It’s impossible to simultaneously drain the Swamp but then ask the Swamp for help on how to drain it. This is essentially the lesson lost on President Trump as it relates to taxes.
The president’s speech in Springfield, Mo., Wednesday was a rerun of the platitudes Republicans have been propagating for a decade ... the tax code is too complex; the tax code has too many loopholes; we need to make America more competitive. However, there was no beef. No plan. What are the rates? Corporate? Individual? What are your red lines or major priorities? This is show-time for governing, not the kickoff of the campaign.
And it doesn’t exactly help that Ivanka and Steven Mnuchin were accompanying him during this speech and seem to wield influence over this issue.
One of the few good things President Bush did on fiscal policy was to propose a very specific across-the-board rate cut from day one of his campaign. He relentlessly campaigned on it and even had a tax-cut calculator on his website, showing voters how much money they would save. This, at a time when the internet wasn’t even a dominant factor in politics.
Bush then got to work immediately and had GOP leaders introduce his plan. The tax cuts passed Congress in May of his first year and were signed into law on June 7, 2001.
Fast-forward 16 years and there is no specific plan to speak of as late as nearly September. Instead, the White House, which usually writes major legislation when the president’s party controls Congress, has completely outsourced the plan to the swampiest of Swamp creatures.