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The Only Problem Facing President Trump’s Tax Reform Ideas

Yesterday, President Trump flew to Springfield, Missouri for his first visit to the state since the campaign. The topic of his speech was tax reform, but the subtext was to light a fire under the do-nothing Republican Trump Missouri speechcongressional leaders to get something – anything – on his larger agenda moving.

The President outlined four main points he wants included in any tax reform package, and if anything, they are too modest – hardly the radical reform and economic growth policies that Larry Kudlow or Steve Moore would have put together for him had they been leading his economic team.

The four points the President outlined were longtime, mainstream Republican ideas:

We need a tax code that is simple, fair, and easy to understand. This means getting rid of the loopholes and complexity that primarily benefit the wealthiest Americans and special interests.

We need a competitive tax code that creates more jobs and higher wages for Americans.  It’s time to give American workers the pay raise that they've been looking for many, many years.

We need tax relief for middle-class families. We will lower taxes for middle-income Americans so they can keep more of their hard-earned paychecks.

We want to bring back trillions of dollars in wealth that's parked overseas. By making it less punitive for companies to bring back this money, and by making the process far less bureaucratic and difficult, we can return trillions and trillions of dollars to our economy and spur billions of dollars in new investments in our struggling communities and throughout our nation.

What Republican or economic conservative could argue with any of those goals?

President Trump called his tax reform package “The American Model.” 

“Under this system,” said the President, “we will encourage companies to hire and grow in America, to raise wages for American workers, and to help rebuild our American cities and communities.  That is how we will all succeed and grow together, as one team, with one shared sense of purpose, and one glorious American destiny.”

And he set an ambitious, but eminently attainable goal: “If we achieve sustained three percent growth, that means 12 million new jobs and $10 trillion dollars of new economic activity over the next decade.”

But here’s the sticking point in the President’s ambitious, American worker and investor friendly goal, he thinks that he can do this on a bipartisan basis.

“...The foundation of our job creation agenda is to fundamentally reform our tax code for the first time in more than 30 years.  I want to work with Congress, Republicans and Democrats alike, on a plan that is pro-growth, pro-jobs, pro-worker -- and pro-American,” said the President.

But there’s no evidence Democrats want anything to do with his pro-growth agenda.

A month ago, 45 of the 48 members of the Senate Democratic Caucus signed a belligerent letter to President Trump and the Senate GOP leadership demanding that any tax reform package pass the Senate according to regular order, meaning they would have a veto over its provisions.

The Democrats bluntly laid down two conditions up front: They will not back any bill that gives new breaks to the wealthiest individuals and will not back any legislation that adds to the deficit.

How Democrats square the demand for no increase in the deficit with their characterization of President Trump’s efforts to reduce spending in his budget as “immoral” and “dumb” is one of those examples of Democrat hypocrisy that will undoubtedly remain unplumbed by the establishment media.

However, there is an interesting dynamic setting up that may provide some assistance for the President.

The three Senate Democrats who declined to sign Tuesday's tax letter are all up for reelection next year and hail from Trump-won states: Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.).

Strong Republican challengers in those, and other Trump-won states with Democratic Senators, who are committed to the President’s tax reform ideas, could help mobilize a few Democratic votes behind the President’s plan.

But in our view, it is not the Democrats who are the problem – they are going to do what Democrats do; engage in class warfare and demand more spending regardless of whether or not the President is evenhanded with them.

It is worth recalling that in addition to winning Indiana, West Virginia and North Dakota whose Democratic Senators are up for reelection, Trump also won Arizona, South Carolina and Kentucky whose Republican Senators are not up for reelection and have been vocal opponents of the Trump MAGA agenda.

As CHQ Chairman Richard A. Viguerie explained in his book TAKEOVER, the first and most important impediment to governing America according to conservative principles is not the Democrats, it is the establishment Republicans who have proven to be singularly uninterested in making good on any of the campaign promises they made, or President Trump made, in 2016.

We are all for the President’s tax reform principles, but we hope he understands that, like Obamacare repeal, the problem getting it passed isn’t the Democrats, it’s the establishment Republicans like Mitch McConnell, Lindsey Graham and John McCain.

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emulate pres. Johnson

Trump needs the strong arm tactics that Lyndon Johnson used to coerce errant members of congress to vote along with his (the presidents) goals. These dissenting RINOs need some woodshed pressure to come around. McCain, Graham, Ryan are not the only impediment among the fake Republicans to stall Trump's agenda.