- The Washington Times - Monday, April 16, 2018

President Trump made a pitch in Florida on Monday for permanent tax cuts, criticizing incumbent Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson as an opponent of the recently approved tax-relief package who would try to raise taxes if his party takes control of Congress this year.

“Sen. Nelson was hostile to it,” Mr. Trump said at an event on the economy in Hialeah, Florida. “They [Democrats] want to terminate and they want to raise your taxes. And we cannot let that happen because this country is starting to rock with our businesses coming back in.”

The tax cuts approved in December lowered corporate rates permanently. But reductions in personal income-tax rates would expire in 10 years, and the president warned the economic benefits will be lost if Democrats gain control of the House and Senate in November.

Mr. Nelson is running for a fourth term this year against a Republican field that includes Gov. Rick Scott, an ally of the president.

“Let me tell you, if for any reason they [Democrats] get in … they’re going to raise your taxes way up high, they’re going to terminate this out,” Mr. Trump said. “Of course, I’ll veto it. But eventually, they want to terminate [the tax cuts] and they want to raise your taxes.”

The president has been promoting the benefits of the tax law, mindful that Republican congressional candidates are facing worrisome prospects in November’s mid-term elections.

Among the dozens of retirements announced by incumbent Republican lawmakers is House Speaker Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, who said last week he wants to spend more time with his family.

Republican Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, who represents Hialeah, said the tax cuts are helping to spur economic growth of 3 percent or more after years of sluggish growth.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) “had the forecasts for the next foreseeable future — 10 years — of less than 2 percent growth,” Mr. Diaz-Balart said. “That’s where we were headed. That was the new normal. And I think a lot of people may have, kind of, given up. But look what happens when you cut regulation, you lower taxes, you free up the American people, good things happen.”

CBO also reported last week that the tax cuts, coupled with a $1.3 trillion spending bill approved by Congress and signed by the president, will cause federal budget deficits to rise to more than $1 trillion within two years and remain above that level for years to come.

Speaking on the day before the personal income-tax filing deadline, Mr. Trump said the tax law is giving workers “more money in your weekly or monthly checks than you ever thought possible.”

“This could be one of the greatest booms ever,” Mr. Trump said in the predominantly Cuban-American city.

He also promised that taxpayers will enjoy shorter, less-complicated tax forms next year, thanks to the law he signed in December.

“This is the last time you’re going to fill out that long, complicated, horrible return,” the president said.

Mr. Trump met with Hispanic business leaders along with Sen. Marco Rubio, Florida Republican, Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin and Labor Secretary Alex Acosta. But with the tax-filing deadline looming, the president said, “We’re going to celebrate a little bit.”

The business owners invited by the White House said their companies are thriving under the president’s policies of lower taxes and fewer regulations.

Jose Mallea, owner of Biscayne Bay Brewing Company, said his firm had purchased $100,000 worth of new equipment and increased production of craft beers by 40 percent.

“Let’s find a way to make some of these [tax cuts] permanent,” Mr. Mallea told the president. “All of us in the business community are incredibly grateful.”

Mr. Trump is spending the week at his private club in Palm Beach, Florida, where he will hold meetings Tuesday and Wednesday with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The two leaders will confer on an upcoming summit between Mr. Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, and also are expected to discuss trade issues.

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