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Trump economic aide says tax overhaul aimed at middle class

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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump’s economic adviser is pushing back against the suggestion that the administration’s tax plan could benefit the wealthy.

Gary Cohn insisted Thursday that the plan is “purely aimed at middle-class families.”

Pressed on whether Trump himself could see a tax cut under the plan, Cohn told ABC’s “Good Morning America” that the administration is “very confident that Americans are getting a great deal here.” He added: “we have also said wealthy Americans are not getting a tax cut.”

The blueprint released Wednesday by Trump and congressional Republicans is a sweeping, nearly $6 trillion tax cut that would deeply reduce taxes for corporations, simplify everyone’s brackets and nearly double the standard deduction used by most Americans.

The president has said repeatedly that the plan would provide badly needed tax relief for the middle class. But there are many gaps in the proposal to know how it would affect individual taxpayers and families. Still, it does include one clear benefit for the wealthy, the planned elimination of the estate tax. Under current law, the first $11 million of an estate is exempt for a married couple, meaning only the wealthiest pay it.

When Cohn was asked if he could guarantee that no middle-class families would see a tax increase, he said: “I can’t guarantee anything. You can always find a unique family somewhere.”

Cohn said a hypothetical family of four should have “a substantial tax decrease,” in the range of $650 to $1,000.

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