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Admin Gives Tax Plan Rosy Assessment   12/12 06:36

   President Donald Trump on Wednesday will try to sell the American people on 
an unpopular Republican tax overhaul that his administration claims will 
generate a large part of $1.8 trillion in new revenue -- a figure that a top 
Democratic lawmaker dismissed as "fake math."

   WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Donald Trump on Wednesday will try to sell the 
American people on an unpopular Republican tax overhaul that his administration 
claims will generate a large part of $1.8 trillion in new revenue --- a figure 
that a top Democratic lawmaker dismissed as "fake math."

   Trump's pitch will focus on how the GOP tax reform plan will lead to a 
brighter future for taxpayers and their families, according to spokeswoman 
Lindsay Walters. House and Senate negotiators are rushing to finalize a bill 
and deliver the measure to Trump before Christmas.

   Trump and Republican leaders in Congress have promoted the massive tax plan 
by promising the tax cuts will boost the economy. Their idea is that growth 
sparked by the legislation will let the tax cuts pay for themselves and not 
balloon the $20 trillion deficit.

   Public polling shows many Americans are unhappy with the proposal. The House 
and Senate tax bills combine steep tax cuts for corporations with more modest 
reductions for individuals.

   The administration's rosy estimate of new revenue from the tax plan over 10 
years is a lot higher than nonpartisan congressional analysts have projected. 
The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that growth stimulated by the 
anticipated tax cuts will generate some $408 billion in additional tax revenue 
over 10 years.

   The new Treasury Department analysis says about half the expected increase 
in economic growth likely will result from tax benefits for corporations. Trump 
and the Republicans have insisted that businesses will use the tax savings to 
invest and create new jobs.

   According to the Treasury analysis, the other half of new revenue will come 
from tax reductions for individuals and businesses whose profits are reported 
on owners' personal income tax returns, as well as from planned administration 
initiatives such as infrastructure development and a welfare overhaul.

   The analysis includes an assumption that tax cuts and other administration 
policies would cause the economy to expand at a 2.9 percent annual pace over 10 
years. Economic growth at that level would, in theory, be enough to keep the 
national debt from rising.

   But most analyses have concluded that the tax overhaul would add at least $1 
trillion to budget deficits in the next decade because the analyses foresee 
significantly less growth resulting from the tax cuts.

   Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer called the administration's analysis 
"nothing more than one page of fake math."

   "It's clear the White House and Republicans are grasping at straws to prove 
the unprovable and garner votes for a bill that nearly every single independent 
analysis has concluded will blow up the deficit and generate almost no 
additional economic activity to make up for it," Schumer said.

   The estimates by Treasury and the Joint Committee on Taxation apply 
specifically to the Senate bill. Underlining the divergent estimates, the 
congressional tax committee released an analysis of the House bill late Monday 
projecting sufficient growth to generate $483 billion in new revenue.

   Republicans are determined to deliver the first revamp of the nation's tax 
code in three decades and prove they can govern after their failure to 
dismantle Barack Obama's health care law.

   GOP leaders in Congress aim to iron out differences between the $1.5 
trillion House and Senate tax bills to pass a final blended package.

   Rep. Kevin Brady, who heads the House Ways and Means Committee and is a key 
leader in the House-Senate compromise discussions, said Monday they were moving 
toward a vote on the final package next week. Still, key issues appeared to 
remain unresolved.

   "I'm pleased with the progress we're making," Brady, R-Texas, told 
reporters. "We still have work to do."

   The only issue for which Brady noted a firm commitment was repeal of the 
inheritance tax on multimillion-dollar estates, a benefit for ultra-wealthy 
Americans. "In the House, we feel very strongly about fully repealing the 
estate tax," he said.

   House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., suggested Sunday that the 
lawmakers may be open to adopting the Senate bill's preservation of the current 
$1 million limit for the mortgage interest deduction rather than reducing it to 
$500,000 as the House bill does. He also indicated a possible move to fully 
eliminate the alternative minimum tax, aimed at ensuring that wealthy 
individuals and corporations pay a fair share of taxes. The Senate bill retains 
the AMT for corporations.

   Brady said, "These are all elements that we're looking at right now."

   Republican leaders have struggled to placate GOP lawmakers from high-tax 
states like California, New York and New Jersey whose constituents would be hit 
hard by the elimination of the prized federal deduction for state and local 
taxes. Repeal of the deduction added up to $1.3 trillion in revenue over a 
decade that could be used for deep tax cuts.

   Lawmakers finally settled on a compromise in both bills --- full repeal of 
the state and local deductions for income and sales taxes, but homeowners would 
be able to deduct up to $10,000 in local property taxes.


(KA)

 
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