Senior Trump administration officials told reporters Tuesday — ahead of President Trump’s “closing argument” for tax reform speech Wednesday — that the polls and progressive talking points are meant to manipulate the public into believing the tax reform plan represents a boon to the wealthiest Americans.
“It’s abundantly clear that every poll cited…is being used to manipulate public opinion” away from what the plan actually does which is cut taxes for middle-income earners, officials said.
“I would encourage you to spend a little bit less time reading [Sen.] Chuck Schumer’s talking points, and a little more time reading what’s going on in the plan,” one official told a reporter who asked about criticism of the plan.
Trump will give his closing argument in favor of the GOP tax reform plan, which could be signed as early as this week, flanked by 5 middle-income families from states such as Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington, Iowa and Virginia. The families will be there to give personal testimonials about what the reform will mean to their families in an attempt to illustrate what other middle-income earners might expect.
“We are very confident it will be very clear that this is a big middle income tax cut,” officials said.
Another focus of the speech Wednesday will be the intent to “reignite” the American Dream and “reject the cynicism that 2 percent growth is the new normal,” officials said. Trump and the GOP are hoping their plan ends the recent trend that successive generations earn less and are less economically successful than previous generations, saying that parents will be assured their children will do better in life than they did.
When asked about the debate over the corporate tax rate — which stems from some conservatives pushing for a hard 20 percent rate while others say 21 or 22 percent immediately makes the US internationally competitive — officials declined to go into what Trump would say in his speech.
Some conservative tax groups, in a call Monday with reporters, stated that they were flatly opposed to anything over the 20 percent rate, while others indicated they would base their support on justifications for going higher before they would oppose on principle.
Those groups — including the National Taxpayers Union, The Americans For Tax Reform, Americans for Prosperity, The Club for Growth and Freedom Partners — recently signed on to a coalition letter that said:
The central pro-growth provision in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is reducing the corporate income tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent. It is a primary reason for our enthusiastic support of tax reform. The United States currently has the highest corporate tax rate in the developed world – dropping that rate to 20 percent will spur American competitiveness, increase wages and deliver the relief middle-class taxpayers deserve.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed a tax cut bill with this exact rate cut. The U.S. Senate passed a tax cut bill with this exact rate cut. We strongly urge the conference committee to report a tax cut bill with this exact rate cut. We are confident that it will, and we write to encourage you in your good work.
Senior administration officials did not say if Trump would address the debate over the corporate tax rate, but did indicate that Trump understands that the corporate tax rate has an inordinate effect on the individual earner because it can mean the difference between industries choosing to innovate and expand which can lead to more jobs and higher salaries.
The tax reform closing argument is scheduled for 3 pm ET from the White House.