Trump just released his long-awaited tax reform proposal, which – as expected – contains enormous cuts for the ultra wealthy. Specifically, the proposal would repeal the inheritance tax and the alternative minimum tax, both of which affect Trump personally.
The alternative minimum tax (AMT) was enacted to “make sure the rich pay their fair share” and stopped them from using loopholes and deductions to avoid paying taxes altogether. In Trump’s famously “leaked” tax return from 2005, which showed that he paid $38.5 million in taxes that year, $31 million stemmed from the AMT. Had it not been for that specific tax, Trump would have only paid a 3.5% tax rate in 2005.
Trump wants to eliminate alternative minimum tax. These docs show: without AMT, he would have paid 3.5% tax in '05. Not unimportant to know. https://t.co/FeHzFhCz97
— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) March 15, 2017
The inheritance tax resolves the issue of mass accumulation of wealth, which is an especially pressing issue today. The Democratic principle behind this tax is that people who achieved massive wealth from America should then give a share of it back so as to make this same American dream possible for others.
Despite what Republicans propagate, though, the inheritance tax is not a tax on dead people; it is a tax on unearned income for people who are already wealthy. Furthermore, there is already an exemption on the first $5.49 million, so this is essentially a tax on figures north of seven figures. And, of course, it is a tax that will affect Trump and his family personally.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin reaffirmed that Trump will not be releasing his own tax returns. There is no way, then, to know if these policies were designed to provide the maximum benefit for own interests. Yet according to the only tax return released by Trump, we already know that the AMT cost him over $30 million in one year alone.
This latest tax plan is nothing more than a flagrant attempt for Trump to benefit his own financial interests. Aside from his supporters who are millionaires and billionaires, those who voted for Trump will be hard-pressed to find any other advantage in this new tax plan. Of course, Trump has always favored his own interests over those of the American people. Trump may claim “America First,” but that comes only after Trump and his own family.
Watch Steve Mnuchin’s announcement below:
Based on Trump's 2005 tax return, he would have saved millions if the alternative minimum tax didn't exist. His tax plan would eliminate it. pic.twitter.com/fhmMwIGZP2
— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) April 26, 2017
Brian Tyler Cohen is a political writer, actor, and comedy sketch director. He graduated from Lehigh University with a dual degree in English and Business. He currently lives in Los Angeles.