Trump Says Tax Overhaul Won’t Force Rich To Pay More

President Trump said Thursday he doubts he’ll have to hike tax rates for the rich in order to get a tax overhaul through Congress, dialing back his comments a day earlier that the wealthy could end up paying more under his plan.

But he kept hammering home the message that the big winners will be the middle class.

“The wealthy Americans are not my priority. My priority are people in the middle class and that’s where we are giving the big tax reduction,” the president told reporters at an airport in Fort Myers, Florida, as he headed to survey hurricane damage.

Mr. Trump is trying to dent Democrats’ chief argument against the GOP’s tax plans, saying that while the poor and middle class should see breaks, the wealthy should — if anything — pay more, in order to keep the government running.

At a White House meeting with Democrats and Republicans on Wednesday, the president said: “The rich will not be gaining at all with this plan … If they have to go higher, they’ll go higher, frankly.”

Republican congressional leaders want to see tax breaks across the board, arguing that’s the only way to make sure businesses and private investment get a boost.

“Trump realizes he has to frame the debate and take away a lot of the Democrats’ messaging game and this is exactly what he’s doing,” said Republican strategist Ford O’Connell. “He’s taking a dagger to the Democrats’ messaging even before it gets out of the gate.”

Read more from David Sherifinski and S.A. Miller at The Washington Times

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