“When you clean out the tax system and get rid of a bunch of loopholes then K street and the loophole industry in Washington shrinks.” The philosophical change in the GOP tax plan is to get rid of loopholes and let people decide what they want to do with their own money. Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan joins Dan and Amy to discuss why tax reform will pass and how it will benefit all Americans.
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Proft: Dan and Amy, and we’re pleased to be joined by House Speaker Paul Ryan who’s often...he’s been a longtime fixture on Chicago radio. He used to be on Don Wade and Roma on WLS, my old station, all the time. And we appreciate his time, Speaker Ryan, thanks so much for joining us, we appreciate it. Ryan: Hey, thanks for having me. Yeah, you just mentioned Don...I miss Don. He was such a good guy. Proft: He was. He was a great guy. Ryan: I really enjoyed going on his show. Proft: Yeah. Ryan: And I loved that ditty about Eli Manning! That guy has just come and ruined our business in Lambeau 2 or 3 times, and that was actually a pretty nice point, a pretty nice point you made about Eli. Proft: Oh, thank you very much! See, Paul Ryan just complimented me. *to Amy* Now see if he’ll compliment you. Ryan: Right! Amy, Dan, good to be with you. Proft: Good to be with you. So we were just talking to Steve Moore, and I feel like we’re passing… Jacobson: Well, I just had a LOT of questions for Steve Moore… Proft: Yeah, and I just feel like we were passing notes in the cloakroom. Ryan: He’s a buddy! Steve and I are old buddies...he’s actually a Chicago guy! He’s an old buddy of mine. Proft: Yeah! Jacobson: But yeah, he’s...he’s worried that if you have a conference tomorrow, that’s going to derail the tax plan through the Senate. The senators have to go again to the vote, so he just wants you to approve the Senate plan right now, because it’s superior to yours! Ryan: Well, I think there’s a debate about THAT. But I do think that we can make both BETTER with the conference agreement. The point I would make is there are things that the Senate did at the last minute to sort of conform with the rules that we would like to fix. They added some taxes back in that, frankly, we would like to get rid of altogether. You know, the alternative minimum tax is a pretty insidious tax, and they, you know, for their own rule reasons, put things like that back in there. So there are things we’d like to do to make the bill even better. Steve’s concern...I assume, I haven’t talked to him in the last couple weeks...is that the majority is so shaky and thin over there that don’t risk it. But I believe from talking to senators CONSTANTLY, up until late late last evening, last night, that we can make this bill better, and that people that voted for that bill in the Senate would be happy to vote for an even better version of that bill, in very short order. So, our purpose...and by the way, that’s how bills become a law. The House passes a bill, then the Senate passes a different version of that bill, and then you go and reconcile the differences, and that’s basically what we’re doing. Proft: One of the differences, the Senate has repeal on the Obamacare individual mandate, the House does not. Can we get agreement on the repeal? Ryan: Yeah, what I don’t do is go into speculation as to where we’re going to go in the conference agreements, but let me just say it this way; in the House, we’ve...we’ve voted for that over and over again. We’ve passed a broader bill that did that in May. So we’ve been long on record for getting rid of that, and we can...that’s policy that we in the House have supported for a long time. And we just wanted to see if the Senate could DO IT, and they could, and they can, and we’re pleased with that. But what I don’t do is get into the “here’s how things are going to shake out in the conference committee”, because I don’t even think the Senate’s named their conferees yet, so it would be wrong of me to get ahead of those guys. Proft: Okay, we’ll pepper Peter Roskam for more on that. Ryan: Yeah, Peter Roskam is one of the conferees, because Peter’s the chair of the subcommittee that wrote this. So you can pepper Peter. Proft: Okay...so let me ask you this though. You’ve made a big point of, including at the announcement of the passage of this plan, about the postcard, and about simplification. And it seems to me that Republicans are a bit beset arguing the winners and losers game with all the details, and that seems to be the Democrats’ play, rhetorically. And I think you were on the right path with the simplification, but it needed one more step, which is Simplification Reduces Big Government, because the industry in DC is all built around the tax code, and simplifying it kind of reduces some of that Beltway industry, is that fair? Ryan: Oh, gosh yeah. That IS the point I actually make, maybe the news clips cut that off. But I pretty much...I made that at my news conference yesterday, which is when you clean out and simplify the tax system, get rid of a bunch of loopholes, then “K Street” and the Loophole Industry in Washington shrinks. And they don’t like that, but...and, in exchange, people get to keep more of their own money and they get to decide what to do with it. That’s the difference here...the current system says “You navigate all these different loopholes, you hire an accountant and they figure it out for you, send your money to Washington, and then Washington will let you keep some of your money back, if you do what Washington...the special interest loophole tells you to do.” We’re basically saying “Get rid of the loopholes and just lower tax rates across the board, let people keep their money and decide what they want to do with it, because it’s THEIR money.” That’s the philosophical change that’s occurring here. And both the Senate and the House bill has the postcard form. By doubling the standard deduction, which is what both the House and Senate bill do, we go from 70% of the people in this country not itemizing their deductions to 90% of the people in this country will be able to fill out their taxes on a postcard. So that is radical simplification which is what we’re really after, among just giving people a tax cut...AND growing the economy. I even noticed the Trib came out in favor of this, so you know, I’m not trying to bash newspapers here, but what people are recognizing...and I see this with Chicagoland businesses...and you have to understand, I’m Kenosha, Racine, Lake Geneva, Janesville, I’m right above you guys. These businesses in our communities, these multinationals? They’re LEAVING. Or they’re building overseas, instead of in Chicagoland, instead of in Wisconsin, because of our tax code. We’re reversing that trend, we’re basically saying “You’ve got money stuck overseas, you can’t bring it back, we’re going to remove that barrier. Bring your money back, re-invest it.” If the tax code tells you it’s smarter to make things overseas, to relocate overseas, we’re reversing that incentive, or making it smarter or better to stay in America, stay headquartered here, make things here.That’s what this tax reform does, in addition to a big middle-class tax cut. Proft: And we just have time for yes or no, this is going to be on the President’s desk in some form or fashion by Christmas? Ryan: Yup. That’s a yup. Proft: We got a yup, there it is! House Speaker Paul Ryan, thanks so much for joining us, appreciate your time. Ryan: Appreciate it, take care. Jacobson: And he joined us on our Turnkey Dot Pro Answer Line.