Trump To Talk Tax Plan

Apr 26, 2017
Originally published on April 26, 2017 6:30 am
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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Now, one of President Trump's top priorities has been to overhaul the tax code. And today, ahead of that hundred-day mark, he will explain his plan for how to do that. President Trump has already said he would deliver, quote, "maybe the biggest tax cut we've ever had." As NPR's John Ydstie reports, we're not expecting that many details today.

JOHN YDSTIE, BYLINE: The president's plan is expected to borrow heavily from the tax proposal he campaigned on. It proposed a cut in the U.S. corporate tax rate, currently among the highest in the world, from 35 percent all the way down to 15 percent. On Monday, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin said the president wants to cut taxes for the middle class as well and simplify the tax code.

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STEVEN MNUCHIN: The average American should be able to do their taxes on a large postcard.

YDSTIE: Mnuchin said the administration believes reducing business taxes will make U.S. companies more competitive and convince them to repatriate a huge stockpile of profits they've earned offshore. But cutting the corporate tax rate to 15 percent could reduce government revenue by as much as $2 trillion over 10 years and explode the budget deficit. Mnuchin says that won't happen.

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MNUCHIN: The tax plan will pay for itself with economic growth.

YDSTIE: However, historical evidence suggests tax cuts may boost growth somewhat, but they don't fully pay for themselves. Jon Traub, a former Republican staff director of the House Ways and Means Committee, now at Deloitte, says the prospect of higher deficits could divide Republicans.

JON TRAUB: I think there's reason to think that would have a hard time passing muster with some members.

YDSTIE: Yesterday, a White House official suggested some revenue might be gained by ending some tax deductions, but that could also be politically difficult. Another challenge will be getting buy-in from House Republicans who have a tax-cut plan of their own. It includes a big tax hike on all imports that Trump has not yet embraced. The White House will gather reactions to the president's plan from lawmakers and hopes to introduce a tax bill by the end of the summer. John Ydstie, NPR News, Washington.

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