Speaking at an event in Springfield, Missouri, on Wednesday, President Donald Trump sought to depict his tax cut proposal as a way to help the struggling U.S. middle class.
“We are here to bring back Main Street by reducing the crushing tax burden on our workers and our companies,” Trump said.
“There is no more fitting place to launch this effort than right here in the American heartland,” he added, calling the nearby historic Route 66 highway a “vivid symbol of America’s booming industry.”
The president spoke at an event at Loren Cook Co., which manufactures fans, blowers and lab exhaust systems. The company’s owner donated to Trump and to various Missouri GOP officials during the 2016 campaign cycle.
We don’t know much yet about Trump’s plan for tax reform ― but based on the broad outlines released by the administration, experts say the wealthy would enjoy the greatest benefits. Millionaires in Missouri, for example, would receive an average tax cut of $190,560 in 2018, equal to 7.9 percent of their income, according to the nonpartisan Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy.
Congressional Republicans remain at odds over what the new tax rates should look like, how cuts should be paid for, or whether it’s even a good idea to try to make up the lost revenue.
Trump didn’t offer any specifics about his plan on Wednesday, in a move reminiscent of his unsuccessful efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
“I don’t want to be disappointed by Congress, do you understand me?” he said, alluding to lawmakers’ failure to repeal and replace Obamacare. “I think Congress is going to make a comeback.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) warned in a statement that Trump is trying to “cloak his tax plan, which is really a boon for the rich, as a populist plan that will be a boon for the middle class.”
“If it provides huge cuts for the wealthy while leaving crumbs for the middle class, the American people will rise up against it,” Schumer said Wednesday.
Trump’s tax reform event came as communities across Texas continue to struggle with the historic flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey. The president acknowledged the storm at the start of his remarks on tax reform, and described his Tuesday visit to Texas, where he met with local officials and reviewed recovery efforts.
“Together, we will endure, and we will overcome,” Trump said. “To those affected by the storm, we will pray for you, we are here for you, every step of the way.”