re not, and that’s why this tax cut slam dunk is looking more and more like a tough outside shot.

Your opinion is invited.  Share it via email at, or you can reach me on Twitter, @kelleratlarge.


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