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Trump: ‘Decouple’ From China, ‘You Can Have’ Flat Tax, But There Should Be ‘Graduation’

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said the US should “decouple” from China, and that hedge fund managers should “be taxed a fair amount of money,” and that while “you can have [a] flat tax,” “The one problem I have with a flat tax is that rich people are paying the same as people that are making very little money. And I think there should be a graduation of some kind” on Monday’s “Fox & Friends” on the Fox News Channel.

Trump began by reacting to Ira Stoll’s editorial blaming the decline in share values on him. Trump stated, “I’m the one that’s telling everybody what’s going wrong and what’s going to go wrong. And I’m the one that says you better start uncoupling from China, because China’s got problems, and they have big problems, and they’re bringing us down. So, for this guy, I never heard of him. I have no idea who he is. And he’s probably not very good at what he does. But to blame me is incredible. Because I’m the one that says uncouple.”

Trump added that “hedge fund guys” are “making a fortune, and I want to take care of the middle class. We had a tremendous rally in Alabama. And people came up and they said, ‘You know, you’re treating us fairly.’ The hedge fund guys are paying nothing, they’re paying nothing. And what are they doing? You know, it’s one thing if you’re building buildings. I’ll take a little bit of something, or you build buildings, you put people to work. These hedge fund guys, they move around papers, many of them are — if the market goes up, they’re geniuses, if the market goes down, they’re — they go into a different business. Frankly, they’re wiped out.”

When asked what they should be taxed, he stated, “They should be taxed a fair amount of money. They have all sorts of elements that are in their taxation, and I say it’s different from others. But they’re not paying enough tax. And they’re making a fortune, and it’s embarrassing. And they should be taxed. I know many of them. some are friends, some aren’t friends. And I guess probably after this, I won’t have too many friends. But it has to — at some point we have to take care of the middle class.”

Trump was then asked about what his tax plan would look like. He answered, “So, you can have fair tax, you can have [a] flat tax, and you can have — take the existing plans that we have and simplify, and I always say that, knock H&R Block out, because people go, they spend a lot of money for these tax return services, and for what? It should — it has to be simplified. It’s too complicated. You need 195 IQ to be able to figure out the tax return. So, we’re going to simplify. Now, that’s the easiest in terms of getting it done. Later on, if we go to a flat tax, that’s something else. But in the meantime, we have to simplify, and we have to reduce taxes, in particular for the middle class.”

When asked what the “magic number” for a flat tax rate would be, Trump responded, “Well, the magic number is a very complicated number. I’ve seen them from 15% to 20%. Nobody knows if it works. The one problem I have with a flat tax is that rich people are paying the same as people that are making very little money. And I think there should be a graduation of some kind. Because as you make a certain amount of money, I think you should have to graduate upward. That doesn’t mean a raise in taxes. That means rich people might be paying less than they’re paying right now.”

Trump was then questioned on how much more rich people can pay, he said, “we’re the most highly taxed nation in the world. That’s why taxes have to go down, business has to come back, jobs have to be back. When these people say Trump, it’s sort of interesting, because I’ve been saying we have to decouple, we have to bring our jobs back from China. So, I think he’s using my name, based on what I’m seeing, I think he’s using my name as sort of a metaphor, not because I’m saying it. He’s just saying, ‘Trump,’ because he can’t be talking about me. I’m the one that’s exactly the opposite of what he’s talking about, whoever this person is.”

He also commented on Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s email scandal, which he said is “General Petraeus on steroids.”

He also stated, “It’s one of the greatest honors I’ve ever had I think in my life. Everybody who attacks me goes down to zero. Perry’s gone. Lindsey Graham is gone. They’re all gone. And they attacked me and they got a lot of publicity in attacking me.” And that he hopes Jeb Bush will see illegal immigration isn’t an “act of love” when he visits the border.

Trump concluded, “I’ve been talking about China for years, because China’s going bad, it’s going to bring us down, too, because we’re so heavily coupled with China. It’s really — look, we are being run by people that don’t have a clue, they don’t know what they’re doing, they’re totally incompetent. We’ve got to stop.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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