Republican lawmakers in Washington have rolled out a proposed tax cut plan that is expected to receive considerable attention over the coming weeks. The issue is one that is near and dear to the heart of President Donald Trump. He has traveled to some U.S. cities, including Springfield, Missouri, to gather support for an overhaul in the nation’s tax code.
Some of the highlights of the legislation include:
• Slashing the corporate tax rate from 35% to 20%
• Allowing more people to qualify for a child tax credit designed to help low-income families
• Collapsing the seven individual income-tax brackets into three
• Repealing the estate tax
• Doubling the size of standard deductions for married couples and individuals
•Preserving tax deductions that encourage buying homes and donating to charity
Just like with the GOP’s failed attempts to overhaul the federal healthcare system, Congressional Democrats are saying their Republican counterparts have kept them in the dark about their proposed changes to tax regulations. U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri, is trying to be optimistic.
“The most important part of this proposal is the commitment to a ‘transparent and inclusive process’ and the welcoming of bipartisan support and participation. That’s what’s going to make or break this process, and if Republican leaders are serious about that commitment, I’m eager to get to work with them,” she says.
McCaskill embraces some of the plan’s features but she’s not crazy about all of them.
“While there are some specific ideas in here would support, like the expanded child care tax credit and the increased deduction for middle class families—and some I don’t, like tax breaks for the wealthiest—I’m not going to draw any lines in the sand until we’ve had that robust public debate and can see analysis of how each proposal would affect the bottom line for Missouri’s working families, and our deficit,” says McCaskill.
U.S. Senator Roy Blunt, R-Missouri, said changes in federal tax regulations would help Americans take home more pay and boost the economy.
“I think we’re looking at some tax changes here that would allow more taxpayers to be sharing the burden, not higher tax rates but more taxpayers,” Blunt said on the Senate floor on Wednesday. “Both our problems of jobs that aren’t growing as they should in terms of what they pay and the government not having the money it needs to defend the country and do other things, a lot of that can be solved by an economy that’s thriving again.”
Blunt said people spend too much money getting their taxes figured out.
“We have the greatest compliance of any country, I believe, in the history of the world,” said Blunt. “But people are less likely to comply if they don’t think the tax policy is fair and easily understood.”
Blunt wants Congress to move swiftly and pass the legislation this year. He says the plan should be impacting the economy by the first quarter of 2018.