The nine page bare-bones outline released this week is nothing more than an aspirational air ball that lacks virtually every policy detail needed to assess its impact and to price out its cost.
It promises to shrink the code to three rates (12%, 25%, 35%), for example. But it doesn't say boo about where the brackets begin and end compared to current law.
Needless to say, a taxpayer with $50,000 of taxable income who is on the 15% marginal bracket today might wish to know whether he is in the new 12% or the new 25% bracket proposed by the White House. After all, it could change his tax bill by several thousand dollars.
Similarly, to help pay for upwards of $6 trillion of tax cuts over the next decade, it proposes to eliminate "most" itemized deductions. These "payfors" would in theory increase revenues by about $3 trillion.
Then again, the plan explicitly excludes the two biggest deductions — the charitable deduction and mortgage deduction — which together account for $1.3 trillion of that total.