The millionaires and billionaires in Trump's inner circle, like Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, want a massive tax cut — for themselves.
The Trump administration is kicking off its campaign to give multimillionaires like Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and his wife huge tax cuts that do nothing to help millions of ordinary Americans out to dry.
Mnuchin is spearheading the rollout of the so-called "United Framework for Fixing Our Broken Tax Code," a bundle of gifts to the super rich and giant corporations who stand to benefit immensely if Congress passes them into law.
Mnuchin absurdly claimed in a press release that the plan he's cooked up will bring "tax relief to middle income families and small businesses." But he did not admit that it's actually designed to benefit wealthy people like him.
Donald Trump, meanwhile, has outright lied about his latest scheme, telling reporters, "I think there's very little benefit for people with wealth." He insists the tax cut for millionaires "is for the working people."
Nothing could be further from the truth.
"Under this plan, the wealthiest Americans and wealthiest corporations make out like bandits," explained Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, "while middle class Americans are left holding the bag."
Schumer also pointed out that Republicans will certainly use these handouts to the ultra-wealthy to then argue for cuts to Social Security and Medicare.
"Americans beware," Schumer said. "That's what they do. Dramatically lower taxes on the wealthy, do it in an irresponsible way, and then they say the big deficit we just created forces us to cut Medicare and Social Security."
Even conservative columnist Ramesh Ponnoru admitted, "Families are an afterthought for this plan."
The welfare-for-the-rich plan Mnuchin is pushing for Trump would take money away from education, health care, and other needs for millions of Americans and instead dole it out to people like Mnuchin and his wife, actress Louise Linton — who recently bragged on Instagram about her $4,000 designer outfit.
Mnuchin has a reported net worth of over $385 million, which he made as a partner at Goldman Sachs and as the head of a bank dealing in subprime loans where he profited from foreclosing on tens of thousands of homeowners.
It is people like Mnuchin, instead of those homeowners who suffered thanks to his practices in the private sector, who would most benefit under this plan.
Trump's inner circle of Cabinet secretaries, along with Mike Pence, are worth billions. The assemblage of ultra-wealthy figures — the richest in modern American history — has a net worth of about $4.3 billion. The grassroots group Our Revolution characterized them as "Wall Street lackeys" who have spent "a combined 200 years serving the interests of the wealthiest few."
Like the Mnuchins, who reportedly tried to secure a government jet to fly away on their honeymoon in Europe, they all stand to benefit from the Republican tax cut plan. It is the kind of behavior that led progressive groups to call for Mnuchin to be removed from the tax legislation process.
"The person who is leading Trump's work to change tax laws should not be abusing taxpayers to fund his private vacations," Nicole Gill of Tax March told CNBC.
The Republican plan calls for eliminating the estate tax and the alternative minimum tax, changes that are targeted at helping people like the Mnuchins and the extremely fortunate people who are worth even more than they are.
Eliminating the estate tax would save the Trump Cabinet over a billion dollars. Like Mnuchin, Trump's secretaries would make out like bandits. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross would get an extra $545 million. The family of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos would rake in $900 million. Linda McMahon, head of the Small Business Administration, and her husband, WWE founder Vince McMahon, would take in $250 million.
Trump's own net worth is in dispute, thanks to his failure to reveal his tax returns, but based on his estimated net worth of $3 billion, the estate tax scheme would net him $564 million.
Republicans have often excused moves to cut estate taxes by citing burdens on family farms. But only about 80 farms and business estates will have to pay those obligations in 2017.
The plan is a scheme to give the wealthy elite like Mnuchin, his wife, Trump's other top advisers, and even Trump himself a leg up. That doesn't help middle-income American families. It just makes Trump and his rich friends that much richer.