Does the Republican Tax Plan “Screw Democratic Voters”?

That’s what Kevin Drum says at Mother Jones. Leftists are up in arms at the idea of taking away the federal tax deduction for state and local taxes and capping the home interest deduction at $500,000. Drum points out that this will hurt residents of blue states:

The Republican tax plan caps the mortgage interest deduction at $500,000. The Washington Post today has a lovely chart showing which states this hits most heavily:

Drum adds:

I decided to try my hand at a couple of more charts. Here’s the state and local tax deduction:

Drum sees this only in political terms:

Has there ever been a tax proposal in recent history so obviously aimed at punishing voters of a particular political party? I sure don’t remember one.

But he is wrong in asserting that the Republican plan “screws” Democratic voters. Rather, current tax law is unfair to people who live in red, low-tax states. Why should they subsidize the excessive taxes that are imposed by the governments of blue states? Why should residents of South Dakota underwrite California’s state and local tax burden? The GOP plan doesn’t create unfairness, it corrects unfairness.

As for the mortgage interest deduction, it is odd to see liberals objecting to tax policies that hurt “the rich.” Blue urban areas of course have higher housing costs than other areas of the country. They also have, on average, larger incomes, which are necessary to defray the higher cost of living. Democrats have never hesitated to gouge higher-income Americans, regardless of where they live. The Republican Party, with a newly populist edge under the leadership of President Trump, is only following where the Democrats have led. It is a little late for them to complain about harsh treatment of “the rich” in the tax code.

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