Paul Ryan: GOP Has Found Consensus on Tax Reform

Republican leaders, including House Speaker Paul Ryan and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, released a joint statement Thursday outlining principles that will guide an overhaul of the tax code, a key legislative priority that until now has taken a backseat to health care repeal efforts.

As Republicans reel from a stinging defeat on health care, House Speaker Paul Ryan is looking ahead to something he says his party can get done this year: Tax reform.

"And we are now confident that, without transitioning to a new domestic consumption-based tax system, there is a viable approach for ensuring a level playing field between American and foreign companies and workers, while protecting American jobs and the USA tax base", the statement said.

The decision supports retailers, as merchants "pay the highest effective corporate tax rate of any sector of the USA economy", NRF's Shay said. The biggest announcement in the statement is that a so-called "border adjustment tax" is now off the table. "Changing our outdated tax code is fundamental if we are to grow our economy, encourage investment and create jobs".

The tax was initially considered a way to fund tax cuts, but it prompted a fierce backlash from retailers, as well as other import-dependent industries and activists that argued the tax would result in higher prices for consumers. Republican leadership has proposed a compromise: $200 billion in cuts.

But perhaps more importantly, by implementing a new tax, a BAT would have also made it easier to craft a tax reform bill that was closer to being "revenue neutral", meaning that it wouldn't have necessitated increasing the deficit or drastic cuts to social programs - two provisions that would have made the bill unworkable for far-right deficit hawks or centrist Democrats, respectively.

This suggestion, however, contradicts the tax plan the White House released earlier in the year that lowered the top bracket to 35 percent.

Ryan said that lawmakers will need to find revenue somewhere else, and suggested that additional revenue could be found by broadening the tax base and eliminating tax preferences for special interests.

The battle over healthcare reform has affected the tax reform discussion, Ryan said at another point in the interview with Bartiromo. From reading his plan I didn't see the ideas of a coldhearted monster tying to steal from the middle class (Does anyone actually think someone would get elected with that platform?), but rather, the ideas of a decent man trying to put America on a path forward.

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