Donald Trump Unveils Tax Plan

28 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Donald Trump is the glib hero the right has been waiting for: What his “60 Minutes” interview revealed about his terrifying appeal.

Not long ago, Donald Trump claimed that his rivals would allow “Wall Street” and the “hedge fund guys” to continue to “rip off the people by paying no or very little in taxes.” The implication was that Trump would raise the tax burden on top earners, which he seemed to underscore at the most recent GOP debate, when he ridiculed an opponent’s suggestion that raising taxes on the wealthy would constitute “socialism,” adding: “I know people that are making a tremendous amount of money and paying virtually no tax, and I think it’s unfair.” As I had argued, if Trump’s plan really did raise the overall tax burden on top taxpayers — which very much remained to be seen — it would have made him a real outlier in the GOP field. NEW YORK — Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump unveiled a plan Monday that would give a “major tax reduction” to all Americans if he’s elected to the White House — eliminating federal income taxes for millions of the country’s poorest citizens and cutting taxes for everyone else, including the wealthy.

Donald Trump has enjoyed his substance-free campaign for president (as have a third of the Republican Party), but now he’s ready to get down to business. The billionaire businessman said he will partially pay for the plan by reducing or eliminating corporate loopholes and deductions that are often utilized by the country’s wealthiest citizens.

Trump, the billionaire real estate businessman, is offering a plan similar to what other Republican presidential candidates, like Jeb Bush, are proposing in that it seeks to simplify the tax code. According to the plan he released Monday, single people earning less than $25,000 and married couples filing jointly and earning less than $50,000 would pay no federal income tax. According to a leading tax expert I spoke to today, it would probably result in a tax cut, possibly a very large one, for many of the highest earners. In a wide-ranging interview with “60 Minutes” last night, Trump was peppered with questions from Scott Pelley about the specifics of his America-enhancing plans.

Trump is offering his plan amid criticism that he’s risen to the top of Republican primary polls based on tough-on-immigration rhetoric instead of specific policy proposals. Trump wants to eliminate the so-called “carried interest loophole” that allows managers of hedge funds and private equity firms to pay a lower tax rate than most individuals. It also would impose an immediate tax on overseas earnings of American corporations, which he said would encourage companies to create more jobs in the U.S. But married couples earning more than $300,000 would pay a new income tax rate of 25 percent, rather than the current top rate of 40 percent. • It includes “a one-time deemed repatriation of corporate cash held overseas at a significant discounted 10 percent rate.” It also ends the deferral of taxes on corporate income earned abroad.

It’s a pledge that’s sure to raise skepticism among debt experts given that discretionary government spending, as a percentage of gross domestic product, is already at its lowest level since Dwight D. Grover Norquist, the conservative group’s president, said in a statement that Trump’s plan is “certainly consistent with the Taxpayer Protection pledge.” Trump’s tax plan release comes as he is still leading in the polls for the Republican nomination. They’re incredibly stupid, but together they offer a glimpse of Trump’s big (and very specific) plan to make America great again: On singlehandedly reversing the process of globalization: “We’re gonna grow the economy so much…If the economy grows the way it should grow, if I bring jobs back from China, from Japan, from Mexico, from so many countries, everybody’s taking our jobs.” On immigration and deporting over 10 million Mexicans: “We’re rounding them up in a very humane way, a very nice way.

I don’t see anything in the plan that indicates there would be a large reduction enough in those preferences.” The plan “doesn’t appear to make the rich pay any more, and what detail we have suggests they would probably pay less,” Williams said. “From the looks of it, they would do very well. But without the details, we can’t say for sure.” To be sure, Williams noted, at his presser today, Trump (just like some of his rivals have done) vowed that his tax cuts would unleash spectacular economic growth, which he presumably believes would bring in enough revenues to ensure revenue-neutrality. I know it doesn’t sound nice, but not everything is nice.” On fixing health care without paying for it: “Obamacare’s going to be repealed and replaced. Trump also claimed today that “my tax plan is going to cost me a fortune.” Whether or not that proves to be true — and I’m sure some hearty fact-checkers will have at it soon enough — the question that is compelled by Trump’s own previous claims is: How many other very wealthy people would really see a tax hike?

Marco Rubio’s plan also contains middle class tax relief, but it eliminates taxes on capital gains, dividends and estates, which would result in what some experts describe as a hugely regressive, revenue-draining tax cut. Because, you know, every agreement has an end.” On letting ISIS take over another country before allowing Russia to deal with it: “I would end ISIS forcefully…Now let me just say this, ISIS in Syria, Assad in Syria, Assad and ISIS are mortal enemies…Why aren’t we letting ISIS go and fight Assad and then we pick up the remnants?…We’re fighting ISIS and Assad has to be saying to himself, ‘They have the nicest and dumbest people that I’ve ever imagined’…Russia wants to get rid of ISIS. And I’ve no doubt that his supporters will love every insanely idiotic thing he said, not because of what it means (or doesn’t mean) but because of how cocksuredly he said it.

Years ago Stephen Colbert created a character to lampoon the most hysterical pathologies of the right: the braggadocio, the blinkered thinking, the nativism, the love of truth without the facts. The Republicans who love him love him precisely because he says what they think, only he says it in a better suit and on a bigger stage – and that, it seems, is enough.

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