President Donald Trump said Wednesday his tax-reform plan would "deliver historic tax relief to the American people" and would "dramatically reform America's outdated, complex, and extremely burdensome tax code."
"It's a relic," Trump told a crowd at the State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis. "The current tax system is a colossal barrier, standing in the way of America's economic comeback, because it can be far greater than it's ever been.
"But we're going to remove that barrier to create the tax system that our people finally, finally, finally want and deserve.
"We want tax reform that is pro-growth, pro-jobs, pro-worker, pro-family, and — yes — tax reform that is pro-American," Trump said.
"It's time to take care of our people, to rebuild our nation, and to fight for our great American workers."
President Trump touted his plan as a blueprint for helping middle-class Americans, not wealthier individuals — including himself.
"We're doing everything we can to reduce the tax burden on you and your family," Trump told the crowd. "By eliminating tax breaks and loopholes, we will ensure that the benefits are focused on the middle class, the working men and women, not the highest-income earners.
"They can call me all they want," the president added. "It's not going to help. I'm doing the right thing.
"And it's not good for me, believe me.
"But what is good for me, not only as president and legacy, what is good for me is if everything takes off like a rocket ship," Trump said.
"That's good for me. That's good for everyone."
Trump also noted he chose Indiana for his speech because of Vice President Mike Pence's tax-reform efforts when he was governor.
"It's time for Washington to learn from the wisdom of Indiana," the president said. "We need Washington to promote American jobs instead of obstructing them."
Under President Trump's tax plan:
- The first $12,000 in income would be tax free for individuals and $24,000 for married couples.
- The number of personal tax brackets would be reduced from seven to three — with rates of 12 percent, 25 percent, and 35 percent. The plan also may raise taxes on the very wealthy.
- A new $500 tax credit would be added to pay for care of seniors or sick people who are claimed as dependents by taxpayers.
- Existing tax benefits for college and retirement savings, such as 401(k) contribution plans, would be retained.
- The child tax credit of $1,000 per child would be expanded to families with higher incomes — and the "marriage penalty" tax would be done away with.
- The estate tax, generally paid for by those with multimillion-inheritances, would be eliminated.
- The alternative minimum tax — a supplemental tax for certain individuals, corporations and estates that enjoy various exemptions — also would end.
- Business tax rates would be cut to no higher than 20 percent, from 35 and 39 percent currently, and the rate for small businesses and farms filing as sole proprietors or partnerships would pay a rate capped at 25 percent.
- A "one-time low tax" would be imposed on businesses who repatriate funds from overseas and a new lower tax would be established on corporate profits stored abroad — along with a new tax structure for overseas business operations of U.S. companies.
President Trump called his framework "a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reduce taxes, rebuild our economy, and restore America's competitive edge — finally."
He called on Democrats to work with Republicans to enact his plan and threatened to campaign against Sen. Joe Donnelly, who will be up for re-election to a second term next year.
"If Sen. Donnelly doesn't approve it, because he's on the other side, we will come here and campaign against him like you wouldn't believe.
"I think they are going to approve it," he added. "I think, actually, we'll have numerous Democrats come across."
Trump also encouraged voters to lobby their legislators for tax reform.
"Let them know you're watching," the president said. "Let them know you're waiting.
"Tell them that today is the day for decision, that now is the time to heal this self-inflicted economic wound.
"And that with their action, the future will belong to all of us.
"If you demand it, the politicians will listen," the president said. "They will answer.
"And they will act."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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