Say this for Democrats like New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo: When they’re determined to never admit they’ve been beaten – no matter how decisively they have been – they get awfully creative in their determination to remain in delusion.
Democrats hate the tax cut because government is their god and they think all money belongs to the state by divine right. But while they made the tax cut unpopular with the public by convincing million who are getting tax cuts that they are not, they weren’t able to stop it from passing the duly elected Congress or from being signed into law by President Trump. So. That’s it. All over, right?
Ha! You kidding me, sillies? It’s never over. Democrats will always look for a way to get what they want, regardless of what the law says, and their preferred method these days is to run to a liberal judge who will issue an order he has no authority to issue.
So how it Cuomo going to use this tactic to stop the tax cut? By arguing that it’s unconstitutional. And why is that? Because the tax cut makes it too difficult for New York to levy some of the highest state taxes in the nation. I know. Really:
Andrew Cuomo must be getting nervous. The Democratic Governor is worried enough about federal tax reform’s impact on New York that he says the new law may be “unconstitutional” and his state may have to “restructure” its tax code. One out of two isn’t bad for Mr. Cuomo.
“We’re going to propose a restructuring of our tax code. I’m not even sure what they [Republicans] did is legally constitutional and that’s something we’re looking at now,” he told CNN on Thursday. “You can change the tax code. You can’t penalize my state because of its political affiliation. There’s never been a double taxation before in the history of the nation.”
If you’re thinking to yourself, “What?” or “That doesn’t even make any sense!” . . . well, of course it doesn’t. But let me deconstruct the argument he’s trying to make.
The newly imposed limits on the deductibility of state and local taxes mean taxpayers in high-tax states like New York can no longer get Uncle Sam to subsidize their state tax liabilities. That’s why so many House Republicans from New York and California opposed the bill. But the taxpayers in those states don’t face high taxes because of Congress. They face high taxes because of the state-level politicians they elected.
But here’s where Cuomo’s argument gets really weird: Because states run by Democrats tend to have higher taxes than states run by Republicans, the states most adversely affected by the new limits on the SALT deduction are blue states. Blue states voted for Hillary. Thus, Cuomo argues, Congress limited the SALT deduction expressly to punish states that didn’t vote for Donald Trump.
That’s patently absurd, of course, but it’s the closest Cuomo can come to a plausible argument that the tax cut is unconstitutional. He’s suggesting that the tax bill treats certain states differently than other states, and that the reason it did so was who the respective states voted for in the last presidential election.
The reality is that the tax bill treats all states the same. In every state, state and local taxes are deductible up to $10,000. If your state’s taxes are so high that you owe more than $10,000, that’s the decision of the politicians you elected, and the answer is to have them lower taxes so you’re not stuck and a non-deductible SALT liability. And amazingly, Cuomo hints he may do just that. There’s nothing stopping him, unless – I suppose – his Democrat-controlled legislature doesn’t want to go along. But Congress doesn’t decide that blue states should have high taxes. Blue state politicians decide that.
I have a suggestion for the taxpayers in these states: A decade ago, my state of Michigan was also controlled by Democrat politicians and it voted blue in every presidential election. Michigan’s economy was a dumpster fire. So in 2010 we elected Republican Gov. Rick Snyder and a Republican legislature, which cut taxes, passed right-to-work and enacted a whole host of other business-friendly reforms that has improved our economy tremendously. And in 2016, Michigan actually stopped being a blue state by voting for Donald Trump for president.
Voters in New York and California, I invite you to try this. It’s worked great here. The best way to deal with blue state problems is to stop being one.