Surrounded by members of Congress, US President Donald Trump celebrates the passage of his tax overhaul legislation.
Surrounded by members of Congress, US President Donald Trump celebrates the passage of his tax overhaul legislation. Carolyn Kaster

Trump celebrates tax bill win

THE US Congress has passed the biggest overhaul of the American tax system in almost 30 years, sparking widespread condemnation from Democrats who say the new law will benefit the rich at the expense of the middle class.

Nancy Pelosi, the Democrat House Minority Leader, called the $A1.9 trillion package ($US1.5trillion) "the worst bill in history”.

"It's a disgusting smash and grab. It's an all-out looting of America, a wholesale robbery of the middle class,” she said.

During remarks on the Senate floor, a visibly angry Chuck Schumer, the Senate Minority Leader, told Republicans they would "rue the day” they passed the bill.

"This tax bill will be an anchor around the ankles of every Republican,” he said.

" If they haven't learned it yet, they will learn it next November (in mid-term elections).”

The plan is seemingly unpopular with the public - with one recent CNN poll suggesting 55 per cent opposed it - and Democrats have repeatedly called it a windfall for corporations and the wealthy.

Along with permanently lowering the corporate tax rate from 35 per cent to 21 per cent, the bill also repeals the Obamacare requirement that most individuals have health insurance - a provision that will lead to 13 million fewer people with health insurance over the next decade, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

Tax cuts for corporations will be permanent but the cuts for individuals expire in 2026 in order to comply with Senate budget rules.

Donald Trump celebrated delivering a huge tax overhaul, a moment he said was "an amazing experience”.

Speaking on the South Lawn of the White House, where he was surrounded by senior officials and legislators, Mr Trump beamed over his signature legislative achievement.

"It's very simple,” he said.

"You have not heard this statement - we are making America great again.”

The Tax Policy Centre suggested almost three quarters of the savings would go to the top 20 per cent of earners - those making more than $A194,000. More than half of the savings would go to the top 1 per cent, those who pocket more than $A956,000.

- The Independent



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