The Trump administration's tax plan amounts to a huge cut for businesses and the wealthy, and it was presented on an 8.5" by 11" sheet of paper that looks a bit like a junior high typing student prepared it. Well, as you might imagine, not everyone is convinced — particularly Democrats and other progressives in Washington. One notable independent, who arrived on the national stage espousing the exact opposite type of policy, wasn't too pleased either. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders responded to the Trump tax plan with some harsh words about a "rigged economy."
Sanders, who ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016 with the goal of using taxes on the rich to fund universal healthcare, free college, and more, was incensed, and blasted the plan in a statement Wednesday.
At a time when we have a rigged economy designed to benefit the wealthiest Americans and largest corporations, President Trump’s new tax plan would only make that system worse. He would slash taxes for himself and his billionaire friends and significantly increase the deficit, while doing little to help rebuild the collapsing middle class.
Some of the most expensive bits of the plan, according to Vox, include cutting the corporate tax rate from the current 35 percent to just 15 percent, and it wouldn't attempt to tax corporations on their earnings made overseas, as the current tax plan does.
In addition, the top rate for individuals would be lowered and the Alternate Minimum Tax would be eliminated altogether. If you remember, for the one recent Trump tax return that we have seen from 2005, the Alternative Minimum was the only reason he paid $31 million that year. Plus, the "pass-through" rules that allow business owners to only pay personal income tax and not corporate tax would be lowered to the new corporate 15 percent from a max of 39.6 percent with individual rates now.
Of course, all of this benefits Trump and his rich friends, Sanders suggested:
Rather than making large profitable corporations — many of which pay nothing in federal income tax — finally contribute their fair share, Trump wants to give them a huge tax break.
Many Democrats also denounced the plan as "voodoo economics on steroids" and a "wishlist for billionaires." House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi also attacked the way that the plan was presented — essentially some bullet points on Xerox handouts. "The same Trickle Down Economics that undermined the middle class are alive and well in the president’s tax plan," Pelosi said in a statement Wednesday. "True to form, President Trump’s tax plan is short on details and long on giveaways to big corporations and billionaires."
As The New York Times, pointed out, there will be winners and losers in the plan. The big winners are in fact the rich, but the losers are upper-middle class people living in high-tax states like California or New York. Trump's main group of supporters, working class white voters wouldn't see much of a benefit personally, and the federal government would be running a huge deficit making any new social programs particularly difficult to pass.
Sanders' opposition won't be enough to stop the Trump plan, but hopefully it can inspire enough opposition among the public that even GOP senators think twice before voting for such a bill.