Donald Trump has merely set up a massive tax reform scrum among the Washington supplicant and lobbying class. From David Stockman at dailyreckoning.com:
The Donald’s strong point isn’t his grasp of policy detail.
The nine page bare-bones outline released yesterday is nothing more than an aspirational air ball that lacks virtually every policy detail needed to assess its impact and to price out its cost.
It promises to shrink the code to three rates (12%, 25%, 35%), for example. But it doesn’t say boo about where the brackets begin and end compared to current law.
Needless to say, a taxpayer with $50,000 of taxable income who is on the 15% marginal bracket today might wish to know whether he is in the new 12% or the new 25% bracket proposed by the White House. After all, it could change his tax bill by several thousand dollars.
Similarly, to help pay for upwards of $6 trillion of tax cuts over the next decade, it proposes to eliminate “most” itemized deductions. These “payfors” would in theory increase revenues by about $3 trillion.
Then again, the plan explicitly excludes the two biggest deductions — the charitable deduction and mortgage deduction — which together account for $1.3 trillion of that total.
And it doesn’t name a single item among the hundreds of deductions that account for another $1 trillion of current law revenue loss. They’re just mystery meat to be stealthily extracted during committee meetings after Congressman have run the gauntlet of lobbyists prowling the halls outside.
Stated differently, after nine months of work these geniuses have come up with $6 trillion of easy to propose tax rate cuts and virtually no plan whatsoever to pay for them.
In fact, this latest nine pages of puffery contains just 1,500 words — including obligatory quotes from the Donald and page titles.
I hate to get picky, but the Donald’s team has been on the job for 250 days now. And all they came up with amounts to just three words each per day in office.
Worse still, even as this “framework” opens the door to unrelenting demagoguery from the Dems about helping the rich, it does virtually nothing for Flyover America.
And it surely leaves the rust belt workers who voted for Trump in western Pennsylvania, industrial Ohio, the Michigan auto belt and the manufacturing centers of Wisconsin and Iowa with absolutely nothing to show for their efforts.
To continue reading: Trump’s 1,500-word Airball