Browsing the blog archivesfor the day Thursday, April 27th, 2017.


The Trump Tax Plan

Trump Maladministration

I think Paul Waldman has Trump’s number — “Yesterday the Trump administration released its ‘plan’ for tax reform, one page of bullet points that was apparently rushed out because President Trump surprised everyone by promising that he’d have a plan to announce this week.”

One page of bullet points? Well, anyway, the plan, or the plan for the plan, apparently is a huge tax giveaway to the rich that will be paid for by the Magic Economic Growth Fairy. What it is not is a middle-class tax cut, as the administration is claiming. This is the NY Times Editorial board:

As a rule, Republican presidents like offering tax cuts, and President Trump is no different. But the skimpy one-page tax proposal his administration released on Wednesday is, by any historical standard, a laughable stunt by a gang of plutocrats looking to enrich themselves at the expense of the country’s future. …

…The proposal was so empty of illustrative detail that few people could even begin to calculate its impact on their pocketbooks. Further, depending on where they live, some middle-class families might not benefit much or at all, because the plan does away with important deductions like those for state and local taxes.

That last one would hit blue-staters especially hard. Back to the NY Times:

Here again, the long-term consequences were hard to figure, because Mr. Cohn and Mr. Mnuchin offered no estimates of the plan’s costs; 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.

But the Magic Laffer Curve Fairy will pay for it! No problem!

Nicholas Kristoff:

Trump’s tax “plan” is a betrayal of his voters. He talks of helping ordinary Americans even as he enriches tycoons like himself.

For example, it’s great that the tax plan promises help with child care costs, a huge burden for low-income families, especially single moms. But Trump doesn’t explain what form his help will take.

Maybe he will eventually provide details, but in his campaign tax plan (which over all seems similar to the latest), fewer than 10 percent of low-income households with children would get anything at all, according to a study by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center in February. It added that under the campaign plan, families earning between $10,000 and $30,000 a year would receive an average child care benefit of just $10.

You can’t even by a stupid baby monitor for $10.

But the heart of Trump’s “plan” is to lower taxes for corporations and the affluent. It would eliminate the alternative minimum tax, without which Trump would have paid less than 4 percent in taxes for 2005; with it, he paid 25 percent.

Do tell? See also Trump’s Tax Plan Is a Reckoning for Republican Deficit Hawks.

The White House insists that economic growth will cover the cost, which could be as high as $7 trillion over a decade. But the question will dog Republicans and could fracture their party as they face the prospect of endorsing a plan that many economists and budget analysts warn will increase the deficit. After years of fiscal hawkishness, conservatives now face a moment of truth about whether they truly believe America’s economy is drowning in debt.

Of course it’s a travesty — we would expect nothing less from Trump. But there’s also a long road between one page of bullet points and an actual bill, so the bullet points are likely just an opening offer. The interesting part will be if anything resembling any of this ends up in a bill that Congress actually votes on.

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