Conservatives Urge Republicans on Tax Reform

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( – A coalition of conservative groups is urging Congress to pass “pro-growth” tax reform in 2017 — sooner rather than later.

In a letter dated Feb. 6, addressed to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas), the coalition says significant progress should be made in the first hundred days of the Trump administration:

“Given the importance of this issue, we believe it is imperative that the House of Representatives make significant progress in the first hundred days of the Trump administration toward passing comprehensive, pro-growth tax reform,” said the letter addressed to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas).

In an interview with “Fox & Friends” last Thursday, Ryan said Repubicans do not plan to push tax reform into 2018, but they won’t take it up in the first 100 days of the Trump administration, either:

Ryan said because the American health care system is in a “state of collapse…we feel the need to rescue this system here. And that’s why we’re going with health care first, and that’s the first budget. And then in the spring, when we do our second budget, that’s where tax reform comes.

So, it’s just simply — you can’t do them at the same time because of the way the budget system works. So it’s repeal-and-replace Obamacare, so we can save and repair the health care system in this country, and then it’s tax reform, which gets us economic growth,” Ryan said.

Ryan said that’s why Republicans have shifted their original 100-day plan to a 200-day plan: “There’s nobody talking about pushing this into 2018,” he said.

In his pre-game interview with Fox News on Sunday, 2017, Bill O’Reilly asked Trump if Americans can expect a tax cut in 2017.

 “I think so, yes,” Trump responded. “And I think that before the end of the year I would like to say yes.”

(But Trump also said the rollout of a new health care plan — which is number one on Ryan’s list — “may take til sometime into next year.”)

In the Feb.6 letter signed by Americans for Tax Reform and dozens of other conservative and free-market groups, Ryan was urged to simplify and update the tax code, something that is expected to boost economic growth and wages, create jobs, and promote innovation and ingenuity.

“As you know, it has been more than 30 years since comprehensive tax reform was last signed into law,” the letter said. “Since then, our foreign competitors have drastically reduced their rates, simplified their codes, and updated their systems to be globally competitive. Meanwhile, our tax code has almost tripled in size and has failed to keep pace with the norms of global tax competition.”

The coalition says tax reform should reduce rates for all taxpayers and repeal “preferential provisions” so more people pay taxes. They also want the estate tax and Alternative Minimum Tax to go away.

“Where possible, changes to the tax code should be permanent changes to law,” the letter says, to give families and businesses “much-needed certainty” and “contribute to a stronger economy.”

In a Feb.6 editorial, the New York Post said it’s “bad news” that Republicans are pushing tax reform to the spring:

“That means Trump won’t be able to sign anything until before the fall — at the earliest, if no other delays pop up,” the newspaper opined.

“The absence of any big supply-siders in the president’s economic team is further cause for concern, as is the way the White House has taken to talking about “tax relief” rather than “tax reform.” The hunger for some details — will the cuts be retroactive to Jan. 1? — adds to the uncertainty, which is always bad for business.

“Yes, the Dow is up, thanks to optimism over the Trump program. But major tax cuts were a big part of that program — and if they don’t land in good time, or turn out not to be major, pessimism can quickly return.”