President Donald Trump’s tax plan was released yesterday, and immediately, on cue, CNN’s Sally Kohn managed to express the dumbest opinion on the prospective legislation.
She posted the following tweet aiming to “translate” Trump’s tax plan:
Translated Trump's tax plan for ya pic.twitter.com/86NtekvAzY
— Sally Kohn (@sallykohn) April 26, 2017
Of course, had she bothered to read the one-page proposal explaining the reformed tax system, she would realize that in no way does it “take” money from anyone, nor does it command the government to then take that money and give it to the rich. To translate Kohn, the government taking less of rich people’s money (even if the poor are also getting a tax cut) is somehow “taking” money from the poor and giving it to the rich.
As Ben Shapiro noted:
There is a basic inconsistency here for Kohn. She is correct that higher taxes on a relatively small percentage of the middle class via reduction of tax deductions would involve the government taking more money from those affected. But she then suggests that wealthy Americans paying less taxes somehow amounts to reallocation of resources from those middle class Americans to those in the top tax brackets. So, in other words, taxation is theft when it is applied to those who aren’t in the top quintile of income earners, but for those rich folks, taxation is an expected tribute to be paid to the government.
Kohn also ignores the fact that the rich pay the overwhelming majority of net taxes in the United States. According to the Tax Foundation, in 2014, 35 percent of Americans paid no income tax, while those earning more than $250,000 paid 55 percent of the entire income tax burden. The top 20 percent of earners paid 84 percent of all income tax, according to the Tax Policy Center. According to the Congressional Budget Office report on distribution of taxes in 2013, the top 1 percent of households paid 34 percent of their income to federal taxes; the middle 20 percent paid just 12.8 percent. The top quintile of income households paid an average of $57,700 into federal tax coffers in 2013 when you include any wealth transfers they were paid by the government; the fourth highest quintile paid $2,600; the middle quintile actually made $7,800 from the feds, the second lowest quintile made $12,200, and the lowest quintile made $8,800. Bottom line, according to the American Enterprise Institute: “the highest income quintile is financing 96% of the entire system of transfer payments to the bottom 60% AND funding the operation of the federal government.” So no, the rich aren’t undertaxed. They’re paying for the whole operation. We actually have “the most progressive federal tax system among all OECD-24 countries.”
So, she basically just took the talking point that Republican economics is reverse-Robin Hood, and repeated it without bothering to actually look at the specifics of the plan.
And since we actually read them, here they are below, for anyone curious:
[Note: This post was written by Matt Palumbo. Follow him on Twitter @MattPalumbo12]