Donald Trump Releases Populist-Sounding Tax Reform Plan

Alex Pappas Political Reporter
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Republican Donald Trump has released a populist-sounding plan to reform the tax code, saying Monday, if elected president, he would cut taxes for most citizens and businesses while getting rid of deductions and loopholes for the wealthy and hedge-fund managers.

“It will be simple, it will be easy, it will be fair, it’s graduated,” Trump said.

At a Trump Tower press conference, Trump acknowledged his plan to eliminate credits and deductions would likely mean higher taxes for some wealthy taxpayers, but predicted the economy will be stronger because of the changes and, therefore, they will make more money.

“Some of the very unfair deductions that certain people have been given who make a lot of money will not be available any longer,” Trump said. “But I actually believe they will do better because I think the economy will grow rapidly.”

Here are the bullet points of the Trump plan, according to details released by his campaign:

  • No income tax for single people who earn less than $25,000, or married couples who jointly earn less than $50,000.
  • The income tax code will be collapsed from seven brackets to four. Depending on income, taxpayers will pay 0 percent, 10 percent, 20 percent or 25 percent in taxes.
  • Trump will lower business and corporate taxes, saying no business of any size will pay more than 15 percent of its income on taxes.
  • Trump will get rid of what’s known as the death tax.
  • Certain deductions and loopholes for the rich will be reduced or eliminated, including the “carried interest” tax break for hedge-fund managers.
  • A one-time 10 percent tax will be imposed on the profits of American corporations earned abroad, with the hope it will force companies to choose to bring business and jobs back home.

Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform, a conservative organization that promotes lower taxes, said Monday he approves of Trump’s approach.

“Trump’s plan is certainly consistent with the Taxpayer Protection Pledge,” said Norquist. “Trump has said he opposes net tax hikes and has made clear that the real problem is spending. This plan is a reform, not a tax hike.”

Trump, during his press conference, would specifically say who helped him draft his tax plan, but said he had some help from experts.

“I did the plan with some of the leading scholars and economists and tax experts that there are in this country,” he said. “They love it, they say, ‘Why hasn’t this done before?'”

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