President Donald Trump’s ambitious tax overhaul is the talk of the town in Washington DC this week. How much of the plan can Trump hope to get through Congress? How long will it take? What are the biggest hurdles? Here’s what the nation’s biggest political power players have to say.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the Trump administration’s tax plan is focused on the middle class in an effort to throw cold water on mainstream media’s rolling claims that the tax overhaul proposal will disproportionately benefit corporations and wealthy Americans.
“It is our objective that the entire middle class does get a tax cut,” Mnuchin said on ABC’s “This Week.”
Goals to overhaul the tax code to benefit the middle class and corporations are not mutually exclusive, he said, adding that the GOP’s plans “are meant to create middle-income tax cuts and also to make corporate and business tax competitive so we can bring back tons and tons of jobs and capital to this country.”
Still, it’s worth noting that the administration and Republicans in Congress are going to have to perform a delicate balancing act to achieve middle class and business cuts while continuing to raise the revenues necessary to cover government spending on forthcoming infrastructure and defense initiatives promised by the president on the campaign trail.
That’s a point at least evident in House Speaker Paul Ryan’s unwillingness to say for sure that every American in the middle class earning bracket can expect tax cuts ahead.
“The purpose of this is to get a middle class tax cut,” he said on CBS “Face the Nation” when pressed for a guarantee.
“So yes, people are going to get tax cuts. How big are those tax cuts? That depends on the individual,” he added, noting that it’s impossible to determine how individual taxpayers’ circumstances factor into the equation.
Democrats, meanwhile, are poised to do everything possible to stifle progress on the tax package.
“This is not a tax break for the rich? Well I don’t know what a tax break for the rich is,” Sen. Bernie Sanders, the Vermont independent who votes along Democrat lines, said during an interview on ABC’s “This Week.”
“What this is is a massive transfer of wealth.”
Setting aside the very likely potential for drawn out partisan– and, for Republicans intra-party squabbling over the plan– the earliest real action Americans can expect to see on the plan should be near the end of the year.
“We hope to get something on his desk and signed in December,” Mnuchin said.