Jenkins: GOP's tax reform plan isn't like the Kansas 'experiment'

Thursday, 28 Sep, 2017

Speaking with conservative groups at the White House yesterday Trump, reassured them of his commitment when he gushed about the "tax cut" he was planning to unveil.

But up to now, the drive for tax reform has been repeatedly delayed and Wednesday's plan was likely to be light on specifics.

Republican leaders have acknowledged that the plan, if enacted, initially would add to the budget deficit.

He and other Republicans pitching the plan argue that the changes they're seeking would help the economy grow faster, which in turn would help pay for the tax cuts. Some Senate Republicans are trying to tailor the tax cut so that it reduces revenue by only $1.5 trillion over 10 years. That's not as low as Trump wanted, but is still a very big reduction, to the lowest top rate since 1940.

-The current "worldwide tax system" would shift a "territorial tax system", which could exempt companies from paying taxes on money earned overseas.

Businesses have been lobbying heavily for a reduction in the corporate rate. "The business community will engage throughout the process as lawmakers work through the hard decisions ahead and craft a tax system that improves competitiveness, spurs job creation, and promises higher wages for American workers".

Profits of small, pass-through businesses that go directly to the owners are now taxed at the individual income tax rates, often at the top level of 39.6 percent.

For individuals, there is much less clarity. The plan calls for lower rates on individuals and families while ensuring that the share of taxes paid by the wealthy does not fall.

It will be up to Congress to assign the income ranges that would be under each bracket. Given the president's penchant for defying the wishes of his own party, there is widespread concern among insiders that he will abandon the Big Six plan and call for 15 percent anyway. It lowers the corporate tax rate to 20 percent and eliminates four income tax brackets. It's just another tax cut for the wealthy that the nation can not afford.

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They will propose almost doubling the standard deduction, which allows people to lower their taxable income.

The plan would maintain tax breaks for charitable giving and mortgage interest, and it also proposes amendments to the tax code that would benefit education and retirement.

The plan would raise the standard deduction to $12,000 for single filers and $24,000 for married taxpayers filing jointly.

-Taxpayers who itemize their deductions. That amounts to almost double the "benefit" they would receive by a doubled standard deduction. The credit, now $1,000 per child, would be expanded to higher-income families. "It gives a massive tax cut to the wealthiest American households at the expense of the middle class".

The president has said the plan will be the largest tax cut in American history.

"We'll see what happens, but I hope it's going to be 15 percent", he told reporters last week.

Lawmakers also are being given the option of adding a fourth tax bracket for higher incomes if needed to make sure the tax code remains as progressive as it now is.

The White House and a spokeswoman for the House Ways and Means Committee did not respond to a request for comment on the Axios report, or a request to confirm the proposed standard deduction rates. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah.