Ryan Looks Past GOP Health Care Failure to Tax Reform

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) supported the controversial proposal, while retailers said it would hurt shoppers with higher prices that would stifle consumer spending.

With the nation's attention fixed on the Senate GOP's attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), several congressional Republicans, and two White House aides-who together make up a group called the "big six"-unveiled on Thursday an outline of their tax objectives that critics argued is so vague that it obscures their real aim: to slash taxes for the wealthiest Americans". The BAT, as Ryan's concept was known, would have raised more than $1 trillion over a decade, according to estimates.

While the decision will clarify some issues related to Republican leaders' attempts to enact the first comprehensive tax overhaul in more than 30 years, it leaves a key challenge: How to balance desired tax-rate cuts with new sources of revenue. The joint statement contained little clues about that path forward.

"The goal is a plan that reduces tax rates as much as possible, allows unprecedented capital expensing, places a priority on permanence, and creates a system that encourages American companies to bring back jobs and profits trapped overseas", the statement said.

"By removing this costly element of reform, the way has been cleared for swift action on a middle-class tax cut that will put more money in the wallets of the American taxpayer", NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said.

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"The almost 600 members of the Americans for Affordable Products coalition are very pleased to see the released tax reform framework representing the viewpoints of the White House and majority party in the U.S. House and Senate has finally and definitively taken the misguided Border Adjustment Tax off the table", wrote Joshua Baca, a spokesman for Americans for Affordable Products. A group funded by Koch Industries Inc. unveiled a plan in February to derail the proposal.

US Republican lawmakers and Trump administration officials have rejected a push to overhaul the outdated US worldwide tax system with a destination-based cash flow tax.

"Today's announcement is an important victory for American families and businesses who desperately need tax reform and who would have been harmed most by the border adjustment tax", said Sandy Kennedy, President of RILA.

Marc Gerson, a tax lawyer at Miller & Chevalier, said without a border-adjusted tax, the question for lawmakers was now how low tax rates could realistically get. That is also great news.

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