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Trump's real constituency: The Super Rich

E.J. Dionne Jr. on

They should be. The bills now before the House and Senate don't simply favor the well-off over the middle class and the poor. They advantage certain kinds of extremely rich people over Americans who work for salaries and wages, including some rather affluent people who draw those old-fashioned things called paychecks. Even Karl Marx would be astonished at how far Republicans are willing to go to benefit capital over labor.

All sorts of deductions used by the middle and upper-middle classes are being thrown over the side to pay for a cut in the nominal corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent, which is especially helpful to the biggest stockholders -- and, in the House version, to relieve those struggling millionaire and billionaire heirs and heiresses from the horrible burdens of the estate tax. (The Senate version would reduce but not eliminate the tax.)

Repealing various tax breaks might be justified if these proposals actually simplified the tax code to make it fairer. But in many ways, this concoction makes the code even more complex with all its special provisions for "pass-through" income and the like. That's another big lie in this deal: The GOP never cared about simplification. It just wants to further the interests of its flushest friends.

Oh, yes, and Republicans, who would demand that Hillary Clinton disclose every penny of her high school earnings from lawnmowing or baby-sitting, won't think of asking Trump to release his tax returns so we can know how many benefits he might sign into law for himself.

The Trump regime is not all that innovative. It hides its policies behind divisive rhetoric about kneeling NFL players -- NFL owners will profit from the bill, by the way -- and immigrants. This is the sort of thing right-wing authoritarians have done for decades. It never turns out well.

 

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E.J. Dionne's email address is ejdionne@washpost.com. Twitter: @EJDionne.

(c) 2017, Washington Post Writers Group

 

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