Budowsky: The Trump tax scandals

Budowsky: The Trump tax scandals
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If President Trump would stop breaking his often-stated promise to publicly release his tax returns, the preview he offers this week of his new tax proposal would almost certainly reveal that Trump wants to significantly cut the taxes Trump pays, if indeed he has paid any taxes in recent years, which is far from certain.

The Trump tax scandals hurt Americans on many levels. The original Trump tax scandal of keeping his tax returns secret, which made a mockery of his campaign promises, prevents Americans from knowing vital information about whether the president has foreign business interests or foreign loans that compromise his ability to make presidential decisions involving hostile nations with whom he does business.

Congressional Democrats should demand that no tax legislation be considered unless and until the Trump tax returns are released.Americans have a right to know whether their president has egregious conflicts of interest between the legislation he proposes and the taxes he does or does not pay. Americans should demand to know whether their commander in chief, and the advisers who surround him, have conflicts of interests from business they may do with nations that threaten American security interests at home and around the world.


The next Trump scandal involves the recent ill-fated healthcare legislation, variously dubbed TrumpCare or RyanCare. This legislation would have imposed cruel and unusual pain against millions of Americans by attacking Medicaid and reducing health benefits to so many Americans that neutral observers concluded it would have reduced insurance coverage by 20 million citizens or more, while enacting a substantial tax cut that would have disproportionately benefitted the wealthiest among us.

The healthcare bill offered a barely disguised and substantial tax cut for the most wealthy, paid for by imposing punishment on poor and middle-income Americans.

The latest Trump tax scandal is coming into view this week, as details of the Trump tax bill emerge. The Trump proposal would give enormous tax benefits to many of the largest multinational corporations in the world, while almost certainly adding trillions of dollars to the budget deficit and national debt.

The strategy of Trump and his Republican allies is to falsely claim that the tax credits will increase economic growth by so much that the federal deficit will not rise. These false claims have been debunked throughout economic history, including the deficit-increasing Reagan tax cuts, and are rejected by most nonpartisan economic analysts.

The Trump tax cuts would create gigantic deficits and guarantee that the lobbyist and special interest frenzy Trump promotes will make Washington the worst special interest swampland since the Teapot Dome scandal.

Liberals and Democrats will have a field day opposing all of these plans. They emerge from a GOP that governs as though America is a one-party Republican state that involves nothing more than moderate Republicans negotiating with far right Republicans. They produce extreme policies that help the most wealthy at the expense of everyone else, creating a Christianity in reverse that takes from the poor and middle class to give to the wealthy, paid for by huge deficits that were ended by President Clinton and will be made catastrophic by Trump, who once called himself “the king of debt.”

The Trump tax scandals would create the most extreme version of trickle-down economics in the history of the United States, from the most crony-capitalist president in the history of the nation creating the most extreme version of the scandalous swampland that Trump falsely promised to end.

These harshly regressive trickle-down policies caused the Great Depression under GOP President Hoover and the great recession and financial crash under GOP President George W. Bush.

The list of actions Trump promised for his first hundred days became a litany of broken promises. Americans should hope his second hundred days bring an end to Trump’s tax scandals and the economic dangers they create.


Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and Rep. Bill Alexander (D-Ark.), then-chief deputy majority whip of the House. He holds an LL.M. in international financial law from the London School of Economics. He can be read on The Hill’s Contributors blog and reached at brentbbi@webtv.net. The views expressed by this author are their own and are not the views of The Hill.