With an Obamacare strikeout recorded on the books, tax overhaul is now in the batter’s box.
Is another strikeout coming?
Democrats are starting to settle on a price for participating in a tax-code overhaul, and many Republicans won’t want to pay it.
“Tax reform’s got to be responsible and it’s got to be progressive,” said Sen. Ben Cardin (D., Md.).
It’s impossible for tax reform to be progressive and responsible. That’s like asking for something to be entirely black and entirely white.
Republicans could of course simply tell the Democrats to go to hell. Math does allow that possibility. But in the Senate, there can be at most two defections.
Paul Ryan wants a Border Adjustment Tax (BAT), but that is unlikely to make it through the Senate.
And any progressive ideas to bring Democrats on board will likely be at the expense of the same group of House Republicans rRepublicans who sunk Obamacare.
Congress may pass something, but don’t expect meaningful reform.
In regards to Obamacare, House Republicans were their own worst enemy. Despite a 240-194 edge, House Republicans could not come to an agreement. It would not have mattered if they did because the bill would not have survived the Senate.
Republicans still haven’t given up on Obamacare, but unless they want to repeal it and start over, there is actually little to be gained from messing with it. Why bother?
Mike “Mish” Shedlock