President Donald Trump appears close to backing off a slew of campaign promises on tax reform, reports said Tuesday.
Politico’s Josh Dawsey and Ben White reported Tuesday that the plan set to be unveiled next week by the “big six” tax writers – Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Finance Committee Chair Orrin Hatch, House Speaker Paul Ryan, and House Ways and Means Chair Kevin Brady – will include a proposal to lower the corporate rate to 15%.
The level has been one of Trump’s most frequent pledges on tax reform, but budgetary issues make the idea nearly impossible to execute. According to Politico, the group will announce that the corporate will be 20% or lower, leaving the door open to a rate in the teens.
Ryan said at a New York Times event on September 7 that the rate is likely to end up in the mid- to low-20s.
In addition to the corporate tax rate, The Washington Post reported Tuesday that Trump and the big six could back off the idea of repealing the estate tax and not lowering the tax rate for the wealthiest Americans.
Democrats have criticized the possible repeal of the estate tax, long a goal for Trump and the GOP, since it largely applies to a limited group of wealthy Americans.
The top individual tax rate, currently 39.5%, could also go unchanged. Trump has seemed to publicly suggested as much, mentioning the possibility during a bipartisan meeting with lawmakers about tax reform on September 13.
“I think the wealthy will be pretty much where they are, pretty much where they are,” Trump said. “If they have to go higher, they’ll go higher.”
All of shifts would be substantial changes from the White House’s initial one-page statement of principles for tax reform that it released in April. They would, however, seem to fall in line with more recent rhetoric from Trump suggesting that the tax plan is designed to benefit workers and businesses.