Should-Read: Paul Krugman: Trump and Ryan Versus the Little People

Should-Read: Paul Krugman: Trump and Ryan Versus the Little People: “Consider four hypothetical taxpayers…. First is the poster child family Paul Ryan keeps talking about…

…a family with two children making $59,000 a year. In the first year of the Cut Cut Cut Act, such a family would indeed receive a tax cut… from… loss leaders to help sell the plan…. By 2027, with the plan fully phased in, that exemplary family would actually be facing a significant tax increase….

Second… someon… further up the scale… [who] still works for a living…. “Wall Street[‘s]” Gordon Gekko sneers at “a $400,000-a-year working Wall Street stiff flying first class and being comfortable.”… Once you take lost deductions into account, especially reduced deductions for state and local taxes, he almost certainly ends up facing a tax hike….

But what about owners of small businesses? Under current law, their business income is “passed through” to their personal income, and taxed accordingly. The Cut Cut Cut Act would instead allow people with such income to pay only 25 percent… [but] the G.O.P. bill imposes rules that… limit the 25 percent rate to “passive” income recipients…. You get the full tax break only if you own a business but don’t, you know, actually run it.

Finally… Eric Trump… inherit[s]… a business he doesn’t run…. He’ll get his inheritance tax-free…. He’ll get to pay a low tax rate on his business income. And his stocks will pay higher dividends, because the G.O.P. bill also sharply cuts corporate tax rates….

So when Gary Cohn… says that the bill’s goal is “to deliver middle-class tax cuts to the hard-working families in this country,” he’s claiming that up is down and black is white…. You might wonder how Republicans imagine that they can get away with this…. Anyone who has paid attention to U.S. politics knows…. First, they will lie…. Second, they will try to distract working-class voters by stoking racial animosity…


Brad DeLong


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