Trump: Slashing taxes on corporations is 'probably the biggest factor' in GOP tax plan

Key Points
  • President Donald Trump says the corporate tax reduction is "probably the biggest factor in the GOP tax plan."
  • Trump and others have promoted the plan primarily as a middle-class tax cut.
President Trump holds last cabinet meeting of 2017

Tax relief for the middle class is the "heart" of the Republican tax plan expected to become law in the coming days, President Donald Trump said Wednesday.

Moments after touting middle-class benefits, however, Trump noted that slashing the corporate tax rate is "probably the biggest factor" in the GOP legislation.

"Our plan also lowers the tax on American business from 35 percent all the way down to 21 percent. That's probably the biggest factor in this plan," he said at a Cabinet meeting. "We've become competitive all over the world. Our companies won't be leaving our country any longer because our tax burden is so high."

President Donald Trump delivers remarks to reporters at the start of a cabinet meeting at the White House in Washington, U.S., December 20, 2017.
Jonathan Ernst | Reuters

The president called it "above all else a jobs bill," contending that changes to the business tax structure would encourage more companies to relocate operations to the U.S. and hire more workers. While hiring is a major piece of the GOP argument for the tax cuts, some company executives have already signaled businesses are more likely to use their tax savings for share repurchases rather than for hiring or worker wage increases.

House and Senate Republicans have promoted the legislation passed by both chambers of Congress this week as primarily a tool to increase wages and take-home pay for workers.

The bill would permanently chop taxes on businesses while temporarily reducing the burden on most, but not all, individual taxpayers. While congressional and independent analyses project most income groups would get a tax cut next year, their benefits under the plan would dissipate as most individual tax cuts expire after 2025.

Trump touts corporate tax rate, Obamacare mandate repeal as biggest achievements in tax bill

Republican congressional leaders say they plan to extend those cuts. Democrats have accused them of prioritizing tax breaks for corporations over those for individuals.

After the Senate approved the bill early Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Americans would "value and appreciate" the plan.

"If we can't sell this to the American people we ought to go into another line of work," he said.