Paul Krugman, the world-renowned economist and author of “The Return of Depression Economics,” has a new entry in his closely-followed New York Times blog on Wednesday, and it is more than a little shocking. It’s also more than a little technical, so here’s a breakdown of what the world’s foremost interpreter of monetary policy has to say about the Trump tax deal that has spawned feuds, lunches, and endless scrutiny as a giveaway to the ultra-rich.
First of all, when the White House complains that people “always claim” that Republican tax cuts are going to the rich, they’re not wrong. Literally every tax plan submitted by Republicans for four decades has had tax cuts, and they’ve all primarily benefited the upper echelons of America. To claim otherwise is disingenuous, but then, that’s what they rely on to sell their tax plans. It’s just that now we have, symbolically at least, a President who fits exactly the mental image that appears in American minds when you hear the phrase “tax cuts for the rich.”
So America was once again on to the swindle, from the beginning of Trump’s proposals. We knew he wanted to do away with the estate tax, which would benefit him. We knew it included the abolition of the Alternative Minimum Tax, which has historically ensured that ultra-high tax brackets (read as ultra-high earners) pay at least a minimum amount, rather than being able to whittle their tax bill to nothing through deductions and loopholes.
But after Paul Krugman read a summary of the plan from a new perspective by Steven M. Rosenthal on Monday, he realized where a HUGE chunk of that money is going — or who, exactly, “The Rich” are under Trump’s plan.
The centerpiece of the GOP tax bill is the slashing of the corporate tax rate. It always is, but it has been made even more prevalent in the news with this crop of Republicans because of Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ now-infamous exchange with a reporter in which she insisted that Donald Trump meant corporate taxes when he kept falsely claiming that the United States is the highest-taxed nation in the world:
Yingst: “Sarah, so that’s accurate, but the President keeps repeating this claim that we’re the highest-taxed nation in the world.”
Sanders: “We are the highest-taxed corporate nation.”
Yingst: “But that’s not what he said. He said we’re the highest-taxed nation in the world.”
Sanders: “The highest-taxed corporate nation. It seems pretty consistent to me. Sorry, we’re just going to have to agree to disagree.”
And who owns the corporate stock? Well, according to Rosenthal’s report, 35 percent of it is owned by foreign investors. That’s a $70 billion increase in the corporate stocks that would skyrocket under Trump’s plan, and since it’s a ten-year plan, that’s a total giveaway of $700 billion that America will never see again.
What can you do with that kind of money? Well, you could buy all 32 NFL teams 27 times over, and just force them all to stand. You could fill every single driver in America’s gas tank for a year. You could give every human in the United States a 60-inch, full-HD television.
We’d probably be stuck watching reruns of The Apprentice.
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