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An architect of Trump's tax law said he supports Biden's 28% corporate tax rate in resurfaced video

Submitted by Tech Insider on April 8, 2021 - 11:24am

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There's an unlikely supporter of President Joe Biden's proposed 28% corporate tax rate: A former top advisor to President Donald Trump, who served as the architect of his 2017 tax law that cut the rate all the way down from 35% to 21%.

On Wednesday, a video resurfaced of Gary Cohn — formerly the National Economic Council director under Trump — saying he backs a corporate tax increase. It was posted by the Center for American Progress, a liberal-leaning think tank.

"I'm actually OK at 28%," Cohn said in the Yahoo Finance interview last year. "The level we got to in our tax plan on the corporate side was actually a bit lower than I thought we needed to go."

He went on: "Getting down in the low 20s was probably lower than we needed to go. I always thought there was a compromise rate in the mid-20s that made sense."

The Republican tax law in 2017 slashed the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21% and lowered rates for individuals temporarily. Many experts say large businesses and wealthy Americans disproportionately benefited from the tax cuts.

Cohn's remarks will likely be cited by Democrats in the coming months as the Biden administration presses ahead with a mammoth infrastructure plan. The first part proposes $2.3 trillion of new federal spending on roads and bridges, in-home elder care, broadband, and clean-energy incentives.

Republicans and leading business groups are staunchly opposed to the business tax hikes, arguing they would hurt job growth and damage the nation's foreign competitiveness at a vulnerable stretch in the recovery. Still, some business leaders, like Lyft President John Zimmer, say they back a 28% corporate rate.

Democrats argue they want to reverse many parts of the GOP tax law to level the playing field between average Americans and the middle class.

"It's just not fair. It's not fair to the rest of the American taxpayers. We're going to try to put an end to this. Not fleece them — 28%," Biden said at the White House on Wednesday. "If you're a mom, a dad, a cop, firefighter, police officer, etc., you're paying close to that in your income tax."

Democratic Rep. Don Beyer, the chair of the Joint Economic Committee, said in an emailed statement to Insider that "it's good to see support for a reasonable increase in the rate from business leaders as well as former top Republican economic adviser Gary Cohn."

The White House unveiled a tax plan on Wednesday that would raise $2.5 trillion over 15 years to cover its spending. It includes a corporate tax hike to 28%, beefed-up IRS funding for better enforcement, and implementing a global minimum tax among other steps.

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