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Congress in 2019: What’s ahead for tax and fiscal policy?
The return of divided government and the early stages of the next presidential election create enormous uncertainty about how 2019 will go. As Yogi Berra (among others) once said, “The future ain’t what it used to be.” In the case of federal tax and budget policy, this means that looking to the past for insights about the future may not be all that helpful. In theory, the split government is an ideal time for legislators to compromise on big issues. Compromise involves sacrifices by both sides, and with divided government, politicians of each party can blame the other side for legislative items that they know need to be included, but that their constituents may not like. But in these polarized times, it is quite possible that lawmakers will double down on partisan positions and the familiar gridlock will prevail.
WILLIAM G. GALE
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