Washington Free Beacon

Trump: Tax Plan to Focus on Middle Class, Rates on Wealthy Might Go Up

President Donald Trump said Wednesday that the middle class is the focus of his tax reform plan, even if taxes on the wealthy need to increase.

Trump spoke at a press conference following a bipartisan meeting on tax reform Tuesday night. That meeting featured the president, advisers, and senators from both sides of the aisle. Democrats present included Sens. Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.), and Joe Donnelly, (Ind.), all of whom are up for reelection in 2018 in states Trump won in 2016.

At Wednesday's press conference, Trump, flanked by congressional Democrats, said that he intends to give bipartisanship a shot with his tax reform goals.

"If it works out, great. And if it doesn't work out great, hopefully we'll be able to do it anyway as Republicans," he said.

Trump reiterated his administration's goal to bring the corporate tax rate down to 15 percent to be competitive with other countries. Other Republican leaders have been skeptical of this goal; Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (Wis.) suggested last week that it would be "hard to make" Trump's tax rate work.

Trump also promised that the individual tax rate would be lower.

"Lower for individuals," he said. "Much lower than [15 percent] for individuals."

"And the rich will not be gaining at all with this plan," Trump added. "We're looking for the middle class and we're looking for jobs, jobs meaning companies. So we're looking at, for the middle class, and we're looking at jobs."

He projected that income taxes on the wealthy would remain where they are, but said that they would be increased if necessary.

"I think the wealthy will be pretty much where they are. Pretty much where they are," Trump said. "If we can do that, we'd like it. If they have to go higher, they'll go higher, frankly."

"We're looking at the middle class, and we're looking at jobs," he reiterated.

Trump is set to host Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) on Wednesday night for a meeting that may include discussion of his new bipartisan tax goals.