Tax Cuts for the Rich Help the Rich, Not You

By Josh Hoxie | ( ) | – –

Big money will pull out all the stops to sell you a tax plan that exclusively benefits the wealthy. Don’t buy it.

Soon you’re going to hear about taxes.

You’ll see images of families flashing across your TV screen while a soothing narrator assures you that the tax plan being debated in Washington really is good for you. The newspapers you read, the social media apps you scroll through, the websites you frequent, and the snippets of radio you catch will all feature ads talking about it.

That’s what a marketing blitz looks like, and there’s one coming for the Trump tax plan. It will be well-produced, well-orchestrated, and completely devoid of facts.

“This is probably the biggest wealth grab in American history by the wealthy, for the wealthy.”

President Trump started his sales pitch for his tax cutting agenda in Missouri in August, where the assembled audience was treated to a fact-free sermon on the virtues of his plan. Gone were any specifics of what’s in it, or who gets what.

Looking at Trump’s tax plan from the campaign, as well as what the Republican majority in the House of Representatives have proposed, we can see the basic outlines of what’s coming.

Corporations will see their nominal tax rates drop from 35 percent to 20 or even 15 percent. Individual rates will go down — possibly for everyone, but definitely and most strikingly for the very wealthy. Overall tax revenue will tank, potentially by as much as $10 trillion over ten years.

What does all this look like in the real world?

On the corporate side, we know for sure that lower corporate taxes do not create jobs.

In the ads to come, maybe you’ll see a guy in a hard hat claim that corporate tax cuts will put him back to work. He’s lying.

A recent Institute for Policy Studies report looks at 92 profitable companies that already pay an effective 20 percent tax rate, thanks to loopholes. On average they’ve cut jobs, even as the rest of the private sector saw a 6 percent jobs increase.

On the individual side, half of the proposed cuts will go to millionaires, according to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. Less than 5 percent go to families with household incomes below $45,000.

This is probably the biggest wealth grab in American history by the wealthy, for the wealthy. Selling it as a middle-class tax cut, regardless of the images in the ads you see, is just old-fashioned lying.

And finally there’s the revenue. Trump claims his tax cuts will pay for themselves with increased economic growth. That theory’s been debunked many times over and yet remains stubbornly in play.

So what happens when trillions of dollars of tax revenue get slashed?

Congress currently bans itself from passing bills that increase the deficit in one of their better acronyms — Pay As You Go (PAYGO). That means the tax cuts Trump proposes will have to come out of public programs.

No matter how much hype you hear, you’d better believe those cuts are gonna hurt. From food assistance like the Women, Infant, and Children (WIC) program to Head Start, and from clean water protections to unemployment insurance — it’s all on the line.

It’s hard to keep an eye on the truth when savvy marketing campaigns are hell-bent on deflecting your attention away from it. Don’t buy it. The Trump tax cut plan is disastrous for working families and for anyone who cares about a fair and just economy.

Josh Hoxie directs the Project on Taxation and Opportunity at the Institute for Policy Studies

Content licensed under a Creative Commons 3.0 License



Related video added by Juan Cole:

The Young Turks: “Trump Caught Stealing From The Middle Class To Pay For Corporate Tax Cuts”

6 Responses

  1. When you cut taxes you defund the government. if any one tries to tell people differently, they’re lying. If low taxes caused economic growth, we’d be seeing a whole lot of more economic growth in some of the poorer countries in the world where they don’t pay much in taxes at all. Countries which have a higher tax rate also have decent economies.

    During the Eisnehower years corporate tax rates were high, that is how he built a lot of the infrastructure which needs repair today.

    • Good point, Eisenhower Republicans saw the need to balance the needs of wealth and power with the needs of the people, therefore, the Interstate Highway System. Returning to the 1949 tax rates would fix a lot of bridges and knock some undeserving folks down a peg or two.

      Ike also warned of the MIC. We didn’t listen.

  2. “In the ads to come, maybe you’ll see a guy in a hard hat claim that corporate tax cuts will put him back to work. He’s lying.”

    Actually HE is telling the truth. He is an actor, a paid shill for the Koch, Mercer, Fill-in-the-Blank propaganda industry. And as long as his paymasters have lies to tell HE will have a job.

  3. The Trump tax plan merely sets up the eventual scenario to justify looting the entire Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds by those who likely never contributed a cent to those Funds.

  4. There is a reason the White “working class” is far more willing to embrace tax cuts for the rich than its minority counterparts. This is the ancient game that is the foundation for American history, since the plantation owners convinced their largely Scottish and Irish former indentured servants that they were united in a common cause, even brothers of the same concocted tribe, and that the well-being of the small landowner entirely relied on the prosperity of his “community leaders” in that mansion on the hill. Which implied that others outside that community were the enemy, that the ordinary White man was in a struggle for resources against Blacks, native Americans, and a distant government that dared to proclaim that it represented all the people.

    They still think that the prosperity of their churches, the resource extraction corporations they work for, the real estate hustlers who build their exurbs, and the military contractors who hand out the elite jobs in their culture, will give them the collective power to take America back by beating down everyone else. They have made a calculation, seemingly bizarre to outsiders, that the benefits of this anti-egalitarian approach will be more tangible than wealth redistribution. I would argue that those benefits are sadism and the self-love of double standards.

Comments are closed.