- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 26, 2017

President Trump is doing everything he can to make sure his tax reform plan avoids the headaches suffered trying to repeal Obamacare, starting with muscling support from key Democrats to pad the margin of victory in Congress.

From promoting the passage of tax cuts as a patriotic duty to rolling out the eagerly anticipated plan Wednesday in the home state of a vulnerable Senate Democrat, he’s hitting Democrats hard with the tax reform push.

“It’s time for both parties to come together and do what is right for the American people and the nation that we all love,” Mr. Trump said Tuesday at a White House meeting with bipartisan members of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee.

He said the plan to simplify the tax code, give a massive tax cut to the middle class and slash rates for businesses would set off an economic boon and put more money in the pockets of working Americans.

“The jobs will start pouring in from all over the world, coming back to our country,” said Mr. Trump. “We have a non-competitive tax structure right now and we are going to go super competitive.”

Mr. Trump will unveil the framework of the plan in Indianapolis, in the backyard of Sen. Joe Donnelly. He is one of several Democrats up for re-election next year in states that Mr. Trump easily won and is under enormous pressure to back tax reform.

The location also puts Mr. Trump in the middle of the country and in the home state of Vice President Mike Pence, a former governor with a tax-cutting agenda.

Mr. Trump teed up the tax reform plan with previous events in the home states of two other Senate Democrats whose vote are in his crosshairs: Sen. Claire McCaskill in Missouri and Sen. Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota.

After Indiana, expect Mr. Trump to pay a visit to West Virginia, where Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin is also cornered on tax reform.

At every stop, Mr. Trump stresses that he’s pursuing pro-growth tax policies.

Lowering the business tax rate, currently among the highest in the developed world, to one of the lowest rates will create a flood of new jobs, he said.

The plan will include changes to tax rules to prod companies to bring home an estimated $3 trillion in profits currently stashed overseas to avoid high U.S. taxes. Giving companies a tax break for repatriating cash and other assets could spur investment in the U.S. and create new job, though the extent of the economic impact is uncertain.

Most Senate Democrats are expected to oppose tax reform regardless of what’s in the package. Their expected to immediately claim that the deal mostly benefits the wealthiest Americans and will explode the deficit could undermine public support and peel off crucial moderate Republicans in the Senate.

That makes picking up some Democrats all the more important.

Corralling support from just a couple Senate Democrats will help Mr. Trump avoid the problems he faced with Obamacare in the narrowly divided Senate. The GOP majority can only lose two members in the narrowly divided chamber and pass legislation on a party-line vote.

Defections of Senate Republican sunk a last-ditch effort to repeal Obamacare on Tuesday. It was the second time Senate Republicans killed a repeal-and-replace bill.

The repeated failures of Republicans to keep their promise to repeal Obamacare heightened pressure to win on tax reform, which is expected to be the largest overhaul of the tax code since the Reagan administration.

“We will cut taxes tremendously for the middle class. Not just a little bit but tremendously,” said Mr. Trump.

In addition to reducing tax rates, the president said the reforms would nearly doubling the standard deduction that most families use instead of itemize deductions on their tax returns. That would multiply the effect of tax cuts. Coupled with the eliminating of most deductions, it is expected to simplify filing and allow most people to use a one-page form.

“It’s called simplification,” said Mr. Trump.

The president said the plan also would increase the child tax credit, providing another savings for middle-class families.

“If we do this, we will create millions of new jobs for our people, and bring many, many businesses back to our shores. We will become a competitive nation again,” said Mr. Trump. “We won’t see companies leaving our country, firing their people, and going and then selling their product, by the way, back into our country with no tax and no retribution. That will all stop.”

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