Trump tax push raises questions about
scope of his 'reform'
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[April 25, 2017]
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President
Donald Trump's zeal to unveil a tax plan before his 100th day in office
is raising questions about just how thorough his "tax reform" plans will
be, amid signals that his focus for now is on slashing tax rates.
Trump has directed aides to move quickly on a plan to cut the corporate
income tax rate to 15 percent from 35 percent, a Trump administration
official said on Monday.
With his 100th day nearing on April 29, Trump has been ordering studies
and signing executive orders. But he has yet to introduce a major bill
to the Republican-controlled Congress on any topic or win passage of
someone else's that he supports.
He has promised a "big tax reform and tax reduction" announcement on
Wednesday. Some analysts said this may consist of a proposal to cut the
corporate rate to 15 percent, cap the individual tax rate at 33 percent,
repeal the estate and alternative minimum taxes and cut taxes for the
In earlier days, Trump vowed to oversee the biggest "tax reform" since
President Ronald Reagan's in 1986, a legislative feat that has since
defied every president.
Wall Street analysts say Trump may instead offer a package of rate
reductions, like those backed by Reagan in 1981 and President George W.
Bush in 2001, which left the tax system intact.
If that is the case, it “is not tax reform. It is a tax cut," Chris
Krueger, analyst at financial firm Cowen & Co, said in a research note.
On Wednesday, Krueger said, "We will get some vague benchmarks about
rate levels... with likely no detail on how to finance those reductions
except for the assurance that the growth projections will take care of
The announcement could also show whether Trump is turning away from a
Republican plan backed by House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan
that would pay for tax cuts with an import tax and by killing a business
[to top of second column]
President Donald Trump and his daughter Ivanka hold a video
conference call with Commander Peggy Whitson and Flight Engineer
Jack Fischer of NASA on the International Space Station from the
Oval Office of the White House in Washington, U.S., April 24, 2017.
Ryan and other Republicans will get a preview of Trump's plan on
Tuesday at a Capitol Hill meeting with Treasury Secretary Steven
Mnuchin and Gary Cohn, director of Trump's National Economic
Council, aides said.
Trump's announcement, however, could be a disappointment for
investors seeking clarity.
"I don't know that it will shed a great deal of light beyond what
the administration has already said," noted Peter Cohn, analyst at
financial firm Height Securities.
(Reporting by David Morgan and Steve Holland; Editing by Kevin
Drawbaugh and Dan Grebler)
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