by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Washington insiders hungry for tax reform are bracing for President Trump to unveil an agenda light on details and scaled back from the ambition of his 2016 campaign.
The president campaigned on a fundamental overhaul of the federal tax code compatible with a plan drafted by House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., His would generate $1 trillion in revenue by radically transforming how imports and exports are levied.
But Trump backed away from the proposal soon after winning the election and has since been vague about his position on tax reform beyond platitudes about wanting to simplify the code and cut corporate and individual rates.
Republicans and business interests anxious for specifics aren’t expecting much more than that from the White House when Trump’s agenda is introduced on Wednesday, just in time to meet his 100-day mark in office.
“Our coalitions are scrambling, trying to anticipate what’s coming and how we should be prepared to respond — if at all,” a Republican lobbyist said, on condition of anonymity in order to speak candidly. “This is so bizarre.”
A White House turf war over tax reform has contributed to the confusion and uncertainty about the president’s position.