Friday, September 15, 2017

The Truth About The Trumpanzee Tax Plans


Former CNN Chief Business Correspondent Ali Velshi, now an MSNBC anchor, is not an idiot... but... On his morning show yesterday the Hairless Prophet of Doom introduced a question to Jared Bernstein, once a professor at Columbia and then Vice President Biden's Chief Economic Adviser, by claiming that Trump's plan to eliminate the estate tax would help the middle class. Before Bernstein got to whatever Velshi's question was, he addressed the GOP talking point Velshi had just slipped onto the air so matter-of-factly. The estate tax only impacts .02% of the richest Americans. ZERO is paid, he said, by any estate worth under $11 million. Velshi pushed back with another Republican Party myth: "but the family farms..." Bernstein cited the NY Times exhaustive search for a family farm, GOP congressmen are always whining about, that has been impacted by the estate tax. That found exactly none-- not one.

Trump's largely nonexistent tax proposal is entirely based on a tissue of outright lies. At a meeting with lawmakers from both parties in the Cabinet Room this week, Señor Trumpanzee insisted that the so-called Tax reform plan his Regime is still trying to draft "will not lower the amount of taxes paid by the wealthiest Americans." Fox News pushed his lies:

Trumpanzee claims the amount of taxes-- even his own-- could even go up. "The rich," he bullshitted, "will not be gaining at all with this plan. We are looking for the middle class and we are looking for jobs-- jobs being the economy. So we're looking at middle class and we're looking at jobs. I think the wealthy will be pretty much where they are, pretty much where they are... If they have to go higher, they'll go higher." Tucson-based GOP mental midget Martha McSally (video up top) bought right into it. She's so fucking stupid-- a Republican version of Blue Dog Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey. Americans For Tax Fairness are not as gullible as McSally. They pointed out that Trump's nonsense might be music to the ears of Congress' most foolish members (the so-called "Problem Solvers Caucus") but that doesn't make any of it real or true.

Frank Clemente, Executive Director, Americans for Tax Fairness, replied without mincing words: "That's a lie. Trump's current tax plan will overwhelmingly benefit millionaires, billionaires, and large corporations, at the expense of everyone else. The top 1% will get half of his proposed tax cuts-- $175,000 each on average. Trump plans to pay for his massive tax giveaway with budget cuts to Social Security, Medicaid, public education and other priorities for the middle class. He even plans to cut $667 million from FEMA next year. Unbelievable."
Here are the facts about Trump's tax plan as outlined in April 2017:
Half of the tax cuts in Trump's plan will go to the top 1% (those making more than $732,900).
The average tax cut for the top 1% will be $175,000.
The average tax cut for a family making between $25,000 and $48,600 will be $210.
A quarter of all families making between $48,600 to $86,100 will actually see their taxes INCREASE.
On top of that, these tax cuts for millionaires will be paid for by Trump's budget cuts to Social Security, Medicaid, public education, and many other priorities for working families and the middle class-- including FEMA and other disaster recovery agencies.

A few other things to note:
Trump's tax cuts will not create jobs.
Trump's tax cuts will not trickle down to workers.
Trump's tax cuts will not benefit small businesses.
Ro Khanna (D-CA) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) have offered a viable alternative to the Trump Regime's bullshit plan to make the rich richer. On Wednesday they introduced a bill that would give low-income and working-class taxpayers a big tax credit, dramatically expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit, which Republicans would like to abolish altogether. The EITC helps people at the bottom end of the salary range. Low-income taxpayers without dependent children would see their credit rise from a maximum of $510 to $3,000, and families would see their maximum rise from $6,318 to $12,131, depending on their income and number of children. Economists say the increased credit would help compensate for the fact that working class salaries have stagnated in recent decades even as the U.S. economy has continued to grow.

Khanna knows Paul Ryan will never allow his plan to even get a vote in Congress while he's Speaker, but he's hoping Democrats will incorporate it into their own vision of ameliorating massive and increasing wealth inequality in this country. He said he's hopeful that his plan "is going to be our party’s answer to Donald Trump on taxes. While he’s proposing tax cuts for the investor class, we’re proposing support for the working and middle class. He is counting on a separate financial transaction tax and taxes on the highest-earning incomes to pay for it. The San Jose Mercury News reported that "Experts say the Trump plan would give the largest benefits to corporations and individuals with high incomes. The Brown-Khanna plan, on the other hand, would increase credits for families making up to about $75,000 and individuals without children making up to about $37,500."
Expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit would do more to help working-class Trump voters than tax cuts for the wealthy, argued Chuck Marr, an economist at the liberal Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. “If you were to take seriously the people he was talking about in the campaign-- rust belt workers, truck drivers, cooks in restaurants, people who clean offices-- this is what you would do,” Marr said.

The credit was first introduced in 1975 as a way to incentivize low-income people to get work and stay off of welfare. It has been expanded over the years, and most economists, both liberal and conservative, see the credit as a successful policy to boost low wages.

...Khanna said his proposal is already getting support from prominent Democrats. He said he’s heard from potential Democratic presidential candidates interested in backing the bill, including senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Cory Booker (D-NJ). Rep. John Delaney (New Dem-MD), who is the first declared 2020 presidential candidate from the party, will be a co-sponsor.

The Brown-Khanna plan would boost wages for full-time and part-time workers alike, which Khanna said made sense for an economy of more Uber drivers and other workers with uncertain incomes. It would also let taxpayers request a credit in the middle of the year instead of waiting to receive their refund check, in order to help them pay for large, unexpected expenses.

The plan could fit in with the Democratic party’s larger economic message, which has focused on increasing wages. “The question is how are you going to do that. Democrats need to have an answer, and this is an answer,” Khanna said. “People say, ‘don’t just be against Donald Trump, tell us what’re you for.’ This is what we can be for.”

Even a few extra hundred dollars in the tax credit would go a long way for low-income people in the Bay Area, said Marie Bernard, the executive director of Sunnyvale Community Services, a financial aid organization that helps residents of Santa Clara County. Some of Bernard’s clients count the days until their EITC check arrives in April, and find their tax credit to be the difference between paying rent and being evicted.

“There are so few resources for smaller families and single people,” she said. “This will go straight to keeping them housed and fed.”

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At 5:31 AM, Blogger Ronnie Goodson said...

Expanding the EITC is worthy policy. However larger policies are needed to respond to the wealth concentration which has taken hold of the US economy since Ronald Raygun was elected. A top marginal tax rate of 70% is a basic step in starting to break-up concentrated wealth. Another step is a much higher tax rate on estates over 5 million with a steeper curve upwards for higher value estates. Both these steps will start to break-up wealth concentration over time.

At 6:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Correct, RG. Which is why those will never happen.

Since the sainted Reagan, all tax policy has been designed to enrich the already rich and create massive debt such that, eventually, government will be forced to cut sustenance and other altruistic programs in order to impoverish and kill our elders, the sick and poor and children.

The reasoning is that many more of those demos are nonwhite, so killing them will help ethnically cleanse the us toward a more white future.

But mostly the rich really, REALLY want every single scrap of capital for themselves and don't give a flying fuck who it kills.


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