Here’s what you have to believe to support Donald Trump and his tax-overhaul scheme:
A guy who spent his entire career scamming and abusing innocent people, leaving contractors in the lurch, screwing over creditors and investors, and who has lied in public more than 1,600 times since taking office is sincerely concerned about ensuring that you get tax breaks that will hurt his own bottom line.
If you believe that, you’re dumb enough to climb into the back of a falafel cart with Bill O’Reilly. (And if you do, for the love of God, don’t try the yogurt sauce.)
But what’s a little unsolicited loofahing compared with getting scammed (again) by Republicans eager to pay tribute to their suzerains in the donor class?
The bait-and-switch in this scam has always been the same: pretend you’re giving a big tax break to the middle class while scooping up even more of the nation’s wealth and handing it to the idle rich and their heirs.
But what’s different this time is that the poor and middle class aren’t just losing vital government services and saddling their children with future government debt in exchange for their nominal tax breaks — millions are also getting demonstrably screwed by the tax-reform bill itself.
Another difference is that the president of the United States is getting considerably more than just a sop from tax reform. In fact, some estimates put Trump’s and his family’s eventual windfall at north of $4 billion.
Yesterday, Trump told one of the biggest and most shameless whoppers of his short — and yet somehow painfully long — presidency, claiming, “This is going to cost me a fortune, this thing, believe me. This is not good for me. … I think my accountants are going crazy right now.”
Well, the redoubtable Glenn Kessler of The Washington Post’s fact-checking team ran the numbers and — surprise, surprise, surprise — Trump is lying.
According to Kessler, in addition to Trump himself saving tens of millions from the repeal of the alternative minimum tax, Trump’s kids would save at least $1.1 billion after Trump attempts to swallow a Hot Pocket whole and falls face first into his bubble bath:
The House would completely repeal the estate tax, even eliminating any tax on capital gains. The Bloomberg Billionaires Index says Trump is worth $2.86 billion, so at a 40 percent tax rate, that would be a savings of $1.1 billion. (If you believe Trump’s questionable claim that he’s worth $10 billion, that would be a savings of $4 billion.)
Of course, Trump won’t tell you any of this — though he and his vassals made a huge deal out of the fact that Trump is taking a $1-a-year salary as president and leaving $399,999 on the table. But hey, seizing on the chance to raid the Treasury of $1.1 billion to $4 billion in exchange for a paltry $400,000 investment is just the sort of business-savvy move that convinced voters to elect him president. (And that’s just one of the many ways in which Trump is profiting from his presidency.)
So what will happen? The rich will get their tax cuts and deregulation, the economy will tank, and Democrats will regain control of Congress and the White House — and when the Dems try to rescue the country, Republicans will throw up as many roadblocks as they can before accusing Democrats of not fixing the economy fast enough.
Meanwhile, the rich will continue to get richer and the poor will get poorer.
That is, unless the poor wake up — and rise up — fast.