Market Insider

Stocks' gains are counting on a tax plan that has become 'Hunger Games' for tax lobbyists

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Rep. Schweikert: Tax reform as much about economic growth as payroll growth

The stock market rally has been fueled in part by hopes that a big tax cut — of one kind or another — would bump up corporate profits and spending.

But the proposed tax plan with the most punch so far could have a tough time making it through Congress, and that ultimately could mean disappointment for a heady stock market.

It also means the slow wheels of Washington could delay tax reform for longer than the stock market is expecting. "You're going to get a lot of hand-wringing. It's slow, and it's going to be gradual," said Dan Clifton, head of policy research at advisory firm Strategas.

The current House Ways and Means Committee proposal would cut the corporate tax rate from a current 35 percent to 20 percent. That would make a difference for the biggest U.S. corporations, which pay about 25 percent on average.

But the plan is paid for by the controversial border adjustment tax, which is meeting resistance in the Senate. President Donald Trump has not clearly come down one way or the other on the plan, and he meets Wednesday with big retailers who oppose it.