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The rise and fall (but mostly fall) of the border adjustment tax


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n Feb. 7, with voting in the House of Representatives concluded for the day, Rep. David Brat held court in the Speaker's Lobby, the ornate room just off the chamber floor. He was speaking with a group of tax reporters to discuss the topic on every taxwriter's mind: the border-adjusted tax.
Brat, who is best known for unseating former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, is also an economist and a former professor. So, it was with the confidence of a college professor that he lectured reporters on the merits of changing the way imports and exports are taxed.

Brat said the House Freedom Caucus, the conservative group of which he is a prominent member, examined every scenario with noted economist Larry Lindsey and found none in which any American business would suffer.
The retail sales industry — think Walmart and the Home Depot — warned that blue-collar and middle-class people would be hit by rocketing costs for imported consumer goods. Brat dismissed that charge as simply wrong. The benefits, he insisted, would be huge.
"Have Walmart go to the white board and show me the worst-case scenario for them," Brat said, throwing down the gauntlet. Border adjustment won't hurt importers, he said. "That's not up for :snip:

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