Email #299: “everyday American workers”?

The President says “the biggest winners” of his tax plan “will be the everyday American workers.” You prefer the phrase “hardworking families,” but they won’t be the winners either. These are just PR phrases designed to sell a tax plan to voters who won’t benefit from it.

How does the elimination of taxes on large inheritances help everyday American workers and hardworking families? The current estate tax only applies if an estate is over $5.45 million. If you’re inheriting that much, then you’re not an everyday worker. I believe your own net worth is in that low multi-million dollar range, and so the elimination of the estate tax might be a huge benefit to your son in California but not to the vast majority of your constituents here in Virginia. The hardworking families in our district will receive nothing when you die.

And how does lowering the tax rate from 39.6% to 35% for the wealthiest individuals help everyday American workers either? Again, you and your family will personally benefit, but the majority of your constituents will not. If you and the President want to help hardworking families, why don’t you leave the high-income tax rate where it is and significantly drop rates for middle and working class Americans instead?

The President’s plan would also get rid of the alternative minimum tax, a measure that prevents wealthy Americans like you from ducking taxes all together. The easiest way to avoid the alternative minimum tax is to earn less $415,000, something everyday families do automatically. Once again, how does this help them?

So the President’s plan includes: 1) no estate tax for the wealthy, 2) a lower tax rate for the wealthy, and 3) no minimum tax for the wealthy. Could you please explain how exactly “the biggest winners” would be “the everyday American workers”? How does any of this help “hardworking families” at all?

 

Author: Chris Gavaler

Chris Gavaler is an associate professor of English at Washington and Lee University where he teaches creative writing, contemporary fiction, and comics. He has published two novels, Pretend I'm Not Here (HarperCollins 2002) and School For Tricksters (Southern Methodist University 2011), and two nonfictions, On the Origin of Superheroes (Iowa University 2015) and Superhero Comics (Bloomsbury 2017).

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