• Monthly
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $other
  • use PayPal

SPRING FUNDRAISER

Is it time for our Spring fundraiser already? If you enjoy what we offer, and have the means, please consider donating. The sooner we reach our modest goal, the faster we can get back to business as (un)usual. Please, stay safe and we’ll see you down the road.
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Trump’s First Big Test on Taxes

Donald Trump’s voters have high hopes that he’ll boost the economy and protect jobs for those who’ve been left behind after three decades of flat or shrinking paychecks.

They didn’t vote to make the super-wealthy even wealthier.

Even Steve Mnuchin, the Goldman Sachs banker Trump picked to be his treasury secretary, seems to understand this. He promised “no absolute tax cuts for the upper class.”

Yet one of the first priorities of Republicans in Congress is to give an exclusive tax break to multi-millionaires and billionaires. They plan to abolish the estate tax and allow tax loopholes for billionaires to continue.

The estate tax, sometimes derided as a “death tax,” is only paid by households with assets over $11 million. In 2013, 99.8 percent of the population was exempt.

But the 0.2 percent who are subject to the tax are well represented in Donald Trump’s cabinet.

Our first billionaire president has nominated a cabinet that includes two billionaires and at least ten multi-millionaires, whose combined net worth is estimated at over $13 billion. As a group, they’re part of the tiny segment of U.S. society that will personally benefit from such targeted tax cuts for the wealthy.

Under the GOP plan, Mnuchin’s taxes would be cut by $3.3 million a year, according to an analysis by Americans for Tax Fairness. And his heirs would get an extra $160 million if the estate tax is abolished.

Members of Donald Trump’s family would also score big. If Trump has the $10 billion he claims, scrapping the estate tax would net each of his four children an additional $1 billion in inherited wealth.

There’s no credible argument that abolishing this tax on inherited wealth will create jobs or help the economy. It’ll simply be a windfall for the already have-a-lots.

At the root of our problems is a two-tiered tax system in America: one for the privileged and one for everyone else.

The tax system for the bottom 99 percent is hard to play games with: Most of us have taxes taken out of our wages in every paycheck.

The privileged people’s tax system, for those with $10 million or more, includes numerous opportunities for the super-rich to get out of paying their fair share. Wealthy families like the Mnuchins and Trumps hire teams of lawyers, accountants, and estate planners to help them to design escape routes from their tax obligations.

Mnuchin has personally set up several “dynasty trusts” to avoid paying any taxes on his personal estimated fortune of $620 million. According to federal ethics disclosures, he has $32 million in one such trust, including corporate stock, artwork, and a private jet. The primary purpose of these vehicles is to dodge federal estate taxes for generations to come.

When the wealthy dodge taxes, ordinary taxpayers who can’t game the system must pick up the tab for infrastructure, defense, national parks, and servicing the national debt. The super-rich reap the enormous benefits of growing their wealth in U.S. society, but they’re freeloaders when it comes to paying the bills.

Historically, being wealthy hasn’t disqualified a president from being a champion for those with less. There are many examples of “born on third base” presidents: Roosevelt, Kennedy, Bush. The test of leadership is whether they put the country ahead of their own narrow personal financial interests.

For Trump, the estate tax is the first such text.

Making America great doesn’t mean giving booster rockets to multi-generational dynasties of wealth. We need one tax system that’s fair to everyone.

More articles by:
Weekend Edition
May 29, 2020
Friday - Sunday
Nick Pemberton
White Supremacy is the Virus; Police are the Vector
T.J. Coles
What’s NATO Up to These Days? Provoking Russia, Draining Healthcare Budgets and Protecting Its Own from COVID
Benjamin Dangl
Bibles at the Barricades: How the Right Seized Power in Bolivia
Kevin Alexander Gray - Jeffrey St. Clair - JoAnn Wypijewski
There is No Peace: an Incitement to Justice
Jeffrey St. Clair
A Few Good Sadists
David Schultz
Trump isn’t the Pope and This Ain’t the Middle Ages
Joshua Frank
In Search of a Lost Socialism
Charles Pierson
Who are the “Wrong Hands” in Yemen?
Andrew Levine
Trump Is Unbeatable in the Race to the Bottom and So Is the GOP
Ramzy Baroud
Political Ambiguity or a Doomsday Weapon: Why Abbas Abandoned Oslo
Pam Martens - Russ Martens
A Growing Wave of Bankruptcies Threatens U.S. Recovery
Joseph Natoli
Conditions Close at Hand
N.D. Jayaprakash
No Lessons Learned From Bhopal: the Toxic Chemical Leak at LG Polymers India 
Ron Jacobs
The Odyssey of Elias Demetracopoulos
J.P. Linstroth
Arundhati Roy on Indian Migrant-Worker Oppression and India’s Fateful COVID Crisis
Melvin Goodman
Goodness Gracious, David Ignatius!!
Roger Harris
Blaming the COVID-19 Pandemic on Too Many Humans:  a Critique of Overpopulation Ideology
Sonali Kolhatkar
For America’s Wealthiest, the Pandemic is a Time to Profit
Prabir Purkayastha
U.S. Declares a Vaccine War on the World
David Rosen
Coronavirus and the Telecom Crisis
Paul Buhle
Why Does W.E.B. Du Bois Matter Today?
Mike Bader
The Only Way to Save Grizzlies: Connect Their Habitats
Dave Lindorff
Pandemic Crisis and Recession Can Spark a Fight for Real Change in the US
Nyla Ali Khan
The Sociopolitical and Historical Context That Shaped Kashmiri Women Like My Grandmother in the 1940s
Louis Proyect
Does Neo-Feudalism Define Our Current Epoch?
Ralph Nader
S. David Freeman: Seven Decades of Participating in Power for All of Us
Norman Solomon
Amy Klobuchar, Minneapolis Police and Her VP Quest
Maria Paez Victor
Venezuela in the 2020 Pandemic
Ron Mitchell
Defending Our Public Lands: One Man’s Legacy
Nomi Prins 
The Great Depression, Coronavirus Style: Crashes, Then and Now
Richard C. Gross
About That City on A Hill
Kathleen Wallace
An Oath for Hypocrites
Eve Ottenberg
Common Preservation or Extinction?
Graham Peebles
Air Pollution Mental Illness and Covid-19
ADRIAN KUZMINSKI
Unearned Income for All
Evan Jones
The Machine Stops
Nicky Reid
Proudhon v. Facebook: A Mutualist Solution to Cyber Tyranny
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
What is a “Native” Plant in a Changing World?
Shailly Gupta Barnes
Why are Our Leaders Still Putting Their Faith in the Rich?
John Kendall Hawkins
In Search of the Chosŏn People of Lost Korea
Nick Licata
How Hydroxychloroquine Could Help Trump…Politically
Jill Richardson
Tens of Millions of Are Out of Work, Why on Earth is Trump Trying to Cut Food Aid?
Susan Block
Incel Terrorism
Mitchel Cohen
Masks and COVID-19: an Open Letter to Robert Kennedy Jr and Children’s Health Defense
May 28, 2020
Melvin Goodman
Trump’s War on Arms Control and Disarmament
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail