The Donald Trump tax wish list was just a joke, according to the New York Times editorial staff. Although he touted it as a “tax plan,” the president’s one page wide-margined sheet of paper cannot be called a plan by any stretch of the imagination. The Times called it a “stunt by a gang of plutocrats.”
Trump’s cabinet looks more like a billionaire’s club than dedicated civil servants working for Americans. Two of the president’s top money men actually were bankers for Goldman Sachs, Steven Mnuchin and Gary Cohn.
According to the NYT, the Trump bunch’s list:
‘Would slash taxes for businesses and wealthy families, including Mr. Trump’s, in the vague hope of propelling economic growth.’
He left a few crumbs for the typical family. These included “fewer and lower tax brackets and a higher standard deduction.” More importantly, the list eliminated many “important deductions like those for state and local taxes.”
Given that Trump’s entire plan did not honestly fill one page and none of the men offered any numbers, the editorial staff wrote:
‘It was so empty of illustrative detail that few people could even begin to calculate its impact on their pocketbooks.’
Even conservative economists ridiculed this so-called plan, because there was no way the cuts could pay for themselves. Instead, taxpayers would face up to a 33 percent increase in the national debt:
‘…guesswork by some analysts put the figure in the same ballpark as the tax plan Mr. Trump offered during the campaign, or about $7 trillion in additional debt over the first 10 years and nearly $21 trillion by 2036.’
Trump’s people argued that the solution was “increasing investment and creating jobs.” The Times called it a “supply-side fantasy:”
‘[This] is the same supply-side fantasy that has repeatedly been proved wrong. This durable nonsense would instead add mightily to a federal debt that Americans will be paying off for generations to come. Trump is so immersed in himself that he does not seem to think of the USA, much less the rest of the world. His party supporters are too…’
The editors pointed out that cutting corporate tax rates from 35 percent down to 15 percent did not make sense in a mature economy. They wrote:
‘To hear the administration tell it, the present rate is choking investment and killing jobs. In fact, big businesses are earning record profits, and many of them pay no federal taxes. ‘
Trump campaigned on making America great again, so if he wanted a return to the good old days, the editors wrote:
‘The corporate income tax brought in just 10.6 percent of the federal government’s revenue in 2015, down from between a quarter and a third of revenue in the 1950s.’
The wealthy would see their income rate drop from 39 percent to 35 percent right away, as Trump moved from seven tax categories to three: 35, 25, and 10 percent. By eliminating the inheritance tax, the president and friends could continue keeping their wealth all in the family. Trickle down did not work under President Ronald Reagan nor President George W. Bush, and it will not work for Donald Trump.
The president’s wish list called for an end to the alternative minimum tax on high earners. That would drop Trumps $30 million tax bill to just $5 million, based upon his leaked 2005 tax return cover sheets.
Kansas was 45’s alpha test site. The state gave limited liability companies [LLCs] a “15 percent tax rate pass-through income.” Not only did the Sunflower state find itself with a flood of businesses converted to LLCs, its credit rating was severely down-rated.
Borrowing trillions of dollars to give to Trump and his buddies in the top one percent is just a joke, and not a funny one at that.
Featured Image: Getty Images/Alex Wong.