Tag Archives: Seattle

Trump’s Tax Plan: The Best, Most Luxurious Tax Plan For Those Already Living In Luxury


Donald Trump Releases His Tax Plan, A ‘Uge Tax Cut For The Wealthiest Few

Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump released his tax plan today and—shocking no one familiar with American politics—analysis by the Center For American Progress Action Fund shows the plan would be another ‘uge windfall for the wealthiest few. In fact, Trump’s family stands to gain more from his plan than almost anyone, with the elimination of the estate tax giving the Trump family a tax cut of up to $3.48 billion, and the dramatic cut to the corporate tax rate also benefitting the family.

The “losers” under Trump’s plan will be anyone that relies on Medicare, Medicaid, or investment in things like infrastructure, education or job training—in other words middle class families. Like Jeb! Bush before him, Trump makes the tired argument that his tax plan is focused on the middle class, when in fact it is a big, beautiful tax cut for the wealthy. Here are three ways the plan favors the wealthy few at the expense of the middle class:

A simply tremendous gift to his kids. Among the biggest beneficiaries of Trump’s pitch to eliminate the estate tax? The Trumps themselves. The estate tax only applies to estates worth $5.43 million, and only two out of every one thousand estates pay any estate tax at all.

  • Eliminating the current 40% estate tax could mean that Trump’s kids could stand to save as much as $3.48 billion in estate taxes—given Trump’s claimed net worth of $8.7 billion.
  • Because it is easy for wealthy people to use loopholes to lower their estate tax bills, using a more cautious estimate that assumes Trump pays near the average estate tax rate of 18.8 percent, Trump’s plan would result in giving his kids $1.64 billion.

The best, most luxurious tax plan for those living in luxury. Trump’s tax plan would slash corporate, individual income, and capital gains and dividends tax rates—three moves that give bigger boosts to the nation’s richest.

  • The top 20 percent of taxpayers pay 78.6 percent of the country’s corporate taxes—meaning a tax cut on corporate income would be a huge boost for them, but do little to nothing for the other 80 percent.
  • Trump would cut the top individual tax rate from 39.6 percent to 25 percent—even lower than Jeb Bush’s proposed top individual rate of 28 percent. An analysis by the Center for Tax Justice predicts that the top one percent of Americans would see an average break of $184,000 a year under Trump’s plan, compared to an average annual cut of only $250 for the bottom 20 percent.
  • Trump’s plan to cut tax rates on income from capital gains and dividends is yet another gift to the nation’s wealthiest people. The 400 richest taxpayers alone received 12 percent of all capital gains income and 8 percent of all dividend income. As shown in a recent Center for American Progress report, a lower tax rate on dividends and capital gains is one of the ways the U.S. tax code worsens inequality by helping those who are wealthy enough to own capital accumulate even more wealth.
  • Even the hedge fund managers who Trump says are “getting away with murder” might get a tax cut on their carried interest. Trump claims to close this loophole, but if investment funds pay taxes as businesses their tax rate on carried interests would fall from 23.8% to 15%. And even if Trump requires hedge funds to pay taxes using his individual rates, taxes on carried interest would only go up from 23.8% to 25%. Not to mention the fact that Trump would still give hedge fund managers huge tax cuts on the rest of their income.

A ‘uge increase to the deficit. Trump claims that his plan “doesn’t add to our debt and deficit,” but any reasoned analysis of the plan suggests that it would be extremely costly. The plan jeopardizes programs that working and middle class families depend on for economic security, like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

  • The Center for Tax Justice estimates that Trump’s plan would cost $10 trillion over the next 10 years.
  • Though the plans vary in some ways, Bush’s and Trump’s plans pledge to make some very similar tax cuts, which would inevitably force budget cuts from crucial programs. And even the team of advisors Bush recruited to support his plan say that it would cost $3.4 trillion over the next ten years.

BOTTOM LINE: Despite Trump’s populist rhetoric, his tax plan would only be the best, most luxurious tax plan for those already living in luxury. It gives his own family a potential $3.48 billion tax cut, jeopardizing programs that middle class families depend on for economic security along the way.

Jeb Bush’s Broken Down Energy Plan


Jeb Bush Releases His Energy Plan, A Rehash of Old and Deceitful Conservative Policies

Another day, another Republican presidential candidate releasing a policy proposal that doesn’t fit with the priorities of working Americans. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush released his energy plan today, and while he presented it as a plan to get the economy humming along, the reality is that it is out-of-date, broken, and unworkable.

