A Tax Expert’s Take on Trump’s Proposal: ‘A Truly Great Tax Plan’

From: americanthinker.com,  by Jack Hellner,  on Apr 28, 2017

It certainly appears that Trump has more common sense and intelligence on taxes and the economy than many of those advising him, the career politicians from both parties, the bureaucrats, the media and most economists. I am a 64-year-old CPA who has been doing taxes for approximately 40 years. This is the most intelligent tax policy I have seen since Ronald Reagan’s and my initial thoughts make me believe that it is better than Reagan’s. It is a simple and logical plan that would give everyone the incentive to earn more instead of spending so much time and money trying to beat the tax man.  I believe the impetus it would give to economic growth is immeasurable.

The summary of what I have seen on President Trump’s tax plan looks like it would greatly help almost everyone and especially the overall economy. If the U.S makes the corporate tax rates more competitive, businesses in the U.S would have a great incentive to keep businesses here and/or to move business back from overseas. Foreign businesses would also have a greater incentive to move and build businesses here which is, after all, the biggest economy in the world. Regulatory relief also helps a lot. The lower the regulatory burden, the greater the likelihood that businesses will thrive and keep their prices competitive. If you lower the tax rate, get rid of a lot of the special interest deductions along with reducing regulations, businesses and individuals will become more productive, boosting the economy.

If you get rid of the alternative minimum tax (AMT), the estate tax, and many tax deductions and tax breaks, you take away the incentive to shelter income. The number of potential audits is greatly reduced, minimizing the cost of IRS. People and businesses would structure their personal lives and businesses without much regard for taxes which would make everything run more efficiently and effectively.

Democrats are already saying they are against Trump’s proposed tax policy changes. What a surprise.

Democrats seem to believe the money is all theirs. They decry any cut in taxes as if it was the government’s money in the first place. They call tax cuts a cost to the government.  In contrast, when government entities increase taxes and fees, the media and Democrats talk about the additional revenue to the government, not the cost to individuals and businesses to pay the tax.

The following article points out that networks howl about the loss of revenue to the government. I do not recall them decrying the loss of money to individuals and businesses when the government increases taxes and fees. Basically, the media repeats Democratic talking points.

Democrats, including the media, believe the people work for the government instead of the government working for the people.

Democratic politicians and the media are so lacking in knowledge about economics that they don’t even comprehend that as they rail against trickle down or supply side economics, it’s their own policies that are pure trickle-down economics. They believe that more money should go to the government, then they run the money through a major bureaucracy enriching the already huge government entities and finally, they trickle out a much smaller amount to their special interest groups which they claim generates jobs. It is a simple concept that the more money that is left in the private sector, the more potential there is for growth. It is too bad so many don’t understand.

The Democrats really don’t want a simple tax code. With a simplified tax code, politicians can’t bribe as many individuals and businesses with goodies. They can’t buy votes.

According to IRS, only a little over 30% of people itemized their deductions in 2013 and Trump wants to significantly increase the standard deduction along with lower the rates. Then he wants to eliminate and cap itemized deductions. Trump’s policy suggestions help almost everyone and simplify the code so much that most people should be able to fill out the tax forms themselves. Think of all the money that could be saved if they didn’t have to spend so much time and money on tax preparation and/or planning. The only people who may be hurt by limiting itemized deductions would be the truly rich. The poor and middle class will be helped, not hurt.

Then the public is continually fed the myth that when you cut rates that it costs the government. Bush’s across-the-board significant cuts in tax rates in 2003 showed that that was absolutely not true. Bush inherited a recession and a collapsing stock market when he took office in 2001. The economy was stagnant. Income tax revenues dropped from $1.2 trillion in fiscal year 2000 to $900 billion in fiscal 2003. Bush got his tax cuts approved in May 2003, the economy got a huge boost, and income tax revenues shot up to more than $1.5 trillion by FY2007. Rates were cut by around 10% across the board and revenues shot up over 60%. The CBO and other economists did not seem to understand the simple concept that the more money you leave in the hands of individuals, the more they have to spend, save and invest. All of that is more stimulating to the overall economy than having the government confiscate a continually greater share, and then picking winners and losers.

The kneejerk reaction of the Democrats and the media to such effective tax reform, seen whenever proposals to allow people and businesses to keep more of their own money is telling. They would rather have more people dependent on government than a growing, stimulated economy.

I have seen many economies that collapsed because the government got too big. (Venezuela is a current example. The Soviet Union was a previous example.)  I do not believe I have ever seen an economy collapse because individuals and businesses have been able to keep a greater share of the money that they, not the government or politicians, earned.

The bad ideas I see on tax reform all relate to some sort of national sales tax. This can be in the form of a Value Added Tax (VAT) or the “fair tax” that former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckaee supported. These are highly regressive taxes that will widen the wealth gap and destroy the U.S. consumer-driven economy. They complicate the tax system instead of simplify it. The border adjustment tax also sounds stupid because it is so complicated. The best border adjustment there would be is to stop double-taxing earnings that companies legitimately allocate to other countries. Double taxation is absolutely unfair.

Some Democrats, in particular, seem to be entertaining the idea of a VAT lately, which shows they really don’t care about simplicity or economic growth. They also seem to have little concern for the middle class and the poor because any VAT is highly regressive and reduces purchasing power.

Trump’s proposals are for an extremely progressive income tax system. It is truly a shame that the Democrats, including the media, are so intent on punishing those they have defined as rich that they don’t mind taking away important economic opportunities from the poor and middle class in the process.

