President Donald J. Trump’s tormentors paint him as a brooding grinch who oozes pessimism. The New Republic last October decried “Trump’s dark portrayal of the country.”
But Trump was Mr. Sunshine at the White House Wednesday as he promoted the Republican tax-cut plan, now in production on Capitol Hill.
“The goal of my administration is for every American to know the dignity of work, the pride of a paycheck, and the satisfaction of a job well done,” Trump declared in the Grand Foyer. “We want people to love waking up in the morning and going to work — just with that incredible enthusiasm that we have in this country.”
Even more broadly, Trump discussed this nation’s character, history, and future.
“America isn’t content just by getting by. America is about getting ahead, about finding the best in ourselves and in each other. We are reclaiming our destinies as Americans, a nation that thinks big, dreams bigger, and always reaches for the stars.”
“We didn’t become great through massive taxation and Washington regulation,” Trump continued. “We became great because of our drive to find the next horizon, to unlock the next mystery, and to begin the next adventure. . . . And that’s who we are: a nation of strivers and builders and dreamers and doers, people who treasure their independence and don’t know how to quit.”
Trump sounded Reaganesque as he identified the state as the source of, not the solution to, so much anxiety.
“When government loosens its grip, there is no summit we cannot reach. Our tax cuts will break down . . . all forms of government barriers and breathe new life into the American economy. They will unleash the American worker; they will tear down the restraints on discovery, innovation, and creation; and they will restore the hopes and dreams of the American family.”
To that end, Trump announced: “We want to give you, the American people, a giant tax cut for Christmas.”
According to news reports, the compromise tax measure emerging from a House–Senate conference committee, among other things, would cut the top personal income-tax rate from 39.6 percent to 37, double the standard deduction, and boost the child tax credit.
“The typical family of four earning $75,000 will see an income-tax cut of more than $2,000, slashing their tax bill in half,” Trump explained. “Our plan also cuts taxes on businesses, which is expected to raise income by an average of more than $4,000. So your income goes up. It’s like having a $4,000 increase, which isn’t bad.”
The president introduced several American families whom these tax cuts would benefit.
Pennsylvanian Bryant Glick sells farm gear. Ashley is in health care. They have two kids, a third is en route, and they’re in the 15 percent tax bracket.
“Under our plan,” Trump said, “they will drop to the 12 percent bracket.” He added: “Instead of itemizing their deductions, they will be able to file their taxes on a single, little, beautiful sheet of paper. . . . And instead of paying $2,600 in income taxes, they will get it down to $2,000.”
That’s a 23 percent tax cut.
“With the tax savings that we are going to see,” Bryant Glick said, “we are going to put that money into home renovations.”
This would be great news for manufacturers of, say, wallpaper, rain gutters, and appliances — and perhaps the contractors who would install them.
Ohio veteran Adam Kovacs is in telecommunications, and his wife, Lindsay, is in university admissions.
“They’re currently in the 25 percent bracket and pay nearly $14,000 in taxes,” Trump noted. “Our plan gives them their time back because they won’t have to itemize,” plus annual tax savings of $3,500.
That’s a 25 percent tax cut.
Adam Kovacs said, “We have home renovations that we want to take care of, and hopefully save for our two children to go to college.”
Isaac Howard owns an espresso-machine-maintenance company. Emily Howard mothers their four kids in Tenino, Wash. They’re taxed $2,500 in the 15 percent bracket.
“Our plan will totally wipe out their tax bill, and they might even get a refund of substantially more than $700,” Trump said.
That’s a 100 percent tax cut. At least.
“What this means to us as a family is that we will be able to pour out into our community,” Emily Howard said, “giving away to families that are in need.”
The Howards’ tax savings will do far greater good if they hand it directly to the disadvantaged rather than funnel it through Washington.
These and other commercial-tax cuts should turbocharge the economy.
Beyond such middle-class tax relief, American companies would enjoy a 21 percent corporate-tax rate (down from 35), immediate expensing of capital purchases, and repatriation of overseas profits. These and other commercial-tax cuts should turbocharge the economy, especially now that conferees very wisely scheduled the corporate-tax cut to begin next month, not January 2019. The latter likely would have slowed the economy, as companies delayed investments in anticipation of lower rates, and dimmed the GOP’s midterm electoral prospects.
Trump urged Americans to pressure their members of Congress to enact the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
“If you make your voices heard, this moment will be forever remembered as a great new beginning, the dawn of a brilliant American future shining with patriotism, prosperity, and pride,” President Trump said. “With your help, we will bring back our jobs; we will bring back our wealth as a country; and, for every citizen across this beautiful land, we will bring back our great American Dreams.”