Here's Why Harry Reid Wants Me To Stop Reading The Budget

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid thinks this reporter would be better served watching movies than reading budget proposals.

Reid gave us this unsolicited advice while discussing tax loopholes Thursday.

President Barack Obama’s budget released this week and Republican House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp’s recent tax plan didn’t have much in common. One of the few things they shared was a proposal to kill the so-called “carried interest” tax loophole, a benefit in the tax code that hedge fund and private equity profits to be taxed at a lower rate.

Despite some bipartisan support, however, there is little chance any plan to kill the carried interest loophole will become law. Reid offered a grim response when Business Insider asked whether he thought it was an issue around which Republicans and Democrats could rally. After suggesting he would like to include a removal of carried interest in broader tax reform, Reid changed the subject.

“I’m going to give a little advice to you. You spend time reading those budgets?” he asked.

“Yep,” we replied.

“Gee whiz. There are some good movies out,” he quipped.

“Which one should I go see?”

“I’ve watched most of them. Anything would be better than reading those budgets,” Reid said.

“Of course,” he added, “I read every one of them, too, as you know.”

A Senate Democratic aide later told Business Insider Reid’s pessimistic comments could stem from the unlikelihood of Republicans agreeing to an elimination of the carried-interest loophole, outside of the context of Camp’s plan. However, Camp’s proposal, which he developed with former Democratic Senator Max Baucus, has drawn widespread opposition on both sides of the aisle.

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