Paul Krugman: Trump's Tax Plan Is Even More Plutocratic Than You Realize

News & Politics

A recent AP poll suggests a majority of Americans understand that Donald Trump's proposed tax cuts will overwhelmingly benefit major corporations and the rich. What few may realize, however, is that it's not just the country's 1 percent that stand to profit handsomely but the world's wealthiest plutocrats. So much for the president's pledge that our allies will pay their fair share.

In his Friday column, Paul Krugman suggests Trump could be giving away as much as $700 billion to investors around the globe, "no strings attached." That's because his proposal is loosely based on the theory that corporate tax cuts attract foreign capital, which in turn boosts productivity, profits and finally, wages.

"If this sounds like a convoluted and uncertain story, with many weak links in the supposed chain of events that ends up helping workers so much," Krugman writes, "that’s because it is."

In fact, trickledown economics has been repeatedly debunked, first under Ronald Reagan and again during the Bush administration, which culminated in the financial crisis of 2008. As the New York Times columnist eagerly reminds his readers, cutting taxes tends to lead to massive trade deficits, while exclusively benefiting corporate shareholders—the rich, more broadly, but also foreign interests, which hold as much as 35 percent of U.S. equities.

"The result," he writes, "would be a huge hole in the budget, which Republicans would try to close at the expense of the poor and middle class."

"Now, it may sound extreme to say that Trump and his allies want to take away health care from millions largely so that they can give wealthy foreigners a $700 billion gift," Krugman concludes. "But however it may sound, it’s also the literal truth."

Read Paul Krugman's column at the New York Times.

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