Complicit -- or ignorant? Jennifer Rubin asks.
She's a walking advertisement for the danger of nepotism, an exemplar of class privilege and a perfect representative for Republican know-nothingism. She was supposed to be the brains of the family and the moral ballast; instead, she's a self-righteous enabler.
We're speaking of Ivanka Trump, as you might have divined. She was out talking nonsense again on Thursday: "I'm really looking forward to doing a lot of traveling in April when people realize the effect that this has . . . The vast majority will be [doing their taxes] on a single postcard." Thunk. There's no postcard. That was a prop. And the filing for the first year under the new tax code will be in 2019.
She also declared of Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., who decided to vote for the final tax bill after voting no on the Senate version: "He really believes that tax relief, coupled with the administration's deregulatory actions, will create the growth that will start to erode and ultimately eliminate the national debt that has been accrued over the last several decades." I'm confident Corker believes no such thing because that would be preposterous, unsupported by any reputable economic analysis. (Corker voted for the final bill upon concluding it was flawed but helpful in promoting economic growth.) As Business Insider put it:
"This theory - that the bill will pay for itself and even erode existing debt through increased economic growth - is unsubstantiated. Virtually no nonpartisan studies or experts have found that the GOP bill, which slashes the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, will be deficit-neutral or decrease the debt-to-GDP ratio."
In fairness to Trump, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, also advanced this hooey, but you would think that she would at least have witnessed the pummeling Collins took for her phony assertion and learned from that. When one is not used to be being contradicted, one is perhaps less concerned with accuracy.
Trump leads the charmed life of one who will be able to take advantage of the reduction in the top marginal rate from 39.6 percent to 37 percent. She'll have the best lawyers and accountants to make certain her income is run through a pass-through, thereby reducing the amount counted as income by 20 percent. If she has been a dutiful Trump daughter, her taxes might look a lot like her father's - which means she and real-estate mogul husband Jared Kushner can afford even more lavish clothes, bigger homes and ostentatious jewelry. (Remember, the president's claims notwithstanding, he's likely to make a mint: "It is clear that President Donald Trump is set to save millions if he signs the Republican tax plan, but exactly how much? Forbes crunched the numbers: It looks like up to $11 million a year from a single rule change.") While Republicans were pleading poverty when it comes to funding government programs in the wake of the $1.5 trillion revenue-losing tax bill, Ivanka Trump and Kushner can breathe easy, as can their children. ("Under previous provisions, married couples could leave $11 million to their heirs before handing over about 40 percent of their remaining assets to the government. The new rule doubles that limit to $22 million, meaning Trump's children will likely get an additional $4.4 million tax break on their inheritance.")
She'd like to tout the child tax credit, but that, too, is less than advertised. Sens. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who championed the child tax credit, came on board with very little inducement. "Rubio and Lee didn't get the biggest change they wanted, which was to apply the credit to low-wage workers' entire income. Under their proposal, a minimum-wage worker making $14,500 would get a $494 tax credit; under the current bill, she'll get only $75, according to the liberal Center [on] Budget and Policy Priorities."
The CBPP explains:
"The final bill does nothing, compared to the Senate bill, to improve the CTC for 10 million children in low-income working families - meaning that those children will get only a token increase of up to $75 per family or no increase at all. Many working families with children under 17 with incomes that are too low to owe much or any income tax can get part of the CTC as a tax refund. As noted, that refundable amount is limited under current law to 15 percent of their earnings over $3,000. The Senate bill lowered the threshold so that earnings over $2,500 would count towards earning a CTC - translating to a CTC increase of just $75 for those families. The last-minute changes to the CTC do nothing more for these 10 million children."
Seventy-five bucks would probably cover Trump's lunch tab at her father's club, but really does nothing for those low-income families.
If Trump cared to do her homework, she wouldn't say objectively false things. She wouldn't treat the pittance that Republicans gave to poor families as a grand accomplishment. Then again, perhaps she has learned at her father's knee to be a flim-flam artist, a con woman and an entitled child of wealth who looks out for herself and only herself. Those who thought that she'd bring smarts, empathy and reason to the White House sure missed the mark.