The Washington Post:
The Trump administration is planning a much more assertive role in undertaking a broad overhaul of the tax code than it did during the failed effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.
The administration seeks even more assertiveness because of the bang-up job it did on healthcare. It promised a "terrific" bill, and, at least in terms of entertainment, it delivered. So please proceed, Mr. President.
But, warns the Post in a journalistic geyser of understatement,
There are divisions with congressional Republicans and within the administration over who should be in charge of the effort — and how ambitious it should be.
As for those divisions, there are just a few.
They begin with the White House not even knowing who should be in charge, internally, of crafting tax-reform legislation: the Treasury Department or the National Economic Council. Both want the job, and tension abounds.
And then there's the Republican Congress, whose House Ways and Means Committee chairman, Kevin Brady, says it should be in charge. Hence greater Republican competency in effecting tax reform begins with no one knowing who's driving the clown car.
And then there's the matter of just how massive the resulting deficits should be. Brady claims his plan won't increase the deficit at all, but that's only because he's counting on eradicating some tax deductions that will, in realty, never be eradicated, and of course every Republican tax-cut plan has produced massive deficits anyway. The White House, meanwhile, is typically more brazen in defying talk of any revenue-neutral humbuggery; Trump has simply "called for huge cuts in tax rates" without bothering to specify "which deductions he would jettison to make up for the lost revenue."
And then there's the border-adjustment-tax issue. Many House Republicans adore the tariff idea, although "many Senate Republicans oppose" it. So there you go (or rather there they go, again). Where the White House stands on the border adjustment tax is pretty much anyone's guess, whose accuracy depends on the time of day and alignment of the planets.
And then there's the White House's intimation that it may "try to woo centrist Democrats toward supporting [a] tax overhaul." Though smart and strongly advised by the pragmatically inclined, the White House, despite its inclusive intimations, has "largely [kept Democrats] out of any negotiations."
And then, finally, there's that most fundamental question of "whether to seek a broad overhaul of the tax code or whether to limit it to more specific provisions — such as those affecting corporations." This beginning question, neither the White House nor the Republican Congress can yet answer.
Yet both are assiduously working away on tax reform. What could go wrong?