Fear - Trump in the White House
Bob Woodward
Contributed by Larisa Brooke

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Chapter 35
Summary

Cohn previously agreed to stay only to ensure that the tax reform projects are completed, not trusting them to other staff members, as a result of this he is under pressure to deliver. The author notes that the current U.S. corporate tax rate is 35%, making it one of the highest in the world (Woodward 241). Therefore, some companies choose to take their headquarters to other nations with lower corporate tax rates. Due to this, these nations experience enormous revenues, revenue that the President sees as belonging to the US and to combat this Trump wants to reduce the tax rate to 15% so that companies return, and the US may benefit. On Monday nights, Speaker Paul Ryan hosts an Italian buffet in his conference room for the main tax reform players who represent Congress and the administration (Woodward 243). This group manages to come up with four principles on tax reforms. The principles are a simplification of the tax code, tax relief for middle-income families, job creation and wage growth, as well as bringing back and taxing the trillions of corporate dollars stashed overseas (Woodward 243). Despite the effort, Mnuchin seems to annoy some of the members and Cohn has to take action by reporting to Kelly.

Concerning the corporate tax rate, Trump wants Cohn to deliver on his idea rating of 15%. This is difficult and thus Cohn and Mnuchin convince the President to agree to 18%. Later, Speaker Ryan calls Trump asking him to move to 20 percent, these little intrusions keep happening until everyone is agreed to settle at 21%, something that Trump can still take and consider it a win. They then present the tax bill to the Senate and it passes 51 to 48. Most of the Republicans celebrate upon hearing the news with Cohn believing that the reform will help in growing the economy. Trump believes that it will bring jobs to the country.

Analysis

Woodward makes this chapter all about the tax reforms. This is an indication that Cohn will resign soon after the reform is in place. Trump has waited for this reform, a reform that he has been passionate about ever since entering office, and he believes it will be a great success. As far as he is concerned, it is another electoral promise that he has come through with, furthering his popularity and credibility. The president wants to decrease the corporate tax rate from 35% to 15%. Although this is a sizeable change, it places the country in a better position in terms of global competition since more corporations will seek to invest in the country due to the tax rates. This will benefit the economy in various ways, let alone the revenue gained from the taxes imposed on the corporations. In addition, jobs will become available, thus transforming the livelihood of many Americans. Trump understands the benefits and ramifications of the reforms and this gives him the strength and resolve to keep pushing until the implementation of the Bill.

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