President Trump and Congressional Republicans are pushing for massive tax cuts, reportedly to the tune of $1.5 trillion. This may sound good to you because, hey, who likes taxes? But it won’t benefit you. It’ll benefit corporations and the wealthy. More importantly, it won’t benefit America. Indeed, it’ll actually harm most Americans and will prevent us from doing the things we need to do as a country to make it better.
You need not get too far into the details of it all to know that the Republicans are offering a bad plan, though. No, all you need to do is to realize that, in selling their plan, they’re lying to you. In fact they’ve offered lie upon lie upon lie. When someone lies to you, repeatedly, about what it is they plan to do, you know they’re up to no good.
Let’s take a look at the lies Republicans are telling about their tax plan.
Trump and Republicans are selling this as a benefit to all Americans, but the proposed cuts are almost exclusively for the rich:
- Huge corporations like Apple and Wal-Mart will reap billions;
- Pass-through entities like The Trump Organization, law firms, hedge funds and sports teams like the the Dallas Cowboys will get a huge break. Most actual small businesses, however, will not;
- The very small number of wealthy people who are taxed in the highest of personal tax brackets will make out like bandits. At the same time, many lower-earners will see their tax burden increase.
- They would also eliminate the estate tax which, contrary the GOP’s misleading rhetoric about farms and small family businesses, only hits multimillionaires, and even then they only pay moderate rates.
Those points are all absent from the Republicans’ tax cut rhetoric for a good reason: the wealthy don’t need the tax cuts and the vast majority of Americans don’t think they deserve them.
They’re lying to you about who benefits from their tax cuts. If they told the truth, no one would support them.
They’re doing this while claiming that we are “the highest taxed nation in the world.” In fact, we are among the lowest-taxed developed nations in the world, and our current tax burden is near the lowest it’s been in this country in the past 35 years.
They’re lying to you about how heavily we are taxed. If they told the truth, no one would support them.
The lies about our tax burden and who would benefit, however, pale compared to the lies Trump and the GOP are telling about the alleged benefits their tax cuts would bring. The claim is the same one we’ve been hearing from Republicans for nearly 40 years: if you cut the taxes for businesses and the wealthy, the economy will grow and, eventually, it’ll benefit the middle class and the poor. That tax cuts will thus “pay for themselves.”
This is the “supply side” theory of economics, which used to be called “trickle-down economics.” George H.W. Bush called it “voodoo economics” back in 1980, and he was absolutely right to do so because it’s more akin to religion than it is to economic theory. Republicans repeat the supply side claim like a mantra, but there is zero connection between tax cuts and economic growth. Anyone who tells you that there is a causal relationship between tax cuts and economic growth is simply lying to you.
They’re lying to you about tax cuts causing economic growth. If they told the truth, no one would support them.
While the benefits of these cuts are the stuff of fantasy, the costs are all too real. They will lead to massive cuts to infrastructure spending, education, medical and scientific research, child care, job training, the arts, our national parks and public lands and a host of safety net programs that help families make ends meet in tough times. This is not just theoretical: the three states which have rolled out tax plans like Trump’s — Kansas, Louisiana and Oklahoma — have been thrown into economic and budgetary chaos. The promised growth never came then and it won’t come now.
They’re lying to you about what slashing taxes and public programs did to Kansas, Louisiana and Oklahoma. If they told the truth, no would would support them.
It gets worse, though. Republicans acted like deficit hawks back when Obama was in office, but now that a Republican is in office, they suddenly don’t seem to care what impact these tax cuts will have on our federal deficit and the national debt. I actually don’t mind too much about that — the handwringing over debt and the deficit has always been misleading and overblown — but I care what the Republicans think about it.
That’s because after those tax cuts balloon our debt and deficit, Republicans will suddenly pretend to be fiscal conservatives again and they will look to you and me to fix the problem they’ve created. They’ll say that we need to cut Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid and a host of other social services to cover for all of those tax cuts they gave their rich donors. As a result, this whole thing — the tax cuts combined with the services cuts — will constitute as massive gift to the wealthy at the expense of the poor and middle class.
They’re lying about what the tax cuts will mean for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. If they told the truth, no one would support them.
It won’t just be those entitlement programs which get slashed, however. If you give $1.5 trillion to corporations, hedge fund managers and the very wealthy, you forego any hope of doing the many other things necessary to build our country and to make it a better place both for our generation and later generations.
- Things like rebuilding our roads, public transit and other public infrastructure;
- Things like enacting policies which help restore the value of work in America by encouraging companies to invest in their workforces, give workers more power in the workplace and help provide for a secure retirement;
- Things like funding an effective health care system;
- Things like fighting to protect and conserve our natural resources, making our air cleaner to breathe and our water safer to drink and restoring America’s commitment to understanding and combatting climate change; and
- Things like bringing down college costs and improving the education of all of America’s children.
These are not just items from a wish list. They are the sorts of priorities and initiatives that form the very foundation of a civilized society. They are, contrary to what Trump says, the very things which make America great. Republicans say we don’t have the money to do these necessary things, but they say we can give $1.5 trillion to the wealthy?
They’re lying about about the need to invest in our country and in our people. If they told the truth, no one would support them.
When someone tells you lie after lie after lie, do you believe that they have your best interests in mind? Do you believe they have nothing to hide? Do you stand behind them and support them?
Of course you don’t. So why on Earth should anyone support Donald Trump and the Republicans’ tax cut plan?