President Donald Trump has proposed the biggest US tax overhaul in three decades, offering to cut taxes for most Americans but prompting criticism the plan favours the rich and could add trillions of dollars to the deficit.
The proposal, which the Republican president said was aimed at helping working people, creating jobs and making the tax code more simple and fair, faces an uphill battle in Congress, with Trump’s own party divided and Democrats hostile.
The plan would lower corporate income tax rates, cut taxes for small businesses, reduce the top income tax rate for individuals and scrap some widely used tax breaks.
However, it contains scant details about how to pay for the cuts without fuelling deficits.
Speaking at an event in Indianapolis, Trump called the plan the largest tax cut in US history and “historic tax relief to the American people”.
“This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity,” Trump said.
“We want tax reform that is pro-growth, pro-jobs, pro-worker, pro-family and, yes, tax reform that is pro-American.”
Trump said earlier on Wednesday he personally would not stand to gain financially from the proposal.
“I think there’s very little benefit for people of wealth,” said Trump, who has refused to make public his own tax returns, unlike many of his predecessors.
Republicans have produced no major legislative successes since Trump took office even though they control the White House and Congress.
The Republicans’ top legislative priority, an overhaul of the US healthcare system, collapsed on Tuesday.
The White House said that under the proposal typical middle-class families would have less income subject to federal income tax.
The plan would lower the top individual rate from to 35 per cent from 39.6 per cent.
It foresees a 20 per cent corporate income tax rate, down from 35 per cent.
Trump has appealed to Democrats to support the plan, although they were not consulted in drafting it.
“Under this plan, the wealthiest Americans and wealthiest corporations make out like bandits while middle-class Americans are left holding the bag,” said Chuck Schumer, the top Senate Democrat.