Why Donald Trump's Tax Plan Can't 'Pay for Itself'

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The estate tax and the alternative minimum tax, which was responsible for most of President Donald Trump's taxes in 2005, would both be abolished.

The headline of the administration's one-page, double-spaced release made the same claim. "But I can tell you, that's our number one objective in this", Mnuchin said on ABC's "Good Morning America." "I don't think it will be a rise, but it won't be a reduction". As I read the proposal, this would surely apply to The Trump Organization and its proprietor. Exporters, who would be exempt from the tax, love it. Ryan maintains it would help make American businesses more competitive.

"His tax outline is a wish-list for billionaires, trickle-down all over again - and guess who it is trickling all over?"

Mnuchin rebuffed the suggestion of Trump releasing his tax returns so Americans could see how the new plan would affect the president's taxes. The President's plan lowers taxes on income, savings and investment to get the economy to produce more of all three. It is unclear how serious a demand that is, but at the very least, cutting taxes and overhauling the system to the extent the Trump administration wants is going to require lengthy negotiations and compromise, and the final outcome is far from assured.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has asserted a couple of times that the tax plan will pay for itself by generating a lot of growth because the proposed changes will spur investment and create jobs. "We must know how much Trump would personally financially benefit from his own proposal".

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The tax rate for high earners would drop from 39.6 percent to 35 percent. And if he's really worth the $10 billion he claims? As a result, eliminating the inheritance tax could possibly produce an enormous windfall for his heirs. "It's not true that you will have it for free - that tax cuts will pay for themselves".

"Regardless of the plan's fate", the editorial board writes, Trump "has already sent a strong message about where his sympathies really lie".

Those are all solid moves, as is his proposal to lower the corporate-tax rate from 35 percent to 15 percent - all aimed at spurring much-needed economic growth. Some of the changes could significantly lower the tax bill of Californians.

Done right, this legislation could energize the economy in a way Americans haven't seen in decades, giving a big win to workers, business owners, and investors everywhere. The benefit to Trump could run as high as tens of millions of dollars a year. Instead, it gives massive tax relief to - I hope you're sitting down - corporations and the rich. Without it, he would have paid just $5.5 million, according to a leaked copy of that year's return.

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