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White House Will Not Release Its Own Tax Reform Plan

White House Will Not Release Its Own Tax Reform Plan

The White House still has expectations for tax reform, though.

With Congress’s recess about to end, eyes have turned to tax reform. But in a surprise twist, the White House has decided not to write its own tax reform plan, according to President Donald Trump’s head economic aide. From The Financial Times:

“The ‘big six’ have been meeting and have come up with an outline . . . and we have a good skeleton that we have agreed,” Mr Cohn said in a reference to the lawmakers, himself and Mr Mnuchin. “Now it is Chairman Brady’s time to get the [House] ways and means committee together to put flesh and bone on it, and they will do it next week when the House comes back into session.”

Cohn also did not tell FT if the White House still insisted on a 15% corporate tax rate, but just that Trump wants it as low as possible so businesses have the ability to create jobs here. FT continued:

He said the plan would preserve three of the biggest deductions for individuals: on charitable donations, mortgage interest payments and retirement savings. It would raise the standard deduction cap that applies to most tax filers, but would eradicate many other personal deductions, he said, adding that the White House also wanted to get rid of “death taxes”, Republican terminology for estate taxes, which will face resistance from Democrats.

Mr Cohn said the White House would be “excited” if Democrats worked with Republicans on a bipartisan bill. But he said the administration would use a process called reconciliation — which prevents a filibuster in the Senate where the Republicans have a thin 52-48 majority — that would allow tax reform to pass with a simple majority, but only if the legislation is revenue-neutral within 10 years.

The White House would also like a tax reform plan that included implementation of “a territorial system that would eliminate the need for US companies to pay additional taxes when they repatriate profits.” Cohn explained that these companies “have to pay extra taxes for bringing profits” back home, which is why they keep that money offshore. He continued:

The administration wanted to impose a one-time tax on overseas profits to encourage companies to bring money home, he said, but he declined to confirm that it would be the 10 per cent floated by Mr Trump.

“This is a big base-broadening exercise,” Mr Cohn said about the overall plan. “Revenue may decline in the medium term, but it will then explode for the government. When we grow the economy we will see substantial growth in revenue.”

Despite no plan from the White House, Cohn told FT that Trump will wrap his agenda around tax reform ASAP:

“Starting next week, the president’s agenda and calendar is going to revolve around tax reform,” Mr Cohn said in an interview. “He will start being on the road making major addresses justifying the reasoning for tax reform and why we need it in the US.”

Trump will head to Missouri next week to begin the “major push on tax reform.”

Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that a tax reform announcement could come out next week:

“Tax relief and the focus on tax relief for middle class Americans is a huge priority for this administration and certainly going to be a big focus in the fall. And we’re going to look at a lot of different ways in which to talk about that and present that to the American people, working with Congress to make sure that that happens,” Sanders said.

Over the last couple of months, the White House has released its goals for tax reform. Back in April, Secretary Treasury Steven Mnuchin and Cohn released a one-page outline, which included cutting the corporate tax rate to 15% and forming three tax brackets.

Late last month, the big six that Cohn mentioned held a meeting at The White House over tax reform and released a statement:

Above all, the mission of the committees is to protect American jobs and make taxes simpler, fairer, and lower for hard-working American families. We have always been in agreement that tax relief for American families should be at the heart of our plan. We also believe there should be a lower tax rate for small businesses so they can compete with larger ones, and lower rates for all American businesses so they can compete with foreign ones. The goal is a plan that reduces tax rates as much as possible, allows unprecedented capital expensing, places a priority on permanence, and creates a system that encourages American companies to bring back jobs and profits trapped overseas. And we are now confident that, without transitioning to a new domestic consumption-based tax system, there is a viable approach for ensuring a level playing field between American and foreign companies and workers, while protecting American jobs and the U.S. tax base.

The biggest thing is that they all agreed to stop supporting the border adjustment tax.


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i wonder if he released a plan that was the opposite of what he wanted, would Congress fall all over themselves to do the exact opposite?


I have a request of LI:

I’d like to see an opinion poll or report card of LI authors and readers of how Trump is doing… specific to issues.

To hell with the twitter wars and cat fights. These are bloody distractions.

I’m giving him and congress an F on health care.
I’d give him a B+ on foreign policy, economy,
A- or B+ on immigration (will I bump into a wall if I start in Mexico and try to walk north?)

What else? This would be an awesome recurring LI feature because to be honest I’m getting fatigued with the microphone being hijacked by race baiting loons who couldn’t even tell you what decade the civil war took place in being offended by confederate monuments.

    How are you giving Donald Trump anything but an “A” on healthcare: he delivered, and the GOPe stabbed us in the back. Again.

    Until we rid our party of corrupt hacks like mccain, mcconnell and ryan, don’t expect a magic act of a GOP president – and his base (us) – being sabotaged by the establishment hacks putting their pride and position before their country.

      Fine: Unfortunately I would give him an “F” on healthcare too.

      Here’s why: He has not supported the individuals in his cabinet and staff structure that were out on the front lines pushing for full repeal. He’s let the mealy-mouthed establishment types go out and say “we’ve got a great plan” without ever well defining exactly what that plan WAS.

