Monthly Archives: August 2017

Trump’s False Claims about Taxes: His Rhetoric Contradicts His Actual Proposals – and Reality

Today, August 30, 2017, President Trump will promote his plans to change the nation’s tax code at a closed-to-the-public event in Springfield, Missouri. The speech will take place at a business owned by one of his campaign donors. While we don’t know quite what the president will say, we can predict a few claims based on his past statements. And we’re expecting some whoppers.

REACTION FROM ATF: “Make no mistake, what Trump and Republican leaders in Congress are proposing is not tax reform. They simply want massive tax cuts for millionaires, billionaires, and big corporations, at the expense of everyone else. And those tax giveaways will be paid for by cuts to Social Security, healthcare, education and other programs that maintain living standards for working families. It’s Trumpcare all over again, and it must be blocked.” – Frank Clemente, executive director, Americans for Tax Fairness

See below for some of the claims we expect Trump to make, and for the reality based on the Trump tax plan released in April 2017.

CLAIM: Trump says he will enact “historic tax reform.”

True tax reform would close loopholes and make the system fairer for everyone. Trump’s plan is a $5 trillion tax giveaway that mostly benefits the wealthy and big corporations. As proposed in Trump’s budget, these tax cuts would essentially be paid for by $4.3 trillion in cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, education, and other services that help working families get by and get ahead.

CLAIM: Trump claims his tax cuts will mainly help the middle class. “The truth is the people I care most about are the middle-income people in this country who have gotten screwed… And if there’s upward revision [in taxes], it’s going to be on high-income people.”

REALITY: THE TOP 1% WILL BE THE BIG WINNERS UNDER TRUMP’S TAX PLAN. It  gives half of the tax cuts to the richest 1%, who would each get an annual tax cut of $175,000 on average.

CLAIM: Trump has claimed that his tax plan will give the “biggest benefit” to the “working and middle class taxpayer”that “it won’t even be close.”

REALITY: WORKING FAMILIES WILL BE THE BIG LOSERS UNDER TRUMP’S TAX PLAN. In fact, a quarter of middle-class families would actually pay higher taxes under his plan. Even worse, Trump would pay for his tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations by cutting public services working families rely on, such as Social Security, Medicaid, education, infrastructure, nutrition programs and other vital services.

CLAIM: Trump claims “small businesses will benefit the most” from his plan to cut the top tax on so-called pass-through businesses to 15%.

REALITY: TRUMP’S “SMALL BUSINESS” TAX CUTS ARE REALLY A HOAX, AND A BOON FOR THE RICH. Most small businesses already pay taxes at a 15% rate or lower, so less than 7% of business owners would get any tax cut. More than three-quarters of the tax cuts would go to the richest 1% of business owners, who would get an average tax cut of $75,000 each year. These are not Main Street shopkeepers, but hedge fund managers, Wall Street lawyers and real estate developers like Trump, who would lower his own tax rate from roughly 40% to 15%.

CLAIM: Trump claims corporate and individual tax rates need to be reduced because “we have the highest taxes in the world.”

REALITY: AMERICANS ARE NOT OVERTAXED COMPARED TO OTHER COUNTRIES. As a percentage of the overall economy, Americans pay less in taxes than 30 of 35 other similarly developed countries. And although the official corporate tax rate is 35%, most corporations pay much less because of loopholes. In fact, the Government Accountability Office found that profitable U.S. corporations paid an effective tax rate of only 14% from 2008 to 2012.

CLAIM: Trump claims his plan to deeply cut the tax rate on accumulated offshore corporate profits will “bring that cash home” to be “reinvested” in the American economy.

REALITY: CUTTING TAXES ON OFFSHORE CORPORATE PROFITS WON’T SPUR THE U.S. ECONOMY. Trump’s proposal to tax those offshore earnings at just 10%, instead of the 35% they currently owe, amounts to a $600 billion tax cut for tax-dodging corporations–a huge loss of revenue that could be used for economy-boosting public investments. When Congress provided a similar tax giveaway in 2004, corporations that brought home their profits cut tens of thousands of jobs and gave 90 cents of every dollar in earnings brought home to rich shareholders through stock buybacks and dividends.

CLAIM: Trump claims that big corporations need to pay just a 10% tax rate on their offshore profits because those earnings will otherwise remain “trapped” offshore, frozen out of the American economy.

REALITY: CORPORATE OFFSHORE PROFITS AREN’T REALLY “TRAPPED” OFFSHORE. In fact, many corporations bring their profits home now and simply pay the tax due. What’s more, a U.S. Senate study found that much of the money is not actually offshore anyway: it’s already invested in the American economy, and corporations can use it for a variety of purposes.

