The New York Times editorial board called President Donald Trump’s initial one-page plan to reform the tax code “a laughable stunt by a gang of plutocrats looking to enrich themselves at the expense of the country’s future” Wednesday.
The Trump administration touted the tax plan, released Wednesday, as “the biggest tax cut” in history and promised the plan would pay for itself by allowing more American citizens and businesses to keep their income. (RELATED: The Trump Administration Just Revealed Its Tax Plan — Here’s What It Looks Like)
In its editorial titled “President Trump’s Laughable Plan to Cut His Own Taxes,” The NYT claims the tax plan was created solely to benefit Trump and other rich captains of industry. They claim benefits for the middle class are thrown in to obfuscate the administration’s true motives.
“So as to not seem completely venal, [the Trump team] served up a few goodies for the average wage-earning family, among them fewer and lower tax brackets and a higher standard deduction,” the NYT editorial board wrote. (RELATED: Trump Just Released His Tax Plan And People Are Already Complaining)
Trump’s top finance officials, Director of the National Economic Council Gary Cohn and Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin, “trotted out a plan that would slash taxes for businesses and wealthy families, including Mr. Trump’s, in the vague hope of propelling economic growth,” the editorial board wrote.
Trump’s tax plan would reduce the current seven individual income tax brackets to just three — 10 percent, 25 percent and 35 percent — and impose a flat 15 percent tax rate on all businesses. The current business rate is 35 percent and includes many exemptions.
“In essence, we are creating a zero tax rate — yes, a zero tax rate — for the first $24,000 a couple earns,” Cohn said during a press conference Wednesday. “Families will benefit from tax relief that will help them with child and dependent care expenses.”
Far from aiding the economy and paying for itself over time, Trump’s tax plan would increase the size of the federal deficit, The NYT editorial board said.
The NYT cites a Tax Policy Center estimate which says the similar tax plan Trump released during the campaign would contribute “about $7 trillion in additional debt over the first 10 years and nearly $21 trillion by 2036.”
The plan is little more than the administration’s goals, and Congress must pass any tax reform.
“Regardless of the plan’s fate,” the editorial board writes, Trump “has already sent a strong message about where his sympathies really lie. They lie not with the working people who elected him, but with the plutocracy that envelops him.”
A Washington Post analysis of the tax proposal says Trump’s tax plan tries the same thing former presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush attempted over the past four decades.
If the plan actually increases the prosperity of the economy, “Trump will have accomplished something his tax-cutting Republican predecessors were unable to do,” Max Ehrenfreund writes in the Washington Post.
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