Trump's Tax Cut Critics Say The Numbers Don't Add Up

USA

Republicans tend to love two things: Fiscal conservatism, and strong national defense.  Unfortunately, these two often contradict each other. A strong national defense, at least under our current system, requires tremendous amounts of government spending. While other Western nations utilize conscription (a draft) and focus more heavily on National Guard type units and defensive foreign policies, the United States spends lavishly on luring in voluntary recruits, maintaining full-time land, sea, and air units, and engaging in active foreign interventions. 

Being a superpower ain’t cheap. And, ironically, it’s those who complain most about the national debt who tend to want to bolster, not ease, America’s status as an aggressive superpower. This includes President Donald Trump, who wants to increase U.S. military spending by a whopping 10 percent per annum…and pay off the national debt within eight years. Those two just don’t add up, at least not without unheard-of cuts to civilian federal spending.

It was preposterous for Trump, who wants to boost defense spending and spend up to $1 trillion on rebuilding America’s infrastructure, to suggest that he could reduce the federal deficit. It’s downright laughable to suggest that he can accomplish that miracle while simultaneously cutting taxes. Yet, amazingly enough, Trump’s administration is bragging about proposing the biggest tax cuts ever. The cuts would include removing the 39.6 percent tax bracket for earned income, leaving 35 percent as the highest, and reduce the top tax rate for all businesses to 15 percent.

The Trump tax plan removes several tax brackets and increases some deductions, with critics claiming that businesses and wealthy individuals receive far greater benefits than everyone else. 

As expected, the tax proposal has been met with liberal anger and incredulousness. Even conservatives in Congress are skeptical, viewing Trump’s tax-slashing as unrealistic. No attempt appears to have been made to reconcile the deep tax cuts with Trump’s widely-publicized goals of military rebuilding and infrastructure investment. There has also been nary a peep about the national debt, which will soar under this tax plan.

President Trump’s Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, claims that the tax cuts will “pay for themselves” by stimulating economic growth, thus preventing the deficit from deepening. While Mnuchin is predicting three percent real GDP growth, liberals strongly disagree and have referred to the tax plan as “mathematically impossible.” Fears abound that Trump’s broad proposals could become enormous loopholes for wealthy Americans, who could try to declare most of their earned income as business income and cut their tax rate to 15 percent.

Such a loophole would only be available to those with any sort of business ownership, potentially further increasing the wealth gap.

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