Center for American Progress Action

RELEASE: Trump Family and the President’s Cabinet Could See Billions Under the Trump-McConnell-Ryan Tax Plan, Reveals New CAP Action Analysis
Press Release

RELEASE: Trump Family and the President’s Cabinet Could See Billions Under the Trump-McConnell-Ryan Tax Plan, Reveals New CAP Action Analysis

Washington, D.C. — President Donald Trump, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, and Jared Kushner, presidential adviser and son-in-law, are three prime examples of millionaires and billionaires that stand to see an enormous windfall from the Trump-McConnell-Ryan tax plan, a new analysis from the Center for American Progress Action Fund reveals. The analysis was unveiled at a news conference today with CAP Action CEO Neera Tanden, Senate Democratic leader Charles E. Schumer (D-NY), and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).

“Put simply, the Republican tax plan takes the burden off of people like Secretary DeVos and other members of this swamp Cabinet and puts it squarely on the backs of the middle class and those struggling to make it,” said Senate Democratic leader Schumer. “The same president who campaigned as a populist promising to save Medicare and Medicaid and drain the swamp is now leading the charge to cut those very programs to line the pockets of Betsy Devos and the rest of his swamp Cabinet. Senate Democrats want to give small businesses a tax cut, bring back money from overseas and use it for jobs, and give the middle class a tax break—and we hope Republicans will work with us in a bipartisan way to achieve this.”

“At a time when the top 1 percent are getting richer and richer and working families are still scraping to pay for housing, school, and child care, it’s just plain immoral to slash taxes for the rich while sticking it to everyone else. It’s also dumb economics,” said Sen. Warren. “Government should work for working families—not just for gazillionaires like Betsy DeVos and other members of the Trump Cabinet who already have it made.”

“Trump’s plan isn’t a break for the middle and working class—it’s a huge handout to people like him. The Trump family—combined with the members of his Cabinet—stand to receive a windfall of as much as $3.5 billion just from the estate tax repeal. So much for his promise to ‘drain the swamp,’” said Neera Tanden, CEO of the Center for American Progress Action Fund. “It’s clear who’d be the winners in this plan. But guess who’d foot the bill for this handout? Working- and middle-class families who benefit from public education and health care, as well as rely on programs like Medicare and Medicaid.”

“The Trump administration says their tax plan is focused on small businesses and the middle class. But it creates a giant new loophole that would benefit insiders like Donald Trump, Betsy DeVos, and Jared Kushner, while leaving out the vast majority of small businesses,” said Seth Hanlon, CAP Action senior fellow and author of the analysis. “Middle-class and working families will be left holding the tab.”

Using financial disclosures and other public information, CAP Action’s analysis attempts to gauge the size of the windfall that Trump’s Cabinet—and Trump himself—stand to receive from just two of the major tax cuts benefitting the wealthy in his plan: the special top rate for owners of passthrough businesses and the estate tax repeal.

The passthrough business tax cut, which Republican congressional leaders have attempted to sell as a tax cut for small business, is actually a loophole that exclusively benefits business owners in high tax brackets—and provides the biggest windfall for those in the top tax bracket, including millionaires and billionaires.

Based on the president’s personal financial disclosure, Trump received more than $150 million of income from these businesses. Cutting his tax rate by more than one-third could confer an annual tax cut of roughly $23 million. Multibillionaire Secretary DeVos, who reported between $20.5 million and $33.8 million of passthrough business income on her personal finance disclosure, would get an annual tax break of between $3 million and $5 million from the new loophole in the Trump-McConnell-Ryan plan—and likely much more. Kushner reported between $44 million and $118 million in passthrough income in 2016 on his personal financial disclosure; cutting his tax rate from 39.6 percent to 25 percent would provide Kushner with an annual tax cut between $6.4 million and $17 million, according to CAP Action’s analysis.

When it comes to the estate tax repeal—a tax cut that would benefit less than 0.2 percent of Americans—11 of the 22 current members of Trump’s Cabinet are wealthy enough that their families would benefit from estate tax repeal, in addition to President Trump himself. Estate tax repeal would confer a combined windfall of up to $3.5 billion for Trump’s heirs and those of his Cabinet members. In total, the estate tax repeal would give a $240 billion windfall to the wealthiest people in America, according to the Tax Policy Center.

Click here to read “The Trump-McConnell-Ryan Tax Plan: A Windfall for President Trump and His Cabinet” by Seth Hanlon.

For more information or to speak with an expert, contact Allison Preiss at apreiss1@americanprogressaction.org or 202.478.6331.