Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Will the GOP Tax-Reform Package Open Up a Back Door to Action on Entitlements?

Donald Trump repeatedly promised, during and after the election, that he would not entertain proposals for entitlement reform. In fact, that was one of the earliest promises Trump made, going all the way back to an interview with CBN’s David Brody in May 2015, a promise which Brody reminded his viewers just seven weeks ago that Trump was keeping thus far. OMB director Mick Mulvaney emphasized that in an interview this week with John Harwood on his CNBC show Speakeasy, even though Mulvaney himself would prefer to focus on reforming Social Security and Medicare to begin unwinding tens of trillions in unfunded mandates:
HARWOOD: Donald Trump is a very different kind of president. How do you go about melding what you bring to the table with what he brings to the table? One of your friends in the House told me, “That budget looks a lot more like a Mick Mulvaney budget than a Donald Trump budget.”
MULVANEY: I’ll tell how I wrote it. And then you can decide for yourself. We looked at the speeches to try and figure out where he wanted to spend more money. And then we also had instructions not to add to the deficit. I laid to him the options that Mick Mulvaney would put on a piece of paper. And he looked at one and said, “What is that?” And I said, “Well, that’s a change to part of Social Security.” He said, “No. No.” He said, “I told people I wouldn’t change that when I ran. And I’m not going to change that. Take that off the list.” So I get a chance to be Mick Mulvaney. I get a chance to have those same principles. And I give ’em to the president, and he makes the final decisions.
But have Republicans and the White House come up with a back-door opening to indirect entitlement reform? According to the Associated Press, the tax-reform package that will follow the repeal of ObamaCare (or maybe eclipse it) might contain a repeal of the payroll tax as a means of economic stimulus. That would end the contribution-based funding system for Social Security and some of the funding for Medicare as well: --->
Read the rest from Ed Morrissey HERE.

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