8 Million More People in Poverty Is Reason Enough to STOP Talking about Tax Cuts for the Rich
Last week, President Trump said he would seek to lower the corporate tax rate to 20 percent in his second term, calling it an “even number.”
It’s worth taking a step back to examine why, in the throes of a health and economic crisis, the president is suggesting more tax cuts for corporations. One in three adults is at risk of eviction or foreclosure. And millions whose health insurance was tied to a job they lost no longer have coverage. It makes zero sense to inject tax cuts for corporations into the public discourse right now. Corporations already made out nicely under the 2017 Trump-GOP tax law. 91 profitable corporations paid $0 in taxes in 2018, and the average effective tax rate paid by profitable Fortune 500 companies was only 11.3 percent. What lawmakers should focus on with laser precision right now is aid to struggling families.
But the truth is that the president is raising the idea of a corporate tax cut as well as capital gains tax cut because that’s who he is and that’s all he has. Despite his rhetoric about helping the middle class, he continually proves that his focus is policies that help the rich. His signature achievement is a deficit-financed tax cut that overwhelmingly benefitted corporations and the wealthy. This year, the Trump-GOP tax law will net the top 1 percent nearly $50,000, while the poorest 20 percent will get $60 or barely more than $1 per week. Middle-income families will get less than $800, or about $15 a week.
In fact, foreign investors this year will receive as much from the Trump-GOP tax law as the bottom 60 percent combined.
And, as we already said, corporations and their shareholders made out like bandits.
The president and his able advisors know this. They also can read the news pages and understand that 8 million more families have fallen into poverty, and one in five have trouble putting food on the table. Instead of taking a step back and offering policy solutions that will lift “forgotten men and women,” the Trump administration is clearly stating that its tax policy priorities for a second term would be exactly like its first term priorities: trickle-down policies like corporate and capital gains tax cuts that will leave out the most vulnerable, line the pockets of the rich and worsen the already untenable economic divide.