Norquist Likes What He Sees in Trump's Tax Plan

Norquist Likes What He Sees in Trump's Tax Plan
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CLEVELAND -- Tax reform advocate Grover Norquist views Donald Trump as a fiscal conservative and proclaimed his support for the Republican presidential nominee’s tax plan Wednesday at a RealClearPolitics-sponsored event.

Norquist is creator of the “Taxpayer Protection Pledge,” which commits lawmakers who sign on to resist the creation of any new taxes. Trump has yet to document his support for the pledge, although “he’s certainly said it publicly,” Norquist said during a discussion titled “Decoding 2016: The Middle Class Vote.” Trump has told the Wall Street Journal he supports “a major tax cut.”

“He has put together a fine, very dramatic tax reduction,” Norquist said in his conversation with RCP Washington Bureau Chief Carl Cannon.

Trump’s plan gets rid of the income tax for individuals earning under $25,000, or married couples earning less than $50,000, and creates three tax brackets above that, at which households would be taxed at rates of 10 percent, 20 percent, or 25 percent. The current top marginal tax rate is 39.6 percent.

The event also featured Congressman Rob Woodall of Georgia -- who, after endorsing Marco Rubio and then John Kasich, has pledged his support to Trump -- and a four-person panel that discussed Trump’s appeal to middle-class voters and the impact the middle-class vote will have on the presidential election.

Trump, despite being a self-proclaimed billionaire, has been able to draw support from a large segment of the middle class because he “does a good job of identifying” with them, former Rubio Communications Director Alex Conant said.

“He speaks like a working-class voter,” said Sean Trende, RCP’s senior elections analyst.

“It’s a lack of economic mobility,” Josh Kraushaar, a politics editor at National Journal, said of middle-class voters’ interest in Trump’s message. (He later added that “there’s an element of celebrity to Trump’s appeal.”)

The businessman, whose has stressed securing U.S. borders and expressed strong opposition to trade deals like NAFTA and the proposed TPP, has “exploited a void” to appeal to the middle class, RCP Associate Editor A.B. Stoddard said.

“He saw what people weren’t saying to the middle class,” she said. “They were tired of hearing about limited government.”

The event was the last of three presented by RCP during the Republican National Convention. The first was titled “The State of the Race” and the second “The Future of Healthcare.” All can be seen on the RCP website.

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