President Donald J. Trump’s tormentors paint him as a brooding grinch who oozes pessimism. The New Republic last October decried “Trump’s dark portrayal of the country.”
But Trump was Mr. Sunshine at the White House Wednesday as he promoted the Republican tax-cut plan, now in production on Capitol Hill.
“The goal of my administration is for every American to know the dignity of work, the pride of a paycheck, and the satisfaction of a job well done,” Trump declared. “We want people to love waking up in the morning and going to work.”
Even more broadly, Trump discussed this nation’s character, history, and future.
“We didn’t become great through massive taxation and Washington regulation,” Trump continued. “We became great because of our drive to find the next horizon, to unlock the next mystery, and to begin the next adventure…And that’s who we are: a nation of strivers and builders and dreamers and doers.”
Sounding Reaganesque, Trump identified the state the source of, not the solution to, so much anxiety.
“When government loosens its grip, there is no summit we cannot reach. Our tax cuts will break down…all forms of government barriers and breathe new life into the American economy.”
Thus, Trump announced: “We want to give you, the American people, a giant tax cut for Christmas.”
According to news reports, the final tax measure, among other things, would cut the top personal income-tax rate from 39.6 percent to 37, double the standard deduction, and boost the per-child tax credit.
The president introduced several American families whom these tax cuts would benefit.
Pennsylvanian Bryant Glick sells farm gear. Ashley is in healthcare. They have two kids, a third is en route, and they’re in the 15-percent tax bracket.
“Under our plan,” Trump said, “they will drop to the 12-percent bracket.” He added: “Instead of itemizing their deductions, they will be able to file their taxes on a single, little, beautiful sheet of paper…And instead of paying $2,600 in income taxes, they will get it down to $2,000.”
That’s a 23 percent tax cut.
“With the tax savings that we are going to see,” Bryant Glick said, “we are going to put that money into home renovations.”
This would be great news for manufacturers of, say, wallpaper, rain gutters, and appliances — and perhaps contractors.
Ohio veteran Adam Kovacs is in telecommunications, and his wife, Lindsay, is in university admissions.
“They’re currently in the 25-percent bracket and pay nearly $14,000 in taxes,” Trump noted. “Our plan gives them their time back because they won’t have to itemize,” plus one-year tax savings of $3,500.
That’s a 25-percent tax cut.
Adam Kovacs said, “We have home renovations that we want to take care of, and hopefully save for our two children to go to college.”
Isaac Howard owns an espresso-machine maintenance company. Emily Howard mothers their four kids in Tenino, Washington. They’re taxed $2,500 in the 15-percent bracket.
“Our plan will totally wipe out their tax bill, and they might even get a refund of substantially more than $700,” Trump said.
That’s a 100 percent tax cut.
“What this means to us as a family is that we will be able to pour out into our community” Emily Howard said, “giving away to families that are in need.”
The Howards’ tax savings, would do far greater good if they handed it directly to the disadvantaged rather than funneled it through Washington.
Beyond such middle-class tax relief, American companies would enjoy a 21 percent corporate-tax rate (down from 35), immediate expensing of capital purchases, and repatriation of overseas profits. These and other commercial-tax cuts should turbocharge the economy.
President Trump urged Americans to pressure their representatives to enact the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
“If you make your voices heard,” he said, “this moment will be forever remembered as a great new beginning, the dawn of a brilliant American future shining with patriotism, prosperity, and pride.”