Trump’s Plan to Cut Corporate Taxes Takes a Brutal Hit from Conservative Economist

Donald Trump’s bigotry has taken center stage in his campaign, and for good reason. But there is also his economy-destroying economic plan, including his plan to cut business taxes because, according to him, a) business taxes are the highest in the world, and b) those business taxes are job killers.

Conservative economist Ben Stein appeared Friday on Fox Business’ Making Money with Charles Payne and gave some hard truth to Trumpites, saying that “The Evidence That Tax Cuts Stimulate Business In Any Kind Of Meaningful Way … Is Extremely Poor.”

And this is a conservative economist saying this.

Watch courtesy of Media Matters for America:

CHARLES PAYNE (HOST): What do you think?
BEN STEIN: Well I don’t think Mr. Trump’s plan is going to work very well. I don’t think we need that tax cut when we’re running deficits the size we are running. I think the evidence that tax cuts stimulate business in any kind of meaningful way at least, not to sufficient to overcome the tax revenue loss is extremely poor to put it mildly. I think the idea of cutting taxes on the rich in a time when there is so much concern about inequality is not a good idea.

So much for tax cuts on the rich as well.

Let’s look at some facts:

If you add his patently false claim that our economy is in the same shape as it was when Bush left office (you know, as if Obama had never existed, or was somehow responsible for everything Bush did – a claim often made), to the fact that cutting corporate taxes doesn’t create jobs (just like giving tax breaks to the 1 Percent doesn’t create jobs) you have a recipe for disaster. Blue State Minnesota is just one example of how making corporations pay their fair share keeps states from turning into complete economic disasters like, say, Red State Kansas.

Trump has said,

Taxes are one of the biggest differences in this race. Hillary Clinton – who has spent her career voting for tax increases – plans another massive job-killing $1.3 trillion-dollar tax increase. Big increase – one of the biggest ever. Her plan would tax many small businesses by almost fifty percent.

According to Trump, Hillary plans on raising middle class taxes, a claim Politifact has given a ruling of “Pants on Fire,” but that doesn’t stop Trump from repeating it. As Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler tweeted in response,

“False, Clinton didn’t say she wanted to raise taxes on the middle class. This is pathetic, even embarrassing spin.”

As far as what Trump really intends to do, he says “I am proposing an across-the-board income tax reduction, especially for middle-income Americans. This will lead to millions of new and really good-paying jobs.”

Trump is not being entirely honest, in that as a Moody’s Analytics analysis this summer revealed,

Everyone receives a tax cut under his proposals, but the bulk of the cuts would go to those at the very top of the income distribution, and the job losses resulting from his other policies would likely hit lower- and middle-income households the hardest. The decline in wealth caused by weaker stock prices and housing values would be felt by all households.

What Trump really thinks is killing job growth is corporate taxes, of course. Trump has said, “The United States also has the highest business tax rate among the major industrialized nations of the world, at 35 percent.”

Politifact says this is not true:

The United States does have one of the highest top marginal corporate tax rates in the world. However, companies pay less in practice because they can take deductions and exclusions. When we look at the actual tax burden on U.S. companies, it’s far from highest in the world.

NPR also fact-checked these claims and pointed out that,

While the federal corporate tax rate is 35%, the Congressional Research Service found in 2014 that the average effective corporate tax rate was around 27% and the Government Accountability Office calculated in 2010 that profitable businesses were paying federal income taxes amounting to about 13% of their total global income.

Politifact ranked the United States not at #1 but at #31, with a tax revenue as percentage of GDP 26.0%. The ruling was, not that Trump cares about facts, obviously, is that “By all metrics we looked at, the United States is far from the most taxed nation overall and for businesses.”

Clearly, U.S. corporate taxes are not outrageously high and clearly, high corporate taxes do not destroy jobs (as the example of Minnesota demonstrates) any more than low corporate taxes create jobs.

The dire consequences of a Trump economic plan are not to be ignored. Its flaws have been thoroughly explored and warnings from economists have followed one upon the other.

Not only is Trump’s economic plan based on a fantasy scenario where the American economy is in collapse, but the conclusions he draws are based on wishful thinking and old Republican talking points, not least of which is the myth of trickle-down economics. Trump won’t mind though, as his clothing line will still be made by low-paid workers in China and Mexico.