President Donald Trump celebrated the passage of the newly signed tax reform package Friday night, touting the legislation and its cost saving benefits to friends at Mar-a-Lago.
“You all just got a lot richer,” Trump told friends while dining at his Mar-a-Lago resort, which carries a $200,000 initiation fee, two people present for the conversation told CBS News.
The White House has maintained that the tax bill, which Trump signed into law Friday, will primarily benefit the middle class. Trump himself has said his wealthy friends dislike the legislation and has argued he will personally pay more in taxes under the new system.
“This is going to cost me a fortune, this thing, believe me. Believe — This is not good for me. Me, it’s not so — I have some very wealthy friends. Not so happy with me, but that’s OK,” Trump told supporters at a tax reform rally in St. Charles, Mo., in late November.
The bill reduces the top individual rate from 39.6 to 37 percent and preserves the carried interest loophole, which benefits the managers of hedge funds and private equity funds. Trump campaigned on eliminating the deduction.
White House economic advisor Gary Cohn said the administration made a concerted effort to eliminate the tax break but were prevented by entrenched congressional opposition.
“We would have cut carried interest,” Cohn told Axios’ Mike Allen Wednesday. “We probably tried 25 times.”
“We hit opposition in that big white building with the dome [Congress] at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue every time we tried,” he said in the interview. “It is just the reality of the political system.”
Despite his repeated assertions the contrary, Trump stands to save more than $11 million, according to a New York Times analysis based on his 2005 tax returns.
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