As of now, I am in control here, in the White House

Why Trump’s Tax Plan is Not His Actual Tax Plan

This morning, NBC Today Host Matt Lauer asked Treasury Secretary Mnuchin to swear President Trump’s proposed tax cuts will pay for themselves.

I wonder if Matt ever asked any member of the Obama administration to swear that people would be able to keep their doctor under Obamacare.

Of course, Mnuchin didn’t raise his hand because he knows full well the tax cuts won’t pay for themselves. They will cover their cost in part as a result of the economic stimulus they provide, but even conservative economists don’t believe tax cuts fully pay for themselves.

President Trump knows this too. What all the flummoxed pundits and politicians in Washington don’t understand is that this is not a proposal. This is an opening proposal.

A businessman who specializes in dealmaking has landed in a town, Washington, that doesn’t understand business. Trump is going big with his proposal because he knows he won’t get everything he wants. His actual goal is probably pretty clear to him, and it’s not what he is proposing. It’s less.

What is going on here is that Trump has decided, after the Obamacare repeal debacle, to start making policy from the White House and not leave it to a wonk and politician like Speaker Paul Ryan.

Ryan put out an Obamacare repeal plan that was actually his final proposal, and look what happened. He didn’t leave himself room to maneuver. And so it sunk. Trump is now left trying to revive it.

As the tax debate goes on over the next year, look for Trump to mostly stick to his guns until the last minute, and then “magnanimously” agree to jettison some of his ostensibly cherished proposals for a deal.

The deal he wanted in the first place.

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7 Responses to Why Trump’s Tax Plan is Not His Actual Tax Plan

  1. We’ll have to wait and see what it looks like once it gets out of congress.
    Lower taxes stimulate the economy.
    A vibrant economy provides more taxes to the government.
    The key is to cut back the spending so that the deficit decreases.

    Heaven forbid we ever actually have a surplus!

    Obama had high taxes, throttling the economy coupled with morbid spending which doubled the deficit.

    This tax plan has been proven to work in the past. (Reagan, Kennedy).

    There are members of congress that approve of this approach, so maybe it has a chance to survive in some form.

    Trump hasn’t given up on anything IMO.
    He just has to work with a congress that is not used to getting things done on a timely basis.

    • Indeed, lower taxes do stimulate the economy. It’s been proven so every time it’s been done.

      Here’s a small example: When Progressive liberal Angus King was Maine’s governor (he’s now my US Senator), he left Maine with a $1 billion debt by the end of his term as governor. Tea Party favorite and very successful businessman Paul LePage then won election (twice) and began cutting taxes (and implementing other conservative spending policies). Maine now has a $1 billion surplus and an unemployment rate of only 3 percent–one of the best in the nation.

      Cutting taxes and creating a friendlier business climate was the key to LePage’s success. That’s why the liberal Democrats and the state corporate press hate LePage. He proved them wrong and does so every day.

  2. Well said Keith.

    We’re right at 100 days in and I think Trump is fairly close to sizing up the opposition.
    His tactics and strategy are becoming more obvious.

  3. This might be the first opinion piece that acknowledges MrTrump’s intentions are not driven by Satan, some Russian directive, or the ravings of a madman.
    By Golly, someone else gets it!
    Of course this is an opening offer and not the all or nothing that the political class always expects. Will he get what he really thinks is the best deal – we’ll find out.
    What counts in our minds is that he is doing his best for all of us.
    We know who is responsible for the defeats of his agenda – it’s the miserable Congress who haven’t yet decided to act in our best interests, not those of their donors.

  4. What is going on here is that Trump has decided, after the Obamacare repeal debacle, to start making policy from the White House and not leave it to a wonk and politician like Speaker Paul Ryan.

    Keith, I hope this is true. The best way for Trump to learn about Ryan and his cabal is to try and work with them. He did and he will, as needed. But every effort will prove the weakness, and true intentions of Paul Ryan et al.

    I am not advocating government by EO or edict. But President Trump perhaps is coming up to speed with what it means and how to cooperate or not, as conditions warrant, with Congress.

    Hitching up with Ryan on Obamacare was a tactical error Trump is unlikely to repeat often.

  5. I wish for once one of these Trump officials would turn a question like that back on the biased ‘reporters’; aka: “…did you ever ask ____ in the Obama regime that same question?”