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New York Times editorial: Trump tax outline a ‘laughable stunt’

New York Times editorial: Trump tax outline a ‘laughable stunt’
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The New York Times editorial board is blasting President Trump's new tax proposal as "laughable."

In an editorial published late Wednesday, the publication's editorial board called Trump's proposal a "laughable stunt by a gang of plutocrats looking to enrich themselves at the expense of the country's future."

The plan slashes taxes for businesses and wealthy families, the editorial board wrote, in the "vague hope of propelling economic growth."

"So as to not seem completely venal, they served up a few goodies for the average wage-earning family, among them fewer and lower tax brackets and a higher standard deduction," the editorial said.

"The proposal was so empty of illustrative detail that few people could even begin to calculate its impact on their pocketbooks." 

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The editors said the tax plan might not even benefit some middle-class families because it eliminates "important deductions like those for state and local taxes."

The president's tax plan would create three tax brackets for individuals. Most itemized deductions would be eliminated, but the standard deduction would be doubled.

It would also eliminate the deduction for state and local taxes.

The tax rate for corporations and most businesses would be reduced to 15 percent.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Wednesday hailed the plan as "the biggest tax cut and the largest tax reform in the history of our country."

The White House provided a one-page summary of its plan that is short on details, and there is no Congressional Budget Office score for what it would do to the deficit. The proposal to cut corporate and business tax rates is raising GOP concerns about blowing up the deficit.

The Times editors said there are legitimate reasons to run deficits, but "borrowing trillions of dollars to provide a huge windfall for people at the top is not one of those reasons."

"It is hard to know whether Mr. Trump’s tax plan or some version of it could pass," the editorial said.

"Republican leaders have said that they want to pass revenue-neutral changes to the tax code that would not explode the deficit."

The president has already sent a "strong message about where his sympathies lie" despite what happens with the plan, the editorial said.

"They lie not with the working people who elected him," the editorial said, "but with the plutocracy that envelops him."