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.