There is no doubt about it, the midterm elections of this year are going to be an enormous challenge for the Republican party. As the election in Alabama last month showed, the tide has swung politically, and many Republicans looking at reelection are facing tough campaigns or have resigned rather than run and lose. Examples of the challenge abound, such as Republican congressman Frelinghuysen from New Jersey, who is facing his first real test in 23 years. History also doesn’t suggest a favorable result, as the midterm election often acts as a referendum on the White House. Democrats got beaten in the midterms after both Clinton and Obama’s elections.
FINSUM: With Trump’s approval rating quite low, it does seem like a lot of the public might retaliate against the party by voting against their GOP congressional candidates.
One of the weakest and most questionable aspects of the recent tax package was the federal government’s new policy to limit state and local tax deductions (referred to as SALT). The change is rules meant that total tax bills for residents of higher tax states were set to soar. Unsurprisingly, these states, including huge payers New York and California, are devising work arounds, such as making state taxes a donation, which makes them fully deductible. Or they could eliminate income taxes and boost payroll taxes. If states adopt such tactics, it will leave a gaping estimated $154 bn hole in the US Treasury’s budget over the next eight years.
FINSUM: This was a big unforeseen consequence of the tax policy that could have a major impact on the budget. Congress is probably going to have figure something out.