When President Donald Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon internally floated a large tax hike on the wealthy, it was not met with the nervousness or fear you might expect from would-be opponents.Instead, they laughed.The idea received wide media attention and dominated tax policy conversations in Washington, D.C., this week, given the sway that Bannon has in the West Wing, and how thoroughly his idea broke with partisan orthodoxy.
But fiscal hawks greeted the proposal with a collective yawn—some even openly mocking the idea—and other senior White House officials concede that it’s likely going nowhere fast.
Over the weekend, Axios reported that Bannon had been advocating a rate hike for the top income tax bracket in order to pay for huge tax cuts for the lower and middle class. “Bannon has told colleagues he wants the top income tax bracket to ‘have a 4 in front of it,’” according to Axios.
Ordinarily, if the chief strategist of a Republican-held White House had pushed hard for this policy idea, conservative activists would likely panic and start demanding privately that the White House take a step back from the populist ledge. Bannon has steered White House policy in other high-profile areas such as trade and immigration.
However, among Bannon’s West Wing colleagues, as well as conservative and libertarian groups working closely with the administration on tax policy, it was little more than the White House chief strategist engaging in his own political fan-fic