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Republicans Have 'a Dirty Little Secret'

Economist Joseph Stiglitz isn't impressed with their tax plan
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 1, 2020 12:30 PM CST

(Newser) – President Trump has "a dirty little secret," an economist says: Republicans are about to start raising taxes. That's because the 2017 tax cuts signed by Trump will begin to fade in 2020, at least for people earning $75,000 and under. "For most, in fact, it's a delayed tax increase dressed up as a tax cut," writes Joseph Stiglitz in the New York Times. "How many times have you heard Trump and his allies mention that?" The Nobel Prize winner looks at analyses by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation, which show that people earning between $10,000 and $30,000 will pay more in 2021 than before the tax cut passed. And by 2027, when the law is fully enacted, only those earning over $100,000 will on average get a tax cut.

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"You might well ask: Why didn't Mr. Trump just give everyone a tax cut?" asks Stiglitz. He says it's because the cuts will run budget deficits "well beyond $1 trillion," and "to reduce that stomach-churning amount, they had to phase-in higher taxes on ordinary Americans." Stiglitz takes up the GOP's arguments—that cuts spur trickle-down economics and higher wages—but finds them mostly untrue, and points to a Moody's Analytics analysis showing that Joe Biden's tax-reform plan "wins by an enormous margin." For Stiglitz, the explanation is simple: The GOP "saw a chance to give their rich friends and corporations a big thank you for campaign contributions." For a balanced look at Trump's and Biden's tax plans, check out CBS News. (Read more taxes stories.)

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