Tax Reform Nears, as Barack Obamacare Collapses
Thursday, US House Speaker Paul Ryan said that tax reform talks are nearing a consensus to lower business taxes by closing loopholes and special interest deductions, the latest sign that the unpopular proposed BAT might not be included.
Speaking at a New Balance shoe factory in Massachusetts, Speaker Ryan stressed the need to “level the playing field” for US companies and their foreign competitors but failed to mention the border adjustment tax, or BAT, which has been his main policy for creating a more competitive U.S. manufacturing base.
“So what we need to do is, we need to throw out those complicated loopholes, those deductions, those special interest loopholes,” he added.
Speaker Ryan said cutting the corporate tax rate from a current 35% rate to a 20% corporate rate is “very realistic.”
Trump Administration officials have said negotiators realize President Trump’s proposed 15% corporate rate is unlikely without expanding the federal deficit.
White House budget director Mick Mulvaney said Thursday that Republicans should be willing to accept “short-term increases on deficits” for tax reform to drive economic growth.
Speaker Ryan said tax reform would also include accelerating business expensing, double the standard deduction for individuals, and retain popular deductions for charity donations, home mortgages and retirement.
“We have basically found where our consensus lies on these major issues, which we think are sort of the key cornerstones of tax reform,” the Wisconsin Republican said.
His failure to mention BTA may trigger media speculation that House Republicans are moving away from the idea in discussions among the Big 6.
The Big 6 are Speaker Ryan, Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, White House adviser Gary Cohn and the Republican Chairmen of 2 tax-writing committees.
Also Thursday, Speaker Ryan slammed as “Bogus” the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO)latest estimate that 22-M more people would be left without insurance over the next decade under the Senate plan to repeal Barack Obamacare outright without a replacement program.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell proposed the repeal, with 2 years to develop a replacement plan last Monday.