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Trump turns back to tax overhaul; pitch aimed at truckers

  • President Donald Trump speaks about tax reform during an event at the Harrisburg International Airport on Wednesday. AP



Associated Press
Wednesday, October 11, 2017

President Donald Trump pitched his tax plan as a boost for truckers at an event Wednesday in Pennsylvania, saying, “ ‘America first’ means putting American truckers first.”

Trump appeared before about a thousand cheering people at an airplane hangar dramatically draped with American flags. Two big rigs were in the background.

“It will be rocket fuel for our economy,” Trump said of a plan that would dramatically cut corporate tax rates from 35 percent to 20 percent, reduce the number of personal income tax brackets and boost the standard deduction.

Trump said a cut to business taxes would help truckers because there will be “more products to deliver and more contracts to fill.” He also said his plan would benefit middle-class families by lowering rates, creating new jobs and making it easier for business owners to pass companies on to their children.

“So many people have come up to me and said give it to the middle class, give it to people who need it,” Trump said.

Trump is diving back into the tax fight after weeks in which his attention has shifted to rapidly emerging crises – including the mass shooting in Las Vegas and the hurricane recovery effort in Puerto Rico – as well as dramas of his own making, such as his escalating feud with Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., and public tension with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Taxes are the chief legislative priority for Republicans hungry for a major legislative achievement. With the 2018 campaign year looming, GOP lawmakers want something to show for their time as the majority party.

Trump has left it up to Congress to fill in many specifics of his plan. The outreach to truckers in Pennsylvania is an attempt to give a blue-collar appeal to a framework that outside tax analysts say would largely favor the wealthy.