President George W. Bush tried to grow the economy by giving corporations and the wealthy lower taxes and less regulation. He left office having sparked a global economic meltdown and net loss in private sector jobs.
Donald Trump would do it all over again.
Yesterday Trump tweaked his tax plan, making it somewhat less ridiculous, but more like what Bush did.
Trump raised his proposal for the top tax rate from 25% to 33%. But that’s still a big cut from the current 39.6% top tax rate. In fact, a drop from 39.6% to 33% in the top tax rate is exactly what Bush ran on in 2000, though he settled for 35%.
Like Bush, Trump would completely eliminate the estate tax (though Bush failed to make his repeal permanent).
Trump would not cut the capital gains rate (Bush cut it to 15% and Obama raised it to 20%), but Trump would slash the corporate tax rate from 35% to 15%.
Trump would also repeal the 3.8% surcharge on investment income levied on wealthy taxpayers used to fund Obamacare (which is a key reason why Obama’s tax code is the most progressive since 1979.)
Trump says these cuts would cost $4.4T over 10 years, a huge number. But he uses hyped economic growth projections to make that claim. In all likelihood, the plan would blow a far bigger hole in the federal budget.
Beyond giving trillions to the wealthy, Trump will also resurrect Bush’s disastrous deregulation policies.
He called for “a moratorium on new federal regulations that are not compelled by Congress or public safety,” and pledged to junk Obama’s Clean Power Plan — the linchpin of our efforts to cut carbon emissions — as well the Waters of the U.S. rule which will protect critical waterways. He previously had said he would scrap Dodd-Frank bank regulations as well.
So if you want a government that lets irresponsible corporations run wild, doesn’t ask the wealthiest to contribute their fair share to America’s prosperity and replicates the path that led us to economic ruin, Trump’s your man.