Trump lays out tax reform plan

Reporting by John Roberts

In Indiana today, where Democratic Senator Joe Donnelly faces a tight race for re-election next year, President Trump laid out his plan for tax reform.

“This is the right tax cut and this si the right time. Democrats and Republicans in Congress should come together finally.”

While many of the details have yet to be filled in, President Trump is proposing three tax rates for individuals.

Trump would double the standard of deduction from $12,000 for an individual and $24,000 for a married couple.

The corporate rate would be slashed from 35 to 20%, which President Trump, who has repeatedly said he doesn’t set red lines, today insisted was a red line:

“Very much a read line. In fact, I wanted to start at fifteen so that we got twenty. It just—the numbers were— fifteen was so low. We did not take in the revenue, but I wanted fifteen so we got twenty. Twenty is my number I am not negotiating that number. I am really—I am not gonna negotiate.”

President Trump would also reduce the tax rate for small businesses—so called s-corps or “pass through” companies to 25% and increase child tax credit from its current level of $1000 per child, though he’s leaving it to Congress to determine the exact amount.

The plan is to eliminate most itemized deductions, but keep mortgage and cahritbale deduction. The president would also eliminate “marriage” penalty, eliminate “death tax” and eliminate alternative minimum tax.

But from Capitol Hill, a warning came from Utah Senator Orrin Hatch forecasting a difficult time getting tax reform through.

“So I would like to bring those rates down for basically everybody, including businesses as well. It’s gonna be tough to do. We’re so equally divided it’s going to be almost impossible to do without some democratic help. And I’m hopeful we can do that.”

As an enticement, President Trump today threated Senator Joe Donnelly and other vulnerable Democrats.

“If Senator Donnelly doesn’t approve because he’s on the other side. We will come here and we will campaign against him like you wouldn’t believe.”

President Trump also revealed today that he has yet another backup plan for the repeal and replacement of Obamacare—insisting he has the Republican votes, just not at the m moment.

“We have the votes for healthcare. We have one senator that’s in the hospital. He can’t vote because he’s in the hospital. We have two other votes that are coming, and we will have them.”

The president was referring to Mississippi Senator Thad Cochran who had been in the hospital, but is now home recuperating. President Trump says he can’t cobble together enough votes by the reconciliation deadline of this Friday, but that he will try again in the new year.

“We’re going to do it in January or February because, as you know, we have the votes but we can’t go longer than Friday.”

The president also revealed he will likely sign an Executive Order next week to allow insurance companies to sell healthcare policies across state lines. That would fulfill a major campaign promise and something Republicans have pledged for years.

But the president‘s health secretary may never see the changes implemented. Tom Price is on thin ice after it was revealed he spent more than $400,000 on private planes. President Trump today said he was not happy about it and let Price know it. As for Price’s job…the president had this to say:

“I am going to see. I’m going to look at that very closely. I am not happy with it. I will tell you I am not happy with it.”