Archive

ShareThis Page
Trump signs $1.5 trillion tax overhaul into law, heads to Mar-a-Lago for holidays | TribLIVE.com
Valley News Dispatch

Trump signs $1.5 trillion tax overhaul into law, heads to Mar-a-Lago for holidays

The Associated Press
891755848
Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 13: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks about tax reform in the Cross Hall at the White House on December 13, 2017 in Washington, DC. House and Senate Republicans are working on a tentative deal on tax reform that will overhaul the U.S. tax system. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Trump57605jpg8949a
President Donald Trump waves as he walks on the South Lawn upon his return to the White House in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 21, 2017, from a visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
Trump57605jpg8949a
President Donald Trump waves as he walks on the South Lawn upon his return to the White House in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 21, 2017, from a visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump signed the $1.5 trillion tax overhaul into law Friday, using his last moments in the White House before flying to Florida for the holidays to celebrate a much-needed political win.

He also signed a temporary spending bill to keep the government running and provide money to upgrade the nation’s missile defenses. The tax cut, which fulfilled a long-held Republican goal, was at the forefront of Trump’s mind.

Starting next year, the new law will give big cuts to corporation and wealthy Americans and more modest reductions to other families. Trump continued to pitch it as a win a for the middle class, insisting that even though polling indicates the tax cut is unpopular, “the numbers will speak” for themselves.

“I don’t think we are going to have to do much selling,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office.

The tax law is the largest since 1986, but far from the biggest in American history, as the president repeatedly claims. It also is projected to add to the nation’s debt, something that was anathema to Republicans for years.

Passage of the tax bill marked a significant victory for a president hungry for one after chaos and legislative failures during his first year in office — including an effort to repeal former President Barack Obama’s health care law — despite Republican control of Congress. Trump also ended the year with his sights still trained on the way the media treat him, tweeting that the mainstream media “NEVER talk about our accomplishments in the end of year reviews.”

“We are compiling a long (at) beautiful list,” he tweeted.

Trump said that he originally planned to sign the tax bill early next year but moved it up on the spur of the moment after watching media coverage Friday morning about the legislation. After finishing the bill signings, he was off to Mar-a-Lago in Florida, his plane leaving Joint Base Andrews in Maryland just before noon EST.

The first major overhaul of the nation’s tax laws since 1986 could add $1.5 trillion to the national debt over the next decade, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Republican leaders have said they’re willing to take that step in pursuit of a boost to the economy. But some in the GOP worry their party could face a political backlash without an aggressive public relations tour.

Trump, meanwhile, continued to send mixed messages about his desire to work across the aisle. In the Oval Office, he contended anew that Democrats “don’t like tax cuts, they want to raise your taxes.”

But that came just hours after he tweeted a pitch for bipartisanship: “At some point, and for the good of the country, I predict we will start working with the Democrats in a bipartisan fashion. Infrastructure would be a perfect place to start. … It is time to start rebuilding our country!”

Some White House aides and Republican leaders are looking warily ahead at the midterm election year, when typically a president’s party loses seats in Congress. That’s all the more true for presidents whose approval ratings dip below 50 percent, and Trump’s have never been that high.

Additionally, the new tax law that they see as the GOP’s top talking point is unpopular. Only about 1 in 3 voters have supported the legislation in recent days, according to several polls. About half of Americans believe the plan will hurt their personal finances. And 2 in 3 voters say the wealthy will get the most benefits, according to a USA Today/Suffolk University poll released last week.

Starting next year, families making between $50,000 and $75,000 will get average tax cuts of $890, according to an analysis by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center. Families making between $100,000 and $200,000 would get average tax cuts of $2,260, while families making more than $1 million would get average tax cuts of nearly $70,000, according to the analysis.

But if the cuts for individuals are allowed to expire, most Americans — those making less than $75,000 — would see tax increases in 2027, according to congressional estimates.

Only high-income people would get a meaningful tax cut after 2025, when nearly all of the plan’s individual income tax provisions are due to expire.

Republicans argue that the middle class will see benefits from the business tax cuts, in the form of more jobs and higher wages.

Democrats say that’s not likely to happen, that the tax cuts are simply a boon to wealthy Americans like Trump and leave lower-income families in a lurch.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.