Democrat states launch moronic lawsuit to declare Trump tax reform unconstitutional

· July 18, 2018  
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Tax reform gears
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Four Democrat-controlled states, upset that President Trump’s tax reform plan will expose how ridiculously high their state and local taxes are, are attempting to persuade a federal court to declare Trump’s tax plan unconstitutional.

New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Maryland sued the federal government Tuesday, claiming that federal taxes now single out blue states, the Associated Press reports. New York’s Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the lawsuit was a practical act of self-defense against the federal government.

“This is their political attempt to hurt Democratic states,” said Cuomo. “It’s totally repugnant.”

New York’s Attorney General Barbara Underwood announced the lawsuit on Twitter. The issue is the new law’s $10,000 cap on deductions for state and local taxes. Homeowners in blue states with high property taxes will pay higher federal income taxes because they can’t deduct all of their state’s high taxes when they file their federal taxes.

The lawsuit seeks to block the cap on deductions, arguing that the federal law is unconstitutional “for two main reasons.”

“First, it goes beyond settled limits on the federal government’s power to impose an income tax,” Underwood said. “Second, Congress deliberately targeted New York and similar states for unfavorable treatment, seeking to coerce our states into changing our fiscal policies.”

Underwood noted that the change in federal policy will require New Yorkers to pay an estimated $14 billion more in federal taxes. That’s likely true, but that doesn’t make federal tax law unconstitutional.

On the first point, let’s review the 16th Amendment to the United States Constitution: “The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.”

Nothing in Congress’ constitutional power to levy income taxes prevents the Congress from capping an income tax deduction for state and local taxes.

On the second point, there is no evidence whatsoever that high-tax states were targeted for punishment by the federal government to coerce New York or other states into cutting taxes. The GOP tax reform law applies equally to all 50 states, so it can’t single out Democratic states. New York and every other state can still pass whatever tax laws they want, so the federal government is not dictating state law.

In short, that’s ridiculous. The federal government is not responsible for high taxes in blue states. Congress is under no obligation to shield blue-state residents from the consequences of electing tax-and-spend Democrats or shield the tax-and-spend Democrats from the ire of voters.

This lawsuit is a pathetic political prop meant to boost Andrew Cuomo’s anti-Trump credentials as he prepares to run for president in 2020.


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Author: Chris Pandolfo

Chris Pandolfo is a staff writer and type-shouter for Conservative Review. He holds a B.A. in politics and economics from Hillsdale College. His interests are conservative political philosophy, the American founding, and progressive rock. Follow him on Twitter for doom-saying and great album recommendations @ChrisCPandolfo.

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