Trump, GOP weigh sur­tax on wealthy, dou­bled de­duc­tion

Ripon Bulletin - - State / Nation -

WASH­ING­TON (AP) — Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump and con­gres­sional Repub­li­cans are con­sid­er­ing an in­come tax sur­charge on the wealthy and dou­bling the stan­dard de­duc­tion given to most Amer­i­cans, with the GOP un­der pres­sure to over­haul the tax code af­ter the col­lapse of the health care re­peal.

On the eve of the grand roll­out of the plan, de­tails emerged on Capi­tol Hill on Tues­day while Trump per­son­ally ap­pealed to House Repub­li­cans and Democrats at the White House to get be­hind his pro­posal.

“We will cut taxes tremen­dously for the mid­dle class. Not just a lit­tle bit but tremen­dously,” Trump said as he met with mem­bers of the tax-writ­ing Ways and Means Com­mit­tee. He pre­dicted jobs “will be com­ing back in be­cause we have a non-com­pet­i­tive tax struc­ture right now and we’re go­ing to go su­per com­pet­i­tive.”

Among the de­tails: re­peal of the tax on mul­ti­mil­lion-dol­lar es­tates, a re­duc­tion in the cor­po­rate rate from 35 per­cent to 20 per­cent and po­ten­tially four tax brack­ets, down from the cur­rent seven. The cur­rent top rate for in­di­vid­u­als, those earn­ing more than $418,000 a year, is 39.6 per­cent.

The goal is a more sim­ple tax code that would spur eco­nomic growth and make U.S. com­pa­nies more com­pet­i­tive. De­liv­er­ing on the top leg­isla­tive goal will be cru­cial for Repub­li­cans in­tent on hold­ing onto their ma­jori­ties in next year’s midterm elec­tions.

The tax over­haul plan as­sem­bled by the White House and GOP lead­ers, which would slash the rate for cor­po­ra­tions, aims at the first ma­jor re­vamp of the tax sys­tem in three decades. It would de­liver a ma­jor Trump cam­paign pledge.

The out­lines of the plan were de­scribed by GOP of­fi­cials who de­manded anonymity to dis­close pri­vate de­lib­er­a­tions.

The plan would likely cut the tax rate for the wealth­i­est Amer­i­cans from 39.6 per­cent to 35 per­cent. A new sur­charge on wealthy tax­pay­ers might soften the ap­pear­ance of the wealth­i­est Amer­i­cans and big cor­po­ra­tions ben­e­fit­ing from gen­er­ous tax cuts.

Repub­li­cans al­ready were pick­ing at the frame­work, point­ing up how di­vi­sions within GOP ranks can com­pli­cate ef­forts to over­haul taxes as has hap­pened with the se­ries of moves to re­peal the Obama health care law.

De­tails of the pro­posal crafted be­hind closed doors over months by top White House eco­nomic of­fi­cials, GOP con­gres­sional lead­ers and the Repub­li­can heads of tax-writ­ing pan­els in the House and Se­nate were set to be re­leased Wed­nes­day. Trump and the Repub­li­cans were putting the fi­nal touches on the plan when the Democrats were brought in. A se­nior Demo­crat saw it as the open­ing of ne­go­ti­a­tions.

Trump had pre­vi­ously said he wanted a 15 per­cent rate for cor­po­ra­tions, but House Speaker Paul Ryan has called that im­prac­ti­cally low and has said it would risk adding to the soar­ing $20 tril­lion na­tional debt.

Trump said Tues­day some of the com­po­nents in­cluded dou­bling the stan­dard de­duc­tion used by fam­i­lies and in­creas­ing the child tax credit. He said the ma­jor­ity of Amer­i­cans would be able to file their taxes on a sin­gle page. “We must make our tax code sim­ple and fair. It’s too com­pli­cated,” Trump said.

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