Trump the Taxer: Not only are Trump’s tariffs one of the largest tax hikes in decades, but they also amount to more than the tax increases from the first three years of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act.
Yes, that thing Republicans came up with in part but can’t stop screeching about because taxes are unfair when they pay for affordable health insurance. Except unlike the ACA, Trump and the GOP never bothered to even have the numbers on Trump’s tariffs scored.
Taxes are obviously great when they pay for Trump’s ego-based trade war.
“President Trump, having championed one of the larger tax cuts in recent years, has now enacted tariffs equivalent to one of the largest tax increases in decades,” a CNBC analysis of Trump’s tariffs began on Thursday.
While Trump claims that China pays the tariffs, he is wrong. It is actually U.S. businesses and consumers who pay for the tariffs, which CNBC points out is “essentially a tax increase.”
Ironically, they point out that Trump’s tariff taxes are more than the tax increases from the first three years of Obamacare.
“It’s certainly not the largest tax increase in history but it does rank among some of the bigger tax proposals over the last 20 years that have raised revenues,” said Kyle Pomerleau, chief economist with the Tax Foundation.
The revenue raised from the tariffs is more than the tax increases from the first three years of the Obama administration’s ACA, according to the Treasury department’s data. Only in year four of the ACA, when revenue rose by an estimated 0.46% of GDP, did it raise more than the estimate from President Trump’s tariffs.
Trump increased tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports to 25% from 10% last week, which will raise prices on consumer goods from clothing to electronics. Trump claims his tariffs are helping the gross domestic product, but in reality Societe Generale’s U.S. chief economist sees them cutting U.S. GDP by 0.25%.
Retail sales “unexpectedly fell in April as households cut back on purchases of motor vehicles and a range of other goods, pointing to a slowdown in economic growth after a temporary boost from exports and inventories in the first quarter,” Reuters reported Thursday. And why might this be? Remember how Republicans used to lecture us that “markets like stability?” Well, apparently their definition of stability is not the dictionary definition, because they’re not screeching now, but: “President Donald Trump’s escalating trade war with China, which triggered a steep U.S. stock market sell-off, is also seen hurting business confidence and undercutting spending on equipment.”
CNBC pointed out that the tariff increase will cost the median household with earnings of $61,000 about $500-550 a year, and such a large revenue measure, had it actually been labeled a tax, “would have been subject to considerable economic analysis from the Congressional Budget Office or the Joint Committee on Taxation for the potential effects on growth, inflation and jobs. No such analysis has been offered or is believed to have been conducted by the administration of the current tariffs.”
In yet another way that Trump has grabbed power, “And the revenue measure is by far the largest enacted without congressional approval. Congress, in a series of laws, has ceded to the president vast powers to levy tariffs.”
Even Walmart is not pleased with Trump’s tariffs, with Chief Financial Officer Brett Biggs saying “higher tariffs will result in increased prices for consumers.”
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.