President Trump again claimed, wrongly, that he will not benefit from the Republican tax plan being considered in Congress, which contains multiple provisions that would help him and his family.
Speaking in Missouri in an effort to promote the bill as it heads for a vote in the Senate, Trump said that the bill would hurt higher-income Americans like himself, a statement contradicted by several independent analyses of the legislation.
“We are going to eliminate tax breaks and complex loopholes, taken advantage of by the wealthy,” he said, flanked by two Christmas trees onstage in St. Charles. “I think my accountants are going crazy right now.”
“Hey, look, I’m president, I don’t care anymore,” Trump continued. “Some of my wealthy friends care. Me, this is a higher calling, do we agree?”
An analysis published Sunday by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office found that the Senate bill would hurt lower-income Americans while giving significant tax cuts to those making more than $100,000 a year. The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center found that “higher income households receive larger average tax cuts as a percentage of after-tax income, with the largest cuts as a share of income going to taxpayers in the 95th to 99th percentiles of the income distribution.” And an NBC analysis found that Trump and his family could save more than $1 billion under the bill the House passed, based on his 2005 tax returns.
Trump is the first president in decades to not release his tax returns, so it’s impossible to be sure exactly how tax reform would affect him. But the House bill includes several provisions that would help higher-income Americans. It would double the amount of money that is exempt from the estate tax — currently $5.6 million for an individual and over $11 million for married couples 2018 — and eliminate the tax altogether in six years. And it would repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax, which the Tax Policy Center says primarily impacts households with incomes above $200,000.
The Washington Post reports Trump could also personally benefit from a last-minute change in the Senate’s version of the bill having to do with “pass-through” entities.
Trump vowed in Missouri that if Congress sends him a finished tax bill, he will sign it. “I promise you I will sign it,” he told the crowd. “I will not veto that bill. There will be no veto.”