The Wolf of the White House.

Yesterday, President Trump was in Indiana to pitch his latest tax proposal in front of a small crowd gathered at the State Fairgrounds. Most people weren’t fooled by Trump’s lies about the plan, with many news organizations, including The New York Times, Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal calling the plan out for what it is: a tax cut for the wealthy. Yet, it seems important to highlight the most egregious of his statements.

CLAIM: “I’m doing the right thing and it’s not good for me, believe me.”

REALITY: The estate tax only applies to married couples worth more than $11 million, so it doesn’t have any impact on most small businesses or farmers. A study conducted last year by the Economic Research Service at the Department of Agriculture found that only 0.42 percent of operating farms would actually owe an estate tax. Who would face the estate tax? Trump’s own family.

CLAIM: “Today, our total business tax rate is 60 percent higher than our average foreign competitor in the developed world.”

REALITY: While the top corporate tax rate in the U.S. is one of the highest among major economies, this is only true on paper. In practice, U.S. companies end up paying far less than the listed rate due to deductions and credits lowering the business’ tax liability. Therefore, the effective tax rate—or what corporations actually pay—is roughly in line with comparable countries’ rates.

CLAIM: “And for the millions of small businesses and farms that file their taxes as sole proprietors, S corporations or partnerships, we will cap the tax rate they pay at 25 percent — much lower.”

REALITY: Here, Trump is referring to pass-through businesses, or businesses that don’t pay the corporate income tax and instead include business income on the personal income tax return of the business owner. Most pass-through business income actually goes to millionaires and big businesses. In fact, the Trump Organization is a pass-through business, and therefore would see its rate lowered from 39.6 percent to 25 percent.

CLAIM: “Ronald Reagan used [tax cuts] to create an economic boom in the 1980s.”

REALITY: Let’s all say it together one more time: trickle-down tax cuts don’t work to improve the lives of working families! In fact, they only “widen inequality between the top 1 percent of income earners and everyone else.”

CLAIM: “I’m doing the right thing and it’s not good for me, believe me.”

REALITY: Trump’s tax plan would be great for Trump and his wealthy friends. In addition to killing the estate tax, his plan also eliminates the alternative minimum tax, which “prevent[s] very wealthy Americans from using deductions and loopholes to skimp on their taxes.” This tax once cost Trump $31 million in taxes, which is probably why he’s so eager to see it disappear. And don’t forget that Trump’s proposal would decrease the top tax rate from 39.6 to 35 percent.


Hurricane Relief. The slow, inadequate response from Trump and his administration to send relief to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands has caused a catastrophe to become even worse. The storm devastated entire communities, has left the 3.4 million U.S. citizens who live in the U.S. commonwealth with serious water, food, and power shortages and on the edge of a humanitarian crisis. Join Generation Progress in demanding relief for the victims of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. Then, if you can, consider donating to help fellow Americans in Puerto Rico here.


Fewer Huddled Masses. On Wednesday, the Trump administration announced a major scaling back of refugee resettlement numbers for the upcoming year. At only 45,000 people, the new limit is less than half of the number allowed in 2016 and the lowest bar in over a decade. For an even starker comparison, President George W. Bush kept a limit of more than 70,000 refugees even after the 9/11 attacks because he, like past presidents from both parties recognized the dire circumstances that force refugees from their homes and their duty to help them. The move continues a tradition of Trump’s to announce major decisions without consulting top decision makers. To fight back against this decision, call your representatives at 1-866-961-4293.

Betraying Veterans. President Trump, yesterday, announced a massive tax overhaul at an event in Indiana. Despite Trump’s persistent praise for the military and his promises to fight for veterans, his tax plan would be extremely detrimental to those who have served. To take just one example, for every $2 Trump wants to cut from veterans’ services and benefits over the next decade, his tax plan gives more than $3 to the adult children of millionaires by repealing the estate tax. Already, twenty-one percent of all veterans in the United States live paycheck to paycheck, yet Trump plans to raise taxes for the lowest tax bracket to offset tax cuts for the wealthy. This is not the first time this year that this administration and the Congressional majority have taken actions that are antithetical their empty promises to veterans. For instance, the latest version of Trumpcare, Graham-Cassidy, would have cut access to Medicaid for nearly 600,000 veterans.

Racial Demagogue. In the continuing saga of President Trump’s attempt to spark a culture war between his base and those who support the protests of NFL players against racial injustice, Trump claimed that NFL owners are afraid of their players. Setting aside the obvious racist connotations of this claim, we know that it is simply not true. Both Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys and Shahid Khan of the Jacksonville Jaguars joined their players on the field in protests on Sunday, and many others stated their strong support for their players. Trump’s attempts at driving a wedge in our communities are getting much more desperate and fictitious. To hear more about the issue of race and the NFL protests, listen to the latest episode of Thinking CAP with comedian Hasan Minhaj.


Unions. The Supreme Court announced that it will hear a case on whether public sector unions can “charge non-members for negotiating on their behalf.” The case, Janus v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), could “overturn a 40-year-old ruling” and deal a huge blow to unions’ ability to fund their efforts. With Neil Gorsuch on the bench, the vote is expected to be 5-4 down party lines. In today’s economy, unions are critical to negotiating fair wages and healthy working conditions. According to the Economic Policy Institute, unions are extremely diverse and touch most sectors. 46 percent of union members are women; 36 percent are people of color; and, 40 percent work in education and health services.

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