With glistening golden marble as a backdrop in a building that in many ways defines opulence, Republican front-runner Donald Trump, flanked by a pair of American flags, offered up his tax plan Monday at Trump Tower, proposing to cut all individual American tax brackets, impose a discounted tax on money held offshore by U.S. companies and cut capital gains.
To pay for the tax cuts, Trump proposed an incentive that could bring back as much as $2.1 trillion currently sitting offshore. The plan would impose a 10 percent flat tax on all of that money, even if it stays overseas. The idea behind this portion of the plan is that it would increase the amount of money in the U.S. and encourage investment and job growth stateside.
The plan also would limit the amount of personal deductions allowed, a proposal that would affect the nation's wealthiest individuals the most.
Trump has been looking to bolster his campaign and show his candidacy is about more than just his ability to hold a room and be a popular celebrity. His lack of policy papers became particularly noticeable during the second Republican debate, during which former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina put up a disciplined and policy-strong front. She and retired neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson have been surging in polls.
His strategy of simple popular appeal seemed to be waning.
“The idea of stalling out the field is not going to work. It’s worked well for him thus far, but eventually we’re going to move from the personality phase to the substance phase and basically Trump’s going to have to be aware of that,” said Ford O’Connell, a Republican strategist who is unaffiliated with a 2016 campaign. “He’s looking for that second act. He had the first one: ‘I’m Trump and everyone else is a Bozo,’ and now it’s like, ‘Hold on. I’m going to need a little bit more meat behind this,’ ” added O’Connell, who worked on John McCain's presidential campaign in 2008.