Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Warren wants tax hikes - GOP wants permanent cuts

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans have launched an effort to expand the massive tax law they muscled through Congress last year, aiming to make permanent the individual tax cuts and small-business income deductions now set to expire in 2026.

The pre-midterm elections push, which clicked into gear Tuesday, is portrayed as championing the middle class and small businesses. Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, who heads the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, said making the tax cuts permanent would build on the tax law’s economic boost by adding 1.5 million new jobs and increasing wages.

With the elections about four months away, polls are showing mixed support among voters for the $1.5 trillion package of individual and corporate tax cuts that President Donald Trump signed into law as his marquee legislative achievement.

The new tax proposals are aimed at giving Republican lawmakers a selling point as they prepare to leave Washington to campaign in their districts.

“It’s going to identify Republican priorities,” said Marc Gerson, a former majority tax counsel for the Ways and Means Committee, who now heads the Washington law firm Miller & Chevalier.

The new Republican outline also calls for new tax incentives for savings, by creating a “universal savings account” for families and allowing the popular, tax-free 529 college savings accounts to also be used to pay for apprenticeship fees and home schooling expenses, as well as paying off student debt. In addition, workers would be able to tap their retirement savings accounts without tax penalty to cover expenses from the birth of a child or an adoption.

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