Last week, Steven Mnuchin, Trump’s Treasury Secretary pick, announced that high earners won’t receive an “absolute tax cut” suggesting that any tax reductions would also be coupled with less deductions. Unfortunately, Mnuchin doesn’t know or pretends to ignore the fact that high income earner have faced brutal tax increases during the Obama Administration, and thus any decreases are really just a return to the more appropriate rates of the Bush years.
Obama raised the Bush tax rates on only the wealthiest earners from 36% – 39.6 % and then again raised the tax rates on only the same wealthiest by adding a Net Investment Income Tax (NIIT) of 3.8%, — otherwise known as the “Obamacare Tax” — which covered all investment income of individuals, estates, and trusts. What’s more, Obama also raised capital gains on the wealthiest earners from 15% – 20%, but when the NIIT 3.8% tax was added to it, it actually raised the capital gains rates on the highest earners from 15 – 23.8% — an effective increase of nearly 59%! Rolling back the marginal rates and eliminating the Obamacare tax are not tax reductions at all, so to suggest offsetting them with a change in tax deductions is terribly misguided.
The United States has far and away the most progressive income tax in the world. Simplifying the code, ending the war on the wealthy, and lowering corporate and individual taxes are the keys to jump-starting the economy and restoring economic growth and prosperity.