Speed Reads

death and taxes and more taxes

George W. Bush's top tax official is mortified by the GOP tax overhaul: 'Holy crap, what's this?'

Tax experts on both sides of the aisle are utterly baffled by the finer points of the Republican tax overhaul, which could potentially go into effect as soon as Jan. 1. "It's crazy," one GOP lobbyist explained to Politico. " I don't think anyone could explain it, let alone comply with it [by the start of 2018]."

Because of the haste with which Republicans are pushing the legislation through, analysts say the overhaul leaves open gaping loopholes and confusingly vague passages that no one really understands. A proposal to tax private university endowments, for example, doesn't define what an endowment actually is and some schools have thousands. Another example involves a loophole that could potentially allow a person making $500,000 to save $30,000 by reclassifying their income.

A top Treasury Department tax official under former President George W. Bush, Greg Jenner, put it simply to Politico: "The more you read, the more you go, 'Holy crap, what's this?' We will be dealing with unintended consequences for months to come because the bill is moving too fast." Read more about the loopholes that are concerning Republicans and Democrats alike at Politico.