The Optics of the Biggest Tax Cut in History

Photo Credit: Fox News, “President Trump’s tax plan: Here’s what it includes”, April 26, 2017

The Optics of the Biggest Tax Cut in History

 

Optics… There is no one in the history of politics that can control the optics better than President Trump. If he wants you to believe something, he will tell you over and over that it is “big league” until you eventually believe it. It is fascinating to watch. President Trump announced his tax cutting plan just before his first 100 days was complete. It is being hailed as the biggest tax cut in history. It was almost humorous to hear the Fox morning show hosts falling all over themselves about how great this is. I say, let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

 

The devil is in the details and there is a major lack of those details. True to form he did simplify the system by proposing to reduce tax brackets down from 7 to 3. Does that save taxes? Maybe for some but maybe not for all. It comes down to the effect of the elimination of tax deductions. He is leaving the mortgage rate deduction and the charitable deduction alone. However, it looks like the rest of the deductions might be gone. So yes, it is true that the tax brackets are reduced. However, with the potential elimination of deductions, it looks like there might be a percentage of tax payers that will actually pay more in taxes.

 

Although I appreciate the spirit of make America great again, cleaning up the swamp, and unlike most, I believe his heart is in the right place, I don’t think that a reduction in tax rates is the answer especially if it potentially raises taxes on any percentage of Americans. You reduce taxes and you reduce revenue to the government. I can give you 19.8 trillion reasons why that might not be a good idea especially given the fact that we are still heavily financing our government spending.

 

Unfortunately, we have given up on holding our politicians accountable for financial irresponsibility. As President, he has free reign to deficit spending. So, he can cut taxes, promise growth, and behind the scenes borrow more and more money to finance what doesn’t work out with the best laid plans. That will never harm his legacy because for some strange reason we expect it to happen. As a country, 19.8 trillion dollars of debt doesn’t bother Americans enough to say enough is enough. Plus, you have to blame many politicians and Presidents before President Trump in their role in the creation of trillions of dollars of debt. However, if this tax reduction passes, he will always be remembered for it.

 

President Trump has many a book written about his life. They are all very personal and talk about his beliefs and philosophies. Out of fascination, I have read a few. He doesn’t waiver in his approach to life and appears to have the same beliefs today as he had as a young real estate developer. The most important thing to him appears to be the optics. This is why he is cramming everything into the first 100 days. As part of his legacy, he wants the first 100 days to look unlike any other President. It has been impressive. It is good to actually see a President work. I hope he is successful and I further hope that he is right and not playing a guessing game. However, there is one question that will eventually be answered. At the end of the day, does it Make America Great Again or create the right optics? We shall see.

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