Almost everyone saw a picture of Mr. Trump in a big rig outside the White House grabbing the wheel in a tight grip, scowling and desperately trying to look like The Tough Guy. This of course was just before the Republican repeal of Obamacare was pulled with a whimper.
After the health care debacle where does the closer go from here? It has been hinted that tax reform will be next, using the House’s blueprint, which relies on the border tax to reduce corporate tax rates. Several Republican senators have said that such a tax is dead on arrival. Several recent attempts at tax reform notably by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Camp with Senator Dick Durbin failed, not due to the inability, to find a bi-partisan solution, but rather the inability to sell it to the public. The message they heard repeatedly was to lower rates, but leave “my” deductions and credits alone. So what is a president to do - proceed with tax reform or move in a new direction?
A new direction seems sensible to me. The obvious choice is an infrastructure bill - a big infrastructure bill would be best. Such a bill would fulfill a campaign pledge, put thousands of middle class workers throughout America to work at good-paying jobs (think prevailing wage rate),would stimulate the economy through wages and material purchases, and might even include some reasonable Made-in-America provisions to include those goods made north of the Rio Grande. We should also remember Chuck Schumer’s pledge to support such a bill.
Mr. Trump would have an added incentive if he secured Democratic votes to pass it, thus eliminating the need for Freedom Caucus votes. This would have a number of salutary benefits: Mr. Trump would have satisfying revenge (he’d love it - think of the taunting tweets); America would see Congress working together for their benefit; we would repair our failing infrastructure; and, as noted previously, the economy would receive a positive jolt.
While Congress and the president craft such a bill, they can simultaneously repair Obamacare, which would likely garner Democratic support as Senator Schumer alluded to on March 24.