President Trump reiterated a pledge to continue lowering taxes if he wins reelection against Democratic challenger Joe Biden on Nov. 3, saying in remarks to the Economic Club of New York that he would reduce rates for middle-income Americans and corporations.
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"We're going again for a big middle-income tax cut. [Democrats] want to raise taxes, and they want to raise it on nonsense, you know, the Green New Deal," Trump said Wednesday.
Trump, who presided over the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in 2017, the biggest overhaul of the tax code since President Ronald Reagan was in the Oval Office, has repeatedly pledged a follow-up, dubbed "Tax Cuts 2.0."
It's unclear exactly what it would include, but the president has previously said he would cut the top capital gains tax rate to 15% from 20%; forgive temporarily deferred payroll taxes; give tax breaks to U.S. companies that bring their operations back from China; and codify changes made in the previous tax overhaul that are slated to sunset in 2025.
"We are going to be cutting taxes further, and that includes business taxes, but it includes especially middle-income taxes," he said. "We are low taxes. We are going to continue to be low taxes."
Biden, meanwhile, is running on a multitrillion-dollar agenda that would be funded in large part by higher taxes on wealthy U.S. households – which he describes as anyone earning more than $400,000 annually – and corporations. That includes higher income tax rates, an expansion of the payroll tax for Social Security, new tax credits and fewer deductions.
“I will raise taxes for anybody making over $400,000,” Biden said in August during an interview with ABC's David Muir. “Let me tell you why I'm going to do it. It’s about time they start paying a fair share of the economic responsibility we have. The very wealthy should pay a fair share – corporations should pay a fair share.”
Almost 80% of the tax increases backed by Biden would land on the top 1% of earners in the U.S., according to a projection in September from the Penn Wharton Budget Model, a nonpartisan group at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School.
Biden has promised to roll back Trump's 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and raise the corporate tax rate to 28% from 21%, restore the top individual tax rate to 39.6% from 37%, tax capital gains as ordinary income, cap deductions for high earners, expand the Earned Income Tax Credit for workers over the age of 65 and impose the Social Security payroll tax on wages above $400,000.
Still, the Constitution gives Congress the power to set tax policy, so both Biden's and Trump's economic agendas may hinge on which party controls a majority in the House and Senate.