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    Trump seeks 15 percent corporate tax rate, even if it swells the national debt

    Trump seeks 15 percent corporate tax rate, even if it swells the national debt
    Why tax reform is hard
    25
    President Trump is talking up a "big announcement" on tax reform slated for April 26, after months of pledging to make drastic changes to the tax code. The Post's Damian Paletta explains why tax reform is so complicated. (Jenny Starrs/The Washington Post)

    By Damian Paletta and Robert Costa
    April 24 at 3:58 PM

    President Trump is pursuing a drastic cut in the corporate tax rate, a move that is likely to grow the national debt and breach a long-held Republican goal of curbing federal borrowing.


    The president has instructed advisers to propose cutting the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 15 percent, according to White House officials who said they were not authorized to speak publicly about the plan. The rate reduction — which independent budget experts say could cost the federal government $2.4 trillion over a decade — is larger than what House Republicans had proposed in their own plan.


    White House officials said the president would make the announcement Wednesday as part of a release of broad principles to overhaul the tax code — days before a 100-day deadline Trump had given himself for achieving most top campaign goals. They are also expected to discuss changes to the personal income tax, among other aspects of the tax code, said two White House officials.


    Trump has pledged that the tax cut in total would be the largest in U.S. history, and his advisers have said that the economic growth it stimulates would make up for any shortfall in revenue.


    “The tax plan will pay for itself with economic growth,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Monday.


    Trump signs three executive orders on taxes and Wall Street regulation



    Play Video2:03


    President Trump signed three executive orders on April 21 at the Treasury Department which are meant to spark reviews of tax and financial regulations. (Reuters)

    But any changes would have to be backed by Congress, and passing a sweeping tax cut plan that widens the deficit would be virtually impossible on Capitol Hill without bipartisan support, in the view of key players in both parties. Many Democrats have said they will not support such a plan, making Trump’s proposal a tough political sell from the start.

    Republicans, meanwhile, have argued for years that curbing the deficit is a top national priority. And even members of the GOP who agree that tax cuts can significantly boost growth have acknowledged that any big tax cut would require raising other revenue or finding budget savings.


    A House Republican tax plan endorsed by House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), for example, would raise nearly $1 trillion by imposing a new tax on imports, frequently referred to as a border-adjustment tax. The White House flirted with the idea but appears to have moved away from it in recent weeks in the face of opposition from industry groups

    Mnuchin and National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn are set to meet with top Republican lawmakers Wednesday to discuss the administration’s tax plan.

    “The administration has embarked in a very dangerous direction, said Edward Kleinbard, the former chief of staff for Congress’s Joint Committee on Taxation. “If it is going to rely on the principle that tax cuts can pay for themselves, history has demonstrated that tax policies move the growth needle a bit but no more than that.”


    Trump surprised lawmakers — and even many advisers — last week when he announced he would release details of his tax plan on Wednesday. Advisers said Trump is eager to make a mark on a top issue before the 100-day anniversary of his administration, after being frustrated by House Republicans over the failure to advance legislation to replace the Affordable Care Act.


    But several House Republicans close to Ryan said that they were taken aback by the latest tax push. They said the president risked alienating the speaker and his allies on Capitol Hill if they got behind a proposal that had weak or fragile support in the chamber, and they expressed concern about Congress piling up too many issues this week, such as a revived effort to pass a health-care overhaul and keep the government funded while funneling money toward border security projects.
    The Republicans also noted that Ryan has already outlined the House’s tax plan over the past year and secured buy-in from members on the general outline of rates and the inclusion of a border tax. Ryan’s plan proposed a 20 percent corporate tax rate.

    Republicans familiar with the leadership’s thinking said Monday that House leaders see the 15 percent corporate rate as an understandable restatement of a pledge Trump made during the presidential campaign. But they cautioned that passing such legislation would be complicated and likely necessitate other tax hikes or spending cuts.


    They expected the leadership, however, to agree with the broad points and spirit of Trump’s plan this week even as details and a path to passage remain unclear.


    The Wall Street Journal first reported Trump’s request to cut the corporate tax rate to 15 percent Monday afternoon.


    Businesses are projected to pay $340 billion in corporate taxes in 2018, roughly 10 percent of all revenue collected by the government.


    At 35 percent, the United States has one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world, but most companies pay a much lower effective rate because the tax code is riddled with deductions.


    Still, lawmakers from both parties have said the corporate tax rate must be reduced to help U.S. companies compete with firms headquartered in other countries and to prevent U.S. firms from moving overseas.


    The Tax Policy Center, a nonpartisan tax group affiliated with the Brookings Institution and Urban Institute, has estimated that Trump’s corporate tax proposal, as outlined during the campaign, would cost $2.4 trillion over 10 years.


    It also estimated that his entire campaign tax proposal would cost $7.2 trillion — figures that Trump aides have sharply criticized as failing to take into account the revenue generated by economic growth spurred by the tax overhaul.


    Inside the White House, Trump has faced a debate about how far to go with his tax proposal. Trump also called for cutting the debt during the presidential campaign, and advisers such as budget director Mick Mulvaney was a major proponent of deficit reduction as a hard-line conservative in the House.

    “He’s not backing away from the supply-side agenda, all as you have two competing ways of thinking about taxes inside of the White House,” said Stephen Moore, a senior economic policy expert at the Heritage Foundation who advised the Trump campaign.

    Moore defined those groups inside the administration as “those who are deficit hawks versus those who don’t care about that. And those who don’t care about it seem to be winning out. Fifteen percent suggests a turn toward them.”


    White House officials have said there are several basic principles to their tax plan. They want to simplify the tax code, cut the corporate tax rate, pass a middle-class tax cut and create a way to punish companies that move overseas and ship goods back into the country. They also want to encourage U.S. companies to move money back into the United States.

