The “Candy Option”

#SameSameButDifferent | #WhatTheyVotedFor

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump (left) meets with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI01; center) and Vice President-elect Mike Pence on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., 10 November 2016. (Photo: Reuters/Joshua Roberts)

“As full-blown tax reform looks more and more like an unreachable stretch, there’s increasing conversation on the Hill about what’s being called a “candy option”—all the goodies, with none of the pain.”

Jonathan Swan

Three brief notes go here:

• A Senate aide is actually calling it, “the candy option”.

• Apparently, the reason for a candy option, in the first place, is that, “It’s something they can pass”, according to an unnamed Republican lobbyist.

• The Axios report includes a note that, “Both House and Senate leadership sources tell us they don’t think the ‘candy’ route is feasible”.

And, briefly, three more notes:

• Meet the new Congressional GOP, same as the old Congressional GOP—only more so.

• Amid occasional discussions of unnamed sources, it seems worth mentioning that this is one of the problems with the practice. That is, yes, there are reasons to keep names off the record in order to get information to light and story to press, but here we have sources who need to remain unnamed in order to tell us that Congressional Republicans are, in fact, behaving just like Congressional Republicans. Try it this way: An unnamed source, speaking on condition of anonymity, reminded there is nothing new under the sun.

• How is the “candy option” different from other GOP tax plans? Seriously, what is new about “lower personal and corporate rates, plus some limited repatriation, funded largely by deficit spending”? No, really: Reduce tax rates, close a couple loopholes, spend on credit. We are something like nine presidencies into the voodoo, and now we’re just going to call it the “candy option”?


Swan, Jonathan. “The ‘candy option’ for tax reform”. Axios. 16 April 2017.

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