This was Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s first full week on the job. On Thursday, he made the rounds with the media, discussing the economic agenda of the Trump administration.
While he focused on several of the administration’s basic themes, the discussions repeatedly came back to the “core” topic for this economy: tax cuts.
Mnuchin, upbeat and optimistic, asserted a timeline of August for passage of President Trump’s tax reform package.
It’s not as if he walked away from the concept of tax cuts, but his suggestion that it may not be until summer raised a red flag for me.
Trump was elected to fix our flailing, dysfunctional economy. Whether you live in Wichita or work on Wall Street, you’ve felt the economic pain of President Obama’s false and distorted sense of economic success.
Hillary Clinton lost heavily to Trump on economic issues in the exit polls, so it stands to reason that voters expect real economic progress from Team Trump.
The president has already achieved one vital change: the tone of how the White House and Washington treat businesses.
That’s clearly a huge accomplishment after eight years of business being blamed for everything under the sun.
The US economy only works when business and Washington are partners, not adversaries. That said, the mathematics of doing business in America matters tremendously — and that’s where taxes come in.
Mnuchin and Trump need to know that their economic agenda may be — and likely is — different from that of many of the career politicians in Congress.
While both houses are Republican controlled, that allegiance only goes as far as what’s best for their next election. So while I understand exactly why the ideologues on the Hill would love to wait until mid-term elections to make tax reform a voting issue, that’s not in the best interest of the country. That’s why it raised a flag for me when Mnuchin said that before August was his timetable for tax reform.
Big changes in Washington happen in the first nine months of an administration, and August is on the cusp of that.
We’ve seen and applauded the CEO coming to the White House, now let’s see the leaders from the Hill to talk about tax-cuts. It’s time to hold their feet to the fire.
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