Donald Trump stands to personally profit from the legislative agenda he is expected to push in his first 100 days, raising questions about whether he can separate his financial interest from his public office without totally cutting ties from his business empire.
The top items on the president-elect’s policy checklist — from rewriting the tax code to scrapping Wall Street regulations to repealing Obamacare — have for years been Republican orthodoxy. But Trump could see a direct benefit to muscling through broad tax cuts and eliminating regulations: billions of dollars in new savings for him and his family and fresh revenue for his business portfolio, according to a POLITICO analysis of Trump’s public statements and financial disclosures and interviews with tax experts.
“It’s kind of unprecedented that a president would be proposing tax and regulatory changes that have such a significant benefit to him and his family and presumably his business partners as well,” said Leslie Samuels, a tax attorney and former senior Clinton administration Treasury official. “It’s a combination of changes that have a potential for a material benefit of a large magnitude.”
The Republican tax code overhaul is expected to include across-the-board tax cuts, including one to the top business tax rate that would allow Trump’s companies to keep a greater share of their profits. Beyond the rate reduction, Trump could also benefit from several other provisions likely to be part of the GOP tax reform package, such as a proposed exemption on foreign income generated from overseas sales, from certain business interest deductions on debt-financed projects that are widely favored by real estate developers and from provisions allowing small-business owners to tap into a lower 15 percent rate when they file using their personal-income returns.
Click on the above excerpt for the full story.