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Trump in salesman mode as he tries to score a tax cut win

President Donald Trump waves before speaking about tax reform at the Farm Bureau Building at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

In full salesman mode, President Donald Trump promised "historic tax relief to the American people" on Wednesday as he tried to build momentum behind his plan to overhaul the nation's tax code and revive his moribund legislative agenda in Congress.

Hours after the White House and congressional Republicans released a framework for making sweeping changes to the tax system, the president told hundreds of supporters at the Indiana State Fairgrounds the plan was "a once-in-a-generation opportunity."

"We're doing everything we can to reduce the tax burden on you and your family," he said.

Passing the tax plan has become critical for a president desperate for a win.

The first year of his administration has been stymied by internal chaos and stinging defeats in his attempt to repeal and replace former President Barack Obama's health care law. Short of votes, Senate Republicans announced Tuesday that they would not vote on the latest health care proposal.

Hours later, Trump watched as Sen. Luther Strange, his preferred candidate in an Alabama GOP Senate runoff, was soundly defeated by conservative Roy Moore.

The tax plan seeks to slash the corporate rate from 35 percent to 20 percent and create three individual tax brackets with rates of 12 percent, 25 percent and 35 percent, with a recommended surcharge on the very wealthy. Trump also wants to simplify the tax code to allow the majority of Americans to file on a single sheet of paper.

A budget watchdog group in Washington says the new GOP tax plan could cost $2.2 trillion over the next 10 years.

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget admits its estimate is very preliminary since so many details are unclear, but its take is that the plan contains about $5.8 trillion in tax cuts but only $3.6 trillion worth of offsetting tax increases. That $2.2 trillion would be added to the nation's $20 trillion debt.

That's more than the $1.5 trillion debt cost that has emerged in a deal among Senate Republicans.

Republicans controlling Congress initially promised that the overhaul of the tax code wouldn't add to the debt. The group also notes that the $2.2 trillion cost could grow by another $500 billion when interest costs are added in.

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