Clete Wetli, Contributor
Like most things that Trump hawked during his contentious campaign, his tax reform plan was purposefully ambiguous and sold as huge windfall to the middle-class. Of course, now that he’s been forced to put down some specific details, it looks like it’s nothing more than a huge tax break for the richest Americans and wealthiest corporations.
No surprise that Trump would endorse a plan that puts even more money in his own pockets and those of his obscenely wealthy friends while proposing huge cuts in programs that benefit the middle-class and poor. He desperately wants to lower the corporate tax rate and keeps saying that it will benefit working class Americans. What he fails to mention is that a reduction in the corporate rate will, indeed, boost profits, but companies will simply see their stock prices rise and use the extra cash to pay their shareholders higher dividends.
Just like Reagan’s ‘voodoo economics’, Trump’s ‘screw you’ economics isn’t going to result in companies hiring more workers or raising salaries. In fact, corporate America is currently sitting on tons of cash and the stock market is going gangbusters and nobody is going out of their way to significantly expand or raise wages. True, we’ve seen cautious, incremental growth, but certainly not at the same explosive rate that we’ve seen profits soar.
Trump’s ‘screw you’ economics is just another version of failed Republican trickle down. The problem is that not much trickles down because the rich tend to hoard their profits. This is why there continues to be widening wealth disparity and it’s why our middle-class continues to get slowly squeezed out of existence.
In Trump’s ‘screw you’ plan, he also intends to eliminate the estate tax and cut the top marginal income tax rate. Hmm, that sounds like a big gift to Trump’s offspring and their progeny for generations to come. Oh, but wait, there’s more in Trump’s ‘screw you’ strategy- his plan would really raise taxes on the poor by eliminating the head of household deduction for single parents. You know, the people that could use a deduction the most.
Ivanka probably threw that one in after she endorsed the roll back of Obama-era policies that would have eliminated the gender pay gap. As an advisor to Trump, Ivanka sure knows how to be a champion for single, working moms. Remember, she gave women invaluable advice saying,” You can be born into privilege, or you cannot be born into privilege. You can be born into the opposite extreme and into poverty. I think from there on, though, you really do have to make your luck.” Don’t you just feel so damned lucky that she’s on your side?
Well, at least Trump has been forced to release a few details of his scheme. We’re all still waiting for the details on his top-secret plan that was supposed to eliminate ISIS months ago. Oh, we’re also still waiting on that amazing magical healthcare plan that insures absolutely everyone at much lower cost and much higher quality. Remember, Trump’s plans are the best because no one knows plans like Trump knows plans- he invented plans.
So, be sure to call your congressmen and tell them what you think of Trump’s ‘screw you’ economics before people start buying all his tax reform snake oil. They are going to market it as a simplification of the current code and they’re going to try to rebrand ‘trickle-down’ economics. Just remember who got trickled on the last time the Republicans tried that scheme.
What we really need is to reform the tax code so that rich people actually pay their fair share of taxes instead of taking advantage of tons of loopholes and tax shelters that are only available to them.
Trump’s plan is like most things that he creates- a gaudy façade to hide a scam that only benefits Trump and his wealthy friends.