Opinion-Policy Nexus

One would think that among the easiest policy changes to sell in the United States is a tax reduction. This should be particularly true for a tax cut directed to the middle class, where the majority of voters are found. Whatever one thinks of Donald Trump's presidency, one must acknowledge that he has a remarkable gift for marketing and sloganeering. Whether apocryphal or not, the phrases "Make America Great Again," "Drain the Swamp" and "America First" have resonated with a significant slice of the U.S. electorate. By contrast, it is difficult to recall any memorable phrases from Hillary Clinton.

Trump's most recent confection, the "Middle Class Miracle," is intended to promote the illusion that the still-being-resolved Republican tax proposal favours middle class Americans rather than corporate donors such as Boeing, General Electric and the Wells Fargo Bank. An examination of the contents of the proposal tells a different story, however. Yes, there is an increase in basic family tax deductions that affects everyone, but there are also off-setting eliminations of targeted "loopholes" that impact taxpayers differently, depending on circumstances and geography.

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Wednesday, November 29, 2017 - 09:17