Donald Trump revealed his tax plan Monday morning, and as you might expect, it’s a doozy. He wants to eliminate taxes for Americans earning less than $25k per year, and couples earning less than $50k per year. He wants the rich to pay more, but corporations to pay less. It’s an amalgamation of populist ideas infused with far-right ones. But that isn’t the real takeaway from his speech.
The reality TV and real estate mogul’s long-winded press conference illustrated one fact above all else: that Donald Trump is nucking futs. A fact that he repeatedly highlighted almost every single time he went off script. We’re guessing you knew that about him already, but Trump shared some real gems today.
His biggest point of lunacy? Trump doesn’t believe in the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ unemployment figures. He refutes that unemployment is at 5.3% (it’s actually at 5.1%), claiming that the “real” unemployment rate is much higher. No, we aren’t talking about the misrepresentative U-6 unemployment rate of 10.3%, which President Obama’s opponents often cite incorrectly. According to Donald Trump, unemployment is apparently a lot higher than that: upwards of 42%, a line he’s been saying since August.
Of course, the only way you can get to that number is if you count children not old enough to work, including newborn infants, as well as retirees, full-time students, and prisoners. But you know what? Babies have been getting a free ride long enough! It’s time for them to pull themselves up by their bootie straps!
Arguably the funniest moment from Trump’s ramblings came when he claimed, “A lot of families go through hell over the death tax.” What Trump doesn’t seem to realize is that the Estate Tax (which Republicans call the “death tax”) is only paid by millionaires and billionaires — 0.1% of the American population — and raises billions of dollars in tax revenue, while inheritances remain in the trillions of dollars. I’m sure these families are really struggling to make ends meet because of the Estate Tax’s burdens. What kind of peasant only owns ONE Gulfstream jet?
But the scariest part of his speech this morning isn’t one of the ludicrous comments he made… it’s that two elements of his tax plan actually make sense, in a broad manner anyway. Eliminating taxes on individuals earning $25k per year or less, and on couples earning less than $50k per year, might actually help stimulate the economy, as those savings are pumped into the economy, while his plan to raise taxes on the wealthy has been a central component of Bernie Sanders’ plan.
But, as is always the case with Donald Trump, those rare moments of intellectual clarity are washed out by the buckets of nuts he dumps onto reporters during every press conference. Some elements of his tax policies might seem like they make sense, and they might even seem alluring to some progressives, but keep in mind whose saying them: a birther lunatic who insults Americans frequently with racist and misogynist statements.