President Trump has yet to release his own tax returns, but the tax plan he and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) are pushing would cut the tax rate for LLCs like the Trump Organization.
Jonathan Weisman of The New York Times held a Q&A this morning, during which he made Speaker Ryan stumble over the question of cutting taxes for the 1% while middle- and working-class families continue to struggle.
According to an article by ThinkProgress, Ryan attempted to make it appear that the tax plan would benefit small and individual businesses, obfuscating its intent to benefit the richest Americans. Start watching around 17:00 to see where things heat up.
But Weisman pointed out that some of those LLCs are billion-dollar businesses, like the Trump Organization:
“The issue that I think gets confused in this whole ‘1 percent’ conversation is, 80 percent of all of our businesses in America pay their taxes as individual people,” he said. “We call them pass-throughs, LLCs, sole-proprietors, subchapter S corporations—”
“—The Trump ‘corporation,’” Weisman interjected. At that point, Ryan seemed to stumble.
“I think that’s a c-corp actually,” he said. After Weisman insisted that it wasn’t, Ryan laughed and added, “I actually don’t know the answer to that. I didn’t really look into that one.”
LLCs are “pass-throughs,” which allow tax deductions to the proprietors. However, big corporations, like Trump’s, can disguise as a sole proprietor LLC to benefit from a lower tax rate.
According to Steven M. Rosenthal, a senior fellow at the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, ““Trump is the king of pass-throughs . . . He has pass-through businesses everywhere. This is a very large issue.”
Adding insult to injury, Ryan offered up the long-ago debunked “trickle down economics” theory to defend his tax plan: “Lower corporate tax rates, and workers get better wages,” he argued.
Ryan is enabling another Trump conflict of interest by touting this tax plan and he’s attempting to disguise a big tax break for the rich as a boost for the middle-class.
Lucia Brawley is a Harvard- and Yale-educated writer, producer, actor, and political organizer. She runs the progressive political Facebook group Consenting to Lead. To learn more, please go to luciabrawley.com.