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US President Donald Trump to Unveil “Biggest Tax Cut and Largest Tax Reform” in US History

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US, April 25, 2017: President Donald Trump is set to unveil “the biggest tax cut and the largest tax reform” in the country’s history, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Wednesday.

The Treasury chief said it would cut the corporate tax rate from 35 percent, the highest in the industrialized world, to 15 percent for all businesses. White House aides said the top individual tax rate of 39.6 percent would be trimmed by a few percentage points.

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Mnuchin said the Trump administration hopes to simplify an annual rite in the U.S. when citizens file their tax returns in the early months of each year to account for the taxes they owe based on the income they earned the previous year.

Mnuchin said the “objective is simplifying personal taxes. For most Americans, we think they should be able to do their taxes on a large postcard,” instead of the voluminous pages of forms many taxpayers now face.

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Congress is expected to closely scrutinize Trump’s plan to sharply cut corporate taxes, which some analysts say could over the next decade add $2 trillion to the nearly $20 trillion in long-term debt the U.S. has already amassed.

Some Republicans have expressed concerns the Trump plan does not call for adding any new revenue-producing measures that would offset the lost revenue with the tax cuts.

During his campaign for the White House, Trump attacked his predecessor, former President Barack Obama, for massive annual deficit spending that added to the national debt, but now seems unconcerned about it. Mnuchin told reporters this week that “tax reform will pay for itself with economic growth” that would boost tax revenues, a proposition that many economists reject.

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Congress is likely to debate the Trump plan for months, but Trump gained one quick ally for the coming legislative fight over U.S. tax policy. The leader of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, Speaker Paul Ryan, voiced support for much of the president’s proposal.

“We like it a lot, it puts us on the same page, we’re in agreement on 80 percent, and on the 20 percent we’re in the same ballpark,” said Ryan.

Mnuchin said the corporate tax cuts are aimed at sparking sustained 3 percent economic growth in the U.S., a figure well above last year’s tepid 1.6-percent advance. The U.S. has not recorded 3 percent annual growth since 2005, even as it recovered from the depths of the steep recession in 2008 and 2009.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Tuesday the U.S. has been “uncompetitive” against other countries in attracting new businesses, “largely because of our rates.”

U.S. lawmakers have for years vowed to adopt broad tax reforms, but the efforts have foundered amid competing demands to eliminate tax breaks for some corporate and individual interests and raise taxes on others. Many of Trump’s Republican colleagues in Congress have their own ideas on how the labyrinth U.S. tax code ought to be reshaped.

Tax experts say the 35 percent U.S. corporate tax rate is the highest among the world’s 35 industrialized nations, although U.S. corporations rarely pay that much because they are permitted to deduct their business expenses from their revenues before. A number of profitable companies pay no U.S. income taxes.

When the 35-percent rate is added to the average state corporate tax rate, the figure reaches 38.9 percent, which ranks third in the world among 188 countries surveyed by the Washington-based Tax Foundation. The U.S. figure trails only that of the United Arab Emirates at 55 percent and the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico at 39 percent. (VOA)

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U.S. President Donald Trump Vetoes Measure to End U..S Involvement in Yemen War

ump issued his first veto last month on legislation related to immigration. Trump had declared a national emergency so he could use more money to construct a border wall. Congress voted to block the emergency declaration and Trump vetoed that measure.

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Men inspect the site of an airstrike by Saudi-led coalition in Sanaa, Yemen, April 10, 2019. VOA

President Donald Trump on Wednesday vetoed a bill passed by Congress to end U.S. military assistance in Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen.

In a break with the president, Congress voted for the first time earlier this month to invoke the War Powers Resolution to try to stop U.S. involvement in a foreign conflict.

The veto — the second in Trump’s presidency — was expected. Congress lacks the votes to override him.

“This resolution is an unnecessary, dangerous attempt to weaken my constitutional authorities, endangering the lives of American citizens and brave service members, both today and in the future,” Trump wrote in explaining his veto.

Congress has grown uneasy with Trump’s close relationship with Saudi Arabia as he tries to further isolate Iran, a regional rival.

Many lawmakers also criticized the president for not condemning Saudi Arabia for the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi who lived in the United States and had written critically about the kingdom. Khashoggi went into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last October and never came out. Intelligence agencies said Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was complicit in the killing.

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Congress has grown uneasy with Trump’s close relationship with Saudi Arabia as he tries to further isolate Iran, a regional rival. VOA

The U.S. provides billions of dollars of arms to the Saudi-led coalition fighting against Iran-backed rebels in Yemen. Members of Congress have expressed concern about the thousands of civilians killed in coalition airstrikes since the conflict began in 2014. The fighting in the Arab world’s poorest country also has left millions suffering from food and medical care shortages and has pushed the country to the brink of famine.

House approval of the resolution came earlier this month on a 247-175 vote. The Senate vote last month was 54-46.

Democratic Rep. Eliot Engel of New York, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, voted to end U.S. military assistance to the war, saying the humanitarian crisis in Yemen triggered “demands moral leadership.”

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President Donald Trump on Wednesday vetoed a bill passed by Congress to end U.S. military assistance in Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen. VOA

The top Republican on the committee, Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas, acknowledged the dire situation in Yemen for civilians, but spoke out in opposition to the bill. McCaul said it was an abuse of the War Powers Resolution and predicted it could disrupt U.S. security cooperation agreements with more than 100 countries.

Also Read: Despite Tariff War With U.S, China’s Economic Growth is Steady

Trump issued his first veto last month on legislation related to immigration. Trump had declared a national emergency so he could use more money to construct a border wall. Congress voted to block the emergency declaration and Trump vetoed that measure. (VOA)