At this point, nobody expects Donald Trump to follow up on anything but the unspoken promises he made during his campaign: Racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, sexism, and ultra-nationalism. The official platform he ran on is all but forgotten, chaff in the winds of hard work and learning how government operates.
Here’s how I imagine Trump thought everything was going to go: First he wins the election because everyone loves him so much and he has the best words. Then it’s parades for a month to celebrate, and after that, some golf to celebrate the celebrations. After that, he would appoint the best people to do all the things he said he was going to do during the campaign, because when the president says to do things, everyone has to do it. And then when everybody’s done Making America Great Again, he just signs a law to make the greatness permanent forever.
There’s a teensy bit of evidence that this scenario, in which I visualized how a 10-year-old might think a presidency happens and then stuck the word “Trump” in there, is pretty close to what he actually thought. That evidence is in his frustration at not being able to (a) snap his fingers and get things done or (b) get all of the things he wants out of the people he appoints.
Health care was an absolute nightmare for Donald Trump. He broke promises to his voters to even get something on paper, and then failed to get even that much done. And that was the first big test of how good Little Trumpy Pants could be at presidenting all by himself.
Now the next trial is at hand for President Blowhard, and this time the golden fleece is tax reform. No American president, after all, can sail through even a single term without attacking what Republicans have turned into the Hydra of democracy. And once more, Donald Trump is breaking promises to get what he wants.
Although the tax plan that Trump released on Wednesday is still woefully short on details, it’s clear that he plans to renege on a number of important campaign pledges.
First up: Capital gains. Trump promised he was going to eliminate a loophole which allows people who make money by making money — hedge fund managers and the like — to pay taxes at a lower rate than the rest of us do. This loophole is omitted from mention in the new plan.
And speaking of loopholes, Thursday marks the second anniversary of the day Trump first promised to close “many” of them as part of his MAGA-riffic plan. The new plan identifies a total of… Let’s see… None. There is a new one created, of course, and it benefits Trump and his ilk. It creates a new, lower tax rate for “pass-through” businesses like partnerships and LLCs that allows owners to pay taxes at their own personal income tax rate, capped at 39.6% for even the wealthiest people in the country. Guess who owns more than 500 pass-throughs. “You’re welcome, me,” he perhaps said, before throwing his head back and laughing.
Lest I seem unfair to the Goldenrod Goofball, I’ll allow for the fact that one of his broken promises — to cut the corporate tax rate to 15% — is okay by me, since he’s capping it at 20% instead. Mind you, that’s still horrible, since it will slash government revenue which will invariably be paid back by those less able to afford it.
Even Trump’s promise that families who make less than $25,000 a year would pay no taxes didn’t quite make it into the plan the way he outlined it. As Republicans cut taxes on the extremely wealthy, they had to set that bar a thousand dollars lower to make up for it. So, Yay! No taxes for married couples whose combined income hovers around the federal poverty level.
It doesn’t matter if he’s breaking promises at this point, honestly. Everything he does hurts America.
Featured image via Alex Wong/Getty Images