North Dakota visit brings up division over President Trump's tax reform vision

Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) says working class North Dakotans are the perfect audience for...
Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) says working class North Dakotans are the perfect audience for President Trump's tax reform speech. (GRAYDC)
Published: Sep. 6, 2017 at 11:19 AM CDT
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President Trump arrives Wednesday for his first trip to North Dakota as president, with all three members of the North Dakota delegation joining him on Air Force One. The topic of the day is tax reform, one of President Trump’s top priorities. Some North Dakota lawmakers say the president’s tax vision is just what their constituents need. Other experts say it could be harmful.

“Donald Trump fortunately has both the skill and desire to get out and speak truth,” said Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-ND).

The setting for the speech is Bismarck, ND a city full of his fans. Cramer says the president needs to reassure working class North Dakotans his vision for a tax code overhaul is easy to understand.

“When you take a tax code that’s as complicated as ours with thousands and thousands of pages and simplify it, it requires fewer details. That’s what Americans want,” said Cramer.

Senator John Hoeven (R-ND) says he agrees with the president’s core principles: lowering corporate rates, having three individual rates rather than seven, and general simplification. He says Congress needs to bundle these into a complete package.

“I think that’s very much our goal is to try to get this done this year. That’s what we’re working toward and I’m hopeful we can do it,” said Hoeven.

Hoeven says Democrats stand between President Trump and successful reform. Harry Stein from the liberal-leaning Center for American Progress says his reforms cater to the rich, not working class North Dakotans.

“Rather than just taking the rhetoric at face value, it’s really important when we’re talking about taxes to ask, ‘Who wins and who loses?’” said Stein.

He says President Trump claims to look out for those being left behind, but his plan fails to show that. Stein says for North Dakotans watching the speech Wednesday to listen to what is really being said.

“Every time that he talks about tax reform, Trump seems to get less and less detailed about how this is actually going to affect working people, “said Stein.

Air Force One is expected to arrive in Bismarck around 2:45 p.m. local time.