Pres. Trump’s tax plan cuts top rate from 39.6 to 35 percent

President Donald Trump speaks at the Interior Department in Washington, Wednesday, April, 26, 2017. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

WASHINGTON (AP) – Top Trump administration officials insist the president’s proposed tax plan, which would slash corporate and individual tax rates, will not add to the deficit. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin told reporters at a White House briefing that the plan “will pay for itself with growth and with reduction of different deductions and closing loopholes.” That’s despite the fact that the plan proposes a dramatic reduction in the corporate tax rate, the end of the estate tax, and personal tax cuts, especially for middle income families. Mnuchin says the president is concerned about the federal deficit, but says the proposed plan will “lower the debt-to-GDP” ratio and “create massive amounts of revenues.”

Trump proposed a similar tax plan during his campaign. Some analyses of that plan estimated it would add trillions of dollars to the deficit over 10 years.

House and Senate Republican leaders offered mild praise for the president’s outline to overhaul the nation’s tax code. In a joint statement, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan said the principles released by the Trump administration would serve as “critical guideposts” for overhauling the tax system. They praised lower tax rates for families and businesses. They said they are confident they can work with the White House to rebuild the tax code in a way that will grow the economy, promote savings and investment and “bring prosperity to all Americans.”

President Donald Trump wants to simplify the personal tax code by cutting rates and eliminating deductions used by more affluent Americans. White House economic adviser Gary Cohn says the plan would cut the top income tax rate from 39.6 percent to 35 percent. It also would reduce the number of personal income tax brackets to three from seven. The new tax rates would be 10 percent, 25 percent and 35 percent. The plan would cut the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 15 percent.

The plan would double the standard deduction for married couples to $24,000, while keeping deductions for charitable giving and mortgage interest payments. The plan would trim other deductions used by high-income Americans, including state and local tax payments. It would also repeal the estate tax, the catch-all alternative minimum tax and the 3.8 percent tax on investment income from President Barack Obama’s health care law.

Mnuchin says the plan will amount to “the biggest tax cut” and the “largest tax reform” in U.S. history. Mnuchin gave that description during a speech in Washington on Wednesday morning.

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