Uncategorized

Trump Won't Raise Taxes On The Wealthy–He Will Make Millions

Following a confusing explanation of his tax plan on Meet The Press, rumors circulated that Donald Trump may be open to raising taxes on the super-rich. On CNN’s New Day this morning, Trump angrily fought back against this characterization of his tax-plan; Mr. Trump has a point. His tax plan would in fact be an unprecedented giveaway to the super-rich. 

The Tax Policy Center determined the richest 0.1 percent would receive an average tax cut of $1.3 million under Trump’s plan. Trump claimed he would pay more under his plan, but fact checks revealed he would receive millions in benefits – the full extent of which cannot be calculated without the release of his tax returns.

While Trump has been adamant that his priority is reducing the tax-burden on the middle class, the actual substance of his tax plan reveals a series of tax breaks for the ultra-rich while generating trillions of dollars in new debt. 
Background

Trump’s Tax Plan Would Dramatically Reduce Taxes On Corporations And the Wealthiest

New York Times, 2015: Trump’s Tax Proposal “Would Cut The Top Tax Rate To 25 Percent From 39.6 Percent.” According to the New York Times, “The proposal would cut the top tax rate to 25 percent from 39.6 percent, and bring down the corporate tax rate to 15 percent from 35 percent.” [New York Times, 12/22/15]

Center For Budget And Policy Priorities: Cuts In Tax Plan For Middle Class Are “Window Dressing”

Center For Budget And Policy Priorities Policy Director Chuck Marr: Trump’s Tax Cuts For Middle Class “Window Dressing Compared To Real Cost Of Plan.” According to NJ.com, “On the other hand, Chuck Marr, director of federal tax policy for the left-leaning Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, argued that the benefit to the middle class is minimal in the long run. ‘It’s something, but it’s sort of window dressing compared to real cost of plan,’ Marr said.” [NJ.com, 9/29/15]

Wealthiest Americans Would Save Nearly 19 Percent Under Trump’s Plan, While Middle-Income Households Would Save Five Percent

Tax Policy Center: Trump’s Tax Plan Would Cut Taxes By Average Of Seven Percent. According to Tax Policy Center, “This paper analyzes presidential candidate Donald Trump’s tax proposal. […] The proposal would reduce taxes throughout the income distribution. It would cut taxes by an average of about $5,100, or about 7 percent of after-tax income (table 5).” [Tax Policy Center, 12/22/15]

Tax Policy Center On Trump’s Tax Plan: “The Top 0.1 Percent Would Get An Average Tax Cut Worth Over $1.3 Million, Nearly 19 Percent Of After-Tax Income.” According to Tax Policy Center, “This paper analyzes presidential candidate Donald Trump’s tax proposal. […] On average, households at all income levels would receive tax cuts, but the highest-income households would receive the largest cuts, both in dollars and as a percentage of income. The highest-income 1.0 percent would get an average tax cut of over $275,000 (17.5 percent of after-tax income), and the top 0.1 percent would get an average tax cut worth over $1.3 million, nearly 19 percent of after-tax income.” [Tax Policy Center, 12/22/15]

Tax Policy Center On Trump’s Tax Plan: “Middle-Income Households Would Receive An Average Tax Cut Of About $2,700, Or About 5 Percent Of After-Tax Income.” According to Tax Policy Center, “This paper analyzes presidential candidate Donald Trump’s tax proposal. […] Middle-income households would receive an average tax cut of about $2,700, or about 5 percent of after-tax income.” [Tax Policy Center, 12/22/15]

Tax Policy Center On Trump’s Tax Plan: “The Lowest-Income Households Would Receive An Average Tax Cut Of $128, Or 1 Percent Of After-Tax Income.” According to Tax Policy Center, “This paper analyzes presidential candidate Donald Trump’s tax proposal. […] By contrast, the lowest-income households would receive an average tax cut of $128, or 1 percent of after-tax income.” [Tax Policy Center, 12/22/15]