    Trump’s push for unveiling his tax plan began last week during several meetings in the Oval Office where he expressed his frustration with the slow pace of legislation on several fronts, including taxes, according to two officials who were not authorized to speak publicly.


    Trump urged his top economic advisers, including Mnuchin, to ready a rollout for this week and to keep the details of the plan controlled as much as possible by Trump advisers and Cabinet members rather than by GOP lawmakers, the officials said.


    As one of the officials described Trump’s outlook, “he wants high growth and high employment.”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/busin...=.87335fc2242a
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    Country Corporate income
    tax rate (2016)
    Combined corporate
    tax rate (2016)
    Australia 30.00% 30.00%
    Austria 25.00% 25.00%
    Belgium 33.00% 33.99%
    Canada 15.00% 26.80%
    Chile 24.00% 24.00%
    Czech Republic 19.00% 19.00%
    Denmark 22.00% 22.00%
    Estonia 20.00% 20.00%
    Finland 20.00% 20.00%
    France 34.43% 34.43%
    Germany 15.83% 30.18%
    Greece 29.00% 29.00%
    Hungary 19.00% 19.00%
    Iceland 20.00% 20.00%
    Ireland 12.50% 12.50%
    Israel 25.00% 25.00%
    Italy 27.50% 31.29%
    Japan 23.40% 29.97%
    South Korea 22.00% 24.20%
    Luxembourg 22.47% 29.22%
    Mexico 30.00% 30.00%
    Netherlands 25.00% 25.00%
    New Zealand 28.00% 28.00%
    Norway 25.00% 25.00%
    Poland 19.00% 19.00%
    Portugal 21.00% 22.50%
    Slovakia 22.00% 22.00%
    Slovenia 17.00% 17.00%
    Spain 25.00% 25.00%
    Sweden 22.00% 22.00%
    Switzerland 8.50% 21.15%
    Turkey 20.00% 20.00%
    United Kingdom 20.00% 20.00%
    United States 35.00% 38.92%


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporate_tax

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    A 15% corporate tax rate could be very expensive

    by Jeanne Sahadi
    April 24, 2017: 7:03 PM ET

    President Trump plans to unveil his new tax plan on Wednesday.

    Sources tell CNN he may propose slashing the top corporate rate from 35% to 15% -- as he proposed during the campaign.

    Such a dramatic change would likely set up a clash with Republican leaders on Capitol Hill.

    Here's why: Republican leaders are eager to cut corporate taxes, but for various reasons they don't want to add to the country's debt. And a 15% corporate rate could drive up deficits by a lot.

    For example, the Tax Policy Center estimated in November that Trump's 15% proposal, coupled with a repeal of the corporate Alternative Minimum Tax, could reduce revenue by nearly $2.4 trillion in the first decade.

    To put that in context, that's about $240 billion a year -- which is almost as much as the $304 billion the government spent last year on income security programs such as food stamps, unemployment benefits and child nutrition.

    The cost could jump to nearly $4 trillion if Trump also chooses to extend the 15% rate to so-called pass-through businesses, which include everything from small businesses to big law firms and investment partnerships. The owners and shareholders of those businesses pay a top rate of 39.6% today.

    The price tag could be somewhat less if Trump chose not to repeal the corporate AMT. But if he didn't, that would greatly undercut the value of the rate reduction to 15% for many corporations because they would have a higher tax bill under the AMT, said Roberton Williams of the Tax Policy Center.

    The TPC was working off a plan from the Trump campaign that was thin on details. So absent those, it's hard to do a more tailored cost estimate.

    But it's very fair to assume the cost of reducing the corporate tax rate will be high.

    Administration officials cautioned that nothing is final. And sources told CNN that Wednesday's announcement is not likely to offer much explanation for how tax reductions would be paid for.

    Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has said, however, that Trump's tax plan would be paid for through economic growth. Experts throw cold water on that idea, since there is no evidence that tax cuts pay for themselves.

    The Wall Street Journal first reported that Trump wants to include a 15% corporate tax rate in Wednesday's announcement.

    Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch said that a 15% corporate tax rate would be problematic because it would increase the deficit and run into parliamentary problems if Republicans try to pass their tax bill under a procedure that lets them avoid a filibuster.

    "I'd love to do that. [But] I'm not sure we can get them down that low," Hatch said when asked about the proposed rate.

    -- CNN's Jeff Zeleny, Jim Acosta and Manu Raju contributed to this report.

    http://money.cnn.com/2017/04/24/news...rate-tax-rate/
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    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    To put that in context, that's about $240 billion a year -- which is almost as much as the $304 billion the government spent last year on income security programs such as food stamps, unemployment benefits and child nutrition.

    The cost could jump to nearly $4 trillion if Trump also chooses to extend the 15% rate to so-called pass-through businesses, which include everything from small businesses to big law firms and investment partnerships. The owners and shareholders of those businesses pay a top rate of 39.6% today.
    Cutting the corporate and business tax rate to 15% will create trillions of dollars in new investment in the United States and millions of new good jobs in our country. By doing so, not only will the annual cost of "income security programs such as food stamps, unemployment benefits and child nutrition" go down accordingly, so will the cost of Medicaid, health insurance and poverty-related crime.

    Obviously, I believe the FairTax that eliminates all corporate-based income tax including payroll taxes is the far better solution, but for now, dropping this corporate and business tax rate to 15% is the very best course. I don't even care if they cut taxes on personal income, leave those alone for now, make it simple, take care of the investors, employers and businesses who are responsible for job creation and let our country fly with the wings of good jobs and soar again.
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