“Two of Trump’s ideas for stimulating the economy are 1) cutting the corporate tax rate a little more (after cutting it a lot didn’t do much), and 2) indexing capital gains to inflation. It’s tax cuts for the rich all the way down.”
While continuing to publicly downplay warning signs that the U.S. economy is barreling toward a recession, the Trump White House is reportedly weighing a number of supposed stimulus measures, including more tax cuts for the rich and large corporations.
Politico reported late Tuesday that Trump officials are considering “a cut of an additional percentage point or two to the corporate tax rate,” which the GOP tax law slashed from 35 percent to 21 percent in 2018.
“The American people are waking up to the damage he has done to our economy by waging senseless trade wars and handing out trillions in tax cuts to the wealthy and corporations.”
—Robert Reich, former Labor Secretary
“That’s on top of a potential payroll tax cut,” the news outlet noted, “which the Obama administration had used to shore up the economy, and a move to index the capital gains rate to inflation, which potentially could be done through an executive order.”
A payroll tax cut, which Trump on Tuesday confirmed he is considering, would temporarily boost workers’ paychecks.
But, as the Washington Post reported Monday, depending on how it is designed, a payroll tax cut could “pull billions of dollars away from Social Security.”
The other option Trump is considering, indexing capital gains to inflation via executive order, would primarily benefit wealthy investors. According to Chye-Ching Huang of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 86 percent of the benefits would go to the top one percent.
The Trump administration has been mulling indexing capital gains to inflation through executive action since last year, despite warnings the move may be illegal. As Common Dreams reported last month, a group of more than 20 Republican senators, led by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), is urging the president to push ahead with the executive order.
“We have been talking about indexing for a long time,” Trump told reporters Tuesday. “I can do it directly.
Trump tells WH pool he could index capital gains to inflation — effectively a huge tax cut, primarily befalling the wealthy — through executive action, without going through Congress. Here’s what Trump’s own AG Bill Barr said about that in 1992, the last time he was AG pic.twitter.com/MdFGrzmqCo
— Catherine Rampell (@crampell) August 20, 2019
Journalist Matt O’Brien derided the White House’s reported ideas to ward off a recession as handouts to the rich that would do little to stimulate the economy.
“Hilariously, two of Trump’s ideas for stimulating the economy are 1) cutting the corporate tax rate a little more (after cutting it a lot didn’t do much), and 2) indexing capital gains to inflation,” O’Brien tweeted on Tuesday. “It’s tax cuts for the rich all the way down.”
Trump’s reported plans to put more money in the pockets of the wealthiest Americans and large corporations come just a week after the Treasury bond yield curve inverted for the first time since the Wall Street crash of 2008. The inverted yield curve has preceeded every major economic downturn over the past 50 years.
Economists and other observers were quick to point to Trump’s reckless trade war with China, the world’s second-largest economy behind the U.S., as a key reason for recession fears. As Common Dreams reported last week, the Twitter hashtag #TrumpRecession went viral shortly following the inverted yield curve.
Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich tweeted Tuesday that “we already know about Trump’s racism, xenophobia, and fear-mongering.”
“Now,” said Reich, “the American people are waking up to the damage he has done to our economy by waging senseless trade wars and handing out trillions in tax cuts to the wealthy and corporations.”
Trump waves off deaths in Syria: The Kurds are ‘no angels’
President Donald Trump on Wednesday defended his decision to leave Syria by saying the Kurds are "no angels."
Trump made the remarks during a White House meeting.
"They are no angels, by the way," he was quoted as saying about the Kurds.
Republicans have accused Trump of betraying a U.S. ally by abandoning the Kurds to be crushed by Turkish forces in Syria.
Read some of the reports below.
Per pool, Trump described the Kurds as "no angels." Your regular reminder that the Kurds were our allies in the fight against ISIS -- which Trump has taken full credit for eradicating.
Trump’s tax inconsistencies look like ‘bank fraud’: Ex-prosecutor
On Wednesday, former federal prosecutor Joyce Vance argued that the inconsistencies in Trump's tax information resemble outright "bank fraud," and must be subject to further investigation:
No surprise that Trump’s NY state tax filings are inconsistent with bank loan applications. Perhaps there’s an explanation but it looks like either bank fraud or tax fraud & at a minimum, merits further investigation. https://t.co/czxdpNjrvA
— Joyce Alene (@JoyceWhiteVance) October 16, 2019
Texas Republicans lay bare GOP anxieties about 2020 in secretly recorded meeting
It was the first thing mentioned after they cut the small talk.
"I'm trying to win in 2020," Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen told conservative activist Michael Quinn Sullivan in a secret recording of their infamous June meeting made public Tuesday.
Over the next hour, the discussion veered from topic to topic, most notably revealing that Bonnen offered media access to Sullivan's group, Empower Texans, while suggesting it target certain GOP members. But never too far from their conversation was the stark acknowledgment that Texas Republicans are in trouble in 2020, particularly in the state House — and President Donald Trump is not helping.