Paul Ryan: GOP Has Found Consensus on Tax Reform

House Speaker Paul Ryan stuck to Republicans' original plan when asked by The Daily Caller about his thoughts related to White House adviser Steve Bannon's reportedly proposed 44 percent tax on Americans making $5 million or more.

The Republican leaders - Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker Paul Ryan, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady - have been meeting together for the past three months with a goal of developing a shared vision for tax reform. The BAT, as Ryan's concept was known, would have raised more than $1 trillion over a decade, according to estimates.

The border adjustment tax was part of a broad reform of the tax code being pushed by House Republican leaders.

The retailers said that the border tax would drastically increase consumer prices, hitting low and middle-class households the most.

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In addition to killing the border tax, the group offered other goals, but no details, saying that they remain committed to increased expensing for corporations, or allowing them to write off the cost of new equipment more quickly, and to return profits held by USA companies overseas, known as repatriation, at a lower tax rate than the current 35 percent.

US Republican lawmakers and Trump administration officials have rejected a push to overhaul the outdated US worldwide tax system with a destination-based cash flow tax. Despite this, Ryan said they would keep their plans intact and reform the rest of the tax code.

"The aspects of tax reform that we agree on, we wanted to make sure that we could still achieve those things without a cash flow tax or a border adjustment tax".

As the economist Kimberly Clausing noted in a recent post to EconoFact, the USA has one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world; but it also has a good deal more "bark than bite", in that it allows a great deal of cash that belongs to American corporations to remain overseas untaxed - which means government revenue for public programs is perhaps lower than it should be. "With BAT out, Washington has an opportunity for the first time in more than a generation to pass a tax reform plan that boosts American businesses and family budgets".

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Eliminating the border-tax proposal is "a prudent decision that will help move forward tax reform that works for all Americans", said House Freedom Caucus spokeswoman Alyssa Farah.

"I don't think we can get to 3-percent growth without tax reform", he said.

The high-level statement reiterated numerous principles outlined in the House Republican blueprint for tax reform released last summer, and the administration's tax reform principles released in April. That is also great news.

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