President Donald Trump’s tax proposals are staggeringly regressive.
According to the Tax Policy Center’s analysis, the top 0.1 percent of the income distribution might receive an average tax cut approaching 14.2 percent of after-tax income, while middle-income households would receive an average tax cut of 1.8 percent.
Among the astonishingly regressive changes would be repeal of the alternative minimum tax, repeal of estate taxes and massive reductions in corporate tax rates, including on so-called pass-through businesses.
Trump won the Republican Party nomination by pledging to be a different kind of Republican. He lied. Trump merely reached out to the base by campaigning on cultural issues while proposing lagniappes for the “one percent.”
He used a strategy Wolf labels “pluto-populism,” or a political program in which a wealthy individual offers ideas and policies that appeal to the common person.
Trump’s pluto-populism won him the presidency and I guess he figures his supporters will stay loyal and won’t mind that they are being snookered over taxes. And he’s probably right.
After all, Trump famously said during the presidential campaign “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody” and not “lose any voters.” But hey, why bother shooting people when you can rob them blind.
Martin H. Levinson