CLAIM: Trump’s Treasury Secretary’s claims that the Administration’s multi-trillion-dollar tax giveaway will somehow “pay for itself.”

REALITY: TAX CUTS DON’T PAY FOR THEMSELVES. No serious economist believes that’s possible. Instead, the best estimates are that Trump’s proposed tax cuts would reduce federal revenue by between $3.5-4.8 trillion over the next 10 years, requiring either deep cuts to public services or a big increase in public debt.

CLAIM: Trump claims that his proposed deep tax cuts for wealthy professionals and corporations will result in an “explosion of new business and new jobs.”

REALITY: TAX CUTS FOR THE WEALTHY & CORPORATIONS WON’T CREATE MANY JOBS. But recent experience and academic research both show that tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations are a poor way to stimulate the economy and create jobs. And Trump’s proposed deep budget cuts to infrastructure, healthcare, medical research and education won’t help create jobs, either.

CLAIM: Trump has claimed that he wants to abolish the estate tax because “American workers…should not be taxed…at death,” implying that the estate tax affects average workers.

REALITY: ABOLISHING THE ESTATE TAX ONLY HELPS THE WEALTHY LIKE TRUMP. Only the richest one of every 500 estates currently pays the estate tax—the estate must be worth $5.5 million or more to be affected. The only effect abolishing the estate tax will have on American workers is to deprive them of over $20 billion in annual revenue, which pays for public services used by those who haven’t inherited a fortune.

CLAIM: Trump recently tweeted “Corporations have NEVER made as much money as they are making now.”

REALITY: WELL, ON THIS ONE HE’S RIGHT! CORPORATIONS ARE ALREADY EXTREMELY PROFITABLE. But what Trump failed to add is that even as corporate profits are near record highs, corporate tax payments flirt with historic lows. Sixty-five years ago, both corporate profits and corporate taxes equaled about 6% of the economy. Now, corporate profits represent 8.5% of the economy, corporate taxes only 1.9%. Big corporations don’t need a tax cut—what they need is to start paying their fair share of taxes again.


ATF Launches New Campaign Showing the True Costs of Trump’s Tax Cuts for the Wealthy and Corporations Will Show Visitors How Trump’s Proposed Cuts to Healthcare, Education and  Other Working Family Priorities Line Up Against Trump’s Tax Cuts for the Wealthy and Corporations

(WASHINGTON) — Americans for Tax Fairness, a coalition of 425 endorsing groups united in support of a fair tax system, is launching a new campaign against Donald Trump’s and Congressional Republicans’ plans to slash taxes for the wealthy and corporations, which will threaten deep cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, public education and many more critical services.

The online hub of the campaign is, where visitors can see how Trump’s proposed tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations would seriously harm working families.

For example:

  • The $1.9 trillion in proposed cuts to Medicaid and other healthcare services in Trump’s budget is similar in size to the $1.4 trillion to $2 trillion business tax cut Trump is proposing, which would benefit hedge fund managers and real estate developers like Trump.
  • The $193 billion in cuts to nutrition assistance in the Trump budget is similar to the revenue lost from Trump’s elimination of the tax on estates worth more than $5.5 million, which would cost $240 billion.
  • A $72 billion cut in services for people with disabilities will pay for half of Trump’s $150 billion tax cut on investment income for the wealthy.

The overall size of Trump’s proposed budget cuts, $4.3 trillion, is remarkably similar to the cost of the tax cuts that Trump is proposing – between $3.5 trillion and $4.8 trillion. It’s almost as if Trump had planned it that way!

“We can’t afford tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations that are paid for by cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, public education and other services that working families rely on,” said Frank Clemente, executive director of Americans for Tax Fairness. “Side-by-side, there’s no denying it: Trump’s draconian cuts to services that will harm working families are intended to pay for his massive tax giveaways to big corporations and the wealthy. Helping the American people understand what’s at stake is how we will win the tax fight.” is an unbranded campaign hub that will provide resources for the public and allied groups in their fight against Trump’s tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations. It will include materials for organizers to use at protests, rallies, and town halls and provide regular updates on grassroots events and highlights from those events. ATF is coordinating a broad coalition of organizations mobilizing in Washington, D.C. and at the grassroots to oppose Trump’s tax giveaways.

Quotes from some of those coalition partners follow:

American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees, Lee Saunders, International President: “We need a budget and tax policy that lifts up working people, not one that weakens vital services like Medicaid and Medicare, all to pay for massive tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy. President Trump and Members of Congress were elected to serve working people – people like nurses, firefighters, police officers and teachers who keep our communities healthy, safe and strong. We should put their priorities first, not the privileged and powerful.” 

