"How do you pay for an estimated $5.8 trillion tax cut?" AP Economics Writer Josh Boak asks:
"For President Donald Trump and Republican congressional leaders, that is the mostly unanswered $5,800,000,000,000 question."
"The plan ... took a first step toward outlining how Republicans propose to cover some of the monumental cost over the next 10 years, mainly by removing certain tax breaks. But even those proposed changes were left vague — and wouldn't remotely pay the full cost of the tax cut."
"The administration says it would eliminate most personal tax breaks. Possibly gone would be people's ability to deduct state and local taxes as well as eligible medical expenses. But doing so would still leave the tax cut more than $2 trillion shy of paying for itself."
Why it matters: "[A]nalysts say the government would have to help pay for the tax cut by slashing programs that serve the middle class. Or it would be forced to run the national debt up to dangerous levels, likely driving up borrowing rates for consumers and businesses."