Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump unveiled a sweeping tax reform policy in typical fashion on Monday.
“We have an amazing code,” he boasted about his proposed tax system. “It will be simple. It will be easy. It will be fair.”
Mr. Trump’s plan would eliminate income taxes for millions of individuals earning less than $25,000 a year and married couples earning less than $50,000. It would also lower rates for wealthy Americans by slashing the highest income tax rate from 39.6 percent to 25 percent. Businesses of all sizes would have their rates cut to no more than 15 percent.
"There will be a major tax reduction," Trump said at a news conference at his Trump Tower skyscraper in Manhattan. "It'll simplify the tax code. It'll grow the American economy at a level that it hasn't seen for decades."
The proposal highlights Trump’s willingness to embrace anti-corporate rhetoric, despite being a billionaire entrepreneur himself. He suggested a one-time 10 percent tax on the profits of US companies held abroad, which experts estimate are worth least $2.3 trillion.
"Everybody agrees it should come back, Republicans, Democrats," he said. "The reason companies aren't bringing it back is the tax is onerous. It doesn't make sense to bring it back.”
Trump also called for an end to the “carried interest loophole” that allows managers of hedge funds and private equity firms to pay a lower rate than most other people. He said he would reduce or eliminate most deductions and loopholes for both individuals and corporations.
"In other words, it's going to cost me a fortune," he said.
But according to his calculation, the potential payoff is enormous. Trump estimated that his plan would lead to annual economic growth of at least 3 percent. He said it could even reach 5 to 6 percent, a rate growth most economists say is improbable.
The tax plan is Trump’s third major policy proposal after outlining his plans for dealing with immigration and guns. He said he wrote it with the help of leading economists, but he refused to say who they were during the press conference.
This report includes material from the Associated Press and Reuters.