November 5, 2015
The crusade for tax reform, free trade, a sound dollar, and Obamacare repeal got a big lift on Wednesday when the House leadership chose Kevin Brady of Texas as the new chair of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee. He’s a perfect replacement for now-Speaker Paul Ryan. With Ryan running the show in the full House and Brady running the tax committee, the table is well set for seismic reforms in 2017 – if we get a Republican president.
“I see this [tax reform] as the number one competitiveness issue facing the country,” he tells me. “Our defective tax code is a major reason the U.S. isn’t growing faster.” I asked him whether a flat tax or a consumption tax would be his ideal. “I’ve always intuitively liked the consumption tax model,” he replies. Pay when you spend. Whether he can actually do away with the income tax is a high political hurdle to clear, but he clearly wants to nudge the system in that direction.
Mr. Brady is an unflinching free trader at a time when Trumpism may be swaying the party toward tariffs and walls.
On health care, he views Medicare, Medicaid, and Obamacare as a major drivers of the deficit spending racket in Washington and won’t flinch when it comes to reforming them. "I want to give consumers way more choices in health care," is the way he explains his approach. "Choice and competition are the way to go. In every other industry these are the forces that drive down costs,” he explains rightfully.
What happens if we get a Republican president, House and Senate in 2017? Can we finally enact game-changing free market reforms in government in 2017 or will paralysis prevail? Brady is an optimist. "I believe America’s ready for these big reforms and that this is the path back to rapid growth."