That’s what Robert Reich has to say in response to Republicans arguing that their tax cuts for the rich will “trickle-down” to the rest of the economy.
Watch how he dismantles the age-old Republican talking point for trickle-down economics.
Jared Kushner isn’t about to let his new job at the White House prevent him from cashing in on lucrative business deals. Back in March, Kushner omitted his ownership stake in Cadre, a real estate tech startup he cofounded with his brother, from ethics disclosure forms. It appears Kushner hid the company from ethics officials because they had big investors lined up and he would have lost out on the deal by selling his stake prematurely. Under ethics rules, government employees are required to divest of all financial interests.
At this point, conflicts of interest have become a dime-a-dozen in the Trump administration. The lines between business deals and government action have completely vanished, and Trump and his family operate in a world without any ethical considerations. What do you think?
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Trump has repeatedly claimed that he wouldn’t personally benefit from his proposed tax cuts. “I don’t benefit. I don’t benefit,” he crowed on Tuesday. It’s a lie. Trump’s tax cuts are tailor made for rich families like his. In fact, if his plan goes through, Trump could save over a billion dollars, according to tax experts. Here’s how:
1) Based on estimates of his net worth, Trump could save his children a billion dollars by eliminating the estate tax.
2) By ending the Alternative Minimum Tax, which was created in order to prevent the wealthy from using deductions to pay almost nothing, Trump could save $31 million.
3) Trump’s “small business” tax cut would save him $16 million by allowing him to shift income through his companies.
4) Lowering the top tax rate from 39.6% to 35% would also save him $500,000.
This tax plan has nothing to do with helping middle-class families, and everything to do with lining the pockets of Donald Trump and his wealthy friends. What do you think?
Now that they’ve given up on trying to remove health insurance from 32 million Americans, Republican are turning to taxes. Today, they unveiled their “framework” (translated: “we don’t want to take responsibility for the details, especially not how much it will cost”) for tax reform.
Here are the key ingredients:
1. Lower the corporate rate from 35 to 20 percent. This makes absolutely no sense. Today’s effective corporate tax rate (what they actually pay after deductions and credits) is almost the same as our major trading partners. Plus, American corporations are already so flush with cash they don’t know what to do with it except buy back their current shares.
2. Reduce the tax rate for so-called pass-through businesses – including hedge-fund, private-equity, and real estate partnerships like Trump’s and Jared Kushner’s — to 25 percent. This means that instead of paying the top rate of 39.6 percent, these mavens will pay 25 percent. It’s a giant loophole for the super super-wealthy.
3. Lower the top tax rate for every other rich person from 39.6 percent to 35 percent. This is absurd. America’s rich have gained the vast bulk of all the economic gains for the past decade. They’re richer than ever.
4. Eliminate the estate tax. Bonkers. Right now it’s paid by the richest 0.2 percent and applies only to estates over $11 million per couple. Why exactly do they need a tax cut?
5. Raise the bottom tax rate from 10 to 12 percent. Really dumb. Aren’t the poor already poor enough? True, the plan doubles the standard deduction and expands the child tax credit, which will offset much of that increase, but why increase taxes on the poor at all?
Oh, and how much will all this cost? They don’t say, but studies of similar plans produced by Trump and House Republicans have been projected to cost $3 trillion to $7 trillion over a decade.
Where will this money come from? Either (1) cuts in Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, which are the only big pots of money in the federal budget, apart from defense spending – which Republicans want to increase, or (2) an exploding national budget deficit.
There you have it, folks. Tax cuts for those corporations and the rich. Having failed to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Republicans are now finding a new way to shaft most Americans.
What do you think?
The Air Force has sent B-1B bombers and F-15C fighters over waters north of the Demilitarized Zone that separates North and South Korea, in response to what it called the North Korean government’s “reckless behavior.”
This morning, North Korea’s foreign minister said Trump’s threatening comments were “a declaration of war” and that North Korea had the right to shoot down American warplanes, even if they are not in North Korean air space.
If North Korea shoots down a U.S. B-1B bomber or F-15C fighter, what then? Does Trump have a game plan, other than war? And if war, are nuclear warheads used?
I’d feel much easier about all this if North Korea and the United States weren’t both headed by hotheads who’ll do anything to maintain face. Trump and Kim Jong-un are equally mercurial, impulsive, and vindictive. The big difference is that the citizens of North Korea had no choice. We did, and still do.
What do you think?