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Trump signs tax reform bill
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President Donald Trump signed the historic GOP tax reform bill into law Friday morning.

As he did so, the president told reporters in the Oval Office he was going to wait until after the new year to sign it, but he changed his mind, primarily because he wanted to prove to the American people he was keeping his promise to get the bill signed before Dec. 25.

“I didn’t want you folks to say I wasn’t keeping my promise to sign the bill by Christmas,” he said. “Every one of the networks was saying ‘Will he keep his promise? Will he sign it by Christmas?’”

So, the president surprised practically everyone, including his staff, by deciding to sign the bill right away. “Get it ready, we have to sign it now,” he told his staff.

Earlier in the week, the final bill passed the House 227-205, with all Democrats and more than a dozen Republicans voting against it. The Senate vote was a razor-thin 51-48 win for the GOP. Meanwhile, not a single Democrat Senator, nor a married one either, voted for the bill. The president chided the Democrats for that, saying they would “really regret” not supporting the bill.

By any objective measure, this $1.5 trillion tax overhaul, which is expected to trigger tax cuts for well over 80 percent of American tax payers next year, is the president’s most significant legislative victory of his first year in office. It is being billed as “the most extensive re-write of the tax code in three decades.” The new law will cut corporate tax rates from 35 percent to 21 percent, double the standard deduction for single and married taxpayers, and usher in several other changes to current tax laws.

President Trump touted the new tax reform law as having something for everyone. “All of this, everything in here, is really tremendous things for business, for people, for the middle class, for workers," he asserted. “I consider this very much a bill for the middle class and a bill for jobs.”

Democrats continue to deride the GOP version of tax reform as “a giveaway to the wealthy and corporations.” This gargantuan gap between their take and that of the GOP will surely frame the tax reform debate for months and years to come.

As with most political outcomes, who to bless and who to blame will depend on how well this historic tax reform plays out for most American taxpayers. If they view their new economic lot in 2018 and beyond as a net gain, President Trump and the GOP win.

On the other hand, if most American taxpayers think they have been duped by “plutocratic populism,” then the Democrats stand to win.

Retired Army Col. Thomas B. Vaughn can be reached at