Editor’s Note: This post was written by Patrick Grein.
While many media outlets seem to highlight the negative aspects of the new Trump administration, there are also some bright areas. President Trump and congressional leaders disagree on some issues, but they have the same broad goals. This means there is an opportunity for Trump’s tax legislation to be enacted. However, the president still believes in some of the farfetched and polarizing ideas he campaigned on. Therefore, he will face a challenge in receiving funding for the wall to separate the U.S. and Mexico.
Reorganizing the income tax code for this country is a key opportunity for Trump, especially if he wants to succeed. President Trump and Speaker Ryan do disagree on certain details of the code, for example on the size of the corporate tax cut and whether to cut investment taxes. Yet, they have the same overall goal of reducing the size of the government and relieving the taxpayers’ burdens. Chairman Kevin Brady of the House Ways and Means Committee is optimistic about this possible tax overhaul because he believes it can gain bipartisan support if an infrastructure bill is attached. It would also be the first major change to the tax code since the Reagan administration, who worked with divided government. Therefore, altering the tax code is a huge opportunity for Trump, seeing as he is fortunate enough to be working with a unified Republican-majority legislature.
Trump’s infamous wall, on the other hand, will be a challenge as it would increase spending and ultimately be impractical. The idea of a giant wall separating the U.S. and Mexico is arcane and Jorge Ramos of Time addressed this with President Trump when he was still seeking the Republican presidential nomination. Ramos brought up the fact that almost half of undocumented aliens come to this country legally and simply overstay their visas. Furthermore, if you’ve seen “Breaking Bad,” you would know that the cartels will not be stopped by a wall. They will easily find a way to get their products across the border. The second issue is also the cost, which will be around $15 to $20 billion in construction alone plus maintenance and security. It is also unlikely Mexico will pay for it; Mitch McConnell likened it to remodelling your house and having your neighbor pay for it. If the GOP is going to look to lower taxes, it would be counterintuitive to start a multi-billion dollar project that will not bring in revenue. Therefore, Trump will struggle to convince Congress to approve spending for this project.