Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
It’s your last chance to make a tax-deductible donation to CounterPunch in 2017. Help us gear up to fight the status-quo in 2018! Every dollar counts!
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

So Many Tax Lies, So Little Time

by

In most cases, it’s best practice to cut through the media noise and go straight to the source to understand what’s happening in public policy. Donald Trump’s tax plan is not one of those cases.

The president is crisscrossing the country giving speeches to crowds about his plan to cut taxes on the very wealthy. Of course, he’s not using those words, but that’s what his plan will do.

If you want to understand what’s in Trump’s latest tax plan, skip the bluster and look straight at the numbers.

Three figures in particular shed a light on the actual impact of the plan.

80 percent.

Trump’s tax plan is essentially a collection of tax cuts for individuals and businesses. Of the cuts on the individual side, 80 percent of them will go to the wealthiest 1 percent, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center.

When Trump says he’s out to help the middle class and not the rich, his words are directly countering the actual impact of the plan. This could be because he doesn’t understand his own plan — a valid possibility.

More likely, though, it’s because he’s lying through his bleached teeth.

0.2 percent.

Trump’s tax plan would repeal the federal estate tax, also known as the inheritance tax.

This often misunderstood portion of the tax code is a levy on the inter-generational transfer of immense wealth, and by immense I mean more than $11 million. Only the wealthiest 0.2 percent of households will ever pay the tax, an exclusive group of multi-millionaires and billionaires.

Trump and others would like you to believe the estate tax is levied on the $10,000 your grandmother left you, or the $400,000 house your parents want to pass down. Again, not the case.

Don’t get it twisted: The estate tax only impacts the extremely wealthy, and eliminating it benefits only them.

15 percent.

Trump often says he’d like to see the corporate tax rate drop to 15 percent, down from its current statutory rate of 35 percent. Cutting the rate by more than half is going to usher in a jobs boom like we’ve never seen before, he rants.

Nuh-uh.

First off, the plan overall would cost a whopping $1.5 trillion over 10 years. That alone is enough to pay more than 18 million elementary school teachers to improve our education system over the same period of time. (Maybe then we’d know the basic arithmetic that our president chooses to overlook.)

Second, it could lead to a dramatic drop in jobs.

A recent report from the Institute for Policy Studies looked at profitable companies who, thanks to loopholes, paid an effective tax rate of 20 percent or less. Those companies, on average, cut their workforce even while the rest of the private sector saw a 6 percent jobs increase.

Cutting taxes doesn’t create jobs, the report concluded. It does, however, contribute to higher and higher CEO pay. Just what we need!

The Trump tax plan is a giveaway to the ultra-wealthy, and selling it as anything other than that is a misrepresentation of the facts. Don’t take my word for it — look at the numbers!

Distributed by OtherWords.

More articles by:

Josh Hoxie directs the Project on Opportunity and Taxation at the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS-dc.org).

Weekend Edition
December 15, 2017
Friday - Sunday
M. Shadee Malaklou
Jay-Z’s 4:44 Moves Black Radical Thought Through and Beyond the Classroom
Michael Dickinson
What About Our Debts, Pope Francis?
Phil Rockstroh
What Was Verifiably Great About America: Fragments of a Memoir Set to a Musical Soundtrack
Edward Curtin
A Man Turns
December 14, 2017
John W. Whitehead
Surveillance That Never Sleeps
Pam Martens - Russ Martens
Roy Moore’s Loss: a Victory for the Young Girls of America
Eric Toussaint
Debt is a Determining Factor in History
Liaquat Ali Khan
Appropriation of Jerusalem
Kenneth Surin
Selective Impressions of the New Zealand-Aotearoa Conjuncture
Jack Rasmus
Is the Bitcoin Bubble the New ‘Subprime Mortgage’ Bomb?
William Sanjour
How the Once Tiny Waste Management Industry Captured the EPA and Became Very BIG
Devin Currens
Hey Mainstream Environmentalists: If You’re Not Embarrassed, You’re Not Paying Attention
Courtney Myers
“Me Too” Movement Gives Twitter Fuel to Trump’s Fire
Mel Gurtov
Momentum for Talks with North Korea?
Julian Vigo
Student Loans, The Indentured Servitude of the 21st Century
John Carroll Md
Do Jimmy Kimmel and Haiti Have Anything in Common?
Brian Foley
How to Stop Trump
December 13, 2017
Gabriel Rockhill
The U.S. is Not a Democracy, It Never Was
Jim Kavanagh
Zionism in the Light of Jerusalem
John Davis
The Epic of Our Awakening
Linn Washington Jr.
The Shadow of Smuts on Trump’s Jerusalem Declaration
Timothy M. Gill
The Global Retreat From Human Rights in the Trump Administration
Robert Fisk
Trump’s Shameful Decision on Jerusalem
Lance Olsen
Natural Variability isn’t the Final Word on Climate Science
Robert Jensen
In Patriarchy, Sexual “Misconduct” Not Surprising
Mike Bader
Grizzly Bear Goal Not Yet Achieved
Steve Horn
India May Ban Petcoke, One of Dirtiest Fossil Fuels Exported by Koch Brothers
December 12, 2017
John Pilger
Why the Documentary Must Not Be Allowed to Die
David Rosen
Politics Trumps Religion: The Immorality of Republican “Christian” Morality
Ken Levy
Apparently, Child Rapists Deserve the Death Penalty, But a Child Molester Deserves a U.S. Senate Seat
John Wight
Trump’s Jerusalem Ploy
David Swanson
Sun Tzu: The Ass of War
Ramzy Baroud
The ‘Last Martyr’: Who Killed Kamal Al-Assar?
Doug Johnson
Are Polls Showing a Win for Accused Molester Roy Moore Accurate?
Andrew Bacevich
A Harvey Weinstein Moment for America’s Wars?
Robert Dodge
Saving Humanity From Itself
Binoy Kampmark
Pakistan, US Drones and Idle Threats
Tom H. Hastings
Leave it on The Table Again?
Cesar Chelala
Living in New York. Missing Home
December 11, 2017
Oscar Oliver-Didier 
The Invisibility of Poverty in Puerto Rico
Patrick Cockburn
Trump’s Jerusalem Decision Risks Uniting the Entire Arab World Against the US
Uri Avnery
From Barak to Trump
Robert Hunziker
Dying Ecosystems
Paul Tritschler
The Year Without Summer
Ramzy Baroud
What Trump Has Done: The Entire US-Middle East Political Framework Just Collapsed
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail