Apart From Killing Border Tax, GOP Tax Plan Is Still Unclear

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REUTERS/Mark Makela

Six months after Donald Trump took office, Republican plans to overhaul the tax code and cut taxes remain vague.

The Trump administration and Republican Congressional leaders put on a show of unity Thursday, releasing a joint statement affirming their plans to move forward with tax reform before the end of the year. But beyond declarations that they were united on common principles and that they were no longer considering a border adjustment tax, the statement offered no specifics.

The group issuing the statement included Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker Paul Ryan, White House economics adviser Gary Cohn, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady.

“The goal is a plan that reduces tax rates as much as possible,” the statement said.

That is significantly vaguer than the April proposal from the White House, which offered specifics on corporate and individual tax rates.  Then Mnuchin and Cohn said that they planned to lower the corporate tax rate to 15 percent from 35 percent and reduce the number of individual tax breaks from seven to three, setting these at 10 percent, 25 percent, and 35 percent.

Republican officials have been discussing tax reform for several months. Thursday’s statement seemed to indicate that they had made little progress in agreeing on details beyond dropping the border tax idea.



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