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.