Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

'Corporations Are Literally Going Wild,' Says Trump as He Signs Tax Bill Most Americans Hate

President's remark came just moments after he touted the GOP plan as "a bill for the middle class"

Jake Johnson

President Donald Trump talks with journalists after signing tax reform legislation into law in the Oval Office December 22, 2017 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The vast majority of Americans dislike the GOP's $1.5 trillion tax plan, but while signing the bill into law on Friday, President Donald Trump highlighted one segment of society that loves it and can't wait until it takes effect: massive corporations.

"Corporations are literally going wild over this, I think even beyond my expectations," Trump said, just moments after touting the legislation as "a bill for the middle class."

Watch:

That big business is exuberant over the passage of the Republican tax plan is hardly surprising, given that the bill slashes the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, in addition to many other sweeteners.

For months, Trump and the Republican Party have attempted to portray their bill as primarily tailored toward low-income and middle class Americans—despite countless nonpartisan analyses showing that it overwhelmingly favors the rich. Trump also repeatedly insisted that the bill will cost him "a fortune" and that his accountants are angry with him for backing it.

"if Trump signing the tax bill this morning almost looks like he's signing a check to himself, that's because he kinda is."
—David Sirota, International Business Times

Now that the bill has passed both houses of Congress and been signed into law, however, Trump appears to be opening up about the tax plan's central aims.

Discussing the legislation at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, Trump said that cutting the corporate tax rate is "probably the biggest factor in this plan."

As the Washington Post's Aaron Blake observes, Trump's statement conflicts with the previous claim—deployed by House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and others—that the "entire purpose of this [bill] is to lower middle class taxes."

"Is it possible they think corporate tax cuts will spur the economy and eventually benefit the middle class first? Sure. But wary of it looking like a giveaway to the wealthy and to corporations, Republicans have avoided even this kind of 'trickle-down' argument," Blake writes. "They've been arguing that the middle class tax cuts are what this bill was all about, and Trump just said that's not actually the main feature."

Numerous analyses in recent days have also found that another favorite Trump talking point—that the bill will cost him "a fortune"—is totally false. 

In fact, the opposite appears to be the case. A study (pdf) published Friday by Americans for Tax Fairness (ATF) found that the president "will undoubtedly be among the very wealthy who will benefit enormously from his tax plan."

"Trump's exact tax savings are difficult to estimate since he has refused to release his tax returns unlike every other president over the last 40 years—but it is likely to be at least $11 million a year and perhaps as much as $22 million," ATF concluded.

David Sirota of the International Business Times—who has reported on a provision buried in the GOP tax bill that could enrich Trump and more than a dozen Republican senators—concluded on Friday that "if Trump signing the tax bill this morning almost looks like he's signing a check to himself, that's because he kinda is."


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.

Amid Existential Threat to Reproductive Rights, Congress Urged to Act

"It's the 49th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, and if we don't fight like hell it could very well be the last," said one campaigner, who called on U.S. lawmakers to pass the Women's Health Protection Act.

Brett Wilkins ·


Black Mississippi State Senators Stage Walkout as Critical Race Theory Ban Passed

"We cannot continue to stumble into the future backwards," said one Black senator who taught for 33 years. "That's what this bill does."

Brett Wilkins ·


Buddhist Monk and Peace Activist Thích Nhất Hạnh Dead at 95

"He inspired so many good people to dedicate themselves to working for a more just and compassionate world."

Jessica Corbett ·


Draft Order Shows Trump Considered Using Military to Seize Voting Machines

"This was part of the records that Trump was fighting to keep from the January 6th committee," one government watchdog noted.

Brett Wilkins ·


Groups Warn US Lawmakers Against Fueling 'New Cold War' With China

A policy of hostility toward Beijing, says a global justice advocate, has "become a convenient excuse for pushing a corporate, militarist agenda."

Jessica Corbett ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo