As the Senate tries yet again to repeal and replace Obamacare and President Donald Trump tweet-blasts the National Football League, CNBC’s Jim Cramer wonders who wants tax reform less.
“The White House seems like it still hasn’t figured out what rates it wants, let alone what could possibly pass. They might as well be working from two different countries to solve the tax issue, and it’s incredibly clear that Congress can’t possibly tackle two things at once,” the “Mad Money” host said on Monday. “Getting tax reform done in September turns out to be a pipe dream.”
Cramer said it would be “fanciful” to think that the so-called Big Six — House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn — could agree on much in the way of taxes.
Even as Republicans reportedly plan to release a tax reform framework this week, still-unresolved between the six leaders of the GOP-led tax overhaul are matters of expensing, effective tax rates for the country’s richest households and how to fund the cuts.
Cramer likened the Republicans’ situation to the Obama administration’s efforts to reform the tax system. As long as former President Barack Obama pushed an issue on which all Republicans and a few Democrats didn’t agree, any related legislation became a non-starter.
Now, all Democrats and a few Republicans don’t agree on either health care or tax policy, a recipe for disaster when it comes to reform, the “Mad Money” host said.
“You simply can’t pass a major piece of legislation in this country unless both the president and Congress are focused on it,” Cramer said. “Right now, it feels like nobody’s focused on tax reform, with the president more concerned about the national anthem, the NFL, and the ratings for football games.”
Cramer pointed to the irony of CNN hosting a debate on health care reform Monday evening at the same time as the Cardinals-Cowboys football game.
More people will be focused on the players who kneel during the national anthem or get criticized by outspoken Cowboys owner Jerry Jones than on the problems Republicans are grappling with when it comes to health care, Cramer said.
“So September comes to a close and nothing of substance has been done in Washington,” Cramer said. “It’s the ultimate do-nothing Congress, and now we’ve also got a do-nothing White House, at least until the president stops acting like a sports talk radio personality. In short, if you were hoping for tax reform from this government, all I can say is don’t hold your breath.”