Trump Calls for Higher Taxes On the Wealthy, No Taxes for Poorest People

© Drew Angerer/Bloomberg News
© Drew Angerer/Bloomberg News

Donald Trump is set to release a tax plan Monday that calls for major reductions in levies on middle-income and poor payers, while increasing taxes on the wealthy and reining in companies that pay less in taxes by moving their headquarters overseas.

The plan will offer a “major tax reduction for almost all citizens” and help stimulate business in the U.S. again, the Republican candidate’s campaign said Sunday.

The GOP presidential front-runner is also expected to call for the poorest filers to pay no federal taxes at all while also recommending that corporate levies be reduced.

In an interview set to air on CBS’s “60 Minutes” Sunday night, Mr. Trump shrugged off questions as to how he would pay for the tax plan and what kind of Republican presidential candidate would recommend that the wealthy pay more to the government.

“Some very wealthy are going to be raised. Some people that are getting unfair deductions are going to be raised,” Mr. Trump told CBS anchor Scott Pelley about his tax plan, according to a transcript. “But overall it’s going to be a tremendous incentive to grow the economy and we’re going to take in the same or more money.”

The tax plan will be the second policy platform released by Mr. Trump in the more than three months since he declared his candidacy. He released a six-page paper outlining his hard-line stance on immigration last month.

The tax plan comes at an uncertain time for Mr. Trump as his summer status as the Republican front-runner could be fading with the arrival of fall. The businessman has led rounds of national public polls and drawn massive crowds to his campaign rallies, but his support has shown some signs of softening as other outsider candidates gain steam.

A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll released Sunday showed Mr. Trump is still the race’s front-runner with 21% of GOP primary voters saying he is their top pick, but he’s now virtually tied with Ben Carson, with 20% of those surveyed favoring the retired neurosurgeon. In the prior Journal/NBC News poll, Mr. Carson had only 10% of support compared with Mr. Trump’s 19%.

On Saturday, Mr. Trump came in fifth in a straw poll of social conservatives surveyed by the Family Research Council at the conclusion of its Values Voter Summit in Washington. He trailed Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Mr. Carson, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

Of the 1,151 summit participants who voted in the straw poll, 56 chose Mr. Trump for president, with 20 respondents saying he would make a good vice president.

Mr. Trump brought a Bible on stage with him during his Friday appearance at the summit and his address was full, but the businessman was booed when he called Mr. Rubio a “clown” at the event.

Mr. Trump is slated to hold a private meeting with evangelical Christian leaders at Trump Towers in Manhattan Monday afternoon. An invitation said the meeting would be capped at 30 people, but about 45 religious leaders have said they plan to attend the hourlong session, according to a person familiar with its planning.

Participants will come from churches across the country, and many are African-American pastors, the person said.

During the “60 Minutes” segment, Mr. Pelley repeatedly tried to press Mr. Trump to be more detailed with his policies and the two men went back and forth several times.

Regarding his plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Mr. Trump said he would be able to extend health insurance universally in the U.S. by making “a deal with existing hospitals to take care of people.” Coverage would be private, he said.

“They can have their doctors, they can have plans, they can have everything,” Mr. Trump said about his health plan.

Mr. Trump said that the North American Free Trade Agreement should be ended regardless of breaking a standing international deal. He said he would support sending ground troops to Iraq to fight Islamic State, but would seek less involvement in Syria, believing that Islamic State and the Assad regime would turn on each other and then the U.S. would “pick up the remnants.”

When asked how he would get along with Congress to get his plans passed, Mr. Trump said his leadership style would pave the way.

“I’ve gotten along with politicians my whole life. I’ve made a fortune on politicians. Nobody knows politicians better than I do. I get along with politicians,” Mr. Trump said.

In discussing his personal life, Mr. Trump said his life’s greatest hardship was the loss of his brother, Fred, to alcohol abuse. Mr. Trump said it motivated his decision to not drink.

“I’ve never had a drink. I own the largest winery on the east coast and yet I don’t drink which is a little weird,” Mr. Trump said.

Mr. Trump didn’t shy away from the image that he is a narcissist. When asked about magazine covers featuring the businessman that line the walls of his office at Trump Towers, he quipped: “it’s cheaper than wallpaper.”

SOURCE: The Wall Street Journal – Heather Haddon