Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

"Among those in the middle class, almost a quarter would see their taxes go up" if Trump's tax proposals are enacted, argued the Washington Post's (Photo: Michael Fleshman/Flickr/cc)

Trump Tax Agenda: 'Astonishing' Cuts for Rich Like Him and Hikes for Middle Class

Trump's tax proposals "would result in an increase in taxes for nearly 1 in 5 American households" while cutting taxes drastically for the wealthiest Americans

Jake Johnson

As Trumpcare withers away in the Senate in the face of fierce grassroots opposition, two new analyses published on Wednesday show that President Donald Trump's tax agenda—billed as his next big domestic endeavor—would primarily benefit Trump himself and other wealthy Americans while pushing a larger share of the tax burden onto middle class families.

"The top 0.1 percent, earning above $3.4 million a year, would get an average tax cut of $937,700, or a 13.3 percent boost in after-tax income."
—Dylan Matthews, Vox

Although Trump has yet to release a detailed version of his tax plan, a new analysis by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center (TPC), released Wednesday, concludes the proposals his administration has floated so far would, if enacted, "provide the bulk of the benefits to the highest-income households."

TPC found that under Trump's tax plan, around "40 percent of the tax cut would flow to households in the top one percent of the income distribution, giving those earners an annual tax cut of around $270,000."

In this regard, Trump's tax agenda is perfectly in line with the Senate GOP's healthcare bill, which would provide hefty tax cuts to the ultra-rich while deeply slashing Medicaid.

As Americans for Tax Fairness (ATF) found in a study also published on Wednesday, among the principle beneficiaries of the Senate's plan would be Trump himself.

ATF estimated that "President Trump could get a personal tax cut of between $1.4 million and $2.8 million a year" if Republicans succeed in repealing the Net Investment Income Tax, a key Obamacare tax aimed at the rich.

"Now we know how much President Trump stands to benefit personally if Republicans eliminate just one tax on the wealthy under the Affordable Care Act," said AFT executive director Frank Clemente. "Instead of giving himself a tax cut worth up to $2.8 million, the president should keep his campaign promises not to cut Medicaid and Medicare."

Trump and his advisers have attempted to characterize their overall tax agenda as one that would provide benefits to all, and not just the top one percent.

Analyzing TPC's new report for the Washington Post, would result in an increase in taxes for nearly 1 in 5 American households."

"And among those in the middle class, almost a quarter would see their taxes go up," Ehrenfreund notes. "For households with annual incomes between $49,000 and $86,000, those facing a hike would see an average annual increase of $1,000."

For those lower-income families that would see tax cuts under Trump's plan, they would be nearly undetectable compared to those lavished upon the wealthiest Americans.

Vox's Dylan Matthews observed that "the overall plan would give the average family earning under $25,000 per year a $40 tax cut, or a 0.3 percent boost in after-tax income. The top 0.1 percent, earning above $3.4 million a year, would get an average tax cut of $937,700, or a 13.3 percent boost in after-tax income."

Matthews continued:

If you just look at the tax cuts he's proposing, 60.9 percent of the benefits go to the top 1 percent of Americans. That's a pretty astonishing tilt toward the rich. But if you look at the combined effects of the cuts and the revenue raisers, 76.3 percent of the benefits go to the top 1 percent, and 94.8 percent go to the top 5 percent.

 Michael Linden, a fellow at the Roosevelt Institute, broke Trump's tax agenda down into three simple bullet points:


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Revealing He Too Had Manning Leaks, Ellsberg Dares DOJ to Prosecute Him Like Assange

"Let's take this to the Supreme Court," says the Pentagon Papers whistleblower, taking aim at what he argues is an unconstitutional use of the Espionage Act.

Jessica Corbett ·


'Why Is It This Close? Why?' Narrow Warnock Win Sparks Fears of Ominous Doom for Democrats

"The closeness of this race is among the most depressing and ominous things I've seen in American politics in my lifetime," said one observer.

Julia Conley ·


Germany Arrests 25 Over Alleged Far-Right Plot to Violently Overthrow Government

Prosecutors said supporters of the group—who reportedly include a descendant of royalty, a judge, and a Russian citizen—believe Germany is ruled by a so-called "deep state" that should be overthrown "through the use of military means and violence."

Jessica Corbett ·


'Monumental Victory': Manchin's Industry-Backed Permitting Reform Defeated Again

"We've defeated Manchin's dirty deal twice so far, and we'll do it as many times as we must until communities and the climate are safe from rampant oil and gas expansion."

Jon Queally ·


Warnock Defeats Walker in Georgia, Giving Democrats 51-49 Senate Majority

"Tonight, the people—young, Black, Brown, and working people—expanded the Senate majority, neutralized the power of Joe Manchin, and defeated yet another fascist," the Sunrise Movement cheered.

Brett Wilkins ·

Common Dreams Logo