Trump Seeks Democrats' Help on Tax Overhaul
By Byron Tau
INDIANAPOLIS -- President Donald Trump laid out a bipartisan case for his tax overhaul on Wednesday, promising that his administration would deliver a simpler, fairer tax code with the bulk of the benefits flowing to working Americans rather than the wealthy and well-connected.
"Tax reform has not historically been a partisan issue -- and it does not have to be a partisan issue today," Mr. Trump said in remarks at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in the state's capital. "I really believe we're going to have numerous Democrats come over and sign because it's the right thing to do."
Republican leaders unveiled a plan earlier Wednesday that would overhaul the U.S. tax code, sharply reducing rates on businesses and many individuals while consolidating or eliminating some deductions. The document leaves out many details, however, resulting in an incomplete picture of what the tax burden will be on wealthier Americans, and who will benefit or lose out under the plan.
Republicans hope that a major tax overhaul, which last happened in 1986, could help boost the economy and stimulate economic growth. After the failure of Republicans so far to muster enough votes for a health-care overhaul, tax reform has taken on new importance for the administration.
Mr. Trump chose Indiana as the location for his inaugural tax event to highlight the benefits of lower taxes and less regulation. Mr. Trump's vice president, Mike Pence, previously served as governor of the state where he worked with the legislature to cut personal state income taxes. Since those cuts were enacted into law, the state's unemployment rate has fallen to 3.6%.
"Our country and our economy cannot take off like they should unless we dramatically reform America's outdated, complex and extremely burdensome tax code. It's a relic," said Mr. Trump.
Mr. Trump traveled to Indiana with four members of Congress on Air Force One, including Sen. Joe Donnelly, an Indiana Democrat. Mr. Donnelly is up for reelection next year in a state that Mr. Trump won by nearly 20 points in the 2016 election. Though Republicans consider Mr. Donnelly a top target in next year's congressional elections, Mr. Trump is also hoping that his package of tax reform can win some support from Democrats in Congress.
Mr. Trump said if Mr. Donnelly didn't support his tax package, "we will campaign against him like you wouldn't believe," to loud applause from the friendly local audience.