On Monday, Trump floated the idea of passing a 10% tax cut on middle-income taxpayers. He gave his administration two weeks to provide a resolution making it happen. This, of course, is nonsense. It’s not going to happen.
Trump and his allies in Congress have already shown their tax priorities. They already passed a massive tax bill, and lowering the burden on the middle class was nowhere to be found. In last year’s sweeping tax overhaul, Republicans included a number of tax cuts that Trump hurriedly signed into law. They include, but are not limited to:
- A 14% tax cut for corporations, from 35% to 21%,
- Doubling of the estate tax threshold to $11 million per person and $22 million per couple,
- And a 20% deduction to pass-through income. While intended to help small business owners, 90% of the time this filing status is used by investors and non-business entities, giving rich people a simple way to funnel their income through a shell corporation to pay 20% less taxes.
The list goes on and on. Nowhere within the Republicans party’s greatest legislative achievement of the last decade is targeted tax relief for the middle class. Even in their second round of tax cuts, which have already been voted out of the House, there was not a single provision providing tax cuts for the middle class anywhere close to a 10% cut.
That Trump thinks we’re dumb enough to believe he’ll make a unilateral 10% reduction for the middle-class, especially in the face of a 17% increase in the national deficit that is a direct result of last year’s tax cut, says more about what he thinks of the average American’s intelligence than anything else.
He doesn’t have the authority to institute this deduction through an executive order, and he certainly doesn’t have the votes in either chamber of Congress. Even if he did have the votes, Congress isn’t even in session from now until the election! Either President Trump doesn’t actually understand how a bill becomes a law (a real possibility), or he’s lying to the American people so his party will do better in the midterms. Putting the deadline to present this grand plan almost exactly on election day is not a coincidence – it’s a ploy to gain undecided voters’ support for his agenda and endorsed candidates. Let’s look at what Trump and his allies have done, not what they’ve said they’ll do, and vote accordingly.