the president says the tax law is going to cost him a fortune. Can you point out where his new heavy burden is?

It’s impossible to say, because nobody knows how his personal finances and company finances are structured (and interrelate).

Speaking generically, what’s come out as new news (to me, at least, and I study this stuff) is how massive the tax breaks the billionaire class (upper .1 of 1%) were getting on the SALT and Mortgage Deductions being uncapped. One accountant wrote that he had a client who would see a 200,000 increase in taxes just from the those deductions being capped. (The client was in NYC, like Trump, and like Trump, his client now wants to move to Florida. The humorist in you should appreciate that.)

It appears to me that Trump’s private resident in the Trump Tower in NYC must be appraised in the tens of millions at least. There are indications that Trump finances everything he can to the extent he can, so I think it’s a fair guess that this tax reform is going to cost him a couple of hundred grand.

Of course, some of that is offset by the lowering of the top marginal rate by 2.6%. But since nobody knows what his personal annual income is, your guess is as good as mine. Again, I have a suspicion — and this could be why he doesn’t want to release his returns, not because it;s illegal, but it’s embarrassing — — that he takes very little salary and lets his company pay for everything. That’s not illegal, if done right…..but it’s shifty.

He also said when campaigning that he wanted the rich to pay more — did he achieve that?

Well (rolls my eyes, not at you) it depends how you define “rich”. When Trump says it, I assume he means people in the billionaire class like himself, Wilbur Ross, etc. These people have incredibly complex tax situations and although the bill itself as passed might have increased their taxes somewhat, they now have an entire year to shift things around to offset losses caused by the new rules.

Bottom line is that nobody, not even the tax writers in Congress, can answer that question. All I can say is that the rich didn’t get any breaks in this, other than that small drop in the marginal rate. The bill looks pretty progressive to me.

Also you quote the tax policy center — they also state that the richest 20% will receive 90% of the benefits of the tax cuts. I’m wondering why you left that part out.

I stipulated in my article that I was speaking about the period up to 2025, when some of these tax breaks expire. The Tax Policy analysis takes into account the ENTIRE bill over a 10 year period, which *assumes* that whoever is in control of the government in 2025 is just going to let things like the raised standard deduction and child deductions expire.

We both know that’s not going to happen; neither party is going to let tax breaks so obviously targeted at the lower to middle income groups expire. And the minute they renew those deductions, that 90% figure drops like a rock, but I can’t tell you how far.

However, there’s another part of that which is going to stun you. So, the top 20% will get 90% of the breaks, right? Do you know what income you have to make to get into the top 20%?

Take a deep breath. In the general neighborhood of $115,000 a year puts you in the top 20% of earners.

Now, you and I both know that even if a low-cost of living state, $115K doesn’t make you “rich” by any means; shit, $115K in NYC or San Francisco has you living in a hovel. But in fact, that’s the top 20ile salary.

So, yea, a lot of that 90% goes to the top 20%, because the lower end of that top 20% isn’t “rich” and can use it. So, knowing that, the fact isn’t shocking at all.

Bottom line? On the individual side, very imperfect bill, scratches the surface on getting rid of some of these rather stupid deductions people can take, leaves too many of them in. Tax simplification advocates like me consider the caps on SALT and mortgage a huge win, but otherwise, blech. It’s ok. I wanted the student loan interest to stay out, because it contributes to tuition inflation, but it didn’t. Oh well. But it’s is designed to help out the lower and middle classes; and it’s a helluvalot better than what we have today.

On the corporate side? Home run. The squealing from the rest of the world is audible, and that sucking sound you’re going to start hearing is money being invested and re-invested in the US.

Hope that helps.

Written by

Data Driven Econophile. Muslim, USA born. Been “woke” 2x: 1st, when I realized the world isn’t fair; 2nd, when I realized the “woke” people are full of shit.

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