Let’s Be Honest About Trump’s Tax Plan
Under great fanfare and before a partisan audience, Trump pitched in the sketchiest way his tax plan yesterday. A plan that would allegedly benefit the middle class and lower-income households, increase investment, spur growth, create broader prosperity.
In all fairness, I have not seen the details of the proposed tax plan and, since I am not a tax expert, I probably would not be able to make a totally accurate assessment as to whether Trump’s claims are valid or not.
The New York Times, however, in its “Trump Tax Plan Benefits Wealthy, Including Trump,” makes the following observations:
• “The tax plan that the Trump administration outlined on Wednesday is a potentially huge windfall for the wealthiest Americans. It would not directly benefit the bottom third of the population. As for the middle class, the benefits appear to be modest.
• “[The tax cuts would primarily benefit] the small share of the population that owns the vast majority of corporate equity.
• “The plan would not benefit lower-income households that do not pay federal income taxes
• “The plan would also benefit Mr. Trump and other affluent Americans by eliminating the estate tax, which affects just a few thousand uber-wealthy families each year, and the alternative minimum tax, a safety net designed to prevent tax avoidance.
The last “bullet,” on estate taxes, brings me to what I believe is the biggest “misrepresentation” Trump made during his speech in Indiana.
It is a very short sentence, at best impossible to verify, at worst loaded with deceitfulness: “It’s not good for me, believe me,” he said about his tax plan
It is impossible to verify, because Trump refuses to release his tax returns.
The New York Times: “The precise impact on Mr. Trump cannot be ascertained because the president refuses to release his tax returns,” but, The Times adds, “the few snippets of returns that have become public show one thing clearly: The alternative minimum tax has been unkind to Mr. Trump. In 2005, it forced him to pay $31 million in additional taxes.”
Deceitful because, as NBC News points out:
“The clearest windfall comes from ending the estate tax, which only affects individual estates larger than $5.49 million and $11 million for couples. The estate tax is currently 40 percent. Trump has claimed in the past he is worth $10 billion. If his children inherit that amount, they’d save $4 billion in taxes.”
At least, Senator Lindsey Graham, a man whose politics I disagree with, was more honest as to why he supports passing Trump’s tax plan and tax reform in general. He supports it, not because it helps the American people, but rather because of party, power, politics and (re-)elections:
Graham says, passing tax reform “[Is] the difference between succeeding as a party and failing. It’s the difference between having a majority in 2018 or losing it. It’s the difference between one term and two.”
Thank you for your honesty, Senator Graham
Lead image: www.flickr.com: Philip Taylor