After a meeting with House Republicans and Democrats on Wednesday, President Donald Trump conceded that there’s a chance taxes on the wealthy will be increased.
Trump said wealthy Americans will be “pretty much where they are” after tax reform, but also said “If they have to go higher, they’ll go higher frankly.”
Who qualifies as wealthy?
Under the current system, the highest tax bracket for a married couple starts at $470,701. That number was established through extensive political negotiations during the Barack Obama administration.
What has Trump said before about tax reform?
In April, the Trump administration distributed a one-page outline for a tax reform plan, which analysts determined would benefit the top 1 percent of taxpayers more than anyone. So, for Trump to now say taxes could go up on the wealthy represents a significant shift in position from the outline.
In fact, Trump made it clear that whatever happens, the wealthy will not benefit.
“The rich will not be gaining at all with this plan,” Trump said. “We are looking for the middle class and we are looking for jobs — jobs being the economy.”
Will this plan be bipartisan?
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) seems to be on the same page with what Trump said, citing the recent hurricanes as a reason to avoid tax cuts for the wealthy.
“…a tax cut, particularly one for the very wealthy, is not going to help Florida or Texas rebuild from these storms,” Schumer said.
Trump has a dinner with Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) scheduled for Wednesday night, after which we may get more clarity on how the two parties plan to proceed in the tax reform process.
What does GOP leadership think of all this?
We’ll find out soon. House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) laid out a tax reform plan to House Republicans on Wednesday, and more details on that should be released Sept. 25. However, tax reform progress appears to be hindered by lack of progress on the federal budget.
“No budget, no tax reform,” Brady reportedly said at the meeting of House Republicans, according to Politico.