We’ve said over and over… and to no avail… that Donald Trump believes in absolutely nothing more than Donald Trump. During the course of this campaign, Donald Trump has proposed any number of half-baked, nonsensical ideas and now he’s in the process of reneging on them. One of the first casualties was his opposition to a higher federal minimum wage.
Now there is a new victim. His tax plan.
Trump put out a tax plan last year that included major cuts to income, estate and business taxes for the ultra-wealthy along with far less generous cuts for the middle class. The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center estimated his plan would cut the tax bill for the top 1 percent of earners by about $275,000 a year on average and for the top 0.1 percent by $1.3 million. The overall cost would be $9.5 trillion over a decade.
“I fight like hell to pay as little as possible,” Trump said at an event announcing his plan in September.
But that was the old Trump. Pressed by CNBC on Thursday as to how he could simultaneously brand himself as a populist who will take on wealthy elites while proposing sweeping tax cuts for billionaires, Trump backed away from his plan.
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“I am not necessarily a huge fan of that,” he said. “I am so much more into the middle class who have just been absolutely forgotten in our country.”
Trump described his tax proposal, which was the most detailed policy paper he put out in the campaign, as merely a starting point for a future deal.
“You know, when you put out a tax plan, you are going to start negotiating,” he said. “You don’t say, ‘OK, this is our tax plan, lots of luck, folks.’ There will be negotiation back and forth. And I can see that going up, to be honest with you.”
It’s important to note that these disproportionately large cuts for the rich aren’t a minor side feature of his plan, they’re the heart of it. A whopping 67 percent of the overall cost of his individual tax cuts would go to toward benefiting the top 20 percent of earners and 35 percent of it would go to the top 1 percent, according to the Tax Policy Center’s analysis.
Trump’s abrupt dismissal of his own tax plan, which he regularly cited on the campaign trail, came a day after he signaled a willingness to raise the federal minimum wage, which would be a major reversal from his stance in the primaries.
Trump’s tax plan can still be found here.
I’m not going to argue the merits of Trump’s Potemkin Tax Plan anymore than I take seriously any analysis by the left-wing Tax Policy Center. The fact is that any reduction is federal income tax is going to primarily benefit, wait for it, people paying federal income tax. In 2013, the most recent year for which data is available, only 55% of Americans actually paid even a penny in federal income tax. The point is that Trump hasn’t even had his plan challenged by anyone and already he’s negotiating. But he’s negotiating with himself. This shows that a) the plan was bogus from the beginning and b) this assclown doesn’t really understand how to negotiate… which explains the unbroken pattern of failure with Trump’s business ventures. If you think his position of tariffs or immigration are any more firmly anchored in principle than his tax plan then you are going to be sadly disappointed.