Donald Trump to Highlight Tax Reform Effect on Truckers in Pennsylvania

US President Donald Trump sits in the drivers seat of a semi-truck as he welcomes truckers and CEOs to the White House, in Washington, DC, on March 23, 2017

On Wednesday, President Donald Trump will speak to approximately 1,000 Pennsylvania workers and truckers in an Air National Guard hangar in Harrisburg, PA about the administration’s major plans for tax reform.

The President will specifically address a large contingent of truckers who will be present for the event, highlighting the significant impact of tax reforms on the trucking industry, which “is the number one employer in about 29 states around the country,” according to a senior administration official.

The event will have trucks set up as part of the backdrop to the event. “Truckers, from the President’s perspective, are really the lifeblood of our economy,” said the official. “When the trucks are moving, that means that our economy is moving; the economy is growing.”

The official read three passages from President Trump’s prepared speech during a Tuesday evening preview of the event:

Nothing gets done in America without the hardworking men and women of the trucking industry.  America depends on you for the fuel that powers our cars, the produce that nourishes our communities, and the beautiful steel that sends up our tallest skyscrapers.

When your trucks are moving, America is growing.  That is why my administration is taking historic steps to remove the barriers that slow you down.  America first means putting American truckers first.

We will eliminate the penalty on returning future earnings back to the United States, and we will impose a one-time low tax on money currently parked overseas so it can be brought back home to America where it belongs.  My Council of Economic Advisors estimates that this change alone would likely give the typical American household a $4,000 pay raise.

The official pointed to several impacts of Trump’s tax plan on the truckers. Middle class tax cuts and the tax simplification will have a direct benefit to some of the truckers on an individual basis. The second point the official pointed to was “the tax cuts for our manufacturers will benefit the truckers because those businesses will be making more American-made goods that truckers will deliver to markets in every single corner of the country.”

Dropping the top marginal income tax rate to an 80-year low was the third point the official listed, stating that it’s “going to be a huge boost for truckers, most of whom file their taxes as pass-through entities.”

The official added that the elimination of the death tax will also have a large impact on these businesses. “Many of these companies are family-owned companies — been passed down from one generation to the next,” the official said.

President Trump plans to point out an individual during his speech whose trucking company has been in business since the 1940s or 1950s:

The company has already passed hands from its founder to his son, and now the second generation is getting ready to pass it down to the third,” the official noted. These businesses are largely capital rich, but operate on thin margins, making it difficult for families to pass the business down when saddled with the death tax. In order to keep the business in the family, the businesses often have to “sell off trucks, been to lay off workers, and reduce the size of their business just to be able to keep the business in the family.

The official also touched on the impact of repatriating funds as part of the president’s tax plan.

The Administration’s Council of Economic Advisors is also expects to come out with “more” in the days ahead, and Trump will bring this up during his speech.

Trump will also highlight additional individuals during his speech. One will be retiree Susi Schlomann, who has expressed concern over the high taxes that are forcing seniors like herself to “make painful cutbacks during the golden years of their lives,” according to the official.

Philadelphia father of four Linwood Holland will be highlighted for his hope to see tax reform pass that will lift the burden of taxes on the average citizen who is stuck living pacheck to paycheck.

The president will also point out Calvin Ewell and his son Steve, who have been in trucking since 1946. “Calvin would like to be able to pass his company along to his children, just like it was passed down to him,” the official said, noting this will be addressed in the death tax portion of Trump’s speech.

Forty-year-old trucking industry veteran Kevin Burch of Jet Express Trucking Company will also be highlighted. The official said, “He believes that if Congress would pass our tax relief and reform plan, that he will be able to invest in new equipment and additional training for his dockworkers, his drivers, and his technicians. And he wants to create more jobs, and that’s exactly what we’re working to help him do.”

Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana 


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