A day after Republican senators passed a sweeping tax overhaul that would eliminate the estate tax, the party’s presidential candidates are refusing to commit to making major changes to the tax code.
In a joint statement Friday, the two party’s leading presidential candidates said they’re opposed to any changes to tax law that would raise taxes on the wealthy.
Donald Trump said he would not consider any changes and Jeb Bush said he’s not in favor of changes to taxation at all.
“We don’t want to raise taxes and we don’t have any plans to raise the tax burden on anybody,” Bush said.
“I don’t believe that you should increase taxes on middle class people.
We want to give them a little bit of flexibility.”
Trump said that the GOP’s tax plan is “designed to benefit the wealthy at the expense of middle class Americans.”
“We are a party that has a responsibility to the American people and the American taxpayers,” Bush continued.
“The only way we can deliver on that promise is to bring the middle class back to the table.
That’s why I’ve never said anything about raising taxes on millionaires.”
Jeb Bush: I don’t think the rich should pay more than they owe [the estate tax].
But we have to make sure the middle-class pays the same amount as the wealthy do.
[The Wall Street New Deal] Jeb Bush says he wants to make the middle and working class pay the same level of tax as the top 1 percent of earners.
“As we move toward a system that is more equitable and a system where we all pay the tax we should, I don and I will make sure that middle class pays a fair share of their income tax,” Bush told reporters Friday.
Trump has also taken a more moderate approach, saying he’s against any changes that would increase the burden on the middle or lower classes.
“What we’re saying is the wealthiest people in the world should pay what they owe, and everybody else should pay their fair share,” Trump said during a debate in Florida.
“But the middle, the working class, we’re not talking about the rich.
We’re talking about everybody.
And we’re going to pay our fair share.”
The White House did not respond to a request for comment.
Bush’s statement comes amid increasing interest in a tax overhaul and a growing public clamor for a tax plan that would not increase the tax liability of the wealthiest Americans.
Trump and his GOP colleagues have long been on record as opposing any changes at all to the estate and other tax laws that benefit the rich and the powerful.
In addition to the Republican tax bill, a handful of other Republican senators introduced tax bills that would have eliminated the estate or other estate tax.
Jeb Bush, Jeb Bush’s running mate, said in a statement Friday that he would oppose any changes in the tax system that would benefit the wealthiest.
“At a time when we need to be focused on creating jobs and helping people who have lost their jobs, we must be prepared to deal with the challenges of economic growth and prosperity,” Bush wrote.
“My plan would allow us to avoid tax increases on the wealthiest American families while protecting our economy and reducing our deficits.
We cannot allow the wealthy to use loopholes and deductions to pay lower taxes and then expect the middle to pay more.
That is not how our country works.”
The estate tax is imposed on estates of more than $5.49 million.
The legislation passed in 2019 eliminates the estate-tax rate to $11.8 million and reduces the estate’s income threshold to $6.9 million.
If the estate was not taxed, a person would owe no taxes on their entire estate.
But the estate would be taxed only on a portion of a person’s wealth.
Bush said in his statement that he opposes any changes he believes would increase taxes for those who already owe the estate.
“If we want to provide middle class families with relief, we should raise the estate taxes on estates that are above $5 million.
That will provide relief to middle class households,” he said.
The estate and personal income taxes are levied separately and the top rate of $2.7 million is the highest in the country.
Bush has said that he supports the estate estate tax reform, but he has not committed to changing the tax rules that would apply to estates worth more than that.
“In the past, we have made a point of not raising the estate rate for people who are wealthy and in the top one percent of the income distribution.
That has been a mistake.
We should be focused in the middle,” Bush has argued.
“That is the best way to address inequality, and we need a strong middle class that can grow the economy and create jobs.”
Jeb and Joe Biden on tax reform: We’ll look at every tax proposal that comes our way, but we don`t want to touch the estate of a billionaire Joe Biden and Jeb
President Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the Environmental Protection Agency is expected to take office soon.
That’s according to the new director of the agency, Scott Pruitt.
Pruitt, who has served as Oklahoma’s attorney general and was Trump’s attorney during the impeachment proceedings, will replace Gina McCarthy, who left office in February.
Pressed by The Washington Post on Tuesday about his confirmation and whether he’s qualified to head the EPA, Pruitt said that he is and that he’s not looking to change the agency’s policies or priorities.
He said that if confirmed, he would “follow all the legal requirements of the executive branch” to avoid conflicts of interest and that his nomination would be based on his experience and qualifications.
In an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Pruitt said he would consider “anyone” with the ability to lead a transition team that could include “law enforcement, education, and so forth.”
He added that he would be “very careful to not have any conflicts of interests” while filling the job.
Asked whether he would use his position as attorney general to get his hands on classified information, Pruitt declined to say whether he has done so.
He added, however, that he “would certainly look into any investigation that may come up in the future.”
“I have no idea what’s going on.
I have no interest in doing that,” he said.
Pryor also said he had not been in contact with any of his top aides and that it would be up to him to decide whether to accept their advice or to follow his own advice.
Pushed on whether he believed the Russia investigation was a distraction, he said he does not think so.
“It’s an important issue, and I think it’s important that we move forward on it,” he added.
“It’s important to get this done and move forward, and there’s a lot of work to be done.”
The EPA is one of several agencies where Democrats and Republicans have sparred over whether Pruitt should be allowed to lead.
The Republican president, who was elected in 2016, has been critical of the work of the EPA and has sought to impose new rules on the agency that he says are a distraction from his administration’s agenda.
“We’re going to have to make sure we have an effective EPA that is working with the American people, working for the American workers, and working for them to be able to have clean air, clean water, safe food, safe air and safe cities,” Pruitt told The Post in an interview last month.
“I think we’ve got to have an EPA that can deliver on what the American public wants, and what the president’s in charge of is delivering on that.”
The White House and other Republican lawmakers have repeatedly suggested that Pruitt would be an obstructionist who would seek to impede the agency from enforcing its policies.
Pulitzer-winning filmmaker Michael Moore, who is backing Trump’s 2020 bid, told The Washington Times last month that he was “very skeptical” of Pruitt’s confirmation.
Polls show that Americans are split on the issue of Pruitt and the Senate.
A recent CNN/ORC poll found that 54 percent of Americans believe Pruitt would have to get a majority vote to become EPA administrator.
And a poll conducted by Morning Consult found that 71 percent of respondents support Pruitt’s nomination.
A Reuters/Ipsos poll from last week found that 65 percent of likely voters believe Pruitt will be confirmed.
A CBS News poll from January found that 75 percent of registered voters said they would support Pruitt if he is confirmed.
Purdue University’s Ryan Lucas, a former senior adviser to President Bill Clinton and former chief of staff to Sen. Joe Biden, said in an email that Pruitt is “the right person for the job.”
“He is not a Republican, he is a conservative, and his record of work on behalf of working families and the environment is clear,” Lucas wrote.
“He understands the importance of EPA to the American economy and the need for effective regulation.
He understands the role of the Department of Justice and of the courts in protecting American workers and the Constitution and the role that the Department can play in ensuring that federal agencies do not violate the constitutional rights of citizens and the American taxpayer.”
Pruiter’s nomination is expected before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Wednesday.
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