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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Return to Gucci Gulch

In Defying the Odds, we discuss the tax issue in the 2016 campaign. Trump railed against special interests and claimed to be the champion of ordinary Americans.
Binyamin Applebaum at NYT:

The tax plan that the Trump administration outlined on Wednesday is a potentially huge windfall for the wealthiest Americans. It would not directly benefit the bottom third of the population. As for the middle class, the benefits appear to be modest.
The administration and its congressional allies are proposing to sharply reduce taxation of business income, primarily benefiting the small share of the population that owns the vast majority of corporate equity. President Trump said on Wednesday that the cuts would increase investment and spur growth, creating broader prosperity. But experts say the upside is limited, not least because the economy is already expanding.
The plan would also benefit Mr. Trump and other affluent Americans by eliminating the estate tax, which affects just a few thousand uber-wealthy families each year, and the alternative minimum tax, a safety net designed to prevent tax avoidance.
The precise impact on Mr. Trump cannot be ascertained because the president refuses to release his tax returns, but the few snippets of returns that have become public show one thing clearly: The alternative minimum tax has been unkind to Mr. Trump. In 2005, it forced him to pay $31 million in additional taxes.
Alen Rappeport and Thomas Kaplan at NYT:
Opposition from the real estate industry was swift and vocal, with trade groups strongly criticizing elements of the plan that they say will make home-buying less attractive and weaken the housing market. While the plan specifically calls for preserving the mortgage interest deduction, real estate agents are warning that a proposal to double the standard deduction will make taxpayers less likely to itemize their tax returns and claim the mortgage deduction.
...
The most politically fraught proposal is eliminating the state and local tax deduction, which allows taxpayers who itemize to write off their property, state and local taxes. The measure is particularly prized in blue states with high property taxes, but is also widely used in some Republican districts in Virginia, New Jersey and California.