Donald Trump won the presidency in significant measure on a promise to deliver more robust growth and better jobs. As things stand, his efforts and GOP prospects for the midterm elections will importantly hinge on accomplishing tax reforms that encourage more investment. Stronger growth could be greatly assisted by reducing health care costs, regulatory burdens and the trade deficit, but the failure of Speaker Paul Ryan’s Obamacare replacement, legal barriers to quickly deconstructing Obama-era regulations and complexity of renegotiating international trade arrangements leave cutting taxes as the most viable path for Republicans to accomplish progress quickly. Unfortunately, Mr. Trump and the Republicans are hung up by conflicting objectives and special interests that make the prospects for success difficult. U.S. corporate taxes are much higher than those imposed by rivals like the United Kingdom, Germany, Ireland and China, because other nations rely more on consumption than income taxes – usually, value added taxes (VATs). The U.S. code is riddled with special interest credits and exemptions whose net effect is to impose very high taxes on some businesses while others pay not much at all. Finding the right K Street lobbyist is too often a better investment than developing a new or better product. Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady is pushing a plan to lower the top corporate tax rate from 35 to 20 percent by ripping away many special interest provisions and shifting the basis for business taxation from where products are made to where those are consumed. To yield the same revenue as the current law and be consistent with the latter principle, it would not impose taxes on products made in the United States for export, and collect the 20 percent tax on imports. Retailers like Wal-Mart strongly oppose such border tax adjustments (BTAs) on imports because they allege it would raise prices on imported consumer goods by 20 percent. That may sound plausible but is unlikely, because retailers would also be paying lower taxes on their warehousing, distribution and merchandising activities. Nevertheless, retailers have found many allies among Republicans in the Senate to oppose the Brady plan. If a corporate reform bill – or the combination of corporate and personal tax changes – is not revenue neutral, it cannot be put into law for more than 10 years through budget reconciliation, which requires only a simple majority in the Senate and no votes from Democrats if Republicans maintain solidarity. Tax changes that automatically expire in 10 years or less would do little to instigate more long-term investments in manufacturing, research labs and the like. Republicans in the Senate are not likely to garner much support from Democrats to pass measures that cut corporate or top individual tax rates and increase deficits. Most U.S. businesses – even some large ones like Chrysler and Bechtel – are organized as limited liability corporations and pay taxes through the personal income tax code. Hence, lowering the top marginal tax rates of 39.6 and 35 percent is also essential to stimulating more investment in the United States.