Trump plan promises huge tax cuts, but big questions remain

Trump plan promises huge tax cuts, but big questions remain, by Marcy Gordon.

Promising big tax cuts and a booming economy, President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans unveiled the first major revamp of the nation’s tax code in a generation Wednesday — a sweeping, nearly $6 trillion tax cut that would deeply reduce levies for corporations, simplify everyone’s brackets and nearly double the standard deduction used by most Americans.

Trump declared repeatedly the plan would provide badly needed tax relief for the middle class. But there are too many gaps in the proposal to know how it actually would affect individual taxpayers and families, how it would be paid for and how much it might add to the soaring $20 trillion national debt.

There clearly would be seismic changes for businesses large and small, with implications for companies beyond U.S. borders. The American middle-class family of four could take advantage of a heftier child tax credit and other deductions but face uncertainty about the rate its household income would be taxed.

“Under our framework, we will dramatically cut the business tax rate so that American companies and American workers can beat our foreign competitors and start winning again,” Trump boasted at a speech in Indiana.

Some Republicans, once fiscally demanding but now desperate for a legislative win after a yearlong drought, shrugged off the specter of adding billions to the federal deficit. Failure on taxes, after the collapse of health care repeal, could cost the GOP dearly in next year’s midterm elections with its House majority at stake. …

Trump and the architects of the Republican plan insist that the overhaul is aimed squarely at benefiting the middle class and wouldn’t favor the wealthy. …

In the absence of details on the plan’s cost, one back-of-the-envelope estimate by a Washington budget watchdog estimated the tax cuts at perhaps $5.8 trillion over the next 10 years. …

Deductions for mortgage interest and charitable giving would remain, but the plan seeks to end most other itemized deductions that can reduce how much affluent families pay.