Donald Trump, America’s next President, and a man with a deplorable track record on race relations released a ten point planned titled, “Donald Trumps New Deal for Black America.” Looking to gain favor by pointing out the many shortcomings of the Democratic Party. Trump’s proposal, promises to “Finally address the issues that African Americans care the most about.” Despite the President Elect’s, “hopeful intentions” this new deal is about as appealing as a half cooked piece of chicken seasoned with mayonnaise, and saw dust. At best, it is nothing more than a collection of broad platitudes, with sprinkles of tone deaf legislation that no one ever asked for. At its worse, its voodoo economics. Today I would like to dedicate some time to dissect his plan for tax reform.
Tax Reforms to Create Jobs and Lift up People and Communities.
We will lower the business tax from 35 percent to 15 percent and bring thousands of new companies to our shores. We will also have a massive middle class tax cut, tax-free childcare savings accounts, and childcare tax deductions and credits. We will also have tax holidays for inner-city investment, and new tax incentives to get foreign companies to relocate in blighted American neighborhoods. We will empower cities and states to seek a federal disaster designation for blighted communities in order to initiate the rebuilding of vital infrastructure, the demolition of abandoned properties, and the increased presence of law enforcement. ~Donald Trump~
One of the top priorities in a Trump administration are tax cuts. In his plan, he promises to lower the business tax from 35 percent to 15 percent, and in order to “Bring thousands of new companies to our shores.” In theory, a tax plan like this sounds like it would do wonders for the economy. If businesses are saving money by paying less in taxes, why wouldn’t they take that money and reinvest it in communities? Unfortunately, as good as that sounds, tax plans with deep cuts for the super wealthy and large corporations historically have never panned out. You need look no further than Kansas to see how far this kind of trickle down economics takes you.
In 2012, Kansas Governor, Sam Brownback convinced legislators in his state to cut personal income tax rates and completely eliminate the top tax bracket, to add a cherry on top he and the legislature got rid of income taxes for over 300,000 “small” business owners. The results? Well, Kansas is
fucked in deep trouble. According to mother jones;
The promised explosion of private-sector growth hasn't come to pass, as the state's economy has generally lagged the rest of the nation. In March, the Kansas Department of Labor reported, the state had only 800 more private-sector jobs than a year prior. The loss of tax revenue has decimated the state budget, creating a fiscal crisis necessitating drastic cuts, since the state, unlike the federal government, can't run a deficit. As the Kansas City Star's editorial board recently highlighted, so far this fiscal year, Kansas is $420 million short of the revenue it had the year Brownback's tax cuts first went into effect.
Do you know who is suffering the most from Governor Brownback’s tax cuts? If you said “The Blacks” your language is problematic, but yes. African Americans and low income people in Kansas suffered the greatest consequences because once it became obvious that the state would need to raise taxes, they did things like cut funding from schools so deeply that the supreme court had to step in. When that didn’t work, they raised the sales tax. Take a quick guess at who is most impacted by things like that.
In the second part of this proposal, Trump promises a “massive middle class tax cut, tax-free childcare savings accounts, and childcare tax deductions and credits.” If this were true, it would be great news, as the math shows, tax cuts for the poor and middle class take the economy much further than tax cuts for the top 10%. Unfortunately, the tax plan on President-Elect Trumps website proposes a tax cut that is top heavy. NPR took a look at the plan and what they found was that, “the most wealthy, the top 1 percent would get about half of the benefits of his tax cuts, saving the average millionaire about $317,000.” Finally, Trump wants to cut the tax brackets down from seven, to three, and repeal the head-of-household category.
Like the promises in the first half of this plan, fewer tax brackets sounds like a great idea in theory, but just like the other pieces of this proposal, in practice, It does far more harm than good and if you’re a single parent, its a flat out disaster. For example, under Trump’s tax plan, the “Head of Household” option would be removed. Millions of single parents, grand parents and caretakers have taken advantage of this option for additional relief. It’s a popular and helpful tax bracket, and Trump wants to get rid of it. And yes, Trump does promise to provide a tax credit if you have child care cost, but unless you’re rich, it doesn’t make much of a difference. According to Pew Research, “families with monthly incomes of less than $1,500 pay $97 a week on average — but that represented 39.6% of their family income.” In New York, “The average annual cost of infant care in the city is a whopping $16,250.” Trumps $500 credit wouldn’t leave a dent on that kind of bill. In short, Trump wants you to pay more in taxes, and then call it “Empowerment.” The Tax Policy Center explains just how bad this plan is:
- A single parent with $75,000 in earnings, two school-age children and no child care costs would face a tax increase of around $2,440.
- A single parent with $50,000 in earnings, three school-age children and no child care costs would also face a tax increase of around $1,188.
- A married couple with $50,000 in earnings, two school-age children and no child care costs would face a tax increase of about $150.
Finally, Trump promises to “empower cities and states to seek a federal disaster designation for blighted communities in order to initiate the rebuilding of vital infrastructure, the demolition of abandoned properties, and the increased presence of law enforcement.” There are many things wrong with this promise, but we’ll just focus on the most glaring flaw. Trump is promising to empower states to seek “federal disaster designation,” but what exactly does that mean? and with a promise to cut $1.9 trillion dollars of spending over ten years, while doubling the spending for “border control” and building a wall that has yet to be priced, how does Trump plan to pay for all of this? Vox does a great job of explaining just how irresponsible and unrealistic his economic plan is, they do it with cartoons, I’ll try it with hard truth.
Donald Trumps economic plan is not a life raft for a “struggling economy” and it definitely isn’t a tool of empowerment for African Americans. To present it as one of the key components in some grand scheme to “Uplift black people” is both predictable and offensive. There’s a reason why African Americans have overwhelmingly voted democrat for 30+ years, Republican policies are trash. Trumps “New Deal” is just another iteration of garbage.