Donald Trump wants to raise taxes on the “very wealthy” and reduce the number of “unfair deductions” so that the middle class and corporations pay less in federal taxes, he said in an interview with “60 Minutes” that aired Sunday evening.
The Republican presidential candidate, who is leading in early polls, plans to release his tax proposal at a news conference Monday morning in New York, but he shared some details during the interview on the CBS News program.
He has yet to explain which taxes he would increase or how the United States would afford major cuts.
Trump said that he wants to provide “a substantial reduction for the middle-income people” because they are “being absolutely decimated,” and he said he wants to reduce corporate income taxes to encourage companies to grow and create jobs. And he said those in the lowest income brackets, who already pay little to no taxes, would be exempt from paying taxes. Meanwhile, he would raise taxes on “some very wealthy” people, and he will eliminate or change “unfair deductions” that favor the wealthy.
Trump has been especially critical in recent weeks of those on Wall Street who pay little to no taxes.
“Overall, it’s going to be a tremendous incentive to grow the economy, and we’re going to take in the same or more money,” Trump said during the interview. “And I think we’re going to have something that’s going to be spectacular.”
Scott Pelley, the “60 Minutes” anchor who conducted the interview, pushed Trump on the particulars of his tax policy plan with little success.
“We’re talking about numbers — that will be announced over the next two days,” Trump said. “And they’ll be significant for the middle class.”
When pressed on which taxpayers could expect to pay less in taxes if he is elected, Trump responded: “I will say this: There will be a large segment of our country that will have a zero rate, a zero rate. And that’s something I haven’t told anybody.”
Pelley then pointed out that the federal debt is $19 trillion and asked how the nation could afford those sorts of tax cuts. Trump said the numbers will work out as long as “the economy grows the way it should grow, if I bring jobs back from China, from Japan, from Mexico, from so many countries.”
Trump said the United States also must heavily tax imports, especially those from Mexico and Japan. He said the North American Free Trade Agreement has been “a disaster” and should be renegotiated. He also suggested that the United States could break the agreement because “every agreement has a defraud clause” and is “being defrauded by all these countries.”
“We need fair trade, not free trade,” Trump said. “We need fair trade. It’s gotta be fair.”
Throughout the interview, Pelley often urged Trump to explain how he would achieve and pay for many of the grand ideas he has proposed. Pelley pointed out that politicians on both sides of the aisle don’t seem especially fond of the brash businessman and probably would be slow to approve some of Trump’s plans.
“I do it all the time,” Trump said in describing his ability to get things accomplished. “And I deal with governments all the time. I have, overseas, I have vast holdings overseas.”
In discussing the Islamic State, Trump said the United States should wait until the terrorist organization has further weakened the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, then “pick up the remnants.”
He added that the United States should allow Russia to handle the problem.
“We’re fighting ISIS, and Assad has to be saying to himself, ‘They have the nicest or dumbest people that I’ve ever imagined,’ ” he said.
As part of this delegating style of diplomacy, Trump added that the United States should tell China to exert more control over North Korea.
During the interview, he also renewed his call to raise the age at which Social Security benefits begin to 70 and provide health care to “everybody” through a government-financed deal with hospitals.