Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio released his tax plan today, and what it has in common with other Republican candidates’ plans – such as Trump, Cruz, and Carson – is that, if enacted, it would add trillions of dollars to the national deficit. In fact, Politico notes that Rubio’s plan “would add at least $6.8 trillion to the deficit and as much as $8 trillion once interest payments are figured in, which would amount to almost doubling projected deficits over the next decade.”
We know the Republicans are controlled by their big-money puppet-masters (the oligarchs who pull their strings), so it should be no surprise that under Rubio’s plan, “the very top 0.1 percent of earners, with incomes of at least $3.7 million, would see an average tax cut of more than $900,000, or a nice raise of about 13.6 percent in after-tax income.” Rubio touts his proposal as ‘middle-class friendly’. Indeed, he did not forget about the middle-income and poorest earners: they would receive a 2.5 percent and 1.9 percent pay raise – amounting to a tax cut of $1,400 and $250, respectively.
Len Burman, who heads the Tax Policy Center, a joint venture of the Urban Institute and Brookings Institution (nationally recognized experts in tax, budget, and social policy who have served at the highest levels of government) notes: “tax cuts for everybody – but the biggest tax cuts both in dollars and in percentage of income go to those with very high incomes.” Which, as Politico notes, “puts Rubio’s proposal generally in line with those of his Republican rivals, whose plans have been projected to boost the debt while favoring the rich.”
Trump said of his proposed plan, which he initially put forth in September – with the caveat that “it wouldn’t increase deficits” – that “he’d have to pay more than he does today.” However, an analysis of Trump’s plan in December by the Tax Policy Center suggested – no surprise – “neither of those assertions are particularly grounded in reality, given what he’s proposed so far.” The bottom line is that Trump’s plan would allow for fewer and lower rates, a much bigger standard deduction, some limitations on itemized deductions, and let us not forget: “Tax cuts for all, but a boon for the rich [and] a serious deficit buster.” In fact, the Tax Policy Center’s analysis estimates Trump’s plan “would increase deficits by at least $9.5 trillion over a decade and by another $15 trillion in the second decade” – sans the interest costs that would be incurred if the government borrowed money to make up the difference, which could add several more trillion dollars.
Ted Cruz has offered a plan that includes a flat tax of 10%, a rate that everyone pays on all ordinary income, as well as lowering the capital gains rate and dividend income rate to the same 10%, which is currently at 20% for the highest income-earners. Cruz is proposing what is called a value-added tax (VAT), essentially a consumption tax. He also claims “that he will abolish the Internal Revenue Service if he’s ever elected president.” As Slate notes: “depending on whom you ask, it could cost the government anywhere from $3.7 trillion to $16.2 trillion over a decade.” And Cruz’s plan has managed “to spark a pretty lively argument among conservative policy thinkers,” who have expressed great concern.
Unlike the plans of Hillary and Bernie, which in the name of fairness aim to shift some of the tax burden on those who can most afford it to benefit the middle-class and low-income earners – all of the Republican plans do just the opposite. All Republican plans explode the deficit and will look to gut government services to make up for ballooning deficits. They will attempt to gut social safety-net programs such as Social Security and Medicare, education, the EPA in the name of deficit reduction, while lining the pockets of the oligarchs and corporations that pull their strings.