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Trump pushes Congress for tax reform

31 Août 2017

President Donald Trump's fall push for the Republican tax reform effort kicks off on Wednesday in Springfield, Missouri. We have a President of the United States asking Congress to send a tax reform package to his desk. Trump posted a message on Twitter Sunday saying he was heading to Missouri and that Senator Claire McCaskill, a Democrat, is "opposed to big tax cuts". Top administration officials have been meeting with GOP leadership and the chairmen of the top tax-writing committees for months in an attempt to work out a blueprint they can all get behind. Suppose that a bill passes in November or December cutting individual income tax rates.

Republicans control both chambers of Congress, but there is hardly a consensus on tax reform, and talks on the issue is set to be arduous. As William G. Gale of the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center said in an earlier Cohen piece, "The assumed effects on growth are just huge and unwarranted".

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has also said job growth is the primary goal of tax reform.

"What could possibly be more bipartisan than helping people keep more of what they earn?" he said. National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn told the Financial Times in an interview published Friday that the Ways and Means Committee would write the tax legislation "in the next three or four weeks". Business tax rates are unfairly high, leading to tax avoidance schemes or added costs for consumer goods and services.

But the White House is not ready to spell out what the rewrite will look like or what kind of price tag it will carry. He will speak about tax reform at the Loren Cook Company, which makes ventilation equipment. "As the president mentioned, our tax reform plan will make the American Dream more accessible than ever before".

At a manufacturing company in Springfield, Missouri, on Wednesday, Trump reiterated his longstanding call for slashing the USA corporate tax rate to 15 per cent from 35 per cent at a time when lawmakers believe they could be lucky to bring it down to 25 per cent.

Yet, even before Trump spoke, the usual suspects were at it again, savaging the notion that US corporations needed any tax cuts at all.

The GOP also wants to end-run Democratic involvement and possible filibusters, by passing "tax reform" under "budget-reconciliation" rules.

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Key questions remain. For instance, Trump said in April he wants to lower the tax rate on businesses to 15 percent, but it is unclear if this rate will remain or ultimately be revised upward.

"The folks in the administration know that September is packed with other activity that's not tax reform and at the minimum, it's going to be a distraction", Mazur said.

And amid catastrophic damage from Hurricane Harvey, Trump has promised Texas and Louisiana "billions" of dollars in disaster relief funds, money that will have to be appropriated by Congress. Trump said Tuesday that "there's probably never been something so expensive in our country's history", suggesting the request for emergency federal funding could be sizable.

To pass the bill in the Senate, Republican leaders plan to use a special procedure called budget reconciliation that would allow them to approve the tax changes with a simple majority of 51 votes instead of the 60 often required in the Senate.

"Second, we need a competitive tax code that creates more jobs and higher wages for Americans". Tax overhauls are rare and hard; the last one happened in 1986 when Ryan got his driver's license.

More importantly, these proposals would inevitably result in cuts to public investments that help working people.

To be sure, the "Big Six" negotiating tax reform have indicated they have more than corporate tax cuts in mind.

Trump pushes Congress for tax reform