Plan Would Saddle The Economy With Trillions In New Debt

Center On Budget And Policy Priorities’ Chuck Marr: Donald Trump’s Tax Plan “Hemorrhages Revenue And Tilts Heavily Toward The Wealthiest Americans.” In a Center On Budget And Policy Priorities op-ed Chuck Marr wrote, “Donald Trump’s tax plan conflicts with his claim that it’s fully paid for and focused on average Americans. In reality, the plan hemorrhages revenue and tilts heavily toward the wealthiest Americans.” [Center On Budget And Policy Priorities, 9/29/15]

New York Times On Tax Policy Center Analysis, 2015: “Donald J. Trump’s Tax Plan Would Benefit The Wealthiest Americans The Most While Saddling The Economy With Trillions Of Dollars In New Debt.” According to the New York Times, “Donald J. Trump’s tax plan would benefit the wealthiest Americans the most while saddling the economy with trillions of dollars in new debt, according to an analysis released on Tuesday by the Tax Policy Center. Mr. Trump, the Republican presidential candidate who is leading most polls, released his plan in September after vowing to crack down on loopholes that benefit rich hedge fund and private equity managers, while eliminating provisions that encourage companies to park their cash in overseas tax havens.” [New York Times, 12/22/15]

Tax Policy Center: Trump’s Tax Plan “Would Add $11.2 Trillion To The National Debt By 2026 And $34.1 Trillion By 2036.” According to Tax Policy Center, “The revenue losses [from Trump’s tax plan] understate the total effect on the national debt because they do not include the additional interest that would accrue as a result. Including interest costs, the proposal would add $11.2 trillion to the national debt by 2026 and $34.1 trillion by 2036 (table 4 and figure 1). Assuming the tax cuts are not offset by spending cuts, the national debt would rise by an estimated 39 percent of GDP in 2026 and by nearly 80 percent of GDP by 2036.” [Tax Policy Center, 12/22/15]

Trump’s Tax Plan Would Necessitate Unprecedented Cuts In Government Spending, Services

Tax Policy Center: “The Trump Plan Would Require Unprecedented Spending Cuts To Avoid Adding To The Federal Debt.” According to Tax Policy Center, “The Trump plan would require unprecedented spending cuts to avoid adding to the federal debt. We estimate that the plan would reduce revenues by $1.1 trillion in 2025 (before considering macroeconomic effects). The Congressional Budget Office (2015a) projects total noninterest outlays in 2025 of about $5.3 trillion.” [Tax Policy Center, 12/22/15]

Tax Policy Center: Trump’s Tax Plan Would Need Projected Spending Cuts By 21 Percent To Avoid Adding To Deficit In 2025. According to Tax Policy Center, “The Trump plan would require unprecedented spending cuts to avoid adding to the federal debt. We estimate that the plan would reduce revenues by $1.1 trillion in 2025 (before considering macroeconomic effects). The Congressional Budget Office (2015a) projects total noninterest outlays in 2025 of about $5.3 trillion. As a result, Congress would need to cut projected program spending by 21 percent to prevent the plan from adding to the deficit in 2025.” [Tax Policy Center, 12/22/15]

  • Eliminating All Defense Spending Would Not Be Enough To Prevent Trump’s Tax Plan From Adding To Deficit According to Tax Policy Center, “As a result, Congress would need to cut projected program spending by 21 percent to prevent the plan from adding to the deficit in 2025. If Congress eliminated all defense spending (about $0.7 billion), it could not meet this goal.” [Tax Policy Center, 12/22/15]

  • Congress Would Need To Cut Discretionary Spending By 82 Percent Or Social Security And Medicare By 41 Percent To Prevent Trump’s Tax Plan From Adding To Deficit. According to Tax Policy Center, “As a result, Congress would need to cut projected program spending by 21 percent to prevent the plan from adding to the deficit in 2025. If Congress eliminated all defense spending (about $0.7 billion), it could not meet this goal. It would need to cut discretionary spending by 82 percent or Medicare and Social Security spending by 41 percent to offset the direct revenue loss.” [Tax Policy Center, 12/22/15]

