Sens. Coons, Carper denounce Trump tax plan

Delaware's U.S. Senators called for Republicans to work with Democrats to work with Democrats to come up with an alternative to Trump's tax plan.

U.S. Sens. Tom Carper, D-Delaware, and Chris Coons, D-Delaware, say they denounce President Donald Trump’s tax proposal, and are calling on Republicans to work with Democrats to draft a plan that benefits the middle class.  

On Monday, the two senators, along with Morris Pearl of the group Patriotic Millionaires, discussed the tax plan critics say would most benefit the wealthiest of Americans.  

“Let’s try this again, let’s try this by doing it the old-fashioned way and let’s do this by working together, Democrats and Republicans, to hold joint hearings, bipartisan hearings, witnesses from all walks of life, and do this the right away and do it together,” Carper said.  

Trump’s proposal includes decreasing the corporate tax rate, lowering the top individual tax rate and repealing the estate tax—a tax only paid by individuals with properties of $5.5 million or more.  

Trump argues the plan would boost the economy. However, the Tax Policy Center finds Trump’s plan would most benefit the wealthiest Americans—with more than half of the tax breaks benefiting the top 1 percent of income holders.  

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“This falls short of what the President has asked for, what we would fight for, which is a genuine middle class tax cut,” Coons said.  

Patriotic Millionaires chair Morris Pearl said the proposal would most benefit individuals like Donald Trump’s children and other heirs, like the Waltons. Pearl’s organization consists of a group of high-net worth Americans who say they believe in an economic system that benefits every citizen, not only the rich.  

“The people that made the fortunes didn’t have to pay taxes when they were alive, because they never realized their capital gains, the people who inherited them never pay taxes because that’s not considered income under our tax system, and now they don’t want to pay estate taxes either. It seems so grossly unfair,” he said.  

“Those people being richer will not do anything to help the rest of our economy. They spend a lot of money as it is, but they won’t spend more money when their billions are multiplied by even more billions. What we need for the economy is lots of people making enough money to shop in stores, buy new cars, order new houses. Having a few billionaires getting even more billions will do absolutely nothing to help the rest of our economy.”  

The report also claims if the proposal was adopted, the federal deficit would increase by about $2.4 trillion over the next 10 years.  

Some Republicans have suggested offsetting the reduction in revenue by eliminating the state and local tax deduction, which allows tax payers to deduct from their federal taxes the amount they pay in state and local taxes.  

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“Here in Delaware we would get clobbered,” Carper said. “Almost a third of tax payers in the state take advantage of the local and state tax deduction.”  

Coons and Carper said Trump’s proposal of doubling the size of standard deductions for married couples and individuals could possibly benefit the middle class, however. They also say they would support provisions that help advance manufacturing or infrastructure.  

Coons said he doesn’t believe the plan as written would receive enough support from Congress. Several Republicans, including former presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee have voiced concerns.  

“They’re going to be stuck trying to get 50 votes for this plan, with two Republican senators already publicly expressing real concerns,” Coons said. “I think they’ll struggle to get it through the senate in exactly the same way they did with healthcare reform.”  

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