Donald Trump and Republican lawmakers celebrate passage of their tax-cut bill

Then-President Donald Trump and Republican lawmakers celebrate the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on December 20, 2017 in Washington, D.C.

(Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

'Reverse of Robin Hood' 2.0: Trump Vows to Extend Billionaire Tax Cuts If Reelected

Trump's backers "are fine with stealing from the poor to give to the rich," said one critic. "And the rich pay Trump off to gain this favor."

At an exclusive fundraiser in Palm Beach, Florida over the weekend, former President Donald Trump vaguely told reporters that he's running for president again because "people are wanting change"—but was more specific about the kind of change he plans to spearhead when he addressed some of his richest donors at the event hosted by a billionaire hedge fund investor.

A readout of the Republican's 45-minute remarks showed that Trump called for his supporters to help him "turn our country around" by taking steps including "extending the Trump Tax Cuts."

The cuts refer to those that were included in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which Trump and Republican lawmakers pushed through in 2017 and which helped billionaires' fortunes grow by a collective $2 trillion so far.

Many of the law's tax cuts are set to expire at the end of 2025, but the former president has told some of his wealthiest supporters at at least two fundraisers in the past four months that he plans to extend them if he wins the presidency again in November.

"So much for being the party of the working class," said pro-labor media organization More Perfect Union.

Despite Trump's continued attempts to position himself as the solution to the struggles of working Americans who are stretching their budgets to afford groceries, housing, childcare, and other essentials amid rising prices, Securities and Exchange Commission data showed just months after Trump's tax cuts went into effect that a quarter of large companies had returned the benefits of the cuts to their shareholders even as workers' average wages were declining.

Last year, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities said that extending a tax break included in the GOP law for owners of so-called "pass-through" businesses, which are not subject to corporate income taxes, would cost the federal government $700 billion in revenue over a decade.

"Trump's base are truly rooting for the reverse of Robin Hood," said Yale University Prof. Howard Forman. "They are fine with stealing from the poor to give to the rich. And the rich pay Trump off to gain this favor."

Trump's promises to his wealthy donors amount to an admission that "the election is an auction and a class war," said journalist David Sirota, warning that the economic impact on working families of a potential second Trump term will likely get less attention than various "culture" wars.

Held at the home of hedge fund investor John Paulson, Trump's fundraiser on Saturday grossed $50.5 million for his campaign and the Republican Party, according to the former president's campaign—but as Rolling Stone noted, the amount "has not been independently verified."

"Reminder: A court found that Trump committed fraud by lying about his net worth," Peter Wade wrote at the outlet.

President Joe Biden's campaign had nearly $100 million more than Trump's at the end of March.

Days before Trump's latest appeal to his wealthy supporters, Biden released a video featuring Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in which the two denounced "what Donald Trump says when he thinks you're not watching."

"When he thinks the cameras aren't on," said Biden, "he tells his rich friends, 'We're gonna give you tax cuts.'"

Trump's promise to the richest Americans is coming "at a time of massive wealth and income inequality," said Sanders.

"The hypocrisy is just outrageous," said the senator. "This is what he says to his billionaire friends. Not quite what he's saying at his rallies."

"You have one candidate who wants to cut Medicare and Social Security, and one who's going to protect it," he added, referring to the GOP's budget proposal released last month that promotes Medicare Advantage plans administered by the for-profit health insurance industry and calls for raising the retirement age.

Trump's speech at his latest fundraiser "just about sums it up," said James Singer, rapid response adviser for the Biden campaign. "Trump wants to cut taxes for his billionaire backers as [he] looks to rip away healthcare and cut Social Security and Medicare from hard working Americans."

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