Just as the stock market is signaling its impatience ever more loudly over the still undisclosed Republican tax reform plan, the top GOP tax man in Congress is snapping into action... by consulting with the Democrats.
When will people like House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady and the rest of the Republicans come to terms with two simple facts? First, the GOP owns the majority in both houses of Congress and the White House for a reason, and cutting and simplifying taxes is one of them. And second, bipartisanship just for the sake of chasing a few favorable headlines is a fool's errand.
There would be nothing wrong with Brady, House Speaker Paul Ryan, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin all working together on a solid tax reform and cut plan, and then working to convince Democrats to vote for it. That's what the White House and the Republicans in Congress did in 1981 with the Reagan tax cut plan, and they actually succeeded in getting dozens of Democrats in the House and Senate to vote for it.
But all reports point to Brady doing something different. That is, following through on a proposal to link GOP tax cut proposals with promises to give Democrats a big say in the formation of a $1 trillion infrastructure spending plan. Oh, and at least partially funding that plan with the expected new tax revenues coming from repatriated corporate cash Uncle Sam would lure back home with much lower corporate tax rates.
Of course, the key words above are "partially funded," as no one thinks the return of taxable corporate funds will produce anything near a trillion bucks to build and repair roads and other pork-barrel projects. And that's why this whole convoluted plan seems like it's already a few hundred billion in the budget hole before it starts.