Trump's tax plan is a mystery, but it's coming anyway

The new plan will include a lot of tax cuts, but Republicans aren't saying how they'll avoid increasing the deficit

By Matthew Rozsa

Staff Writer

Published September 27, 2017 8:59AM (EDT)

 (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

President Donald Trump is going to tour America to promote a tax plan that — like the Republican Party's numerous infamous Obamacare repeal bills — remains mysterious.

The tax plan that Trump is supposed to tout on Wednesday will lower the top income tax rate for individual Americans to 35 percent, reduce the corporate tax rate to 20 percent and establish a 25 percent tax rate for pass-through businesses, according to Reuters. Although Republicans have insisted that the budgetary impact of the tax cuts will be offset by closing existing loopholes, it is unclear if any specifics will be mentioned in their upcoming plan.

Without some method of compensating for the loss of tax revenue, the nonpartisan Tax Foundation estimated that Trump's tax plan would reduce the total amount of money coming into the government by approximately $5 trillion over the next decade.

Of course, the plan hammered out by the so-called Big Six — Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, economic adviser Gary Cohn, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisc. and Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas — could become even more problematic from a budgetary standpoint, according to Politico. Trump has insisted that he wants a 15 percent corporate tax rate, despite most Republicans agreeing that would be disastrous for the budget. 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.

"He’s the one guy left in Washington who still wants a 15 percent corporate rate. They could put 20 percent down on paper and he could go out and say 15 percent anyway. He goes to these tax meetings and people just hammer him but he still wants 15 percent," said one source close to the White House's tax reform discussions.

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer at Salon. He received a Master's Degree in History from Rutgers-Newark in 2012 and was awarded a science journalism fellowship from the Metcalf Institute in 2022.

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Donald Trump Tax Plan Tax Reform