Super Stupid

Report: Trump’s Staff Didn’t Know He Would Be Announcing a “Tax Plan”

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

As you may have heard, Trump is expected to release his vision for tax reform tomorrow.

That may or may not be news to you, but it was definitely news to his own staff who were reportedly caught off guard by Trump's announcement.

Trump’s declaration to The Associated Press last week that he would release a new tax plan on Wednesday caught senior aides in the White House and at Treasury by surprise and sent them into crisis mode to come up with something new to release.

Before Trump’s remarks, the plan was to work with senior GOP leadership on the Hill to come up with a unified approach in the coming weeks and jointly begin selling that plan to Congress and the public. The meeting Tuesday evening among National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and senior Republican leadership was part of the plan to take a methodical approach to tax reform and differentiate the process from the chaotic and failed attempt to repeal Obamacare.

So much for that.

I must have rewritten the headline for this story half a dozen times because nothing lives up to the truth of Trump. The truth is he's a bumbling fool who can't get out of his own way. Anytime I feel like I may be exaggerating his inglorious presence, I'm proven wrong.

Trump's "plan," whatever it is, will be dead on arrival. And by making this announcement now, rather than working with congressional Republicans to create a unified plan, Trump has set himself up for another failure.

Trump may kill tax reform for good tomorrow with this stunt. He's reportedly going to call for cutting the corporate tax rate from 35 to 15 percent which is actually a bigger cut than Speaker Paul Ryan intends to call for. Trump's plan will also boldly declare that his magical tax cut will pay for itself.

Trump's unflinching need to draw attention to himself by going "big" will sour public opinion against the idea before congressional Republicans even begin holding hearings on their plans.

  • muselet

    Donald Trump is so desperate for a First 100 Days accomplishment that he blew up the planned “methodical approach” to revising the tax code.

    That’s good, because it means the Rs are less likely to pass anything. It’s also bad, because Trump is likely to do the same thing with any decision that takes longer than his attention span (which, as Charlie Pierce says, is that of a flea on a griddle). Like, say, a response to North Korea.

    Sleep tight.


  • Scopedog

    To paraphrase a line from a Stephen King novel: Trump’s “plan” and the stuff that comes out of my asshole have a very curious resemblance to each other.”

    • 1933john

      …when it runs down the wall.”

  • Badgerite

    President Unintelligible seems to slur his words a lot. Hmmm. Did a golf ball hit him in the head?

    • Georgie

      Shit, what the hell is that?

      • Badgerite


    • Nefercat

      I’m amazes he didn’t pronounce it “nazzies.”

  • Badgerite

    Nothing says you care about the little guy like a whopping corporate tax cut. That, of course, will not pay for itself. Any more than Mexico will pay for a stupid border wall that will pose no obstacle whatsoever to a rich and powerful drug trade. And what corporate America will do with any extra revenue, besides give itself ‘bonuses’ is invest in new automated technology. If they invest at all. So there’s that.

  • Dread_Pirate_Mathius

    How is it that Republicans always seem to thing that you can balance a budget by reducing inflows?

    I’m not making ends meet in my household. I know, I’ll quit my job and find something lower paying – that should help!

    • Correct me on something please…I know you work in banking/finance so I assume you will know the answer to this. Someone on NPR the other day was insisting that corporate taxes in the US were the highest in the world AND that includes their effective tax rate. I always thought that while the tax rates on the books were quite high, what they actually paid (ie, their effective rate) after all the loopholes was less than other industrialized nations. Which is correct?

      • Dread_Pirate_Mathius

        Honestly, I couldn’t say. It’s true that our corporate tax rates are among the highest in the world (when you include state taxes, which you should), though the UAE and Puerto Rico are higher (55% and 39%, respectively).

        That said, any corporation actually paying the marginal rate should immediately fire its accountant. According to the Treasury Department, the actual tax rate paid by (profitable) corporations (with over $10mm in assets) was 22% between 2007 and 2011 – the marginal rate is 35%. From 2009-2011, the effective rate was only 21% / 20% / 20%.

        Even then, it varies widely from industry to industry. Utilities averaged around 10% whereas service industries come in higher around 28% (still well below the marginal rate).

        I couldn’t speculate what the actual effective tax rate is globally, but for us it’s around 20-ish%, Probably not the highest in the world.

        So, short answer, no, your guy from NPR can shove it.