AFL-CIO, William Samuel, Government Affairs Director: “President Trump and Republicans in Congress want us to believe our country is broke and we have no choice but to demand sacrifices from working people, but they want to waste trillions of dollars on tax giveaways for the wealthy and big corporations that send jobs offshore. We need a different approach that invests in good-paying jobs for working people in America and eliminates all tax incentives for corporations to send jobs offshore and stash their profits overseas.”

Center for American Progress, Winnie Stachelberg, Executive Vice President, External Affairs: “The American people won’t be taken in by this scam again. They know from experience under the Bush era that tax cuts for millionaires and corporations will not benefit the U.S. economy, jobs, or the middle class. It’s frankly offensive that the Trump administration and Congressional Republican leaders continue to push this myth at a time when economic inequality and corporate profits are at historically high levels. Corporations and the wealthy already don’t pay their fair share, and giving them even more tax cuts would further threaten our health care, housing, transportation and schools.” 

Coalition on Human Needs, Deborah Weinstein, Executive Director: “First, Trump tried to repeal health care for millions to pay for tax cuts for the rich and drug and insurance companies. Americans rejected that, but now Trump is back with something even worse: trillions in tax cuts for corporations and the rich paid for by taking away health care, food, housing, education, job training, and many other vital services from millions of Americans. Don’t be fooled: this is a plan to make America weaker, poorer, and sicker, so the rich can get richer.”

Daily Kos, Mara Schechter, Campaign Director: “The massive tax cuts for the top 1% and big corporations that Trump and Paul Ryan are proposing are an assault on Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and so much more. Just as we did in opposing the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, Daily Kos will mobilize our millions of online supporters against this unprecedented transfer of wealth from working families to the wealthy few.” 

Economic Policy Institute, Larry Mishel, President: “President Trump and Republican leaders in Congress will try to sell their tax cuts for the rich and wealthy corporations as a magic elixir that will create jobs and grow the economy. But they will generate neither economic nor wage growth for the vast majority. Corporate profits are already near record highs and corporate taxes as a share of the economy at record lows. It’s time they paid their fair share.”  

Indivisible Project, Angel Padilla, Policy Director: “Republicans think they can trick the American people into supporting their massive tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations by calling it ‘tax reform’ and using the vaguest terms possible to talk about what they’re doing. We know their game: this is nothing but a plan to cut taxes for the wealthy and corporations paid for by taking away Medicaid, Medicare, and other basic services. The American people didn’t support tax cuts for the rich when they were in the Republican health care bill and they don’t support them through this ‘tax reform’ charade either.”

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, Vanita Gupta, President and CEO: will highlight who will benefit from the Trump tax cuts— millionaires, billionaires, and wealthy corporations—and who will be hurt, which is the rest of us. By slashing assistance to the most vulnerable and by cutting crucial programs like Social Security Disability Insurance, Medicaid, and food assistance, Trump will subsidize his tax cuts. This website should help everyone see clearly what is at stake for them and their families in this tax and budget fight and what they can do to make their voices heard.”, Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, CEO and Executive Director: “President Trump’s plan to slash taxes on the wealthy and corporations would be a disaster for the country. It would wreak havoc on our economy and punish families that are already struggling to get by, redistributing wealth in ways that perpetuate and deepen inequities. This is not the right direction for our country. We need a plan that boosts our economy by investing in working families and strengthening programs like the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit, while at the same time investing in programs that boost health care, education, nutrition and safety. The Trump plan would threaten the wellbeing of women, communities of color, families, people who live in rural areas, and all those who struggle financially. Its enactment would create a crisis for our nation.”

National Women’s Law Center, Anna Chu, Vice President for Income Security and Education: “Millionaires, billionaires, and big corporations certainly don’t need any more tax breaks. But that’s exactly what the administration proposes. Instead, we must invest in women and families, work to secure higher wages that will put more money in the pockets of families, expand access to affordable health care, and provide services that are critical supports for people in need. Trump’s misguided tax giveaway for the rich and corporations is the last thing America needs.”

People’s Action, LeeAnn Hall, Co-Director: “The voices in the White House and Congress who are championing more tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations, and cuts in programs that provide necessary support for the poor, the sick, children and the elderly, do not speak for us. The millions of us who rose up against the Trump-Republican health care repeal will continue to rise up to defend and strengthen Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, and insist that the wealthy pay their fair share for the services that sustain our communities.”