In his first economic speech since announcing his economic team late last week, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump laid out his “economic vision” Monday before the Detroit Economic Club, along with criticism of his opponent Hillary Clinton.
“She is the candidate of the past. Ours is the campaign of the future,” said Trump.
Then, after noting that “taxes are one of the biggest differences in this race,” Trump iterated his plans to slash taxes for corporations and individuals. Throughout his one-hour speech, Trump was interrupted by protests, then paused until the cheering restarted, thanked his audience and returned to his speech.
“Under my plan, no American company will pay more than 15% of their business income in taxes,” announced Trump.
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He would cut the top corporate tax to 15% from 35%, allow businesses to immediately expense new business investments and allow corporations to repatriate overseas profits after paying a 10% tax.
“We punish companies for making products in America — but let them ship products in to the U.S. tax-free if they move overseas. This is backwards.”
For individual taxpayers, Trump would cut the number of personal income tax brackets from seven to three: 12%, 25% and 33% (the current top bracket is 39.6%).
He calls this “an across-the-board income tax reduction, especially for middle-income Americans,” but the biggest reduction appeared to be for wealthier Americans – those whose marginal tax brackets were 28% or greater. (There are currently four tax brackets above 25%: 28%, 33%, 35% and 39.6%, and only two below 25%: 15% and 10%).
Trump also pledged to repeal the estate tax, which is levied on estates above $5.45 million. “No family will have to pay the death tax. American workers have paid taxes their whole lives, and they should not be taxed again at death,” said Trump.
According to the Tax Policy Center, the estate tax applies only to the wealthiest Americans, and the top 1% of taxpayers account for 75% of the estate taxes collected in the U.S.
Trump said, however, that “the rich will pay their fair share,” and he would “eliminate the carried interest deduction and other special interest loopholes that have been so good for Wall Street investors, and people like me, but unfair to American workers.”