For some lawmakers, annual deficits matter a lot—unless the nation is paying for tax cuts for the wealthy via deficit spending.
Last night, Republican lawmakers demonstrated that previous grandstanding about the nation’s debt is much ado about nothing. The Senate approved a budget resolution on a party-line vote that would 1. fast-track legislation adding $1.5 trillion to the deficit over 10 years by cutting taxes, and 2. make it easy to enact this measure without a single Democratic vote.
Real tax reform would mean raising more revenue to make public investments and increasing the progressivity of the tax code. Many conservatives strongly disagree with this and insist that a substantial tax cut for the wealthiest Americans will grow the economy.
Rather than engage in this policy debate based on policy ideals and principles, President Trump, other White House officials and GOP leaders have peppered their sales pitch for tax cuts with false claims about the amount of taxes that Americans pay and the effect the current GOP tax proposal would have on the tax system.
The Trump Administration and GOP leaders continue to wrap their multi-trillion tax cut gift to the wealthy in easily refutable rhetoric about boosting the nation’s middle class. Later today, trucks…
The Trump-GOP tax plan is touted as plan for the middle-class but delivers a boon to the wealthy, throws a comparative pittance to everyone else and even includes a dose of tax increases for some middle- and upper-middle-income taxpayers. The data belie the rhetoric.
In announcing a new tax cut framework this week in Indianapolis that was negotiated with House and Senate leaders, President Trump claimed that “Indiana is a tremendous example of the prosperity that is unleashed when we cut taxes and set free the dreams of our citizens …. In Indiana, you have seen firsthand that cutting taxes on businesses makes your state more competitive and leads to more jobs and higher paychecks for your workers.”
President Trump and Republican leaders in Congress have proposed a “territorial” tax system, which would allow American corporations to pay no U.S. taxes on most profits they book offshore. This would worsen the already substantial problem of corporate tax avoidance and result in more jobs and investment leaving the U.S. Lawmakers should know some key facts about the territorial approach.
On the surface, census poverty and income data released Tuesday reveal the nation’s economic conditions are improving for working families. The federal poverty rate declined for the second consecutive year…
Today, the economic climate is starkly different, but it seems GOP leaders are relying on messaging and luck to push through the biggest tax package since 1986. The White House, Republican leaders and anti-tax advocates all have been toeing the same erroneous line: their plans to cut individual and corporate taxes will benefit middle class families and grow the economy. This is, of course, baloney.
Until GOP leaders put forth a detailed tax proposal, we will not know for certain whether the plan will focus on the middle-class and create jobs. But what we do know is that unless the plan is a radical departure from the principles outlined by President Trump earlier this year or laid out by Paul Ryan last year in his “Better Way,” plan, GOP-led tax “reform” efforts will be a tax break bonanza for the wealthiest Americans while delivering a pittance to working people.
Art Laffer and Stephen Moore recently penned an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal in which they called on state and local policymakers to support the Trump tax cuts. They claimed that the Trump plan would provide a significant boost to state and local tax revenues, thereby allowing states with large budget deficits to “regain fiscal health.”
State and local lawmakers should not be fooled by these claims. The reality is that Trump’s tax cuts are more likely to worsen state and local fiscal health than improve it.
Today Republican leaders in Congress and officials from the White House released a joint statement on tax reform, claiming that “the single most important action we can take to grow our economy and help the middle class get ahead is to fix our broken tax code for families, small business, and American job creators competing at home and around the globe.”
Unfortunately, the proposals they have put forward so far do not address any such goals.
This letter outlines ITEP’s two broad objectives for meaningful federal tax reform and discusses six recommendations that would achieve them.
What do terrorists, opioid and human traffickers, corrupt government officials and tax evaders have in common? They all depend on the secrecy provided by anonymous shell corporations to allow them to finance and profit from their crimes. Momentum is building in the House and Senate to pass legislation that would strike against illicit finance in the United States and around the world by bringing an end to the anonymity provided by U.S. incorporation.
The Congressional Budget Office today released its score of the Senate Health Care proposal and the news is not good. It’s no wonder a narrow group of 13 lawmakers cobbled together the bill behind closed doors. Now that the measure has seen the light of day, we know that it epitomizes Robin Hood in reverse policies by snatching health coverage from 22 million people by 2026 (15 million in 2018) while showering tax cuts on the already wealthy.
Speaker Paul Ryan today correctly outlined some of working people’s concerns, including the desire for more good jobs and access to the training required to secure those jobs. But his bottom line policy prescriptions for addressing the concerns of working people are the same old trickle-down economic policies that time after time have proven to primarily benefit the wealthy.
One of the supposed selling points of the House GOP’s “Better Way” tax plan is that it will make the tax system so simple that you could do your taxes on a postcard. The reality, however, is that their promised postcard is a deception that would require numerous additional pages of worksheets to fill out. A better solution to making tax preparation simpler is called “return-free filing.” It does not just reduce your work to filling out a postcard, it could eliminate it altogether.
As ITEP has detailed, undocumented immigrants are taxpayers, contributing close to $12 billion a year in state and local taxes while also paying federal payroll, income, and excise taxes. In spite of these facts, Mick Mulvaney, President Trump’s budget director, has spread erroneous information to validate the administration’s cruel proposal to strip a proven anti-poverty benefit from undocumented immigrants and their children.
A month ago, President Trump released a tax sketch that likely would redistribute wealth upward, and today he has poured salt on the wound with a proposed budget that would gut safety net programs and cut funding for other services that help move people out of poverty. Yet the PR refrain is the same Orwellian prattle we’ve been hearing for years: water isn’t wet, tax cuts for the rich will eventually trickle down to the rest of us, and balancing the federal budget must always rely on cutting programs that benefit ordinary people.
If lawmakers truly want to create an environment in which economic mobility is possible for more working people, budget-busting tax cuts are the wrong way to achieve this goal. Dramatic tax giveaways would force cuts to programs that provide early education, health care, job training, affordable housing, nutrition assistance, and other vital services that promote economic mobility. Further, current tax proposals from Congress and the Trump Administration defy what most Americans would consider true reform and, instead, embrace supply-side economic theories. This policy brief outlines two sensible, broad objectives for meaningful federal tax reform and discusses six tax policies that can help achieve these objectives.
A new distributional analysis of Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan’s “A Better Way” policies finds that the plan would: • Add $4 trillion to the national debt over a…