Trump Economic Aide Says Tax Overhaul Aimed At Middle Class


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President Donald Trump’s economic adviser is pushing back against the suggestion that the administration’s tax plan could benefit the wealthy.

Gary Cohn insisted Thursday that the plan is “purely aimed at middle-class families.”

Pressed on whether Trump himself could see a tax cut under the plan, Cohn told ABC’s “Good Morning America” that the administration is “very confident that Americans are getting a great deal here.” He added: “we have also said wealthy Americans are not getting a tax cut.”

The blueprint released Wednesday by Trump and congressional Republicans is a sweeping, nearly $6 trillion tax cut that would deeply reduce taxes for corporations, simplify everyone’s brackets and nearly double the standard deduction used by most Americans.

The president has said repeatedly that the plan would provide badly needed tax relief for the middle class. But there are many gaps in the proposal to know how it would affect individual taxpayers and families. Still, it does include one clear benefit for the wealthy, the planned elimination of the estate tax. Under current law, the first $11 million of an estate is exempt for a married couple, meaning only the wealthiest pay it.

When Cohn was asked if he could guarantee that no middle-class families would see a tax increase, he said: “I can’t guarantee anything. You can always find a unique family somewhere.”

Cohn said a hypothetical family of four should have “a substantial tax decrease,” in the range of $650 to $1,000.



  1. To motchah11: Here is one example (which I read in the New York Times): Estate taxes are eliminated. That benefits only those individuals who have estates of more than $5.75 millions, or couples who have more than $11 millions. The people who fall into that group constitute less than 2% of the total population.

    Another example, also from the New York Times: The so-called pass-through tax. At present, if your income comes from an S corp. or LLC (limited liability company), the S corp pays or LLC pays no tax, and the shareholders who get the earnings pay at ordinary rates, the top rate being 39%. The people who fall into this group are real estate investors, lawyers, doctors, accountants, many of them 1-percenters. Under the Trump tax plan, their tax rate would be capped at 15%.

    Here’s a third example (from the NYT): The Trump plan eliminates the deduction for interest on home mortgages. For many middle-income tax payers, that’s a big deduction. Even with the proposed lower rates, taxable income would be higher – and total income would be the same – and those taxpayers would be paying a bigger amount of federal income taxes.

    Oh, one other thing: Those local taxes we pay for schools we don’t use will no longer be deductible. So now you will be paying local taxes that don’t benefit you, and will not be able to deduct them from your federal taxes.

    Trump will move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem long before he proposes a tax cut that benefits the middle class. And that embassy ain’t goin’ no where.