Top White House and congressional leaders privately agree that tax reform goes well beyond individuals and rates, and that several changes can be made to craft an economic boom.
Most politicians in the most powerful positions in Washington agree in private that there are a half-dozen or so big things they could and should do that could put a rocket booster on the U.S. economy — but they are too timid to say it in public.
This is the clear takeaway from conversations we have had over the past three months with top lawmakers, officials, their senior aides and the CEOs who advise and lobby all of them. Many of the conversations were private but many were not.
The current tax-and-spending debate only flirts with what these insiders say needs to be done. Instead, top White House and congressional leaders talk privately of the need for tax reform that goes way beyond individuals and rates; much deeper Social Security and Medicare changes than currently envisioned; quick movement on trade agreements, including a proposed one with Europe; an energy policy that exploits the oil and gas boom; and allowing foreign-born students with science expertise to stay here and start businesses.
Do this and there could be not an economic recovery — but a boom, many argue.