For people who are planning on voting for Trump in November, Trump has a message: he hopes you aren’t particularly attached to any of the specifics in any of his plans, because they are subject to major, massive revision without notice. And if you think that’s bad, wait until he gets to office and starts negotiating awesome deals with Democrats.
The latest Trump plan to undergo butchering and revision mid-campaign has been Trump’s tax plan. First came Trump’s own admission that the whole thing was really more of a negotiating position than an actual plan, combined with his bumbling over whether he planned to raise taxes on the wealthy. Now, Trump has asked some conservative economists to revise his tax plan to meet a certain deficit reduction target.
The result? Massive tax hikes as compared to his original plan:
Conservative economists Larry Kudlow and Steve Moore, tasked by Donald Trump’s campaign to revise his tax plan, have called their changes “tweaks” but what they submitted to the nonprofit Tax Foundation for a new deficit score amounts to a dramatic rewrite of Trump’s original plan.
The new plan, compared against Trump’s initial proposal, would increase tax rates across all income levels, dramatically reduce the number of people who would pay no income taxes at all and impose a new cap on charitable deductions for the wealthy.
* * *
Kudlow previously told POLITICO that the Tax Foundation gave the new package a 10-year deficit score of $3.8 trillion, down from the initial $10 trillion estimate for Trump’s first plan. Cole confirmed those figures, while providing new details of the Kudlow-Moore plan that netted the big reduction.
In Trump’s original plan, he set three tax rates: 10 percent, 20 percent and 25 percent. (For perspective, the current top rate is 39.6 percent.)
In the Kudlow-Moore draft, those would all rise, according to Cole, to 15 percent, 25 percent and 28 percent. Kudlow had previously only described raising the top rate, which Trump himself has signaled publicly he is open to.
The entirety of Trump’s policy playbook can basically be dismissed because it’s clear that Trump is really asking people to just trust him to work out awesome deals on everything. His current policies are just negotiating positions, and moreover he has shown a regular willingness to change even his opening position. It’s not really an ask to believe in anything Trump in particular stands for, it’s an ask to believe in Trump himself.
Which really ought to cause any reasonable person to run screaming in horror.