Saturday, March 5, 2016

Clinton, Trump and tax plans

At the same time that Republican contenders for the 2016 presidential nomination sink lower and lower into schoolyard naughtiness and utterly irrelevant insult (spoiler Donald Trump felt compelled to defend the size of his penis Thursday in the face of a comment by Marco Rubio), still (I could barely believe it) there was a meat-and-potatoes comparison by the Tax Policy Center that distinguished Clinton's and Trump's tax proposals. A Thinkprogress article stated:
The heart of Clinton’s tax proposals center on increasing taxes on the wealthiest taxpayers, toughening corporate taxes, and increasing taxes on inheritances and gifts. She announced a “fair tax surcharge” of 4 percent on all income — from both salaries and investments — above $5 million in January, and she also proposes requiring people with incomes over $1 million to pay at least a 30 percent effective tax rate. She wants to raise the capital gains tax rate on investment income, which is currently lower than the rate on ordinary income, and end the loophole for carried interest and other deductions.
Taken together, an analysis from the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center finds, “Nearly all of the tax increases would fall on the top 1 percent; the bottom 95 percent of taxpayers would see little or no change in their taxes.” Specifically, over the first decade nearly 80 percent of her tax increases would fall on the wealthiest 1 percent, while less than 2 percent would fall on the bottom three-fifths of the country. Someone in the 1 percent would owe nearly $120,000 more, while the poorest Americans would owe $6 more. (The Tax Policy Center’s report notes that the campaign has pledged tax cuts for low- and middle-income families that aren’t factored in given that the details haven’t been released.)
That stands in stark contrast to Republican frontrunner Donald Trump’s plan. His proposal — which includes lowering the corporate tax rate and the capital gains rate, reducing the top tax rate paid by the highest income Americans, and ending taxes on inheritances altogether — would overwhelmingly help the rich. Over a decade, the top 1 percent would get more than $400,000 in tax relief, while the poorest would get just $209. The 1 percent captures nearly 40 percent of his tax benefits, while the bottom three-fifths get just 16.4 percent.
Trump’s giveaway to the rich would also be quite costly. The Tax Policy Center has estimated that it would cost the government $9.5 trillion in revenue over 10 years...

Yes, it's reading anyone might prefer not to do, but in the midst of a campaign era so boldly lacking in specifics, there is something positively refreshing when someone tries to disentangle who will get wooed and who will get screwed.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled genitalia ward....

PS. I can't resist the associative link I draw to actress Betty White who once cast doubt on a man's balls as a signifier of courage and strength and manliness. White pointed out that a man's balls were tender and delicate and that if anyone wanted a symbol of durability and strength, a woman's vagina would be a better example: "Now there is something," she said approximately, "that takes a lickin' and keeps on tickin'."


  1. The education dollar has been shrinking for half a century now. And the result is showing itself to the world as an embarrassment. But that's just my attachment to an imagined progress that history denies. From the 30's to the 60's we enjoyed and were hearted by a brief renaissance. We now return to our previously scheduled dark age.

  2. heartened* (i apologize, but my editor is on strike)