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Pairing Trump tax cuts with infrastructure could bring Democrats on board, says ex-Obama economic advisor

  • "It makes sense to do both together," Jason Furman says.
  • Furman also says if reports that Trump plans to cut the corporate tax rate to 15 percent are true, it's a sign that the White House is not learning from its mistakes.

Democrats could rally behind President Donald Trump on a tax reform plan that includes infrastructure spending, the Obama administration's top economic aide told CNBC on Tuesday.

"It makes sense to do both together," Jason Furman said on "Squawk Box." "You have something better than just one good idea. A lot of Democrats like infrastructure spending, and these two have been paired in a number tax bills over the last couple of years."

Late last month, the news site Axios reported that Trump will try to pass tax reform and an infrastructure spending package at the same time this year after the House Republicans' failure to repeal and replace Obamacare.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, however, that Trump has told his White House team to make cutting the corporate tax rate to 15 percent a centerpiece of his tax plan. There was no mention of infrastructure spending in the Journal's report.

The Journal said Trump told aides it was less important that the plan could add to the federal budget deficit. Trump is expected to announce his tax plan on Wednesday.

The promise of a major tax overhaul and looser regulations by the president partly fueled stock market gains in the months after Trump's election.

Furman, who was chairman of President Barack Obama's Council of Economic Advisors, told CNBC the report on reducing the corporate tax rate is a sign that the White House is not learning from its mistakes. Furman said he had heard previously the Trump administration was supposed to work across the aisle on its next plan.

"This latest leak suggests that they're coming in with an opening bid that's to the right of where the House Republicans are starting," he said.