Trump Abandons His Non-Existent Tax Plan

Written by SK Ashby

Trump never actually had a plan that he could "scrap," but I digress.

The Associated Press reports that Trump has abandoned his plan, whatever it was, and is completely starting over while making all the same mistakes.

Administration officials say it's now unlikely that a tax overhaul will meet the August deadline set by Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. But the ambitious pace to figure out a plan reflects Trump's haste to move quickly past a bruising failure to broker a compromise within his own party on how to replace the health insurance law enacted under President Barack Obama.

The White House is trying to learn the lessons from health care. Rather than accepting a bill written by the lawmakers, White House officials are taking a more active role. Administration officials have signaled that they want to pass tax legislation with only Republican votes, yet they've also held listening sessions with House Democrats.

They don't appear to have learned any lessons, or at least not the right ones.

If they go it alone on taxes and craft a bill that will only appeal to Republicans, they'll find themselves in the exact same position as they did with Obamacare. Anything that pleases the moderates will not go far enough for the Freedom Caucus, and anything that goes far enough for the Freedom Caucus will turn off moderates.

In either case, Republicans can only afford to lose 21 (20 if Jon Ossoff wins) votes if every Democrat opposes it. And this is just the House we're talking about. The Senate has its own calculus and several Republican senators have already ruled out paying for tax cuts with new border taxes or a carbon tax.

(By the way, can we talk about how funny it is that someone on Team Trump is even floating the idea of paying for tax cuts with a carbon tax? That will never happen. A Democratic majority wouldn't pass that.)

Trump reportedly met with the Koch Brothers over the weekend. The Kochs are lobbying against a border tax.