Opinion: A tax plan for the already wealthy

Earlier this year, Republicans failed to repeal and replace Obamacare largely because they never found a way to resolve one massive, fundamental contradiction.

The same problem now confronts them on “tax reform.”

On health care, conservative ideology dictates that government has no legitimate role in providing health insurance, even to those who otherwise cannot afford it. Yet over the years, much of the public had come to the opposite realization, concluding that without government help, tens of millions of Americans would forever be frozen out of the health care system.

Confronted with that dilemma, Republicans took the only course they saw open to them: They lied, and on a huge scale. While publicly promising voters that their plan would provide better care and cheaper coverage to more people, they drafted legislation that would do the exact opposite, stripping more than 20 million Americans of their coverage. In the end, they got caught and their plan failed.

As we turn to the subject of taxes, that same dilemma repeats itself. Despite decades of evidence to the contrary, most recently in the supply-side disaster in Kansas, Republican ideology still holds that massive tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations are the key to economic growth. The problem is that the American public ain’t buying it.

According to Gallup, just 9 percent of Americans believe that corporate taxes are too high. Just 10 percent believe that upper-income Americans pay too much in taxes. So if you’re a Republican confronted with numbers like that, but committed to your goal, what do you do?

You lie.

In his tax-reform speech in Missouri, for example, President Trump painted a dire picture of corporate America struggling to compete against foreign competitors. “We cannot restore our wealth if we continue to put our businesses at such a tremendous disadvantage,” Trump told the crowd. “We must reduce the tax rate on American businesses so they keep jobs in America, create jobs in America, and compete for workers right here in America.”

But who’s telling the truth here? Trump, or … Trump?

As he did during the campaign, Trump also promised major tax relief for the middle class. “In a way — and I’ve been saying this for a long time — they’ve been sort of the forgotten people, but they’re not forgotten any longer, I can tell you that,” he told the crowd in Missouri.

However, when the Tax Policy Center ran the numbers on the tax-cut plan released by the Trump campaign last October, it found that the bottom 60 percent of taxpayers — those making $83,300 or less — would see an average annual increase in take-home pay of $500, or a 1.27 percent increase in income. The richest 0.1 percent of taxpayers would get an average benefit of $1.7 million, an income increase of 14.2 percent.

Overall, the bottom 60 percent would enjoy a grand total of 10.7 percent of the total tax cuts — basically, they’d be left to squabble over the crumbs that fall to the floor. The top 0.1 percent — that’s one person in a thousand — would get to eat the cake itself, collecting 47 percent of the benefits.

Admittedly, the Trump campaign plan won’t be the plan that Congress actually votes upon, although it certainly seems fair to use it as a guide to the direction that they intend to go. It is also true that the final tax plan will be drafted not by the Trump White House, but by Paul Ryan and the GOP House.

And when the Tax Policy Center analyzed the tax-reform plan proposed by the House last fall, what did it find? By 2025, it concluded, “the top 1 percent of households would receive nearly 100 percent of the total tax reduction.”

There is no way — no honest way, at least — to reconcile deeply held public opinion with such a massive tax shift in favor of the already wealthy. The only path that can possibly get you there involves denial, deception and illusion, so that is what we’re going to get in the weeks and months to come.

 

 

 

Reader Comments 0

1528 comments
retiredfellow
retiredfellow

The vast majority of Americans, the Average Americans, are the Poor and the Middle Class who earn under $65,000.00 a year. The tax cut proposals by Donald Trump and those by Paul Ryan favor only the rich in America. The Average Americans, the Poor and the Middle Class will be worse off with any tax cut bill from Trump and the republican party.  

The tax cut proposals should put the majority of Americans first. Corporations and business do not need a tax cut. Tax cuts should put more money in the pockets of Average Americans. If we want to expand the Economy, we need more dollars in the pockets of the majority of Americans who spend the money, not just the rich minority and business and corporations who invest to increase their own wealth. 

The Trump and republican proposals to expand the Standard Deduction, but then take away Personal and Dependent Exemptions and almost all of the Itemized Deductions is not a tax cut. It is a recipe for a tax increase on the poor and middle class. 


FIGMO2
FIGMO2

Well, the incident at University of Utah Hospital spiraled out of control. The officer was a bit overzealous.

My question?

Why didn't he just arrest the driver under suspicion of DUI? THAT would've met one of the three criteria authorizing blood withdrawal.

Stop! Drop! Roll!

schnirt 

Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

@FIGMO2 

My understanding is that the police phlebotomist was demanding to draw blood from the driver of the truck that got hit, who was burned and in a coma, thus unable to give consent. 

There was no probable cause to arrest him.

BuckeyeGa
BuckeyeGa

@FIGMO2  No cause..the police wanted to check if the driver had anything illegal in his system..they couldn't ask the driver because the driver was unconscious.

_GodlessHeathen_
_GodlessHeathen_

"now used by conservatives as an argument for why regulation is unnecessary? "


Who argued regulation is unnecessary?

Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

@_GodlessHeathen_ 

Some of our conservative friends (*cough*td*cough*) seem to feel that regulations are bad by definition. 

I am prepared to have a nuanced discussion about the efficacy particular regulations, but "regulation bad" becomes tiresome quickly.

honested
honested

@Nick_Danger @_GodlessHeathen_ 

Poor td is under the sway of the imaginary concept invented in Manchester, England 150 years ago.

Something that never works and always draws the attention of those most interested in shiny things.

