The 2017 Tax Cuts: How Polarized Politics Produced Precarious Policy

18 Pages Posted: 16 Apr 2018 Last revised: 21 Sep 2018

Michael J. Graetz

Columbia Law School; Yale Law School

Date Written: March 28, 2018


In this lecture, Michael Graetz contends that the new tax law is unstable. This is hardly surprising because it was rushed through Congress in record time with only Republican votes and no ability for public comments on its changes. The new rules create significant new differences in tax burdens based on what kind of business is conducted, where goods and services are bought and sold, whether individual workers are employees or independent contractors, and where people live. Finally, although it was estimated to be a $1.5 trillion tax cut over ten years, it's actual cost is likely to be double that amount, producing unsustainable annual deficits and an unacceptable level of public debt. Footnotes have been omitted here. This article is forthcoming in the Yale Law Journal Forum.

Suggested Citation

Graetz, Michael J., The 2017 Tax Cuts: How Polarized Politics Produced Precarious Policy (March 28, 2018). Yale Law & Economics Research Paper No. 592; Columbia Law and Economics Working Paper. Available at SSRN: or

Michael J. Graetz (Contact Author)

Columbia Law School ( email )

435 West 116th Street
New York, NY 10025
United States

Yale Law School ( email )

P.O. Box 208215
New Haven, CT 06520-8215
United States


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