Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has floated this possibility once before, but this is the first time Trump himself has done so.
Trump spoke to Bloomberg in the oval office yesterday where he said he may cut taxes for some of the richest people in the world by indexing capital gains to inflation, but it appears he got the idea from Larry Kudlow.
“There are a lot of people that love it and some people that don’t,” Trump said Thursday in an Oval Office interview with Bloomberg News. “But I’m thinking about it very strongly.” [...]
The capital gains change would slash tax bills for investors when selling assets such as stock or real estate by adjusting the original purchase price for inflation. The change has been a longtime goal of Trump’s top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, who says the policy would spur job creation and economic growth because people wouldn’t be taxed on what he’s called “phantom income.”
Indexing capital gains to inflation makes it sound like the rich would pay more, but what it means is investors would pay taxes on the original value of their investments, even if they made those investments decades ago, rather than the current value of their investments. It means someone who turned a million dollar investment into one hundred million dollars would only be taxed on the original million.
Does that sound like "job creation and economic growth" to you?
No, of course not.
In very real terms, this would be a tax cut for the windfall that investors received over the past year from the GOP's corporate tax cuts. It's a tax cut for their tax cut. Stock buybacks and dividends are recorded as capital gains and this would drastically reduce the amount of taxes they have to pay for those buybacks and dividends.