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Project 2025 would overhaul the U.S. tax system. Here’s how it could impact you.

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What are the aims of “Project 2025”?


What are the aims of “Project 2025”?

02:03

Project 2025, a 900-page blueprint for the next Republican president, is gaining attention for its proposals to overhaul the federal government. Among those changes: a major restructuring of the U.S. tax code. 

President Biden and Democrats have been citing Project 2025 in recent weeks as they seek to highlight what could be in store if former President Donald Trump wins at the polls in November and retakes the White House in January.  Many of the blueprint’s proposals touch on economic matters that could impact millions of Americans, as well as social issues such as abortion and diversity, equity and inclusion, or DEI, topics. 

Project 2025, overseen by the conservative Heritage Foundation, is spearheaded by two ex-Trump administration officials: project director Paul Dans, who was chief of staff at the Office of Personnel Management, and Spencer Chretien, former special assistant to Trump who is now the project’s associate director.

The tax proposals of Project 2025, if enacted, would likely affect every adult in the U.S. by tossing out the nation’s long-standing system of multiple tax brackets, which is designed to help lower-income Americans pay a smaller share of their income in federal taxes compared with middle- or high-income workers. 

Currently, there are seven tax brackets — 10%, 12%, 22%, 24%, 32%, 35% and 37% — with each based on income thresholds. For instance, a married couple pays 10% in federal income tax on their first $23,200 of income, and then 12% on earnings from $23,201 to $94,300, and so on. Married couples need to earn over $487,450 this year to hit the top tax rate of 37%.

Project 2025 argues that the current tax system is too complicated and expensive for taxpayers to navigate. To remedy those problems, it proposes just two tax rates: a 15% flat tax for people earning up to about $168,000, and a 30% income tax for people earning above that, according to the document. It also proposes eliminating “most deductions, credits and exclusions,” although the blueprint doesn’t specify which ones would go and which would stay.

“The federal income tax system is progressive, and people who make more money pay a higher marginal tax rate than people who make less money,” Brendan Duke, senior director for economic policy at the left-leaning Center for American Progress, told CBS MoneyWatch. “Conservatives look at that, and they feel that that’s unfair to the wealthy to ask them to pay a greater share of their income in taxes than lower income families.”

The Project 2025 proposal “is a dramatic reform of how we fund our government, where we ask the wealthy to pitch in more than lower income families,” he said. “This shifts taxes from the wealthy to the middle class, full stop.”

The Heritage Foundation and Project 2025 didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Project 2025’s tax rates 

Millions of low- and middle-class households would likely face significantly higher taxes under the Project 2025’s proposals.

He estimated that a middle-class family with two children and an annual income of $100,000 would pay $2,600 in additional federal income tax if they faced a 15% flat tax on their income due to the loss of the 10% and 12% tax brackets. If the Child Tax Credit were also eliminated, they would pay an additional $6,600 compared with today’s tax system, Duke said. 

By comparison, a married couple with two children and earnings of $5 million a year would enjoy a $325,000 tax cut, he estimated. 

“That 15% bracket is a very big deal in terms of raising taxes on middle-class families,” Duke said. 

Millions of U.S. households earning less than $168,000 would likely face higher taxes with a 15% rate. Currently, the bottom half of American taxpayers, who earn less than $46,000 a year, pay an effective tax rate of 3.3% — which reflects their income taxes after deductions, tax credits and other benefits. 

Among other tax and economic changes proposed by Project 2025: 

  • Cutting the corporate tax rate to 18% from its current 21%, which was enacted in 2017’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Prior to the TCJA, the corporate tax rate stood at 35%.
  • Reducing the capital gains tax to 15%. Currently, high-income earners pay a tax of 20% on their capital gains.
  • Eliminating credits for green energy projects created by the Inflation Reduction Act.
  • Considering the introduction of a U.S. consumption tax, such as a national sales tax. 
  • Eliminating the Federal Reserve’s mandate to maintain full employment in the labor market.

To be sure, overhauling the tax system would require lawmakers to approve changes to the tax code, which could be difficult if either the House or Senate is controlled by the opposing party. For instance, Trump was able to get his Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed by a Republican-led Congress, even though no Democrats voted in support of the measure. 

What does Trump say about Project 2025?

Trump has distanced himself from Project 2025, with his campaign proposing its own plans through “Agenda 47.” While Trump hasn’t yet proposed any concrete tax plans, he has suggested his proposal to create a 10% tariff for all imports and a 60% tariff for Chinese imports that could raise enough money to eliminate the federal income tax.

But tax experts say the math doesn’t work out because money raised from new tariffs would fall far short of replacing the more than $2 trillion in individual income taxes collected by the IRS each year. Consumers are also likely to pay more in higher costs for imported consumer goods and services with tariffs tacked onto them, experts note.

“A tariff is a consumption tax, and there is a throughline between [Project 2025’s] tax reform and what Trump has talked about, getting rid of taxes in favor of a consumption tax,” Duke noted. 



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Graphic footage shows law enforcement standing over body of Trump rally shooter

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Graphic bodycam footage released Tuesday by Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley shows local law enforcement and a Secret Service agent standing over the body of the gunman in the aftermath of the July 13 assassination attempt on former President Donald Trump during a campaign rally in Butler, Pennsylvania.

The footage, which Grassley said in a social media post was obtained via congressional request, was captured by the body camera of a Beaver County Emergency Services Unit officer.

It shows what appears to be multiple local law enforcement officers and a Secret Service agent standing on the roof from where the shots on Trump were fired from more than 400 feet away. The body of the gunman, 20-year-old Thomas Matthew Crooks, can be seen laying on the roof beside them with a trail of blood.

