Posted by 26 September 2017
One of President Trump’s major legislative priorities is set for introduction in Congress: tax reform. While details are not yet finalized, there appears to be agreement between the White House and congressional Republicans on general changes to the tax code. What remains to be seen is if any legislative package this complex can emerge from Capitol Hill to be sent for the president’s signature.
Once details are finalized, we could see a tax reform bill introduced this week. Here is what may be in such a bill:
- Cut the corporate tax rate from 35% to 20%
- Cut the top individual income tax rate from 39.5% to 35%
- Reduce the number of tax brackets from 7 to 3
While the president and congressional Republicans appear to agree on these aspects of the bill, they could change. President Trump, for instance, has repeatedly said that he would like to see the corporate income tax rate lowered to 15%.
There is also the issue of what, if any, changes to the tax code will be made to offset the effect of cuts on the federal deficit. There has been talk about reducing the number of tax breaks, but each deduction or credit in the tax code has a constituency that will fight very hard to keep that provision. If no offsets are made, tax cuts threaten to increase the budget deficit.
Whatever the final version, tax reform legislation will be complex and will face a difficult fight on Capitol Hill. Democrats have shown little willingness to embrace these kinds of changes to the tax code. If they are unified in their opposition, it could be difficult for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to pass anything out of the Senate.
Do you support cutting the corporate income tax rate and the individual income tax rate? Or would you rather see other reforms made in the tax code?