As one crazy week winds down, and another presumably ramps up (Merrick Garland for FBI Director, says Mitch McConnell!), there have been a couple more Border Adjustment Tax tidbits worth pondering:
a. Mnuchin tells G-7 that Border Tax isn't part of his plan. On Saturday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin reassured G-7 nations that he won't be including the BAT in his tax plan.
“'The emphasis was initially on a border tax, which is taxation, but also trade policy,' said Italian Finance Minister Pier Carlo Padoan in an interview. 'Now, the emphasis—and Secretary Mnuchin was very clear about this—is about tax reform.'”
So Mnuchin says NO on BAT in public to allies. Good sign.
b. President Trump Explains the role of the BAT in his tax plans. Mr Trump's words can't be summarized, you must read them yourself. This is from the transcript of his interview by The Economist, a fascinating document, worth a scan (believe me):
"But as you said Mr President, a border-adjustment tax has some similarities to that. Are you still considering a border-adjustment tax?
We are dealing with Congress…because it’s not really what I’m considering. I mean look, on health care, I think we have a great bill and there’s still a little bit further to go because we’re also dealing with the Senate, but the Senate I believe really wants to get something done because Obamacare is dead, just so we understand. Obamacare is absolutely dead. The insurance companies are leaving. Yesterday Aetna just announced they’re pulling out. You have states that aren’t going to have any insurance companies. You know when people say, “Oh, Obamacare is so wonderful,” there is no Obamacare, it’s dead. Plus we’re subsidising it and we don’t have to subsidise it. You know if I ever stop wanting to pay the subsidies, which I will.
You’d pull the plug on that? If this bill doesn’t go through you’d stop those subsidies?
No, this bill only gives them one month. They don’t realize that, that’s another thing. Good point. This bill gives them one month, it gave, you know the subsidy…
The continuation of the subsidy?
The subsidy to the insurance companies, yes. Anytime I want because actually."
Uh-huh, I get it now . . . . Btw, this is real, check the link. And if that's not convincing, please note the New York Times' description of what it's like to speak for Mr. Trump.
c. South Carolina Republican Party Adopts Resolution Against BAT. A big slap in the face for Mr. Ryan and Mr. Brady from a core Republican State. See the resolution here.
A busy weekend of news, and next up are the hearings on Thursday.