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Trump unveils tax plan: Three income brackets, top rate lowered

National Economic Director Gary Cohn (R), speaks while flanked by Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin during a briefing about President Trump's new tax plan, at the White House, on April 26, 2017 in Washington, DC.
(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — Promising “the biggest tax cut” and the “largest tax reform” in U.S. history, President Donald Trump’s administration pledged Wednesday to simplify the personal tax code by cutting rates and eliminating deductions used by more affluent Americans.

The president’s economic team revealed details of his long-awaited tax overhaul plan on Wednesday.

White House economic adviser Gary Cohn says the plan would cut the top income tax rate from 39.6 percent to 35 percent. It also would reduce the number of personal income tax brackets to three from seven. The new tax rates would be 10 percent, 25 percent and 35 percent.

As for Trump’s own tax returns, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said the president “has no intention” of releasing his taxes returns to the public.

Mnuchin made the comment while briefing reporters on the president’s new proposed tax plan Wednesday.

Trump’s plan would double the standard deduction for married couples to $24,000, while keeping deductions for charitable giving and mortgage interest payments. The plan would trim other deductions used by high-income Americans, including state and local tax payments.

It would also repeal the estate tax, the catch-all alternative minimum tax and the 3.8 percent tax on investment income from President Barack Obama’s health care law.

Mnuchin said Trump’s tax plan will amount to “the biggest tax cut” and the “largest tax reform” in U.S. history.

Mnuchin gave that description during a speech in Washington on Wednesday morning.

Trump wants cuts for individuals and businesses, even as the government struggles with mounting debt. The president is trying to make good on promises to bring jobs and prosperity to the middle class.

House and Senate Republican leaders offered mild praise for Trump’s outline of hiS plan to overhaul the nation’s tax code.

In a joint statement, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan said the principles released by the Trump administration would serve as “critical guideposts” for overhauling the tax system.

They praised lower tax rates for families and businesses. They said they are confident they can work with the White House to rebuild the tax code in a way that will grow the economy, promote savings and investment and “bring prosperity to all Americans.”

McConnell and Ryan issued the statement along with Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch and House Ways and Means Committee member Kevin Brady.

Trump has repeatedly refused to make his past returns public, breaking decades of tradition. He says it’s because his taxes are being audited by the IRS.

While it’s impossible to know for sure without access to his returns, Trump’s proposed tax plan could save the president and his family significantly.

Mnuchin declined to comment on that potential conflict of interest.