OPINION | Corey Lewandowski: Trump's tax reform plan prioritizes American voters, not lobbyists
© Greg Nash

Congress has not done enough this year to implement the Trump agenda. They have passed some important pieces of legislation, but on the big three signature issues of the Trump administration — health care, tax cuts, and infrastructure — they have failed to act on the will of the American people.

When one reads the inside the beltway, “D.C. speak” about tax reform, the punditry always claims that it is hard to craft a bill that can pass Congress. This is not true — dare I say fake news? Trump’s massive tax cut is a slam dunk for the American people.

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President Donald J. Trump has proposed a massive tax cut for American families. The first part of the strategy to pass his bill is for Congress to introduce the Trump tax plan, then do the hard work to get it passed. The biggest problem that Congress faces right now is that they have not even started the process.

Boston Celtics legend Larry Bird lived by the idea that you miss 100 percent of the shots you never take. It is time for Congress to confidently take some shots and hit them.

The truth is that our spineless representatives are more worried about passing shell-game legislation favorable to the tax lobbyists on K Street, rather than tax bills that help the average Jane and Joe. A big tax cut to small business owners and middle/low-income Americans on Main Street in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Ohio would be very popular, but our representatives refuse to bring such a plan to the table.

Reuters reported earlier this month that Rep. Kevin BradyKevin Patrick BradyOn The Money: Five takeaways from the July jobs report Stimulus checks debate now focuses on size, eligibility Pelosi huddles with chairmen on surprise billing but deal elusive MORE (R-Texas), the man tasked to write the tax bill in the House of Representatives, is confident tax reform will happen this year. Per the story, though, “corporate lobbyists and independent experts said Congress and the administration are far apart on critical issues such as how to slash rates without ballooning the federal deficit.”

Unfortunately, some of the leaders on the tax reform panel are reportedly deliberating adopting costly, small business-killing provisions to make up for revenue shortfalls. One example of an extraneous tax idea, as The Hill previously reported, is a tax on advertising — an assault on the First Amendment that will put 20 million American jobs in jeopardy.

Provisions like this that prioritize the desires of unelected lobbyists over this country’s rule of law, as well as the well-being of the working class, should not make it anywhere near Republicans’ final tax reform proposal.

Instead of entertaining new provisions that please special interests, Congress should instead adhere to the simple guidelines of the Trump plan. According to a blog post by Gary Cohn, the chief economic advisor to President Trump, the president’s goal is far from complicated: Cut taxes on the job creators and the hard-working American people to spur economic growth. This includes targeted tax cuts “especially (for) low and middle-income families,” and cutting “taxes for businesses to make them competitive,” especially through lowering the business tax rate by 20 percentage points.

Breitbart reported in June that Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanTrump slams 'rogue' Sasse after criticism of executive actions Wary GOP eyes Meadows shift from brick-thrower to dealmaker Budowsky: Why I back Kennedy, praise Markey MORE (R-Wis.) promised “we are going to get this done in 2017” and has assured Americans in the past that they will be able to file taxes on a post card. Let’s hold the speaker to that promise.

It’s true that with so many of our representatives being in the pockets of different Wall Street and K Street firms, there will undoubtedly be objections to the release of a clean tax reform bill, free of crony provisions snuck in by lobbyists. But Republicans have a majority in the House and Senate, and now is the time to use it.

Once Congress comes back into session in September, they should have a reconciliation game plan that includes the passage of a new budget, which contains specific instructions on tax cuts. Using the special rules under budget will allow the House and Senate to expedite the bill and pass it with a simple majority vote in the Senate — something that the Democrats won’t be able to stop.

Congress should try to stay away from the idea of “revenue neutral” tax reform, because that will just lead to raising taxes on some industries to pay for tax cuts for businesses more favorable to the special interests. A better idea would be to pass a budget that cuts taxes “bigly” and implements the budget plan outlined by Office of Management and Budget Director Mick MulvaneyMick MulvaneyFauci says positive White House task force reports don't always match what he hears on the ground Bottom line White House, Senate GOP clash over testing funds MORE, which will make deep cuts to wasteful government spending.

With just a simple majority vote needed for passage, there should be no reason for such a plan not to pass. But again — as Larry Bird made clear through his actions — you miss every shot you don’t take.

As Republicans should have learned from their failed healthcare reform efforts, the key to success is speed. Do it quick and don’t waste time with hearings and a long, legislative process.

When President Trump won the election, he in effect won the debate on tax cuts. The American people have spoken, and Congress needs to respond by passing the Trump tax cuts in September. No more excuses.

Corey Lewandowski served as a former campaign manager to Donald J. Trump, the 45th president of the United States. He is senior advisor and a spokesman for America First Action. Follow him on Twitter @CLewandowski_.


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