Trump signs tax bill

Katrina Barker
December 26, 2017

The White House has claimed the tax bill Mr Trump signed into law on Friday, the biggest overhaul of the system since 1986 and his first major legislative accomplishment, would help all Americans, even though independent analysts say the wealthiest will benefit the most.

Just hours after signing the bill, Trump reportedly told his "rich friends" at a dinner at his private club: "You all got a lot richer". "It's the great Oval Office".

Although this is the first major overhaul of U.S. tax laws in 21 years, it is far from the "largest tax cut in American history" - a claim repeatedly made by the President in recent days.

It's true that changes in the new law that would cut taxes - for individual, business and worldwide taxes - comes to about $5.5 trillion, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation.

"It's going to a tremendous thing for the American people", Trump said from his desk as reporters looked on.

The president also privately signed a short-term spending bill to fund government operations through January 19.

News that companies, albeit a small number so far, are passing on benefits of the looming tax changes may help ease jitters among senior Republicans that they risked sparking a political backlash.

"Mitch McConnell has been fantastic, he worked so hard", Trump said. We can't say exactly how much of that goes to families, since some business owners - such as partners in limited liability corporations - pay taxes through personal income taxes.

The president then took a swipe at Democrats who didn't support the bill. Bob Corker (R-TN), who was a key vote in getting the legislation passed. In contrast, Tax Policy Center found almost half of all American taxpayers, 53 percent, will be paying more under the Republican bill than they are now by 2027.

The GOP has repeatedly touted the measure as a boon to working American families, and Trump called the tax cut bill the "biggest in history". CBS News had a tax professional assess the taxes of three families, and found they would all go down under the new law.

And therein lies the truth of Trump's Friday remarks.

President Donald Trump's "America First" foreign policy has advanced the country's interests in the world, the White House said today, while listing out his efforts to enhance relationship with partner countries, including India.

On Twitter, he wrote that the mainstream media "NEVER talk about our accomplishments in the end of year reviews".

The standard deduction, however, will nearly double. In that same year, 80 percent of the bill's benefits would be going to the top 1 percent of taxpayers.

The nation can afford huge tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy, apparently, but not for social safety net programs that benefit the overwhelming majority of Americans.

The law also eliminates the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's mandate that most people have health insurance or pay a penalty. Mr. Trump tweeted after his return from golfing. The law is not repealed, but the mandate had been considered an important feature of it.

The tax changes will reduce federal revenue by more than $1 trillion over the next decade, even after accounting for their beneficial effects on the US economy, according to the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation, Congress' tax scorekeeper. The Tax Policy Center analyzed the tax bill and concluded that most taxpayers at all income levels would get a tax cut in the years 2018 through 2025.

Tax reductions for businesses and individuals will increase USA gross domestic product by about 0.7 percent over the 10-year window, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation's estimate.

$1.2 trillion in cuts through changes to the tax brackets.

Also Friday, Trump signed a stopgap spending bill to avoid a government shutdown. That includes $4 billion for missile defense. I could've started with infrastructure - I actually wanted to save the easy one for the one down the road.

Information for this article was contributed by Eileen Sullivan and Michael Tackett of The New York Times; by John Voskuhl of Bloomberg News; by Laurie Kellman and Jonathan Lemire of The Associated Press; and by John Wagner of The Washington Post.

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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