Trump promises more tax cuts for the rich and big business - TAI News
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Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally in Wildwood, New Jersey, May 11, 2024. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

For months, former President Donald Trump has said he wants to make expiring provisions of his signature 2017 tax law permanent if he wins back the White House this November. On May 11, he announced that he also wants a major new tax cut that would favor the wealthiest individuals and corporations.

“Instead of a Biden tax hike, I’ll give you a Trump middle-class, upper-class, lower-class, business-class big tax cut,” he told voters at a rally in Wildwood, New Jersey. “You’re going to have the biggest tax cut. And we were set to do that, we were all set to do it.” Trump repeatedly promised in 2018 that he was about to significantly cut taxes for the middle class, but never actually released any proposal to do that.

Trump then misleadingly suggested that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 paid for itself. “We took in more income after the tax cut, And the tax cut was massive. Everybody here knows it because everybody was affected by it. It created jobs, but almost more obviously, it was just a great cut, but at the end of the year, the country took in much more money, it’s sort of amazing. In other words, people individually paid much less tax, but we did much more revenue. So it really does work.”

Adjusted for inflation, total federal revenue actually dropped between 2017 and 2018 and only saw a significant increase after Trump left office in 2021, according to the U.S. Treasury Department.

Trump ran in 2016 on pledges to cut tax rates for middle-class families by nearly one-third and balance the federal budget and “fairly quickly” eliminate the entire national debt. 

He did neither, instead increasing the national debt by about $7.8 trillion and signing tax legislation that saved the richest Americans and big businesses billions of dollars while offering tax hikes or minimal cuts for working families. 

Experts predicted the 2017 law would add between $1 trillion and $2 trillion to the national debt. A March 2024 working paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that the law’s corporate tax cuts added $100 billion annually to the budget deficit and that only a tiny fraction of its costs were offset by enhanced growth. 

Still, Trump and his GOP allies have pushed to make permanent the individual tax provisions, which expire next year. 

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated on May 8 that doing so would add another $4.6 trillion to the national debt over a decade. 

Michigan Republican Rep. John Moolenaar is co-sponsoring a bill to make those provisions permanent. In 2018, Reps. Jack Bergman, Bill Huizenga, Tim Walberg, and Moolenaar voted for a similar bill, which passed in the House of Representatives but did not make it through the Senate. 

Trump’s proposal to further slash tax cuts for the rich would leave the government even more in debt and result in higher interest payments on the money the nation borrows.

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