Especially among Republicans, you hear the promise of cutting taxes and making government run more efficiently, like a business. Democrats typically talk about making the wealthy pay their “fair share.” For the first time in sixty years, the President is trying to fundamentally change tax policy.
I would love to spend pages upon pages critiquing President Trump’s tax policy proposal, but unfortunately, there isn’t much of a proposal to go off of. The President has said he wants to drop the corporate tax rate down to 20 percent, then 15 percent, continuously flip-flopping. He wants to cut the “pass-through” businesses, which includes mom-and-pop shops, law firms, and real estate development. Investments will be able to be deducted immediately, something that will help the economy.
So if you’re rich, you’re fine. What about the poor and middle class? You see, these tax cuts may benefit a few middle-class families, but the rest of it and the poor will not be getting any tax cuts themselves. In fact, our taxes may go up!
The President wants to consolidate the tax brackets into four brackets, but he hasn’t mentioned what the thresholds would be, nor the tax percentages, except the top rate: 35 percent, a decrease from the 39.6 percent rate that it’s currently at. Depending on where the tax thresholds end up, any of us could be paying more. This proposal threatens the century of bipartisan consensus that the rich should pay more in taxes than the middle class and poor because they have the means to do so. A flat tax, like some reactionary Republicans want, is inherently regressive, disproportionately affecting the poor and middle class more than the rich.
Since the Reagan era and then accelerated under Bush II, there’s been an attempt to change that consensus. This proposal, incomplete, is further proof that Trump is not interested in “Making America Great Again,” only making being rich great again.