Bloomberg reported last week that congressional Republican leadership is charting their own course on "tax reform" because the White House has not released a plan and doesn't intend to. This was corroborated by other reports that Trump would begin selling a plan in public without knowing what the plan will look like or if a plan will even materialize.
Trump did exactly that this week. He traveled to Missouri and delivered a series of platitudes about reform, such as simplifying the tax code so you can file your taxes on a postcard, that aren't even being considered by Congress.
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin sat down for an interview with CNBC today where he said they actually have a "very detailed" plan except not really.
To say that it's "very detailed" implies that you know what it looks like, but they don't.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday the administration has a "very detailed" tax plan ready and "couldn't be more excited" about its prospects. [...]
"The House and the Senate are now socializing the plan with their members," Mnuchin said in a live interview. "We're going to release a blueprint, it's going to go to committee and we're going to turn this into a bill that the president will sign." [...]
"Wherever we end up, the objective is to get a competitive business rate," he said.
"Wherever we end up."
In other words, they don't really know what's going to happen.
I get the sense that the "very detailed" plan Mnuchin refers to is actually the one-page nothingburger the White House released in July that left virtually everyone on both sides of the isle bewildered.
Those aren't the kind of "details" you need when writing complex legislation that will affect the entire economy and every federal program. The kind of "details" Mnuchin has offered strike me as the kind of detail a bank executive delivers to his subordinates so they can do the real work. Steve Mnuchin is still that guy.
It is the responsibility of Congress to legislate, but Mnuchin and Trump apparently want credit for doing virtually nothing.
When President Obama sought to pass legislation, he got on the same page with Democrats in Congress and made a public push for it. Trump isn't even on the same page as his own cabinet and congressional Republicans are in another zip code.