Trump Says His Tax Plan is "Going to Cost Me a Fortune." He's Lying.
From the beginning of presidential campaign, Donald Trump has positioned himself as the posing populist. The man his friends and family tout as the "blue-collar billionaire," the real estate tycoon turned reality TV star proclaimed himself the "voice" of "the forgotten men and women of our country." In September, the supposed ally of average Americans boasted that his tax plan--then estimated to deliver a $3.7 million tax cut to the top 0.1 percent of income earners at an estimated 10-year cost to Uncle Sam of $9.5 to $12 trillion--would provide a windfall to workers while hitting him hard:
"It reduces or eliminates most of the deductions and loopholes available to special interests and to the very rich. In other words, it's going to cost me a fortune -- which is actually true -- while preserving charitable giving and mortgage interest deductions, very importantly." [Emphasis mine.]
Of course, Trump's claim wasn't true then. And even after he unveiled a somewhat more modest version of his tax proposal this week, it's not true now.
As it turns out, from lower rates on earned income and investments to eliminating the estate tax and slashing rates on "pass-through" businesses, almost every facet of Donald Trump's tax code overhaul would redirect millions of dollars from the United States Treasury to his own bank account. As Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler concluded in his "Four Pinocchio" review fall:
No matter how we slice it, we do not see how Trump can justify his claim that his tax plan would cost him "a fortune." On the contrary, it appears it would significantly reduce his taxes -- and the taxes of his heirs.
For starters, consider Trump's proposal to move from seven federal income tax brackets to just three of 12 percent up to M, 25 percent up to N and 33 percent over B income per year. While lower than his version 1.0 proposal of 10, 15 and 25 percent, The Donald's new brackets would mean a staggering windfall for those, presumably including him, currently paying the top marginal rate of 39.6 percent. Now, Americans don't know his annual income because Donald Trump has flouted 40 years of precedent by refusing to release his tax returns. But his campaign finance disclosures claim he has a net worth of $10 billion and earned $557 million between January 2015 and May 2016. While his income sources are doubtless diverse, President Trump would surely reap millions from candidate Trump's income tax rate reductions alone.
But the really big dollars for The Donald would result from his proposals to slice tax rates for corporate and small business income...
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