      President Trump HAS the Bully pulpit, and he’s NOT using it for the campaign priorities. This is a big part of why Bannon was pushed out by the establishment types: Bannon had a whiteboard in his office with the campaign promises on it and told the establishment types EVERY SINGLE DAY something like: “this is why we were elected. If we’re doing ANYTHING else, we are FAILING as an administration and WILL lose the next election.”

      Gen. Kelly, for all his organizational structure gifts, is NOT a “leader” in the sense we mean; he’s a “caretaker” and an “administrator.” President Trump is being hemmed in by the Establishment types on “you can’t do that, it’s too bold, too fast.” Gen. Kelly is going to tell him “go slow, don’t rock the boat.”

      Yes, I recognize the “long game” they were trying to play with healthcare, with the ‘past part of it now, let the secretary kill the regulations, and then repeal the rest in subsequent bills.’

      It was too fraught with peril of the first vote happening, the secretary killing the regulations, an then the remainder not ever being accomplished.

      What President Trump and his media team SHOULD have been doing is to have spooled up a television media campaign the day after the vote in Arizona and in Kentucky that would play to say:

      “The Obamacare bill has been decimating the middle class for almost a decade. The Republican Controlled House passed a bill to free the American people from this tyranny. The Senate voted, and ONE MAN stood in the way of the freedom of the American people.

      Call John McCain (phone number for McCain’s offices), and tell him that his vote was wrong for America.

      John McCain, responsible for healthcare failing the nation since 2017.”

      McCain’s reputation is the most important thing to him (more than his Americanism, his Patriotism or generally his family). Relentlessly attack his historical reputation, and he WILL buckle.

      maybe a D- minus… the penalty isn’t going to be enforced.

      I grade on results.

      Obamacare is still the law of the land. Getting rid of it was a campaign promise.

Would it be inappropriate to pass it to know what is in it?

But WAIT…!!!

T-rump PUBLISHED a tax plan during the campaign. It was widely hearlded by people on the right (who should have known better).

Why isn’t that “the plan”…??? Whahappened…???

Now we see Mr. Establishment leading from behind.

(This is one of those areas where people believe what is not, like T-rump will reform the tax code to MAGA. It is be, at best, dicking with the control panel, leaving the greatest abomination to a free people solidly in place.)

facebookisfacist | August 26, 2017 at 12:41 am

The GOP has become as corrupt and turgid as the Democrats circa 1993.

Paul In Sweden | August 26, 2017 at 3:09 am

As it stands, I got my non-Ginsburg-Clone Supreme Court appointment, the MSM exposed to an ever awakening public as Fake News and I expect by mid-term primaries the GOP ‘Quote’ ‘Quote’ ‘Conservative’ House, Senate, and Party Leadership fully recognized as USELESS and only Conservative regarding their own incumbency.

The original framework was Executive, Legislative & Judiciary which has been perversely distorted since our nation’s founding. Congress drafts legislation and is suppose to control the purse strings which have apparently gone missing more than a couple of generations ago. The Executive branch is to provide direction in working with congress to bring about the wishes of the people.

The people wanted secure borders, a Wall and the existing immigration laws enforced, ObamaCare repealed and replaced, the bloated government reduced which greatly involves draining the swamp.

Trump from what I can see is staying within the defined boundaries of the Executive Branch and is highlighting the ineptitude of the GOP leadership, the failure of Obamacare and the fruition of what he said during the election campaign that Obamacare should probably just be left to implode and the DNC that solely installed it to beg for its repeal.

Right now I choose to believe that Trump knows the huge opposition he faced from the entrenched DNC & GOP swamp during the election campaign has only increased and that Trump is letting out length of rope after length of rope.

It is my hope that with his continued rallies around the nation will coalesce with Trump skillfully tying knots around the GOP leadership and the repugnant creatures of the Swamp during midterm primaries. I was a longtime native NewYorker and only knew Trump as a highly successful brash quintessential ‘NewYorker’ businessman through my own business associations and as a hardworking NewYorker in the business community. I only had peripheral knowledge of Trumps latter in life exploits on TV which as I found out more over time only lead me to recognize that it was just his schtick which he uses as a catalyst to achieve his goals. So I was not disadvantaged and handicapped by those that only knew his TV persona. In business people are allowed and often encouraged to dance on the edge(as I believe Trump is doing to the Swamp RINOs) so they fall and those that are waiting and preparing in the wings(West Wing) can be seen as picking up the pieces and taking leadership of the rebuilding.

It has taken a long time for our Nation to get this far off the rails and nobody can say that the tracks are not littered with active saboteurs. Not for nothin’ but I am pretty sure I gave Obama more time than most RINOs and #NeverTrumpers have given Trump who remains the clear choice of the invigorated and increasingly pissed off(@GOP leadership) voter base that elected him.

I was unwilling to once again see the GOP put forth a “True Conservative” Presidential Candidate that was unwilling and unable to fight against big government and ensure a DNC win or the destruction of the Supreme Court by Hillary. So I have my bare minimum from the election but like everyone else I still want to see all the rest of the slashing, burning and draining that we want to come about.