Trump pitches tax plan to Mo. voters
President offers few details on ‘pro-American’ system overhaul
President Trump WASHINGTON tried to pump energy into his effort to revamp the tax code, enlisting Missouri voters Wednesday to put pressure on their Democratic senator to pass what he called “pro-American tax reform.”
Trump was selling a tax plan that largely doesn’t exist, and the few details he gave are the same that he outlined in a onepage document back in April.
The president flew to Springfield, Mo., to give a speech that was part policy and part politics, trying to get momentum on legislation that has been caught in a congressional traffic jam behind health care, infrastructure and the budget.
“This is our once-in-a-generation opportunity to deliver real tax reform to hardworking Americans,” Trump said. “I don’t want to be disappointed by Congress. Do you understand me?”
Trump told factory workers to call Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill to urge her to support Trump’s tax plan.
“If she doesn’t do it for you, you have to vote her out of office,” he said. The Missouri senator is running for re-election in 2018, and her office didn’t im-
mediately return a request for comment.
The speech was aimed at middle-class taxpayers — those whom Trump called “the forgotten people.” The White House chose the venue for the speech, a fan and blower company, for its proximity to Route 66, the historic route for commerce and tourism across the American West.
After a long preamble thanking dignitaries and addressing the response to Hurricane Harvey, Trump outlined broad bullet points for his tax plan:
Making the tax code “simple, fair and easy to understand.” Trump said the average taxpayer shouldn’t need professional help to file a tax return and should be able to file their taxes on a single page.
Reducing the corporate tax rate. Cutting the top corporate tax rate from 35% to 15% is perhaps the toughest sell for Democrats, but Trump said that provision would amount to a pay raise for American workers. Reducing taxes will make American companies more competitive, leading them to hire more workers and put pressure on wages, Trump said.
Middle- class tax relief.
“If (Sen. Claire McCaskill) doesn’t do it for you, you have to vote her out of office.” President Trump
Trump was less specific on this provision than he was in April, when he proposed cutting the top tax rate from 39.6% to 35% and reducing the number of brackets from seven to three.
Bring back overseas corporate profits. This proposal, known as tax repatriation, would lower the rate on profits made overseas in order to encourage companies to bring that money back to the USA. Trump said his proposal would recapture a portion of the more than $3 trillion in such profits held by U.S. companies offshore.
No sooner had Trump delivered the speech than Democrats denounced it.
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D -N.Y., said Trump’s plan was a “boon for the rich” cloaked in middleclass populism.
“If the president wants to use populism to sell his tax plan, he ought to consider actually putting his money where his mouth is and putting forward a plan that puts the middle class, not the top 1%, first,” he said.
Trump said Wednesday that his tax plan could actually hurt wealthy Americans such as himself who can afford an army of accountants.
“I’m speaking against myself when I say this,” he said. “It’s crazy. Maybe we shouldn’t be doing this, you know? But we’re doing the right thing. It’s true.”
“This is our once-in-a-generation opportunity to deliver real tax reform to hardworking Americans,” President Trump tells an audience Wednesday in Springfield, Mo.