HARRISBURG — Local politicians expressed both disapproval and support for President Trump’s tax reform proposal, which he outlined Wednesday in a speech from the Harrisburg International Airport.
The president has been traveling across the country to promote a plan that would cut corporate tax rates from 35 percent to 20 percent, reduce the number of personal income tax brackets, and increase the standard deduction.
U.S. Senator Bob Casey, D-Scranton, responded to Trump’s remarks, saying the plan the president and Republican members of Congress are pursuing will only benefit the wealthy instead of the middle class.
In a statement, Casey said:
• Middle class Pennsylvania families may see their taxes go up through the elimination of deductions, while the wealthiest taxpayers will receive an annual bonus of $146,000.
• The plan cuts $1.5 trillion from Medicare and Medicaid and uses “the funds for tax giveaways for the super-rich and big corporations.”
Casey also said Congress should focus on:
• “Fixing the broken trade deals” that harm workers.
• Investing in infrastructure in Pennsylvania.
• Raising wages and creating well-paying jobs for Pennsylvania families.
Casey wrote a two-and-a-half page letter to Trump prior to the visit in which he made his arguments against the plan in great detail.
Congressman Matt Cartwright, D-Moosic, also weighed in on Trump’s tax agenda, saying he would like to see:
• “Across-the-board tax breaks” for the middle class.
• The elimination of tax loopholes that allow the “politically powerful to escape taxes.”
• Changes that will help American companies prosper and give them the ability to compete with their foreign counterparts.
Meanwhile, Congressman Lou Barletta, a Republican from Hazleton and an ardent supporter of Trump, believes the proposed tax cuts will benefit Pennsylvania’s economy.
In a Facebook post, he said the Republican plan will raise wages and allow Pennsylvanians to keep more of what they earn.
Trump also gave a nod to Barletta’s recently announced Senate campaign during his visit. “You’re gonna win big,” he said, looking toward Barletta with his signature thumbs-up. “Good luck.”