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Donald Trump, congressional Republicans and their conservative allies are now staring at a potential legislative goose egg and wondering how well that will play in 2018.
Turns out the “I alone can fix it” guy hasn’t fixed a thing. In fact, if anything, he’s both revealed and deepened the fissures within the Republican Party. But the one thing every Republican in Washington agrees on in the wake of their healthcare collapse is that completing an overhaul of the tax code looms larger than ever. Politico writes:
“If Republicans fail to repeal or at least substantially roll back Obamacare, it raises the stakes dramatically to pass into law a big, bold tax-reform plan,” said Tim Phillips, who leads Americans for Prosperity, the political group backed by the Koch brothers.
“On the political side, the biggest problem that Republicans could face in 2018 is not a partisan battle. It’s a sense of incompetence and
to govern that will be most painful,” said Josh Holmes, a longtime McConnell adviser and former chief of staff.
“Unless they can figure out how to reverse this quickly, you can see where this cascades into more issues past health care,” Holmes added.
Singleness of purpose, however, does not equate to singleness of mind. The question is, if you cut taxes, what corresponding budget cuts do you make to bring the revenue shortfall into line? It’s an especially perplexing problem for a White House whose leader revels in debt, is adamant about increasing military spending, and doesn’t have the temperament let alone the will to build consensus on where those budget cuts should be directed.
Nonetheless, the White House says they’re on it.