Trump promotes tax plan to GOP, Dem senators at White House

By Allen Cone  |  Updated Oct. 18, 2017 at 3:52 PM
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Oct. 18 (UPI) -- President Donald Trump met with Republican and Democratic members of the Senate Finance Committee Wednesday, detailing more of his plan for tax reform.

Tax reform has been a priority issue for the Trump administration, and GOP lawmakers have been working to get it done since efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act failed.

"We're here to discuss our plan to deliver historic tax cuts for American families, businesses, workers," Trump said in the Cabinet Room. "It will be the largest tax cut in the history of our country."

Trump called the plan a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity ... something that will be really unique."

"The timing is right. I have had people on both sides ... a lot of people are liking this very much," he said. "And I think we're going to have tremendous support."

The president said the "vast majority of Americans will be able to file their taxes on a single sheet of paper, because not only will these be massive tax cuts, but these will be a big simplification."

"We are doubling the amount of income that is taxed at the zero bracket. In other words, the zero bracket -- many people will be able to take advantage of that bracket that are not in that bracket."

Trump also noted the increase of the child tax credit, an end to the estate tax and a reduction of the business tax rate -- from 35 percent to no more than 20 percent.

Appearing in the White House Rose Garden Monday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said "the goal is to get it done this calendar year."

Most Democrats have rejected the president's tax plan, saying it's geared for the rich.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Wednesday that "there's no question in my mind that if we don't get it done, you're going to see a reversal of a significant amount of [stock market] gains."

He also told Politico that "when you're cutting taxes across the board, it's very hard not to give tax cuts to the wealthy with tax cuts to the middle class."

Trump, when announcing his reform plan, though, said the wealthy would not benefit from it.

"That's not the focus of the tax plan," White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Wednesday when asked about the seeming discrepancy between Trump and Mnuchin's comments.

"The priority of the framework that the White House laid out is to benefit the middle class," she said, adding that "there may be some people who receive tax cuts who are also in the wealthy bracket."

According to a CNN poll conducted by SSRS, just 34 percent of Americans said they support Trump's tax proposal. Twenty-four percent said their families will be better off with the plan, 31 percent expect to be worse off and 37 percent said they'll be about the same.

The poll was conducted Thursday through Sunday and has a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.

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