_GodlessHeathen_
_GodlessHeathen_

@Nick_Danger @_GodlessHeathen_ And any mention of rolling back a regulation is oftentimes met with accusations that we want to return to pre 1970's dirty air, water, etc.


Federal Regulatory Agencies promulgate 1000s of new Rules every year.  It's quite possible that some of them are not good for the people.

Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

@_GodlessHeathen_ @Nick_Danger 

Godless, this is all a symptom of a larger issue on the blog, of which I am guilty, too:  the rhetorical device of tarring a large group with the words of its most extreme members. 

It's a cheap way to "score points" , and stifles intelligent discussion, and you are correct to point it out when it happens - and we should always be careful to call out both sides (as you are).

YouLibs
YouLibs

Well, if you can't have compassion for the most disadvantaged among us, td, it's nice to know you can at least muster some compassion for big business.


Touching.

straker
straker

td - "companies have pledged"  Who told you this?

justaniceguy
justaniceguy

How much has Tiny Dog inc. pledged?

Or is Tiny's contribution going to be tiny bird chest thumping from Paulding county?

td1234
td1234

Yes these evil businesses that do nothing for the average people is the prog BS talking points. 


"Companies have pledged $113 million to relief efforts as of Thursday afternoon, according to an estimate from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Fifty-two companies had donated $1 million or more as of Thursday. Verizon alone contributed $10 million and Walmart has pledged up to $20 million in cash, products and matching donations."


"The figures are constantly changing as contributions continue to pour in.

Employee donation matching programs announced so far could bring in an additional $6 million, according to a CNNMoney analysis. This figure will likely climb, as some companies left the amount they would match open ended, while others are also accepting customer donations." 

KUTGF
KUTGF

@td1234  Sweetie, you want to prove your claim of "prog BS talking point", because I say you yanked that right from your blow hole while you Bannon yourself.
In fact, many companies use charitable acts as part of their marketing efforts to create positive feelings toward them.

Fly-On-The-Wall
Fly-On-The-Wall

@td1234 Good for them, they are doing the right thing.  But I think you missed the point of the discussion.

td1234
td1234

@KUTGF @td1234 I read this blog every day where you progs call big business every freaking name in the book. 


You cannot be this dense. 

KUTGF
KUTGF

@td1234 @KUTGF  Sweetie, I say you are the dense one.  You can't read with any nuance when you are blinded by hate like you are.

KUTGF
KUTGF

@Fly-On-The-Wall @td1234  Oh no you don't.  TD knows what he knows about "progs", how dare you say a corporation did "the right thing". 

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

I'm out - somehow I don't expect to see TD provide a link to support his "growth numbers".  For starters we don't even know what they are growth in - employment? revenue? output?

justaniceguy
justaniceguy

Do they include all the deplorables who have given up and left the jerb market?

TBS
TBS

Waaaaaiiiitt for it

BuckeyeGa
BuckeyeGa

Law and Order huh..
=========================================
Alex Wubbels was arrested after explaining to police that she couldn't draw a blood sample from an unconscious person at University Hospital.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihQ1-LQOkns

TBS
TBS

I'm sure they will be just fine. Meyer is one hell of a coach and he is loaded with talent even with losing a number of starters.

TBS
TBS

OSU started a little slow last night but turned it on in the second half.

BuckeyeGa
BuckeyeGa

@TBS  very slow...I expected the db to start slow because they are young...but Ind's QB was on fire..those perfect passes stopped after he started getting hit....Our receivers need to get better quick...

BuckeyeGa
BuckeyeGa

@TBS  yeh...we play Oklahoma next week..they're mad after the beating they took last year lol..we need all hands on deck.  :-)

TBS
TBS

That should be a good one. Even with a new head coach OU is expected to do well this year.

KUTGF
KUTGF

@BuckeyeGa  Poor DiA was all flustered by that and could not even comprehend the story.

Citizen-of-the-World
Citizen-of-the-World

@rimsky I think it will trickle down -- but isn't it telling and tragic that that's the most the little guy dares hope for these days.

td1234
td1234

@rimsky Yep, going to go right to Trump Construction for rebuilding the city. LOL

honested
honested

@td1234 @rimsky 

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

rubes are always the most hilarious.

justaniceguy
justaniceguy

Thats going to mean an awful lot of sub contracters get stiffed...

KUTGF
KUTGF

Congress will return from recess next week facing continued gridlock as we lurch from one self-created crisis to another. We are proving inadequate not only to our most difficult problems but also to routine duties. Our national political campaigns never stop. We seem convinced that majorities exist to impose their will with few concessions and that minorities exist to prevent the party in power from doing anything important.

That's not how we were meant to govern. Our entire system of government -- with its checks and balances, its bicameral Congress, its protections of the rights of the minority -- was designed for compromise. It seldom works smoothly or speedily. It was never expected to.
____________

Wow, the old McCain does make its appearance from time to time.

td1234
td1234

10% growth in mining 

5% growth in construction

3.5% in manufacturing


negative growth in government


These are numbers in the right direction. 

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@td1234  Yep - the growth is so strong that the jobs numbers for August are embarrassing and Trump is running well behind Obama's last year.

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@td1234  A prediction - the September numbers will show a big increase in public sector employees.

honested
honested

@PaulinNH @td1234 

Which will be the only thing that keeps employment stable.

Why do conserrrrrrvatives hate public service?

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@honested @PaulinNH @td1234  For some strange reason, public sector employment decreases every July and increases every September.  It's a mystery, I tell ya.