While the people of southeast Texas are doing their best not to drown, Donald Trump went ahead with his planned rally/speech in Missouri to tout the tax “plan” that thus far does not exist on paper that he’s submitted to Congress. He does have ideas, though, and those ideas are not good for the American people, apart from the very wealthy.
In his speech, Trump said he’s working on a “tax code that is simple, fair, and easy to understand” and that “gets rid of the loopholes and complexities that primarily benefit the special interests.” He says it’s all about helping the middle class. True? Of course not. It’s the never-ending Republican myth that corporate tax cuts that would trickle down to the middle class and create middle class jobs. Who would really benefit? Trump and the millionaires.
Their proposals would cut the top tax rates on income from passthrough businesses. Passthroughs are businesses that do not pay the corporate income tax. They include S corporations; partnerships; limited liability companies, or LLCs; and sole proprietors. The income of these businesses is “passed through” to the owners and taxed at regular individual income tax rates, which range from 10 percent for people with a modest amount of taxable income to 39.6 percent for those with very high incomes.
While Trump and House Republicans describe their proposal as a tax cut for small businesses, the biggest beneficiaries are anything but small businesses. Some of the most profitable and largest companies in the United States are organized as passthroughs, including hedge funds and other financial firms, lobbying firms, and law firms. In fact, many people would be surprised to learn that large companies such as Bechtel and the Trump Organization are also passthrough businesses. The largest accounting firms, such as PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ernst & Young, and Deloitte, as well as the largest global law firms, are as well.
Of course, we don’t know how much this would all benefit Trump personally, because he still hasn’t released his taxes. Again, this is all just what Trump and House Republicans have talked about, but there is no plan as of yet. Just cuts that could help Trump.
They do have one plan however, on how they’ll pass the plan if it ever actually gets written as legislation—it will be passed by reconciliation, with Republican votes only. Which made his attack on Sen. Claire McCaskill, Missouri’s Democratic senator for being “an obstructionist” pretty stupid. But there was plenty of that from Trump today, like his touting of this quarter’s GDP growth of 3 percent, and saying that President Obama never saw a growth rate like that. Except, as Jonathon Weisman points out, “It was 4.5% Q2 2014, over 5% in Q3 2014. Over 3% in ’13 & Q1, 2015.” Oh, well.
Trump did take a few minutes out at the beginning of the speech to read off the teleprompter some things about the people of Texas and what they’re going through. Not enough. Not nearly enough. This is how his performance Wednesday will be remembered.