POLITICS

Trump Reportedly Weighs Tax Breaks For Travel Industry Hurt By Coronavirus, Benefit Cuts For Americans

While the president aims to cushion the blow for businesses, he appears to be throwing out his 2016 pledge not to cut Medicare and Social Security.

The White House is considering tax breaks for travel and tourism businesses amid the coronavirus outbreak, The Washington Post reported.

The news comes a day after President Donald Trump said at a Fox News town hall meeting that he’s also looking to cut so-called entitlement programs for Americans that include Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare.

The Post, citing unnamed sources, said that talks about deferring taxes for airlines, hotels and cruise businesses are “fluid” and haven’t been determined. It wasn’t immediately clear if Trump’s own hotels would be beneficiaries of tax breaks under consideration.

Perhaps on a large scale, some of the sectors might need some temporary assistance,” Kudlow said on Fox Business.

The travel and tourism industry is suffering its worst downturn since the 9/11 terror attacks, the Post noted.

The break for business is in stark contrast to Trump’s statement Thursday about cutting social programs for Americans.

Fox News host Martha MacCallum told the president that if “you don’t cut something in entitlements, you will never really deal with the debt.” Trump responded: “Oh, we’ll be cutting.” He then pivoted to the U.S. economy, noting its strong “growth.”

He has raised that point previously concerning program cuts, perhaps suggesting that people are so much wealthier in a strong economy that they can pay for their own retirement income and health insurance.

Trump promised when he was campaigning in 2016 not to cut Medicare and Social Security. But he also indicated in a CNBC interview in January that he was ready to shave benefits. He also said at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in January that he would do so at some point.

Put he backpedaled with a tweet Friday, vowing to “protect your Social Security and Medicare.” White House counselor Kellyanne Conway claimed he was talking about cutting the federal debt he has blown up through massive tax cuts, and not social programs.

Trump promised to balance the budget when he was campaigning to be president, but the national debt has now reached an all-time American record of more than $23 trillion. (“Who the hell cares about the budget?” Trump asked donors at a fundraiser in January.)

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