Douglas M. Bloomfield
Douglas M. Bloomfield

Billionaire’s Club

The tax plan – actually not a plan, just a press release with talking points – unveiled by a pair of multi-millionaires on behalf of their billionaire president will make all of them a whole lot wealthier.

Just one item, elimination of the alternative minimum tax, would have put an extra $31 million in Donald Trump’s pockets in 2005, according to a copy of his federal income tax return for that year, Businessinsider reported. We need to know more about how this directly impacts Trump, but this is the only one available because he has reneged on his campaign promise to release his tax returns.

The plan was unveiled by Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and National Economic Council director Gary Cohn, a pair of former top Goldman Sachs executives who also will reap enormous benefits under the tax proposal they are writing. The Boston Globe estimates that the net worth of the Trump cabinet and top advisors is greater than the world’s 70 smallest countries combined. How does the tax bill they’re writing directly affect their own pocketbooks? The public has a right to know.

The only reason they had their fact-starved press conference was to give Trump something else to brag about in his over-hyped and achievement-started list of first hundred days achievements.

This much we do know about the Trump plan: it will slash taxes on the wealthiest like the presenters. They haven’t forgotten their children. In addition to cutting their own income taxes they want to eliminate the inheritance tax – which they prefer to call the death tax – so they can pass their fortunes on to their children tax-free. Currently the federal inheritance tax applies only to estates of couples worth in excess of $11 million

The White House is calling this the biggest tax cut in history; that remains to be seen, but it certainly will create the greatest federal deficits and largest national debt in history.

In his first 100 days Trump has made it a high priority to take care of his rich friends and family by “quietly deregulating the financial industry, stripping Barack Obama’s climate change rules for fossil fuel producers and promising to lower taxes on the very rich,” according to a new report by Newsweek.

Trump’s New York billionaire cronies and appointees “have more in common with Russian oligarchs and Nigerian petro-magnates than with almost any other Americans,” the report added.

Treasury Secretary Mnuchin (a half-billionaire according to Fortune) admitted that middle class families might wind up paying more taxes. When asked by ABC ‘s George Stephanopoulos “Can you guarantee that no one in the middle class is going to pay more?” he became evasive, finally confessing, “I can’t make any guarantees.”

In the words of the old song, “the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.” The title is fitting for Trump, Mnuchin, Cohn and their fellow members of the billionaire’s club: “Ain’t we got fun.”

About the Author
Douglas M. Bloomfield is a syndicated columnist, Washington lobbyist and consultant. He spent nine years as the legislative director and chief lobbyist for AIPAC.
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