Trump proposes sweeping tax reform

This reminds me of the tax plan the GOP came up with last year. Didn't go very far, did it.  Well have at it.  What's good and what needs to be tossed out the window?

The White House is proposing comprehensive reforms to the tax code that would wipe out most deductions and simplify the system for individuals into three tax brackets. 

The plan unveiled Wednesday would cut the top personal income tax rate from 39.6 percent to 35 percent and double the standard deduction for taxpayers to $24,000. 

The plan would also lower the tax rate for corporations and most small businesses to 15 percent, more than halving the current 35 percent corporate rate.

"It's a great plan," Trump said during an executive order signing at the White House. "It's going to put people back to work."

The White House plan follows many of Trump’s campaign pledges and came in the form of a set of principles with few details. But the plan is designed to be the starting point of a major push to pass a comprehensive tax reform package this year. 

“Tax reform is long overdue,” National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn told reporters at the White House. "We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to do something really big."

Parts of the outline are similar to the plan from House Republicans, though it does not include a controversial border-adjustment tax that would pay for the reforms by imposing a new tax on imports.

The plan would repeal taxes that mostly affect wealthy Americans, such as the alternative minimum tax for individuals and the estate tax. But it would also “eliminate targeted tax breaks that mainly benefit the wealthiest taxpayers,” according to the one-page outline released Wednesday.  

The outline also vows to provide "tax relief for families with child and dependent care expenses" — an idea championed by first daughter Ivanka Trump — without specifying how.

Trump’s proposal includes a one-time tax on corporate profits overseas that would allow companies to repatriate funds to the United States, something business believes would spark new investments. 

It would also eliminate all tax deductions for individuals aside from mortgage interest and charitable tax deductions, according to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. 

It’s not clear how much revenue would be generated to pay for the plan. Mnuchin and Cohn did not say whether companies would voluntarily repatriate earnings to be taxed or if taxes would affect all earnings overseas. Congress will ultimately decide those details, they said. 

Trump did not appear at the rollout of the tax plan, though he had pushed to have it released this week. He left it to Mnuchin and Cohn to explain the outline to reporters in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room. 

Details of the plan have leaked out over the past couple of days, some of which were expected to be met with resistance from congressional Republicans. 

GOP leaders praised Trump's "principles," saying they "will serve as critical guideposts for Congress and the administration as we work together to overhaul the American tax system."

“Lower rates for individuals and families will allow them to keep more of their hard-earned money and empower them to invest more in their future,” Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and the heads of the House and Senate tax-writing committees said in a joint statement. “Getting tax rates down for American companies, big and small, will create new jobs and make the United States a more inviting place to do business.”

Democrats hit the plan as a tax cut for the rich that will help Wall Street and said the plan could personally benefit Trump. According to a portion of his 2005 tax returns, which were obtained by MSNBC, Trump would have saved millions if the alternative minimum tax did not exist. 

Liberals also used the occasion to call on Trump to release his tax returns. 

“The president has no intention. The president has released plenty of information and I think he has given more financial disclosure than anybody else,” Mnuchin said.

View video at TheHill

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