Trump Falsely Claimed He Would Lose Under His Tax Plan – He’d Save Millions

Trump On His Tax Plan, 2015: “It’s Going To Cost Me A Fortune — Which Is Actually True.” According to the Washington Post’s Fact Checker, “Trump pitched the plan as being tough on the wealthy, highlighting a proposal to eliminate a tax preference that has allowed hedge-fund managers to claim relatively low tax rates. ‘It reduces or eliminates most of the deductions and loopholes available to special interests and to the very rich,’ Trump declared. ‘In other words, it’s going to cost me a fortune — which is actually true — while preserving charitable giving and mortgage interest deductions, very importantly.’” [Washington Post, 9/29/15]

Washington Post Fact Checker Rated Trump’s Claim That His Tax Plan Would Cost Him “A Fortune” At Four Pinnochios. According to the Washington Post’s Fact Checker, “No matter how we slice it, we do not see how Trump can justify his claim that his tax plan would cost him ‘a fortune.’ On the contrary, it appears it would significantly reduce his taxes — and the taxes of his heirs. If more information becomes available — such as the release of Trump’s tax returns or more details on his tax plan — we will of course update, and if necessary adjust this ruling. But for now it’s a Four Pinocchio statement.” [Washington Post, 9/29/15]

Washington Post Fact Checker: Trump’s Tax Proposal Could Save Him At Least $5 Million In Taxes, But Possibly More Than $37 Million. According to the Washington Post’s Fact Checker, “Still, just on the face of it, Trump’s proposal to slash the top tax rate from 39.6 percent to 25 percent would result in a huge tax cut. On $250 million, that’s a savings of more than $37 million. But it’s not quite so simple. […] Only about 15 percent of the income among the top 400 is taxed at regular income tax rates, which is a key reason why the average tax rate for the top 400 tax filers was just 16.72 percent in 2012. But if that percentage were applied to Trump’s presumed income of $250 million, for income of $38 million taxed at regular rates, that’s still a savings of at least $5 million in taxes.” [Washington Post, 9/29/15]

Trump’s Tax Plan Included New Tax Loophole For “Pass-Through” Income From Businesses That Would Benefit Wealthy, Hedge Funds

Trump Proposed Taxing Pass-Through Income At 15 Percent Instead Of As Ordinary Wage Income. According to New York Times, “Another large, though less-noticed, tax cut in Mr. Trump’s plan is a reduction in the maximum tax rate on ‘pass-through income’ to 15 percent; currently, this income is taxed at the same rates as wage income, up to 39.6 percent.” [New York Times, 9/29/15]

New York Times: Pass-Through Income Comes From Ownership Structure For Businesses Of Any Size That Allow Personal Income From Businesses To Avoid Business Taxes. According to New York Times, “Pass-through income is often described as ‘small-business income,’ but that term can be misleading. Small-business owners can use corporate structures, like limited liability companies, that are not taxed. Instead, the income from these companies is passed through to their individual owners, who then pay tax on their individual income tax returns. Those small-business owners would enjoy this tax reduction from Mr. Trump, but so would the owners of large businesses that may also choose to use these same ownership structures. The tax break would also go to independent contractors like me: The New York Times pays me a salary, but when I do work for other organizations, I treat the payments as small-business income, and I’d get to use the 15 percent rate proposed by Mr. Trump.” [New York Times, 9/29/15]

Tax Policy Center’s Roberton Williams: Biggest Loophole In Trump’s Tax Plan Is Pass-Through Provision. According to New York Times, “The biggest loophole in the Trump tax plan, according to Roberton Williams of the Tax Policy Center, is the ‘pass through’ provision that would allow contract workers to have their income taxed at the lower 15 percent rate. When Kansas made such an allowance recently, thousands of workers shifted their work status to cut their tax bills, leading to a revenue shortfall.” [New York Times, 12/22/15]

CNN Money, 2015: “Hedge Funds Can Be Organized As Small Business Partnerships. So They Could Benefit From A Separate Proposal In Trump’s Tax Plan To Lower The Tax Rate On Small Business Partners To 15%.” According to CNN Money, “Hedge funds can be organized as small business partnerships. So they could benefit from a separate proposal in Trump’s tax plan to lower the tax rate on small business partners to 15%. Conceivably a hedge fund could raise the management-fee portion of fund managers’ compensation, and lower or eliminate the carried interest, so more of their income would be taxed at 15%, Rosenthal said.” [CNN Money, 9/28/15]