The Koch Brothers appear to be gearing up for war against a crucial element of the GOP's tax reform plan which, if removed, could doom the whole package of tax cuts.
The Kochs commissioned a study examining the impacts a so-called "border adjustment tax" would have on the economies of each state which they're now using to lobby against the proposal.
The report, which used federal tax, labor and census data, was commissioned by Freedom Partners and Americans for Prosperity. Both have lobbied against the so-called border-adjusted tax, while supporting comprehensive tax reform. [...]
The study, released Thursday morning, compared state imports to overall economic activity to show how sensitive each might be to a tax on imported goods. Those most affected, because of their higher level of imports as compared to gross domestic product, were found to be Michigan, Louisiana, Tennessee, New Jersey, Kentucky, South Carolina, Illinois, Texas, Georgia and California.
This is crucial because the border tax is how Speaker Paul Ryan intends to pay for massive corporate tax cuts, but opposition to the border tax is already fairly strong and Republicans haven't even held a single hearing about tax cuts yet. Several Republican senators have spoken out against the proposal, calling into the question whether it could even pass in the Senate.
In the event that the GOP cannot pass a border tax, that doesn't necessarily mean they won't pass a big package of tax cuts. Several key Republicans, including the chairman of the Freedom Caucus, have said tax cuts don't necessarily need to be paid for.
The way I see it, deficit-financed tax cuts are the only tax cuts they'll be able to pass. Healthcare cuts are off the table and the border tax probably is too.
The Trump regime has tentatively set a date for "this calendar year" for tax reform, but I'll believe it when I see it.