Myth vs Fact: Trump’s Tax Proposal

Fond of giving himself high marks for nearly everything, President Trump receives low marks for his recent tax plan. When he introduced the Unified Framework for Fixing our Broken Tax Code in a speech on September 27, 2017, he made several statements about it that are easily refuted. Why would he lie so blatantly while coming out of the gate on such an important part of his agenda?

MYTH: Trump claimed the plan’s benefits are focused on “not the wealthy and well-connected…and it’s not good for me; believe me.

FACT: This preposterous claim is undercut in black and white by the very document on which Trump’s tax plan is based. The United Framework proposes to:

  • “Lower the tax rate for the top income bracket from 39.5% to 35%.” According to the Tax Policy Center, such a reduction would reduce federal revenues by $2.4 trillion over the next 10 years.
  • “Repeal the estate tax.” This move would be a boon to families with over $20 million in assets.

Trump touts repealing the “horrible and devastating” estate tax as a huge deal for farmers, but it is wealthy urban families who will reap most of the rewards (and U.S. tax revenues that will be decreased, and the deficit will be increased). Estimates suggest an estate tax repeal will benefit only about 80 farmers. If the goal is to protect farmers, the estate tax can be tweaked rather than repealed altogether. This is a typically Republican move: back policies that overwhelmingly benefit the rich while they claim to be helping the little guy.

As far as how much Trump himself will or will not benefit, he of course has yet to release his tax returns, so we can’t know exactly. But we can safely say that when he says the tax plan “is not good for me,” he is lying.

MYTH: These tax cuts will pay for themselves in increased growth of the American economy and higher wages for all workers. “What is good…is if everything takes off like a rocket ship.” – President Trump

FACT: The best non-partisan (or at least most objective) opinion on the topic is from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) who in a 2005 study analyzing a 10% cut in taxes concluded that, at best, only 22% of the revenue lost by the cut in taxes would be recouped in the first five years and 32% during the second five years. At best.

What’s Next?

Given Trump’s failures, so far, in the first year of his Presidency: failed Healthcare Repeal efforts, failed Travel Ban, failed Swamp draining, failed Border Wall, failed infrastructure plan, let’s hand Trump another failure – contact your members of Congress and urge them not to pass this egregious tax cut for the wealthy.

Contact your Republican Member of Congress and tell them enough is enough: no more lies and no more tax cuts for the wealthy. They do not pay for themselves. All they do is make the rich richer, while the rest of us pay.

Senator Marco Rubio: DC Office Phone (202)224-3041. Email (and more office numbers) can be found on his website: Rubio’s Website

Congressman Ted Yoho: DC Office Phone (202)225-5744. Email (and more office numbers) can be found on his website: Yoho’s Website

References:

Unified Framework for Fixing our Broken Tax Code, United States Treasury, (https://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Documents/Tax-Framework.pdf), September 27, 2017

Analyzing the Economic and Budgetary Effects of a 10 Percent Cut in Income Tax Rates , Congressional Budget Office, (https://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/109th-congress-2005-2006/reports/12-01-10percenttaxcut.pdf), December 1, 2005

Thank you to one of our new writers, Marshall Bloom, for writing this post.

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