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Donald Trump Announces Tax Plan


Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump talks about his tax plan during a news conference, Monday, Sept. 28, 2015, in New York. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump talks about his tax plan during a news conference, Monday, Sept. 28, 2015, in New York. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump would cut taxes for the poor and rich, he said in a plan announced Monday.

Critics pointed out that he did not explain how the U.S. government would generate revenue.

Mr. Trump announced his plan for tax reform Monday morning in New York City. He called for an end to income tax for low-earning individuals. But he said he would raise income tax for the wealthiest Americans, including himself.

"It's going to cost me a fortune," Trump said. He said the proposal would "trigger the economy, make everyone want to go back to work."

Trump called for ending federal income taxes for individuals making $25,000 or less a year. He said married couples would be exempt from income tax if they made a combined $50,000 or less.

However, Mr. Trump said he would also sharply cut the tax rate on businesses -- from 35 percent to 15 percent. And he said he wants to reduce the highest tax income rate on individual taxpayers from 39.6 percent to 25 percent.

The candidate also proposed ending or reducing most deductions and loopholes for the wealthiest taxpayers. He said his tax reform plan would not add to the country's $19 trillion debt.

He called for the renegotiation of U.S. trade agreements with other countries. He said China, Mexico, Japan and India are taking American jobs as if, in his words, “we're a bunch of babies. All of that will stop."

Donald Trump has never held public office. The latest public opinion studies show he maintains a slight lead over his closest Republican Party competitors.

Two other political outsiders -- retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson and former technology company executive Carly Fiorina -- are in second and third place in the latest study.

Mr. Trump is just the second Republican candidate to release a tax plan. Former Florida governor, Jeb Bush, announced his proposal earlier this month.

Mr. Bush also called for cutting taxes on businesses although not as sharply as Mr. Trump. Mr. Bush suggested a cut from the current 35 percent to 20 percent. He also called for ending taxes imposed on the money and property of people when they die, as did Mr. Trump.

Both men propose tax simplification as well. Mr. Bush would reduce the number of tax brackets from seven to three. Mr. Trump called for four.

Overall, the two plans appear to have more similarities than differences. Atlantic Monthly politics editor Russell Berman called Mr. Trump’s plan “basically what Republican candidates and lawmakers have been proposing for years.”

The Economist online described Mr. Trump’s tax proposal as “fantasy.” And Josh Barrow of The New York Times called it “a higher energy version” of Jeb Bush’s tax plan.

Mr. Trump won at least one major supporter for his proposal, however. Grover Norquist, founder and president of the influential group Americans for Tax Reform praised the plan. In his words, it is “dead center of Reagan Republican thinking, when it comes to what would create growth in the United States.”

I'm Caty Weaver.

Caty Weaver wrote this story for VOA Learning English. Kathleen Struck was the editor.

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Words in This Story

revenue - n. money that is collected for public use by a government through taxes

trigger - v. to cause (something) to start or happen

exempt - not required to do something that others are required to do

deduction - n. something (such as an amount of money) that is or can be subtracted from a total

loophole - n. an error in the way a law, rule, or contract is written that makes it possible for some people to legally avoid obeying it

bracket - n. a category that includes a certain range of incomes, ages, etc.

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