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Republican US Senate candidates want to make Trump's tax cuts permanent 

Most Americans believe wealthy individuals and big corporations don’t pay their fair share in taxes.

By Jesse Valentine - December 22, 2023
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Donald Trump
Former President Donald Trump speaks in Clinton Township, Mich., Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023. (AP Photo/Mike Mulholland)

In December 2017, President Donald Trump signed a tax bill into law that benefited wealthy Americans and big corporations. Six years later, Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate say they want to make the law permanent.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 was one of the few major bills passed during Trump’s presidency. Many of the provisions in the law are set to expire in 2025.

In April, President Joe Biden released his proposed budget for fiscal year 2024. It includes a set of proposals for reforming the TCJA, including undoing some tax benefits for high earners and raising taxes for rich corporations.

Kari Lake, a Republican running for a U.S Senate seat in Arizona, has explicitly called for preserving Trump’s tax law. 

“We agree that we don’t want Trump’s tax cuts to end,” Lake said of herself and her fellow Republicans in a Dec. 19 appearance on “The Afternoon Addiction” radio program. Lake went on to assert without proof that dismantling the law would allow Democrats in Congress to impose a 35% tax hike for small business owners if they held the majority and the White House.

“They are going to end Trump’s tax cuts, and it’s going to affect us,” Lake said. “How many people out there, you have a roofing company or a construction company or a plumber, you have an LLC … You’re gonna get a 30 or 35% tax increase, because, I will tell you, Kyrsten Sinema and Ruben Gallego are not going to vote to keep Trump’s tax cuts.”

Bernie Moreno, a businessman running in the Republican primary for a U.S. Senate seat in Ohio, has also called for keeping the TCJA intact. Moreno previously ran for Senate in 2022. At that time, his campaign website listed protecting the law as a top priority.

“Democrats are doing everything they can to raise your taxes,” his website said. “We cannot let them, and as Senator I will not let them. We need to protect the historic tax cuts signed into law by President Donald J. Trump.”

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose is also running in the Republican primary. In October, LaRose participated in a candidate forum and called for making the TCJA permanent.

The winner of the Republican primary will face incumbent Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown, who supports removing the corporate tax benefits in the TCJA.

“Taking away some of the tax breaks corporate interests got will only help the economy, it won’t hurt it,” Brown told CNN in 2021. “It will increase the ‘whine quotient’ from corporate leaders, but they always whine and always want tax cuts. Their $3 million, $4 million and $10 million compensation is never enough.”

Incumbent Republican senators also back keeping the tax law. In 2022, Florida Sen. Rick Scott, who is up for reelection in 2024, released what he called the “Rescue America Plan,” one of the provisions of which is titled “Make the Trump tax cuts permanent.” In 2018, Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, who is also up for reelection in 2024, introduced an amendment that would have made the Trump income tax cuts permanent. 

Polls show that these Republicans are out of step with what most Americans want. A Pew Research poll in April found that 61% of Americans feel corporations don’t pay their fair share of taxes. Some 60% feel wealthy people don’t pay their fair share.

In September, the Washington Post reported that Trump wants to implement even more corporate tax cuts if he is returned to the White House in 2024.


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