Trump's tax plan is missing a number of important details

The White House rolled out the opening salvo of President Donald Trump's massive tax cut plan Wednesday, but the one-page set of bullet points was missing some significant details.

The plan, laid out by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, called for three new income-tax brackets, with rates of 10%, 25%, and 35%, down from the current seven brackets.

What the plan does not detail are the income levels associated with each bracket. Currently, for instance, a joint filing couple making between $18,650 to $75,900 pays a 15% effective rate. It's unclear where that level of income would fall under the Trump plan.

How much Americans pay in taxes in every state

Best and worst states for retirement
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Best and worst states for retirement

1. Florida 

You knew it had to be high on the list, didn't you? In terms of affordability, Florida topped the list while it placed fifth in terms of quality of life, overcoming its 20th-ranked healthcare rating.

2. Colorado

Ranked second in healthcare while quality of life came in 8th place, Colorado is constrained by its 23rd-place ranking in affordability.

3. South Dakota

The home of Mount Rushmore is the second most affordable state and ranked sixth when it came to healthcare, but can't break the top half in quality of life (ranked 32nd).

4. Iowa

Not typically thought of as a retirement destination, Iowa has decent rankings across the board (9th in healthcare, 11th in quality of life and 26th in affordability).​​​​​​​

5. Virginia

Quality of life ranks well in Virginia (9th) while affordability and healthcare rankings are above average (18th and 21st respectively).

The next five desirable retirement states are, in order:


New Hampshire




46. Arkansas

Dead last in quality of life and 45th in healthcare, Arkansas is pulled up by its 20th-place showing in affordability.​​​​​​​

47. Mississippi

The same principle applies to Mississippi, but even more so. The state is 49th in quality of life and last in healthcare, but it ranks 10th in affordability.

48. Rhode Island

Healthcare is above average (22nd), but quality of life and affordability are poor at 46th and 48th place, respectively.

49. New Jersey

The least affordable state in the union also has below average rankings in quality of life (28th) and healthcare (33rd).​​​​​​​

50. Kentucky

Kentucky ranks 47th in both quality of life and healthcare and only 38th in affordability, earning the Bluegrass State WalletHub's least desirable retirement state ranking for 2018.​​​​​​​


For instance, if the new bracket for the 10% rate only extends to married couples making up to $75,000 annually, Americans making $75,001 could see their taxes jump to the 25% rate.

In response to a question, Cohn said a family of four making $60,000 would have a lower tax rate, but did not provide further details.

Another key missing detail pertains to the repatriation tax. The one-time tax would allow companies to bring profits held overseas back into the US at a lower tax rate.

SEE ALSO: Trump plans to repeal alternative minimum tax

This isn't a new idea: A similar repatriation was carried out under President George W. Bush in 2004. Unlike the earlier proposal, which taxed the money coming back in at 5.25%, the new plan released on Wednesday did not provide any detail on the rate.

Republican congressional leaders said the initial plan "will serve as critical guideposts for Congress and the Administration as we work together to overhaul the American tax system." But many economists decried the lack of details in the Trump plan.

RELATED: Poll - Trump's tax reform

"Nearly six months after the election, the administration's tax proposals amount to less than a single side of paper," Paul Ashworth, chief US economist at Capital Economics, said in a note to clients following the release.

"The best that can be said is that the president is laying out his opening bid in what could prove to be a very long and fraught negotiation," Ashworth continued.

Citi analysts said the announcement was an "an underdelivered 'big announcement' from the Trump administration."

Or as Brookings Institution economist and New York Times columnist Justin Wolfers put it, "I have been to interpretive dance performances which contain more detail on the tax code."

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