President Donald Trump on Wednesday proposed the biggest U.S. tax overhaul in three decades, offering to cut taxes for most Americans but prompting criticism that the plan favours the rich and companies and could add trillions of dollars to the deficit. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) President Donald Trump on Wednesday proposed the biggest U.S. tax overhaul in three decades, offering to cut taxes for most Americans but prompting criticism that the plan favours the rich and companies and could add trillions of dollars to the deficit. The proposal, which the Republican president said was aimed at helping working people and creating jobs, faces an uphill battle in Congress with Trump's own party divided and Democrats hostile. Republicans plan to lower corporate income tax rates, cut taxes for small businesses, reduce the top income tax rate for individuals and scrap some widely used tax breaks including one that benefits people in high-tax states dominated by Democrats. "It's going to be something special," Trump told reporters at the White House, touting it as "the largest tax cut essentially in the history of our country." The plan, forged during months of talks among Trump's aides and top Republicans in Congress and embraced by big business, contained scant details about how to pay for the cuts without fuelling deficits. Trump, a real estate mogul-turned-politician, said when asked by reporters that he personally would not stand to gain financially from the proposal. "I think there's very little benefit for people of wealth," said Trump, who has refused to make public his own tax returns unlike many of his White House predecessors. Republicans have produced no major legislative successes since Trump took office in January even though they control the White House and both chambers of Congress. The tax plan was outlined the day after the Republicans' top legislative priority, an overhaul of the U.S. healthcare system, collapsed in the Senate, while another key item on Trump's wish list, infrastructure spending, has yet to materialise.