Tax Cut Magic

Top Trump Adviser Claims Tax Cuts for the Rich Will Actually Reduce Inequality

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Tell me a tax cut will pay for itself and I will say you're wrong, but tell me it's going to reduce inequality and I'm going to stare at you in pure bewilderment.

White House Council of Economic Advisers chairman Kevin Hasset spoke to reporters yesterday morning when he made the fantastical claim that tax cuts will reduce the inequality of the Obama administration.

Hassett says the corporate tax cut will reduce wealth inequality. “Inequality skyrocketed very much over the last eight years. … People who owned equities saw their wealth go up, but people who just basically lived on their paychecks saw their wages go down. We think that that happened in part because we were chasing all of the corporate activity overseas … And the corporate tax bill has addressed that.”

I was going to say nothing has changed in that regard, but that is not true.

Republicans in Congress and the White House moved heaven and earth to deliver billion dollar windfalls to "people who owned equities" while doing virtually nothing for people living paycheck to paycheck. Banks and corporations have already spent hundreds of billions of dollars buying back their stock to increase the price before distributing dividends to shareholders. People living paycheck to paycheck are not shareholders.

The GOP's tax cuts overwhelmingly benefit the class of Americans who are already independently wealthy and have access to accountants, lawyers, and schemes that will reduce their obligations even more.

Corporations that paid no taxes before still won't pay taxes and those who do in the future will be paying significantly lower rates. This will in turn lead to even more inequality as shareholders collect dividends from companies that employ fewer and fewer actual working humans. The GOP and Trump may have set the stage for the creation of a permanent investor class that may no longer depend on the economic activity of the working class.

And President Obama actually reduced inequality, by the way, particularly for black and Hispanic Americans who benefited greatly from the Medicaid expansion and subsidies included in Obamacare. Not coincidentally, Republicans have tried everything they can to roll back that progress.

When you consider the kind of advice that's floating around the White House, it's hard to not think we're all fucked.

  • MadJuana

    Heavy sigh. We’ve been well and truly fucked pretty consistently for decades, one way and another, so the idiocy pouring out of Hasset’s gob is just a guarantee of more of the same. I need a drink.

  • muselet

    Is Kevin Hasset delusional, innumerate or lying? Sometimes it’s hard to tell with these mooks.


  • Aynwrong

    If you’re a person who still believes that cutting taxes for the wealthiest is a way of helping the working class I have a moon landing to stage for you.

  • Badgerite

    Lying is a habit with the GOP these days. If they said the sky was blue I would check first to be sure. Liars are like that.

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    • Christopher Foxx

      Worse is that many of them probably actually believe what they’re saying.

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      • Badgerite

        No. I don’t think so. They just don’t want to actually have to deal with the constraints of representative democracy. Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

        • Christopher Foxx

          And with power also comes the firm belief that you’re never wrong. It’s what leads to a lot of the corruption, the certainty in things that just aren’t true because believing they’re true justifies the bad things they want to do. You want to kill your neighbor? You find reasons to convince yourself they are a truly evil person who has to be killed for the greater good, and so you truly believe they evil.

          So, yes, many in the GOP do actually believe global climate change is a hoax, that all immigrants are criminals, that Trump is honest and cares about the working classes, that Benghazi was some major scandal, that Obama wasn’t American, etc. etc. etc.

          For many, these are not just things they say to fire up their base. They have truly believe them because it justifies the world view they want to have.

          • Badgerite

            Rank and file, I believe that’s true. But the leadership?
            Paul Ryan? Mitch McConnell?

          • Christopher Foxx

            Yeah, those two know exactly what they’re doing and exactly who is being hurt by it. Vile to the core.