Here’s something everyone — Republicans, Democrats, you and me — should be able to agree on: We all pay too much in taxes and we need to cut them. Also, they’re too complicated.
Should be able to agree on. But this is 2017 and Washington, D.C. And both parties are riven with disputing factions that not even a Noah-era hurricane can unite. And remember, this is a Congress — oh, look, it’s still on vacation — that is even less popular among Americans than the low-rated president.
Donald Trump launched his campaign Thursday for tax reform. White House officials say he learned a lesson from the ObamaCare repeal fiasco when he didn’t use the bully pulpit as much as he could. And for now, he’s been very disciplined on message.
So POTUS will be making numerous trips out into the country that elected him to round up support and pressure Congress to get along with the business of putting more money back into peoples’ wallets and more jobs on the tax rolls.
“This is our once-in-a-generation opportunity to deliver real tax reform for everyday hardworking Americans,” Trump said in a Missouri speech at a manufacturing plant. “I am fully committed to working with Congress to get this job done. And I don’t want to be disappointed by Congress.”
As usual, video of Trump’s full speech is available here in C-SPAN’s Video library.
Trump was encouraged and made repeated mention of revised second quarter GDP numbers showing the economy grew at a 3% annual rate, up from the initial 2.6% estimate. Polls show Trump’s job performance on the economy as his most favorable.
After the embarrassing crash landing of his oft-promised ObamaCare repeal, Trump needs some legislative victories — and soon. Tax reform, said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, “allows him to connect with the American people on an issue that most Americans get.”
They get it because they’ve been taken. The Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed Thursday that the average American last year paid more in taxes than he or she did on food or clothing.
Trump’s general tax reform plan has four main legs:
- Dramatically simplify the tax code because, Trump said, 90% of Americans need professional tax help.
- Write a competitive tax code that creates more jobs and higher wages for American workers.
- Provide tax relief for middle class families. “They’re the forgotten people,” Trump said. “That means they’ll go out and spend their money and it’ll be a beautiful thing to watch.”
- Repatriate trillions of dollars in corporate profits that are parked overseas to avoid the world’s highest corporate taxes in the U.S.
Congress returns next week when leaders of both parties are scheduled to meet with Trump at the White House. He might need some fence-mending with GOP leadership, whom he’s been tweet-bashing recently.
Republicans want to ensure the message he delivers is one that frames tax reform as a job creator that benefits the middle class by putting more take-home money in their paychecks and makes companies more competitive and eager to hire.
This to head off the standard anticipated Democrat complaint that the GOP’s tax reform is just one more effort to ease tax burdens on the wealthy.