25 August 2019

Trump Asks For Tax Plan Cutting Corporate Rate to 15%

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President Donald Trump has ordered White House aides to accelerate efforts to draft a tax plan slashing the corporate rate to 15% and prioritizing cuts in tax rates over an attempt to not increase the deficit, according to a person familiar with the directive.

During a meeting inside the Oval Office last week, Mr. Trump told staff he wants a massive tax cut to sell to the American people, the person said. It was less important to him if the plan loses revenue. Mr. Trump told his team to “get it done,” in time to release a plan by Wednesday.

A White House spokesman didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn are scheduled to meet Tuesday to discuss Mr. Trump’s tax proposals with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch and House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady of Texas. The meeting comes in advance of a Wednesday announcement by Mr. Trump about his principles for tax policy.

 “This is part of our continuing dialogue with the Trump administration on tax reform,” said AshLee Strong, a spokeswoman for Mr. Ryan.

Mr. Trump promised from the campaign trail to cut corporate rates to 15% from 35%. There likely aren’t enough business tax breaks that could be repealed to offset the fiscal cost, meaning such a move would increase budget deficits. Roughly, each percentage-point cut in the tax rate lowers federal revenue by $100 billion over a decade, so a 20-point cut would cost the government $2 trillion, according to the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation.

Any plan that adds to budget deficits would be difficult to advance on Capitol Hill, for both procedural and partisan reasons.

The president’s fellow Republicans, who control both the House and Senate, are aiming to pass a tax bill through a process known as reconciliation, which means they wouldn’t need votes from Democrats. However, bills passed under reconciliation can’t increase deficits beyond the typical 10-year time frame against which tax and spending policies are projected.

That makes it difficult if not impossible for Republicans to pass a deficit-financed tax cut that doesn’t expire without getting Democratic votes in the Senate. Democrats are against large tax cuts for corporations, especially at a time when Mr. Trump is proposing cuts to government spending programs they prioritize, like housing, arts and the environment.

Click here for the original article from Wall Street Journal.

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