Let’s give everyone a chance to move up the economic ladder. Trump’s simplification proposals certainly appear to enhance everyone’s opportunities.

Hellner is a CPA with more than forty years’ experience on tax matters.


So far, I have to come down on the side of finding President Trump’s tax proposal to be good and worthwhile. I’m neither a tax attorney nor a CPA so I’m not an expert, but just reading the details of the plan sounds good to me. I appreciate that Mr. Hellner (the author of this piece) is a qualified person to address the subject and he believes that Trump’s proposal will be good for much of the country.

There’s one more aspect of consideration of the Trump plan that needs to be recognized as well and that is that the “progressives” are against it. I read articles in the New York Times, The Atlantic, and the Washington Post and they all take the same tack, that the plan will COST the government trillions of dollars over the next ten years. Just as Mr. Hellner predicted, all three liberal entities lamented the reduction in money collected by the federal government.

Nowhere in any of the three articles was there any mention that taxpayers got to keep those trillions instead of sending them to Washington so the bureaucrats could spend trillions buying their reelection, funding their retirement, and rewarding their business partners.

And the most important negative associated with Trump’s proposal is that it is TRUMP’S proposal. With Trump Derangement Syndrome is full blossom, there’s no way that the liberal left is ever going to find anything positive in anything Donald Trump does. The fact that it has Trump’s name associated with it is enough for the democrats and the media to be against it. And finally, the lower tax rates would result in the most highly paid among us to reap the greatest benefits. The top 1% would see a significant reduction in the taxes they paid – and the vindictive left can’t accept that. 

It makes logical sense to me that if millions of taxpayers were able to keep more of their earnings they’d buy more stuff, or buy better stuff. In either event, I’d expect the economy to be booming and that, in turn, means more manufacturing, more jobs, and that’s all good. Frankly, as long as my taxes are reduced, I’m happy.



Categories: Political


5 replies

  1. You’re certainly right that Democrats will hate Trump’s plan no matter what, Garnet. They’re goal is to be the Party of resistance, even if it means cutting off their silly noses to spite their silly faces.

    But principled conservatives should also be against this plan because, as Hellner notes, “Trump’s proposals are for an extremely progressive income tax system.”

    “From each according to his ability. To each according to his need.” – Karl Marx

    That’s communism 101.

    Let’s consider what happens under a flat-tax system with an across the board rate of 15%. Bob, 45, a dentist who went to school 8 years, earns $400,000 a year. Assuming, for the sake of argument, that all deductions are eliminated, Bob would pay $60,000 in taxes and this would be his personal contribution to the public treasury to support services we all use. John, also 45, chose not to go to school. Instead he became a carpenter and earns $75,000 a year. At 15% his taxes would be $11,250. Two men both citizens of the same society, driving the same highways, defended by the same military…but one is required by law to pay $60,000 for his share while another is only required to pay $11,250. I don’t see anything fair about that. Practical, perhaps, and practicality must unfortunately play a part in determining each American’s share of the tax burden. But Fair? No.

    Trump’s “progressive” tax plan skews that unfairness even more. It looks like John would pay 10%, or $6,000 in taxes, while Bob would be in a 25% bracket paying $100,000. $6K vs. $100K for receiving the same services. That’s not including a proposed personal deduction but I’m simplifying. It’s true, Democrats should be loving it, but conservatives shouldn’t be happy with it either IMO, because it continues us down the wrong, dangerous path.

    Mr. Hellner touts the plans simplicity, and I agree that simplicity is a good thing. But let’s remember that healthcare can be simplified if we simply accept the far Left’s demand for a single-payer system, proving that simplicity should not be the test by which we measure all things.


    • While Trump’s plan is far from perfect, please enlighten me about which “perfect” plan has ANY chance of being actually put in play? I’ll take Trump’s plan for now until something better comes along (VAT?). You quote Marx, I’ll quote from Voltaire: “Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.”

      Unless both conservative and establishment Republicans come together behind some plan, nothing is going to happen and we’ll continue to labor under the current tax policies.


      • I understand the difficulty – or impossibility even – of any administration ever passing what I would consider to be a fair tax plan that meets the spirit of equal treatment under the Constitution, Garnet, but there is a very big difference between resigning ourselves to a tax plan that treats Americans with wide disparity and cheering for it. This article hails Trumps plan as a “truly great tax plan,” citing, among other things, how “extremely progressive” it is. To me that seems like a celebration of a tax proposal that is antithetical to the principles of conservatism.

        Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that the cutoff between the 10% tax level and the 25% level is $100,000. What that means, under this plan, is that a person making $99,000 would pay $9,900 in taxes while a person making just $2,000 more, or $101,000, would pay $25,250 or 255% more (not accounting for any standard deduction). I don’t understand how anyone can see that as reasonable or acceptable. In fact, unless the person making $99,000 is offered a raise or promotion of at least $30,000 or more he’s better off not accepting it. That’s the trouble, both philosophically and mathematically, with a steeply progressive plan.

        I wouldn’t say that this is a case of the perfect being the enemy of the good. This is more like the fair and wise being the enemy of the simple and progressive.


  2. I love this tax plan. Your mortgage interest would have to be yuge to deduct with the planned deductions! Simplified and postcard returns will put more CPA’s out of business. #unemployment. But they are a bright bunch. They’ll find other jobs as the economy booms!


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