By Robert G. Yetman, Jr. Editor At Large
Donald Trump, who has ridden to the top of the GOP polls on a wave of bombast, has increasingly found himself on the receiving end of criticisms that bombast is ALL he has, and that there is, in fact, no meat between the bread of a Trump sandwich. The Donald, in part, attempted to hit back at those who say he’s short on specifics as to just what a Trump administration would do, when he unveiled on Monday his tax plan for the country. A closer look at the Trump plan seems to detail a vision of “something for everyone,” but clearly adopts an overall tone of populism. To wit, here is a key portion of the plan, taken directly from the source:
“If you are single and earn less than $25,000, or married and jointly earn less than $50,000, you will not owe any income tax. That removes nearly 75 million households – over 50% – from the income tax rolls. They get a new one page form to send the IRS saying, ‘I win,’ those who would otherwise owe income taxes will save an average of nearly $1,000 each.”
Now, to be clear, there are already a great many people who do not pay income tax based on their relatively low earnings, but the Trump plan would expand that number some. It is, unquestionably, a way for Trump to burrow in directly to the financial interests of the country’s lowest-earning portion of the electorate, regardless of whether that is the point of this particular feature(you can be the judge of that).
The plan also takes direct aim at the estate tax, which he actually refers to as the “death tax” in his official plan document; in a Trump world, the onerous estate tax, popular with practically no one of means outside of the spongiest tax-and-spend politicians, would go away. This is not, of course, a populist stance, as the person to whom breaks for being a more marginal earner will appeal is not likely to have much eventual wealth to pass on to heirs. However, it’s an example of the “something for everyone” nature of the plan, wherein both poor and rich stand to gain by the election of Trump to the Oval Office.
The Trump tax plan also seeks to streamline the current rate structure. Presently, there are seven applicable rates at the federal level, but Trump’s plan would lower that number to four: a zero percent rate for earners up to $25,000; a 10 percent rate for earners up to $50,000; a 20 percent rate for those earning up to $150,000; and a 25 percent rate for everyone above that figure. What’s particularly noteworthy about the highest rate proposed is the extent to which it would lower the current rate, which presently sits at a whopping 39.6 percent.
As for corporate rates, as he has long promised, a President Trump would lower the corporate rates to 15 percent, without regard to size of company, which would make them competitive with the rates of many of the world’s nations to which U.S. companies flee in an effort to escape stifling taxation. However, this lower rate comes with an offsetting component that would see corporate deductions largely eliminated.