President Donald Trump said Wednesday that the country's surging stock markets would grow even faster if Congress enacts his proposed overhaul of the country's tax laws.
Trump is heading to a Pennsylvania airport hangar to talk to a group of truckers about the tax plan, contending they would get "a $4,000 pay raise" with the changes he wants, although economists say that benefit would only materialize over eight years, at a rate of about $500 annually.
Trump's speech to hundreds of truck drivers, the most common job in 29 of the country's 50 states, is intended to counter the views of independent analysts that the Republican tax blueprint Trump is advancing would mostly benefit the highest income earners. These analysts contend that at least some middle-income taxpayers would pay more, not less, to the government under Trump's proposal.
So far, Trump has detailed only some of the specifics of the proposal, including trimming the number of tax rates applying to certain levels of income from seven to three categories under the progressive U.S. tax system of levying higher rates on taxpayers who have earned more than others.
But the Republican-controlled Congress has yet to determine at what levels of income the new rates would apply, leaving the analysts to guess what effects the changes would have on any individual taxpayer. Trump also wants to trim corporate taxes to further boost the U.S. economy, already the world's largest.
In Twitter comments ahead of his speech, Trump said, "Stock Market has increased by 5.2 Trillion dollars since the election on November 8th, a 25% increase. Lowest unemployment in 16 years and if Congress gives us the massive tax cuts (and reform) I am asking for, those numbers will grow by leaps and bounds."
The Republican president also took another shot at two of his favorite targets, the national mainstream news media and opposition Democratic lawmakers.
"It would be really nice if the Fake News Media would report the virtually unprecedented Stock Market growth since the election," Trump said. "Need tax cuts. The Democrats want MASSIVE tax increases & soft, crime producing borders. The Republicans want the biggest tax cut in history & the WALL!" built along the southern U.S. border with Mexico to thwart illegal immigration.
The Trump administration, when it took office in January, predicted it would complete a tax overhaul by August, but now has its sights set on completing the reforms by the end of the year. However, congressional tax-writing panels have yet to hold hearings and Democratic and Republican lawmakers have widely divergent views on what changes should be made.
Under some scenarios, the tax cuts could add to the country's long-term debt of more than $20 trillion, which would be anathema to many conservative Republican lawmakers. Democratic lawmakers are calling for tax changes to mostly benefit the country's middle class and lowest-income taxpayers, not the wealthiest.