Trump Speech Offers More of the Same: Huge Tax Breaks to Benefit Billionaires Like Himself

WASHINGTON, D.C.—In response to Donald Trump’s economic speech at the New York Economic Club today, Americans for Tax Fairness Executive Director Frank Clemente made the following statement:

“Yet another Donald Trump tax plan offers more of the same and has conflict of interest written all over it. Never has a U.S. presidential candidate been so wealthy and written a tax plan that contains so many huge tax breaks that he would personally benefit from.

“No wonder Trump refuses to release his tax returns. He’s afraid to be exposed for what he is, out for himself and his rich friends. His tax plan has at least $1 trillion in tax breaks for real estate firms and pass-through entities like the more than 500 he controls. His tax plan is larded with loopholes, like a repeal of the estate tax, that Trump’s heirs will personally benefit from.

“And let’s not forget Trump’s economic advisers, mostly billionaires and millionaires from hedge funds, private equity, banks and real estate. Trump’s tax plan offers them a cornucopia of carve-outs and tax breaks that will make them richer at the expense of everyone else.

“Trump proposes to eliminate the estate tax to boost the inheritances of the families of millionaires and billionaires. His plan to eliminate the estate tax would lose $270 billion over the next decade. His previous plan was originally estimated to give his heirs tax breaks of $4 billion to $7 billion. But his new plan to subject capital gains held at death to tax could significantly lower that windfall. The federal estate tax is only paid by very wealthy families—those worth at least $5.5 million. The estate tax is a small curb on the accumulation of dynastic wealth, and is a key tool in reducing economic inequality.

“Trump plans to give multinational corporations with profits stashed offshore an immediate tax cut of about half a trillion dollars. Big American corporations like Apple, Pfizer and Microsoft, hold $2.4 trillion in earnings overseas. They should be required to bring those profits back and pay the up to $700 billion in U.S. taxes they owe. Trump proposes to have them bring their profits back by slashing their tax rate from 35% to just 10%. This would only raise about $150 billion. This would hand tax-dodging multinational corporations an undeserved tax break of about $550 billion.

“Trump wants to slash the official corporate tax rate by more than half—from 35% to 15%. Corporations already don’t pay their fair share of taxes at a time when they are enjoying record profits. Thanks to loopholes the U.S. tax rate of our profitable large corporations is only 14%, according to a government study. Rather than fix the problem of rampant corporate tax dodging, Trump’s plan would make it worse.

“Once again, Trump has not said how he will pay for these massive handouts to the wealthy and big corporations. It will either go on the government’s credit card or working families and communities will have to pick up the tab in the form of massive cuts to public services. So Trump’s plan actually affects our inequality problem—by increasing it.

For more analysis of Trump’s tax plan by Americans for Tax Fairness Action Fund, and for a comparison of Trump’s tax plan with Hillary Clinton’s tax plan, go here.

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