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The Big 4: Trump’s tax-cut kibitzers.

By Fred Barnes

Excerpt from The Weekly Standard:

In tax reform, the negotiators from the Trump administration and Congress who are thought to be in charge are called the Big 6 by Washington insiders. But there’s also a Big 4, a group of supply-side economists who are playing an influential role.

The Big 4—they call themselves the Committee to Unleash Prosperity—have no official status. They don’t need it. They have something better. President Trump knows all four and likes to talk to them about the economy and taxes.

And things seem to be heading their way. With time running out for Congress to consider a massive tax bill, the Big 4 want Trump to go for tax cuts alone this year and leave reform of the tax code to 2018. The Big 6 remain committed to enacting both cuts and reform this fall.

One of the Big 4, Larry Kudlow, was invited several weeks ago to speak at a White House luncheon by Gary Cohn, the head of the National Economic Council. Trump didn’t attend, but when he heard Kudlow was there, he summoned him twice for private chats. They talked for 45 minutes.

The president has also been known to ask “Where’s Laffer?” when the subject of taxes comes up. Art Laffer was an architect of President Reagan’s tax cut, which touched off a surge in economic growth in the 1980s. He has met repeatedly with Trump.

Steve Forbes hasn’t personally visited the White House to talk about taxes since Trump was inaugurated. But his opposition to a border-adjustment tax on imports is well known from his writings in Forbes magazine. He disparages it as a national sales tax. A study by Laffer that frowns on the border-adustment tax, a proposal of the Big 6, has circulated at the White House.

The fourth Big 4 member is Steve Moore, who’s been active in pushing what he calls “three easy pieces.” It consists of a deep reduction in the corporate tax rate, repatriation of overseas profits by American companies, and a doubling of the standard deduction to relieve the tax burden on the middle class.

Read more at The Weekly Standard.

Photo Credit: Mark Simone

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