Bush’s four-point plan would lift restrictions on exports of oil and natural gas; weaken or eliminate key public health standards including cuts to dangerous carbon pollution from power plants; allow states and tribes to dump unlimited pollution; and approve the Keystone XL pipeline. Eliminating limits on carbon pollution is a predictable gift for polluters and dirty energy producers, like the Koch brothers. But what breaks Jeb’s plan beyond repair is what it leaves out. The plan fails to address climate change. It would take us backward by undoing the Clean Power Plan and America’s leadership on climate action. Finally, despite promising to “unleash the energy revolution,” Jeb leaves out the actual energy revolution: clean energy.

Simply put, Jeb Bush’s energy plan won’t drive us toward a 21st century economy. Here’s why:

It overheats: Jeb’s plan fails to even address man-made climate change
Jeb’s been hazy at best when it comes to his stance on climate change. Earlier this spring Bush said he is “concerned” about climate change, but a month later he sang a different tune saying, “For the people to say the science is decided on this is really arrogant, to be honest with you.”

As the former Governor of Florida, one would hope Bush knows about the consequences of ignoring climate change. The Southeastern United States, and Florida in particular, are especially vulnerable to the effects of climate change, from sea level rise to extreme heat events to hurricanes. In South Florida the streets already flood on some sunny days at high tide and climate change promises to make that flooding more severe. In addition to its environmental costs, climate change poses a huge economic threat to the country and to Florida specifically. Flooding from sea-level rise is expected to cost the state up to $15 billion by 2030 and up to $23 billion by 2050. Florida alone has a trillion-dollar real-estate bubble waiting to burst as a result of sea level rise or the next superstorm surge. And Florida isn’t alone in its vulnerability to climate change, the total annual price tag for hurricanes and other coastal storms is estimated to be up to $35 billion.

It spews exhaust: Jeb’s plan doesn’t mention anything about clean energy
The first sentence of Jeb Bush’s energy plan references economic growth. Indeed, the promise of 4 percent economic growth has been a centerpiece of his whole campaign. But the energy plan Bush put forward, shockingly, makes no mention of the fastest growing sector of the industry: renewable energy. In fact, half the new electricity generation in the United States comes from renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, and hydro. Solar energy on its own accounted for one out of every 78 new jobs created last year in entire United States economy, beating out oil both gas pipeline construction and crude oil and natural gas extraction.

Jeb can’t be ignoring clean energy because it hurts the economy. Is he ignoring it because he thinks it’s bad politics? That doesn’t make any sense either, as a national poll released yesterday by conservative foundation ClearPath demonstrates: more than three-quarters of Republican voters believe that accelerating the growth of clean energy would “create economic growth and jobs at home.”

It stalls out: Jeb’s plan would undo key public health standards
Not only does Jeb’s plan not address actions to address the warming climate, his proposal would actually take steps backward with its short-sighted focus. Three of the four points included in Jeb’s plan lift important public health standards put in place to protect Americans against the negative health and economic impacts of climate change.

One of those points is the elimination of the Clean Power Plan, a move that could lead to thousands of premature deaths and forfeit the Clean Power Plan’s estimated health and climate benefits worth up to $54 billion a year in 2030. Bush also argued that the Clean Power Plan will increase electricity costs, ignoring the fact that the cost of climate change is widely expected to be more than the cost of clean energy. In his arguments against federal legislation on climate change, Jeb has expressed concern for our “ability to compete in an increasingly competitive world.” But it was the Obama administration’s strong leadership with the Clean Power Plan that inspired China to establish its own aggressive steps to limit carbon pollution.

BOTTOM LINE: Jeb!’s energy plan fails to address man-made climate change, forgets to mention clean energy, and discards key public health standards, begging the question: is this the energy plan you want to drive you into the future?


Jeb’s New Tax Plan: Another Bush Family Favor To The Wealthy Few


New Analysis Of Jeb’s Tax Plan Details Massive Tax Giveaways To Wealthiest Americans

Yesterday, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush released a tax plan that he pledged would “unleash 4% growth.” Bush took pains to emphasize that his plan would benefit working families, much like many of his opponents for the Republican nomination. But a new Center for American Progress Action Fund analysis has crunched the numbers, and despite Bush’s rhetoric, the reality is that his new tax plan is a huge giveaway to the country’s wealthiest at the expense of everyone else.

