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Sunday, February 28, 2016

Today's "Gilded Age" and This Presidential Election (Guest Post)

Robert Reich's photo.

"Not nearly enough has been said about the tax cuts for the rich now being proposed by Trump, Cruz, and Rubio. They’re larger, as a proportion of the government budget and the total economy, than any tax cuts ever before proposed. 5 things you need to know:

1. Trump’s proposed cut would reduce the top rate from 39.6 percent to 25 percent – creating a giant windfall for the wealthy (at a time when the wealthy have a larger portion of the nation’s wealth than any time since 1890).

2. The Cruz and Rubio plans would abandon our century-old progressive income tax (whose rates increase as taxpayers’ incomes increase) altogether, and instead tax the amount people spend in a year and exclude income from investments. Such a system would burden lower-income workers who spend almost everything they earn and have few if any investments.

3. Cruz also proposes a 10 percent flat tax, which would lower tax rates on the rich and increase taxes for lower-income workers.

4. The Republican plans also repeal estate and gift taxes – now paid almost entirely by the very wealthy, who make big gifts to their heirs and leave them big estates.

5. These plans would cut federal revenues by as much as $12 trillion over the decade -- but neither Trump, Rubio, or Cruz has said what they’ll do to fill this hole. They'll either explode the national debt, or have to cut Social Security, Medicare, and assistance to the poor (they’ve called for more military spending).
Bottom line: If any of these men is elected president, we could see the largest redistribution in American history from the poor and middle-class of America to the rich.

This is class warfare with a vengeance."

--Professor, author, columnist, economist Robert Reich.

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