Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

President Donald Trump speaks while flanked by Director of the National Economic Council Larry Kudlow during an event in the State Dining Room of the White House on October 31, 2018 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Amid Recession Warnings, Trump Reportedly Considering More Tax Cuts for Rich and Corporations

"Two of Trump's ideas for stimulating the economy are 1) cutting the corporate tax rate a little more (after cutting it a lot didn't do much), and 2) indexing capital gains to inflation. It's tax cuts for the rich all the way down."

Jake Johnson

While continuing to publicly downplay warning signs that the U.S. economy is barreling toward a recession, the Trump White House is reportedly weighing a number of supposed stimulus measures, including more tax cuts for the rich and large corporations.

Politico reported late Tuesday that Trump officials are considering "a cut of an additional percentage point or two to the corporate tax rate," which the GOP tax law slashed from 35 percent to 21 percent in 2018.

"The American people are waking up to the damage he has done to our economy by waging senseless trade wars and handing out trillions in tax cuts to the wealthy and corporations."
—Robert Reich, former Labor Secretary

"That's on top of a potential payroll tax cut," the news outlet noted, "which the Obama administration had used to shore up the economy, and a move to index the capital gains rate to inflation, which potentially could be done through an executive order."

A payroll tax cut, which Trump on Tuesday confirmed he is considering, would temporarily boost workers' paychecks.

But, as the Washington Post reported Monday, depending on how it is designed, a payroll tax cut could "pull billions of dollars away from Social Security."

The other option Trump is considering, indexing capital gains to inflation via executive order, would primarily benefit wealthy investors. According to Chye-Ching Huang of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 86 percent of the benefits would go to the top one percent.

The Trump administration has been mulling indexing capital gains to inflation through executive action since last year, despite warnings the move may be illegal. As Common Dreams reported last month, a group of more than 20 Republican senators, led by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), is urging the president to push ahead with the executive order.

"We have been talking about indexing for a long time," Trump told reporters Tuesday. "I can do it directly."

Journalist Matt O'Brien derided the White House's reported ideas to ward off a recession as handouts to the rich that would do little to stimulate the economy.

"Hilariously, two of Trump's ideas for stimulating the economy are 1) cutting the corporate tax rate a little more (after cutting it a lot didn't do much), and 2) indexing capital gains to inflation," O'Brien tweeted on Tuesday. "It's tax cuts for the rich all the way down."

Trump's reported plans to put more money in the pockets of the wealthiest Americans and large corporations come just a week after the Treasury bond yield curve inverted for the first time since the Wall Street crash of 2008. The inverted yield curve has preceeded every major economic downturn over the past 50 years.

Economists and other observers were quick to point to Trump's reckless trade war with China, the world's second-largest economy behind the U.S., as a key reason for recession fears. As Common Dreams reported last week, the Twitter hashtag #TrumpRecession went viral shortly following the inverted yield curve.

Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich tweeted Tuesday that "we already know about Trump's racism, xenophobia, and fear-mongering."

"Now," said Reich, "the American people are waking up to the damage he has done to our economy by waging senseless trade wars and handing out trillions in tax cuts to the wealthy and corporations."


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

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Covid-19 Vaccine Makers Blasted for 'Unconscionable Profits,' Monopolies, and Low Taxes

"Big Pharma's business model—receive billions in public investments, charge exorbitant prices for lifesaving medicines, pay little tax—is gold dust for wealthy investors and corporate executives but devastating for global public health."

Common Dreams staff ·


UN Human Rights Chief Calls for Global Halt to Sales of Dangerous AI Technologies

"The power of AI to serve people is undeniable, but so is AI's ability to feed human rights violations at an enormous scale with virtually no visibility."

Brett Wilkins ·


ICC Approves Probe Into 'Drug War' Atrocities Carried Out by Duterte Regime

"Duterte along with his co-accused henchmen of the war on drugs will be facing justice."

Andrea Germanos ·


Global Indigenous Coalition Echoes Call to Postpone UN Climate Talks

"No equitable or just climate solutions can emerge from such an unjust process."

Brett Wilkins ·


House Dems Unveil Bill to Stop Wall Street From Destroying the Planet

"The Federal Reserve's role is not to surrender our planet to corporate polluters and shepherd our financial system to its destruction," said Rep. Rashida Tlaib, among the Democrats urging the Fed to end fossil fuel financing.

Kenny Stancil ·

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