Voodoo math and forsaken voters in Trump tax and budget plans | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Voodoo math and forsaken voters in Trump tax and budget plans

Posted By on Wed, May 24, 2017 at 7:08 AM

Many are writing about the sheer arithmetic failure in Donald Trump's budget plan, particularly not counting for lost revenue from enormous tax cuts and double counting the impact of an imagined economic boom.

The New York Times highlights also  his proposal to end the estate tax.

One example of the budget-ledger legerdemain: Mr. Trump has pledged to end estate taxation. His budget, however, projects that the government will collect more than $300 billion in estate taxes over the next decade. Indeed, the Trump administration projects higher estate tax revenue than the Obama administration did because it expects faster economic growth.

Mr. Trump, in other words, is proposing to balance the federal budget in part by simultaneously increasing estate taxation and eliminating estate taxation.
A word about the estate tax. Paul Krugman uses it as a stark example of how Trump has forsaken the toilers in West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania and so on who though Trump was looking out for them. His budget slashes programs from which they derive enormous benefit. The rich? An unimaginable windfall.

Arkansas and West Virginia would be among the biggest losers in Trump's planned Social Security disability cuts. West Virginia, where miners have been known to have disabling health problems, had a grand total of 10 taxable estates in 2016.

And please, whatever you do, don't believe the estate tax is a burden for us all. Krugman provides a link to the most recent data on the number of families who might have to pay an estate tax (something that kicks in for a married couple somewhere in excess of $10 million in net assets).

In Arkansas, the net number of taxable estates was 30. That's THIRTY.

If the number included a Walton or similar, a removal of the estate tax burden would be an enormous windfall. And much of it would not be on assets — stock — on which taxes had previously been paid.

Arkansas, you may know, ended its state estate tax years ago. It has made us an economic dynamo.

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