Last week, a local law enforcement officer with direct knowledge of the events had told CBS News that a sniper from a local tactical team deployed to assist the Secret Service at the rally had snapped a picture of the gunman and saw him looking through a rangefinder minutes before he tried to assassinate Trump.

In the bodycam video, an unnamed Secret Service agent appears to confirm this, saying that the deceased gunman matches the description of the suspicious person in photos that were disseminated prior to the shooting.

“A Beaver County sniper seen and sent the pictures out, this is him,” the agent says in the video, referring to the shooter’s body.

“I don’t know if you got the same ones I did?” an officer asks the agent of the photos.

“I think I did, yeah, he’s (the shooter) got his glasses on,” the agent replies.

The officer adds that the sniper “sent the original pictures, and seen him (the shooter) come from the bike, and set the book bag down, and then lost sight of him.”

The agent also asks about whether an abandoned bike that was found in the area belonged to the shooter.

“We don’t know,” an officer replies.

Sources previously told CBS News that an AR-style rifle, remote transmitter and cellphone was found on the shooter’s body, while two explosive devices, a drone, a tactical vest and four magazines of the same ammunition used in the shooting were found inside the shooter’s car.

In the video, the agent discloses that people who were believed to have filmed the gunman with their phones had been detained for questioning.

“There’s people detained who were filming…maybe they were involved, maybe they weren’t,” the agent tells the officers.

Authorities have since confirmed that the gunman acted alone, and cellphone video has revealed that attendees attempted to alert officers to the shooter a full two minutes before he opened fire on Trump.

Investigations Ensue As U.S. Reels After Trump Assassination Attempt
On July 14, 2024, two FBI investigators scan the roof of AGR International Inc, the building adjacent to the Butler Fairgrounds, from which the shooter fired at former President Donald Trump, during a campaign rally on July 13, 2024 in Butler, Pennsylvania. 

Getty Images


“I think we have three victims in the crowd, are you guys hearing that too?” the agent asks in the video, referring to the rally attendee, a 50-year-old retired firefighter who was killed, along with two other attendees who were critically wounded. 

During testimony Monday before the House Oversight Committee, Secret Service Director Kimberly Cheatle, who then resigned her post Tuesday, alleged that, at some point prior to the shooting, law enforcement teams were sent to identify and interview Crooks after he was deemed suspicious. She did not provide any additional details, including when the team was sent to make contact with him.

“At a number of our protected sites, there are suspicious individuals that are identified all the time,” she said. “It doesn’t necessarily mean that they constitute a threat.”

However, three sources familiar with a July 17 law enforcement briefing to members of Congress said that Secret Service was notified by the Pennsylvania State Police of a suspicious person with a rangefinder on the ground at 5:51 p.m. — about 20 minutes before the gunman opened fire.

A CBS News analysis has determined that the gunman was able to fire eight rounds in under six seconds before he was fatally shot by a Secret Service sniper. 

Scott MacFarlane, Melissa Quinn, Nicole Sganga and Anna Schecter contributed to this report. 



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Video shows whale capsizing boat off New Hampshire coast, fishermen rescued

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Whale capsizes boat off coast of New Hampshire


Whale capsizes boat off coast of New Hampshire

02:32

RYE, N.H. — An incredible video captured the moment a whale off the coast of New Hampshire capsized a boat, sending two men flying into the ocean. Two teenagers nearby, who captured video of the incident, came to their immediate rescue. 

Two men thrown overboard

“You know the risk when you come out here, it’s really unusual what happened to us this morning,” said Greg Paquette, who was thrown overboard.

Paquette and his friend Ryland Kenney were fishing off the coast of Rye, New Hampshire, when a whale suddenly breached and knocked over their boat. 

“Thankfully it was slow enough that I could kind of swim my way out away from it before it completely capsized,” Paquette said.

It took Kenney several frantic moments before he could even find Paquette in the water. “Not much time to react,” Kenney said. “So I took a few steps off and basically did a superman off the boat.”

whale.jpg
A whale slammed into a boat off Rye, New Hampshire in July 2024.

Colin Yager


Two teens, Colin and Wyatt Yager, were fishing nearby when it happened. They said they saw the whale breach a few more times afterwards.

Colin had his rod in one hand and a phone in the other. “It’s just unreal. Completely unreal,” he said. 

The whale leaped out of the water, cresting over Paquette and Kenney’s boat. Paquette said the whale had a mouthful of fish and crashed down on the back of their boat, sending them flying. 

A Coast Guard crew from Station Portsmouth reported that the whale appeared to not be injured. The incident was reported to NOAA.

“This is their home”

Fortunately, the men were only in the water for a minute when the two boys came to their rescue.

“We are grateful to the good Samaritans for taking such quick action to rescue these two individuals. Bravo Zulu!” the Coast Guard said on X

The men made it out safely — but their belongings not so much. Paquette lost his iPhone. The boat was salvaged, the Coast Guard said.

“That’s the one thing we got to realize, that this is their home. This is their ocean, so we’re in their way,” Kenney said.

The Coast Guard asked boaters to report whale sightings to a local USCG command center.



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Delta faces lingering problems 5 days on from CrowdStrike outage

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Delta faces lingering problems 5 days on from CrowdStrike outage – CBS News


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While most U.S. carriers have resumed normal operations, Delta Air Lines continued to deal with issues Tuesday brought on by the global tech outage, with hundreds of flights canceled. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said the agency has received more than 3,000 complaints specific to Delta since the CrowdStrike outage. Kris Van Cleave reports.

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