The wealthy would pay the same individual income tax rate, or possibly see an increase, under his tax reform plan, President Donald Trump said Wednesday.
He emphasized, however, a strong commitment to slashing the corporate tax rate from the current rate of 39 percent to 15 percent, to make the United States more competitive internationally.
Trump held a bipartisan meeting with members of Congress in the Cabinet Room at the White House, where he talked about his tax reform proposal.
“The rich will not be gaining at all with this plan,” Trump said. “We’re looking for the middle class, and we’re looking for jobs. Jobs, meaning companies.”
“So, we’re looking at the middle class, and we’re looking at jobs. I think the wealthy will be pretty much where they are,” Trump continued. “If we can do that, we’d like it. If they have to go higher, they’ll go higher, frankly. We’re looking at the middle class, and we’re looking at jobs.”
Trump does not have a specific tax reform plan as of yet, but has touted four broad principles of what he’d like it to include. Those principles would simplify the system to make it possible to file taxes on a single page, slash the corporate rate, produce middle-class tax relief, and bring back revenue from companies that do business overseas and park their profits there.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., were scheduled to come to dinner at the White House on Wednesday evening.
Trump answered a reporter’s question regarding conservatives’ and Republicans’ skepticism of his working with Schumer and Pelosi. This comes a week after he made a deal with the two Democratic leaders to increase the debt ceiling—the government’s borrowing limit—as part of an aid package for Hurricane Harvey.
“I’m a conservative, and I’ll tell you, I’m not skeptical. I think if we can do things in a bipartisan manner, that will be great,” Trump said. “If you look at some of the greatest legislation ever passed, it was passed on a bipartisan manner. So that’s why we’re going to give it a chance. If it works out, great; if it doesn’t work out, great. Hopefully, we’ll be able to do it anyway as Republicans.”
Trump said he is sticking with his pledge to reduce the corporate tax rate to 15 percent.
“We want a 15 percent rate because that would bring us low—not by any means the lowest, but it would bring us to a level where China and other countries are,” the president said. “We would be able to compete with anybody. Nobody would be able to touch us. So, we would like to see 15 percent.”