Take taxes. Trump put out a tax plan last year that included major cuts to income, estate and business taxes for the ultra-wealthy along with less generous cuts for the middle class. The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center estimated his plan would cut the tax bill for the top 1 percent of earners by about $275,000 a year on average and for the top 0.1 percent by $1.3 million. The overall cost would be $9.5 trillion over a decade.
“I fight like hell to pay as little as possible,” Trump said at an event announcing his plan in September.
But that was the old Trump. Pressed by CNBC on Thursday as to how he could simultaneously brand himself as a populist who will take on wealthy elites while proposing sweeping tax cuts for billionaires, Trump backed away from his plan.
“I am not necessarily a huge fan of that,” he said. “I am so much more into the middle class who have just been absolutely forgotten in our country.”
Trump described his tax proposal, which was the most detailed policy paper he put out in the campaign, as merely a starting point for a future deal.