Democratic Rep. Joe Kennedy III shared this with HuffPost on the floor of the US House on Friday:
Let’s all agree that 2020 is in all our best interests. It’s in our best interest to increase the minimum wage, expand sick leave, improve student loans, combat inequality, stabilize the health care system, extend educational opportunities to the middle class and decrease the cost of college and keep college education affordable. It’s in our best interest to provide a sustainable progressive infrastructure. We can improve our borders. We should also reject the President’s extreme and insidious religious bigotry.
Despite all that, it remains pretty clear: The American people don’t know a damn thing about the Democrats’ tax plan, because it’s not a tax plan. So they can’t figure out which of their candidates we can trust, so it’s worth diving in now. I’m happy to share some back-of-the-envelope math, if you’d like.
Obviously, the first thing to consider is how much we know about the Democrats’ tax plan. They said it would raise about $1.5tn in revenue. On that basis, their tax plan would save everyone making less than $750,000 between $10,000 and $24,000 on their taxes, even though their tax rates would increase. But the math is pretty clear: the taxes we’re talking about here aren’t “personal income taxes.” This isn’t taxes on cars or homes, which we’re used to measuring the proposals against. This is taxes on people’s paychecks.
So we can calculate how much people making less than $750,000 would end up paying on their taxes under the Democratic plan. They’ve said it would be approximately $470,000 — which is about what Trump’s income tax returns show he makes before his hedge fund dividends.
Kerry Picket, co-director of the progressive group 99Rise, which has been tracking statements by Democratic candidates on the tax plan, said the numbers prove that the plan is all smoke and mirrors. “Let’s be absolutely clear about what the Democrats are proposing with their tax giveaway,” she said. “This is basically a gigantic tax-cut for the rich — including Trump.”
It is. And here’s why: The Democratic plan allows you to deduct $50,000 from your taxable income for each of the following:
1. Renters paying mortgage interest, property taxes and utilities
2. Payer who puts money into a self-directed retirement plan
3. Plan sponsor paying medical and dependent care costs
4. Saver contributing to a health savings account
5. Homebuyer putting money into a homebuyer’s tax credit
You can deduct $100,000 in gross income for your mortgage, tax credit and HSA contribution, $250,000 in gross income for your HSA, $10,000 in gross income for your mortgage-interest deduction, $50,000 in gross income for your mortgage-interest credit, $2,000 in gross income for your homeowner’s credit, $2,000 in gross income for your homebuyer’s credit, $100,000 in gross income for charitable contributions and $1,500 in gross income for your contribution to a health savings account
So just to make things clear, the Democratic plan would help the rich pay more and the poor pay less. Unfortunately, it’s not a huge surprise, because it’s been evident all along.
If you read the details, you’ll get it. What’s key is what’s not: What’s not is it calling the GOP’s tax scam by its true name, an attack on the middle class. You’ll see that Democrats are encouraging speculation about the tax cuts. But to be clear: These changes are targeted to the wealthiest 1% of Americans. Because that’s what we’re talking about.