Taxes

The White House Won’t Be Releasing a Tax Plan

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

For months we've been told that the one-page tax reform outline released by the White House earlier this year was just a preview of a more serious or robust plan that would be released later but, as you may have expected, there is no plan.

Bloomberg first reported last night that congressional leaders are not expecting to see a plan from the White House and will create their own.

Trump is not expected to set forth his own plan or many specifics, the official said. Instead, Trump will advocate broad themes of middle-class tax cuts, simplifying the tax code and making businesses more competitive in a way that encourages job creation, the official said.

Republican congressional leaders weren’t expecting to release a joint tax plan with the White House, according to two people familiar with the matter. Instead, they’ll rely on House and Senate tax-writing committees to solve the big questions that remain unanswered, the people said.

My immediate reaction upon reading this late last night was that not releasing a plan will make it easier for Trump to blame congressional Republicans when they release (and fail to pass) a plan that is nothing like he promised.

And that brings me to my second point: if Trump is going to sell a plan that includes middle-class tax cuts and a simpler code, that means he'll be selling a plan that doesn't exist.

Everything we know about the GOP's internal deliberations and desires tells us simplifying the tax code is not even being discussed and significant middle-class tax cuts aren't either. Actually, the latest word is that congressional Republicans want to pay for tax cuts for the rich by eliminating deductions for state taxes, mortgages, and 401Ks. That would decimate the middle-class.

If they can't pull that off, their backup plan is to simply pass deficit-financed tax cuts using budgetary gimmicks.

I'm still betting on the latter because there are many blue state House Republicans who aren't going to vote to dramatically raise taxes on the majority of their own constituents.

Some Republicans have floated the idea of passing "tax reform" next month, but it appears that timeline has slipped to "by the end of the year." I expect it will slip to next year if, as I expect, the federal government will be funded through December with another continuing resolution. If that happens, we'll be having the government shutdown discussion again sooner rather than later.

  • Christopher Foxx

    Trump is not expected to set forth his own plan or many specifics, the official said. Instead, Trump will advocate broad themes…

    How is this news? Trump has never had an actual plan or specifics on anything and only spoken, on any topic, in the most general terms. “So much winning.” “It’s going to be great!” “It’s going to be the best plan, believe me.”

  • muselet

    Trump is not expected to set forth his own plan or many specifics, the official said. Instead, Trump will advocate broad themes of middle-class tax cuts, simplifying the tax code and making businesses more competitive in a way that encourages job creation, the official said.

    Donald Trump barely understands the tax system well enough to parrot talking points from the Heritage Foundation, let alone “advocate broad themes.” And his specific plan begins and ends with “Donald Trump pays less in taxes.”

    And yes, this is all about Trump having someone else (Congress) to blame when the R tax plan fails or blows up the economy or whatever. Very important, that.

    –alopecia

  • Toolymegapoopoo

    This is just like the Obamacare thing. Trump doesn’t care one way or the other about Obamacare. As we’ve learned he just wants his name on it. Congress could repeal it and replace it with exactly the same thing and Trump would be happy as long as the media started calling it Trumpcare. Same thing with taxes. He knows fuckall about taxes or what it is like to actually pay them, to actually sit at the kitchen table with receipts, bills, mortgage details and actually do your taxes. He just wants to boast that he did something and hope that someone puts his name on it.

  • Aynwrong

    In so many ways the administration of Great Deal Maker® is simply going to be George W³.

  • It’s both sad and infuriating that selling a fake plan doesn’t bother the White House at all and that most of his supporters (and probably most Republicans) won’t notice or care that the plan is fake.

    • Wildson

      Because his supporters think that their “good old boy” will stick it to those black/brown people, the gays and feminazis…

      • Scopedog

        …While in reality he’s sticking it to them, of course.

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    • JMAshby

      On the other hand, Trump also sold a fake health care plan and that didn’t turn out so well. I can see this turning out the same way.