Trump delivers subdued tax cuts speech in Indiana, amid chaos in Washington

Last Updated Sep 27, 2017 5:38 PM EDT

President Trump delivered his remarks on tax cuts in Indiana Wednesday the same way he entered on stage and exited — subdued, without much fanfare, and without anyone at his side.

After Republicans canceled a vote on a last-ditch attempt at repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act this week, and Mr. Trump's pick for the special election runoff for the U.S. Senate in Alabama lost Tuesday night, the president's demeanor contrasted sharply with many of his earlier speeches. The president, who appeared to largely stick to his prepared remarks, talked about how he believes the plan will benefit low-income and middle-income families, and bring American businesses back to the U.S. The administration's proposal, released Wednesday morning, will slash the corporate tax rate, drop taxes for the wealthiest Americans, and slightly increase the bottom tax rate for low-income Americans. 

"These tax cuts are significant," Mr. Trump said from the Farm Bureau Building on Indiana's state fair grounds. "There's never been tax cuts like what we're talking about."

Mr. Trump, who has declined to release his tax returns, said the cuts are "not good" for his personal tax situation. 

The president's plan reduces the number of personal income tax rates from seven to three — 12 percent, 25 percent and 35 percent. The framework also nearly doubles the standard deduction for income and married filers, which will be somewhat offset by the elimination of various deductions. The plan also intends to increase the child tax credit, which now tops out at $1,000. On the business side, the new corporate tax rate will be 20 percent, more than the 15 percent Mr. Trump wanted, and small business taxes will top out at 25 percent. On the international side, the president wants to incentivize businesses that have gone overseas to return to the U.S.

"We're not surrendering anymore" to other countries who might take U.S. business away, the president said. 

The White House is leaving many of the details of the plan to the tax-writing committees in Congress. 

Even as prominent pieces of his agenda -- like the Obamacare repeal -- continue to fall apart, Mr. Trump promised to fix the "broken system" in D.C. The president didn't say how he intends to do this, only that, in the next months, people can expect that to happen. Tackling taxes, he said, should be a bipartisan issue, unlike health care. 

But that didn't stop him from threatening to campaign against Sen. Joe Donnelly, an Indiana Democrat who accompanied him on the trip to Indiana, if he didn't vote for the yet-to-be-written tax legislation.

"If Senator Donnelly doesn't approve it...we will come here, we will campaign against him like you wouldn't believe," the president said. 

  • Kathryn Watson

    Kathryn Watson is a politics reporter for CBS News Digital.