We’ve heard it over and over again this year: Tax reform is hard, which is why it hasn’t happened since 1986. But in his CNN town hall from Racine, Wisconsin, last night, House Speaker Paul Ryan reiterated that he thinks getting tax reform done this year will be “far easier” than the GOP’s effort to repeal and replace Obamacare.
The key quotes on policy from Ryan’s town hall event:
On the failed efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare: “The House has passed its bill. We are waiting for the Senate to pass theirs. Who wasn’t disappointed that the Senate failed to pass that bill by one vote the other day? [Boos from the audience.] OK, I set you up for that one, didn't I? ... The reason I'm disappointed is because the status quo is not an option. Obamacare is not working … So doing nothing really isn't an option … And so what I've been telling our friends in the Senate, get back to work, get a bill passed. We will meet you in conference to figure this out, but we can't take no for an answer. And unfortunately, that's kind of where we are with the Senate right now. But the House? The House has done its job.”
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On getting tax reform done: “This is one of the things that we ran on, one of the main items that we ran on in 2016 … so this is something we have to make good on. That's point number one. Point number two, I believe it's going to be far easier for us to do tax reform than it was, say, for health care reform … The entire tax cut bill, the entire tax reform bill can go into one bill through the House and the Senate. So procedurally it makes it much easier.”
On the controversial financial incentives Wisconsin is providing for electronics supplier Foxconn to build a plant in the state: “I make a distinction, obviously, between the federal and state government … We want to keep our sons and our daughters, our kids and our grandkids in Wisconsin. And I think bringing a sector like this to Wisconsin is a long-term solution to helping to make sure that people can stay and have great jobs in Wisconsin. Thirteen thousand jobs and $10 billion over 15 years of payroll ain't nothing to sneeze at … And by the way, it was going to go to another state if it didn't go to Wisconsin. And then there would be no tax base whatsoever. It was going to go to North Carolina or Indiana, or some other place. I'm glad it came to Wisconsin.”