Enough with healthcare, says this administration. Full steam ahead on tax cuts, which are way more sexy and less hard than health care policy!
Sure they are. In the video above, Ali Velshi summarizes the White House proposal for tax cuts for the rich, while reminding his audience that there is some smoke and mirrors deflection happening, too.
Here are the high points just for the record. The odds of any of this actually becoming law are slim to none right now.
- Drop the number of personal tax brackets from seven to three: 12%, 25% and 35%. As Velshi explains, this is "smoke and mirrors" because it doesn't effect prosperity, which is the justification Trump and the Billionaires use for tax cuts. As Velshi points out, fewer people will pay the highest rate, but they'll raise the lowest rate so that more people are paying more taxes. Socialize the cost; privatize the profit. It's how Republicans roll.
- Double the standard deduction to $12,000 for individuals, $24,000 for married couples. This is how they get around raising the lowest rate from 9.7% to 12%. It also supposedly gets rid of the marriage penalty and raises the tax credit for having lots of children, along with granting a whopping $500 tax credit for non-child dependents.
- Repeal the estate tax - We all know who derives benefit from this.
- Repeal the alternative minimum tax instead of fixing the indexing so that it doesn't catch middle-income earners in its grasp. Most people don't pay this. If it were properly indexed, it would tax high earners at a rate more appropriate for people who already have too much money.
- Drop the corporate tax rate to 20% which Trump claims is what he wanted all along, not 15% like he's been insisting upon.
- Drop the rate on "pass-through" (Subchapter S) corporations to 25%. Republicans swear this will help the mythical "small businesses" which are being terribly hammered by the higher tax rate, but the average income pass-through on these entities is $750,000. They don't need a tax break. They need to pay more.
"The plan aims to cut taxes by more than $5 trillion over ten years," Velshi concluded while noting that some of the tax expenditures will be covered by wiping out deductions for everything but mortgages and charity.
Velshi did allow that "the characterization of it as being all about the middle class is a little bit disingenuous." YA THINK?
Stephanie Ruhle was far more straightforward. "I'm going to say it's a lot disingenuous. This plan is a win for the rich."
Yes, yes it is. But we knew it would be. Now it's time to get to work. We should just plan on staying alert and working to register voters in every state between now and next November, because the only way to get a tax plan worth a damn is to have Democrats draft it.
To have Democrats draft it, we need to win a LOT of seats in the House and Senate next year. It can be done, but it's going to take all of us expanding our reach in every state through voter registration efforts and outreach.