The facts are that Bush’s tax plan:

1. Cuts the Top Tax Rates for the Wealthy Few: Under the Bush plan, the top tax rate would be capped at 28 percent, or a nearly one-third drop from the 39.6 percent top rate in the law now. Cutting top tax rates would mean a huge tax windfall for the wealthiest taxpayers—and could exacerbate rising economic inequality while doing nothing to spur economic growth. The analysis supporting Bush’s plan obscures this massive giveaway for high incomes by only looking at the tax plan’s impact on people earning up to $250,000.

2. Slashes the Corporate Tax Rate and Other Corporate Taxes: The Bush tax plan also proposes dropping the corporate tax rate to 20 percent from the current rate of 35 percent. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the top 20 percent of income earners effectively pay almost four-fifths of the country’s corporate taxes, while the bottom 80 percent of households pays just 21.4 percent. Nearly half of the corporate tax burden—48.7 percent—falls on the top 1 of households alone. No surprise here: corporate ownership is concentrated among high-income households, so cutting taxes on corporations would be a very large giveaway to the wealthy.

3. Lowers Tax Rates on Capital Gains and Dividends: Bush is also pitching to lower the top tax rate on capital gains and dividends, from 23.8 percent to 20 percent. Income from capital gains and dividends goes overwhelmingly to the wealthy. CAP has previously shown that a lower tax rate on dividends and capital gains is one of the ways the U.S. tax code helps those who are wealthy enough to own capital accumulate even more wealth, worsening income inequality. Jeb’s tax plan would go even farther.

The problems with the tax plan don’t end there. All these tax cuts for the rich will be costly. Even the four conservative economists who wrote a white paper defending the Bush plan say so. They say the plan will add $1.2 trillion to the deficit over the next ten years, using a vague model that presupposes significant economic growth resulting from the plan. When using a more traditional way of evaluating the plan, these same conservative economists say it would cost an astounding $3.4 trillion— that is about $45,946 per child under 18 in the United States.

Additionally, the tax plan’s supporters have vastly inflated claims of the economic growth it would create. We know from Jeb’s brother George W. that substantial tax cuts, combined with slashed regulations as Jeb has also promised but not specified yet, do not result in the booming economy we are promised. This tired rationale for selling tax cuts should not be used again after it has been consistently debunked. But it’s what we are getting from Jeb’s economic advisors, two of which were also advisors to his brother.

We aren’t alone in exposing Jeb’s tax plan for what it is. The New York Times calls the plan a “large tax cut for the wealthiest” and estimates that taxpayers who earned over $10 million dollars in 2013 would have saved an average of $1.5 million with this tax plan in place.

BOTTOM LINE: Though Jeb Bush and his Super PAC have boasted the theme of a “right to rise” as a central campaign message, his tax plan proves that his policy priorities are squarely focused on improving the fortunes of the country’s wealthiest—even though everyone else will be left with the bill. We’ve seen how much that fails most Americans, and how it fails our economy overall. We need policies that help working families by growing the economy from the middle-out, not the top down.

Diplomacy … The White House

President-Obama-NWLC-DinnerWhy Diplomacy Matters: Follow Along as the President Heads to the 70th UN General Assembly

Get the latest updates from President Obama’s trip to the United Nations this week.


Email from Ambassador Power: “A Chance to Help”

Ambassador Samantha Power shared a message about a way for Americans to take action on behalf of refugees around the world.


Calling Citizen Scientists: You Can Help When Disasters Strike

Citizen science can help support disaster preparedness, response, and recovery.


Defending the Amazon is a daily battle


Defending the Amazon is a daily battle. It takes the deepest commitment and fierce dedication from each and every one of us. Despite the construction of the monstrous Belo Monte Dam, the communities of the Xingu have not given up, and neither have we. As a result, the final operating license was recently denied by the Brazilian environmental agency IBAMA and the flooding of Altamira was halted!

That victory was possible because we all worked together in solidarity and refused to surrender to destructive forces in Brazil. Communities on the front lines are doing their part, and we need you to do yours. That means both action to generate pressure and funds to make the work possible.

Donate today with pride and know that you’re helping to stop a grave threat to the indigenous communities of the Xingu River and to our global climate.

Belo Monte is just the beginning. More than 60 large dams are planned for the Brazilian Amazon. The challenges will only get bigger, and we’ll continue to stand with our partners on the Xingu while ramping up our support for the Munduruku struggle to defend their lands and the Tapajos River from another destructive mega-dam.

Please support the fight to stop Belo Monte and other Amazon dams so that we may build upon this recent victory for justice in Brazil!

For the people of the Xingu and the Tapajos,

Leila Salazar-López
Executive Director