Advisers to President Donald Trump are reportedly working on a plan to slash the “middle class” tax rate to 15 percent, a pre-election effort that tax experts and progressive critics slammed as an admission that the first round of Republican tax cuts did nothing for most Americans while further enriching the wealthiest.
“Here we go again,” Americans for Tax Fairness executive director Frank Clemente said in a statement Tuesday, pointing out that the 2017 GOP tax law was also sold as a “middle class tax cut.”
“Raising the idea of a new ‘middle class tax cut’ is an admission by the president that his first tax cut was a scam. It wasn’t aimed at the middle class but aimed at his wealthy friends and big corporations.”
—Frank Clemente, Americans for Tax Fairness
“What’s the line, fool me once…? A vague, election-year promise of a huge tax cut for the middle-class should be viewed very skeptically,” said Clemente. “Raising the idea of a new ‘middle class tax cut’ is an admission by the president that his first tax cut was a scam. It wasn’t aimed at the middle class but aimed at his wealthy friends and big corporations. Why should we expect anything different now?”
The Washington Post reported Tuesday that a team of Trump aides led by National Economic Council director and Wall Street ally Larry Kudlow is exploring a number of proposals that would further cut taxes, including some that would disproportionately reward the rich.
The plan under consideration would likely aim to cut the tax rate for those who earn between $30,000 and $100,000 to 15 percent. The Post notes that the “current marginal tax rate for someone making $90,000 is 24 percent.”
Such a tax cut, according to the Post, “would give tax relief to the middle class and the rich, since the rich also pay marginal taxes on the lower rates.”
Michael Linden, a tax expert at the Roosevelt Institute, said “depending on where it starts, a 15 percent rate would be a relatively small tax cut for middle income people.”
“This is an acknowledgement that Republicans’ original tax plan was heavily skewed to the wealthy, the middle got almost nothing, and people at the bottom got literally nothing,” said Linden. “I’m not sure having a second go at it is going to solve anything.”
Stephen Moore, a right-wing Heritage Foundation economist who has worked with the Trump White House on tax policy, is “also pushing for a change that would allow capital gains to ‘roll-over’ tax-free if they are reinvested in a different stock,” the Post reported.
In response to Moore’s proposal, Post columnist Catherine Rampell warned on Twitter, “Don’t be fooled.”
“That ‘middle-class tax cut’ the Trump administration is floating is actually a Trojan Horse designed to effectively eliminate capital gains taxes for the rich,” said Rampell.
We should look closely at Britain’s decision to elect a man so renowned for his untrustworthiness
In previous British elections, to say that trust was the main issue would have meant simply that trust is the trump card – whichever leader or party could secure most trust would win. Now, the emerging question about trust is whether it even matters anymore.
This is at least partly because Brexit has deepened the crisis of trust. The 2019 election was always going to be about Brexit – and not only because some people would vote according to where they stood on the matter. It was also because the emotional turbulence initiated by the 2016 referendum continues to dominate national politics in a more general way.
‘She’s fire’: Soccer superstar Megan Rapinoe explains her endorsement of Elizabeth Warren
Soccer star Megan Rapinoe explained her endorsement of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) for president during a Friday evening interview with CNN's Don Lemon.
"Elizabeth Warren picking up a big endorsement today from Megan Rapinoe, the soccer star and social activist who was named Sports Illustrated's 2019 'Person of the Year' earlier this week," Lemon reported.
Lemon played a clip of Rapinoe talking to Warren that was posted earlier in the day on Twitter.
I truly believe the best things in life are a result of being bold and being real. I’m proud to endorse Elizabeth Warren today, for being bold, for being real, for listening to ALL of us, and for being prepared to navigate the unique challenges we face today as a country @ewarren pic.twitter.com/9hX3gQYjvo
Barney Frank unveils the slogan Democratic candidates can use to win the Senate in 2020
Former Rep. Barney Frank suggested a slogan that Democrats could use to end the reign of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
Frank suggested the slogan during a Friday appearance on MSNBC.
"The Republican electorate -- and what happens is the dynamic as the Republicans get harder and harder in this far-right Trump fealty, some people leave the Republican Party, so that means the remainder are this hardcore," Frank replied.
"Mitch McConnell is going to pay a price," he said. "And frankly, I think the way this is going to play out the Republican senators are now making the toughest choice a politician can make, between the primary and the final -- between making sure you can get renominated and the winning in November."