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Trump pushes again for ‘Phase Two’ of tax cuts

March 14, 2018 GMT

President Trump said Wednesday that he plans to push for “phase two” of tax cuts, the second time in three days that he’s advocated a new round of tax relief that could include capital gains cuts.

“We are actually going for a ‘Phase Two’ that will help, in addition to the middle class, will help companies,” the president said at a Boeing factory in St. Louis, Missouri. “And I think it will be something very special.”

He said House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, Texas Republican, and members of the Senate are involved in the effort.

“I think is going to be a big incentive to do a lot of things just like we are doing here, and a tremendous incentive for the workers,” the president said.

Mr. Trump hasn’t specified what a second round of tax cuts would entail, and it’s not clear whether congressional Republican leaders are ready for another such battle.But Larry Kudlow, the incoming White House economic adviser, said Wednesday that tax cuts for individuals should be made permanent under a “phase two.”

“Individuals deserve a permanent break,” Mr. Kudlow said on CNBC. He said he didn’t expect to cut the corporate rate further.

Rep. Roger Williams, Texas Republican and a member of the House Financial Services Committee, said Wednesday that he’d like to cut capital gains taxes, and to make permanent the individual tax cuts approved last December.

“I think we should bring dividends back down to 15 percent,” he said on Fox Business News. “It will allow people to begin to trade again and it will put more cash in the economy. I’m afraid if dividends get too high and capital gains that you almost could have a bartering nation. I think that 20 percent, 23 percent is too high.”

He added, “I think we also could cut payroll taxes in half.”

On Monday, during an event at the White House, Mr. Trump singled out Mr. Brady in the audience and spoke of his desire to do a second round of tax cuts.

Any effort to pass deeper tax cuts would require lawmakers to address questions about how to offset revenue losses. Last year, Republicans in Congress approved a cut in corporate tax rates from 35 percent to 21 percent, but stopped short of Mr. Trump’s call to lower the rate to 15 percent.