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For some in middle class, Trump plan would mean tax increase


    President-elect Donald Trump speaks during his meeting with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. Trump promised big tax cuts for the middle class, but for nearly 8 million families, the opposite would occur: They’d pay more.

WASHINGTON >> President-elect Donald Trump’s proposals would modestly cut income taxes for most middle-class Americans. But for nearly 8 million families — including a majority of single-parent households — the opposite would occur: They’d pay more.

Most married couples with three or more children would also pay higher taxes, an analysis by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center found. And while middle-class families as a whole would receive tax cuts of about 2 percent, they’d be dwarfed by the windfalls averaging 13.5 percent for America’s richest 1 percent.

Trump’s campaign rhetoric had promoted the benefits of his proposals for middle-income Americans.

“The largest tax reductions are for the middle class,” said Trump’s “Contract With the American Voter,” released last month.

The tax hikes that would hit single parents and large families would result from Trump’s plan to eliminate the personal exemption and the head-of-household filing status. These features of the tax code have enabled many Americans to reduce their taxable income.

His other proposed tax changes would benefit middle- and lower-income Americans. But they wouldn’t be enough to offset those modifications.

“If you’re a low- or moderate-income single parent, you’re going to get hurt,” said Bob Williams, a fellow at the Tax Policy Center.

Unlike Trump’s polarizing proposals on immigration and trade, his tax plan is in line with traditional Republican policy. His steep tax cuts in many ways resemble those carried out by Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, and the Republican-run Congress is expected to welcome them.

During the campaign, Trump said his tax cuts — for individuals and companies — would energize the economy by boosting business investment in factories and equipment, while leaving consumers with more cash to spend. His proposals, he contended, would help create 25 million jobs over the next decade.

But Lily Batchelder, a visiting fellow at the Tax Policy Center and former deputy director of President Barack Obama’s National Economic Council, estimates that roughly 7.9 million families with children would pay higher taxes under his proposals. About 5.8 million are led by single parents. An additional 2.1 million are married couples.

Other analysts, including economists at the conservative Tax Foundation and right-of-center American Enterprise Institute, have agreed with Batchelder’s conclusions.

Here’s what her analysis finds:

Right now, a single parent with $75,000 in income and two children can claim a head of household deduction of $9,300, plus three personal exemptions. Those steps would reduce the household’s taxable income by $21,450, to $53,550.

Trump’s plan would more than double the standard deduction to $15,000. But that change would be outweighed by his elimination of personal exemptions and head-of-household status. So the family’s taxable income would be $60,000, and their tax bill would be $2,440 more than it is now.

A married couple with four children and income of $50,000 would absorb a tax increase of $1,090 because of their loss of personal exemptions.

Kelly Rodriguez, 47, who lives in Tampa, Florida, voted for Trump and is a single mother who claims two of her four children as dependents. (Her ex-husband claims the other two.) She made roughly $90,000 last year, including alimony payments. Her taxes would likely rise under Trump’s plan, according to Batchelder’s analysis.

“I would want him to explain that to me,” she said. “Taxes have to make sense to the people paying them.”

Still, Trump’s plan will likely evolve during congressional negotiations before it becomes law.

“This is not anywhere close to a final plan,” Williams said.

Kyle Pomerlau, director of federal projects at the conservative Tax Foundation, noted that House Speaker Paul Ryan’s own tax-cut proposal is similar to Trump’s but wouldn’t raise taxes on single-parent families. In theory, the two plans could be melded, and Trump’s elimination of the head of household status could be dropped.

But leaving the head of household filing status and personal exemptions intact would lower tax revenue by $2.1 trillion over the next decade, the Tax Policy Center says.

Trump’s advisers deny that he will raise taxes on middle-income Americans but don’t provide details. Previously, the campaign suggested that Trump would broadly instruct Congress to avoid raising taxes on lower- and middle-income workers.

“We will cut taxes massively for the middle class and working class and protect everyone in the middle class and working class,” Stephen Miller, Trump’s top policy adviser, said in an email.

Yet all independent analyses show most of the benefit flowing to the wealthiest Americans. Nearly half of Trump’s tax cuts would go to the top 1 percent of earners, the Tax Policy Center found. Less than a quarter of the cuts would benefit the bottom 80 percent.

Trump proposes to reduce the number of tax brackets from seven to three, with rates of 12 percent, 25 percent and 33 percent. That would slash the top rate from the current 39.6 percent. He would repeal the estate tax, which affects only about 0.2 percent of estates — those worth above $5.45 million.

For middle-income earners as a whole, the Trump proposals would cut taxes, even taking into account the increases on single-parent families. Those earning nearly $50,000 to about $83,000 — the middle one-fifth — would receive an average cut of $1,010, according to the Tax Policy Center. That would lift their after-tax incomes 1.8 percent.

By contrast, the wealthiest 1 percent — those earning over $700,000 — would enjoy a tax cut averaging nearly $215,000, boosting their after-tax incomes 13.5 percent. And the richest 0.1 percent — those making above $3.7 million — would receive a bonanza: An average tax cut exceeding $1 million.

“Trump’s campaign rhetoric may have been populist, but his tax plan isn’t,” Howard Gleckman, a senior fellow at the policy center, wrote on its website.

His tax proposals suggest what may be a challenge for Trump’s administration: Providing his middle- and working-class supporters with tangible signs of economic progress. Middle-income Americans already pay a relatively modest share of federal income taxes compared with the wealthy. That limits the scope of what tax cuts could do for them.

“The thing that he needs to worry about is making life better for his supporters, and that involves more than tax cuts,” Williams said.

Middle class finances have also been squeezed by high and rising costs for health care, higher education and housing, noted Joseph Cohen, a sociologist at Queens College in New York City.

“We’ve been cutting taxes since Reagan, and things have been getting worse for the middle class since Reagan,” he said.


Contact Chris Rugaber on Twitter at

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  • Wake up America! Did you really think this clown was going to be your knight in shining armor? Like the old saying goes;”you can put lipstick on a pig, and it’s still a pig (or elephant in this case).

      • Those of us who voted for Trump are much more likely to understand why you didn’t. Your inability to understand is keeping you in an echo chamber of your own words and thoughts. That would be enough to drive most people crazy, as you know.

      • Because Hillary was a terribly flawed candidate with pay to play and emailgate and her perv husband blunted the impact of Trump’s ‘grab the poo see’ comment and not revealing his tax returns.

        • So it wasn’t about Trump at all, it’s just an anti-Hillary vote. So why do people defend Trump, based on your comment they shouldn’t be defending Trump or Clinton.

    • IRT Iwandcah, sorry that you believe the article and especially the report from the progressive liberal “non-partisan” Tax Policy Center made up of the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institute. If you review their Board of Trustees, they read the Who’s Who of the Clinton and Obama Administration. Of course you must expect them to put out a negative tax policy. And, a tax policy that has never been fully developed. Yep, another “Fake News” on America and its citizens. It’s getting really bad with the “Fake News”.

    • Good news: “Most married couples with three or more children would also pay higher taxes,..” These overpopulaterors should be punished at least with higher taxes for such people collectively are the reason life on this planet is bad for billions already.. . Overpopulation was the reason for Japans and Germany’s aggressive imperialistic wars, to grab room for their expanding populations.

  • All candidates come up with a tax plan and until Congress massages it in negotiations within their committees and the opposite party it’s just a “plan”. Final products are all different–we still have the special interest groups$$$$.

      • OD, you have to ask, why is it that in 8 years Democrats have managed to go from controlling the Presidency and both houses of Congress, to losing the House first (by an overwhelming majority), then the Senate, then a ton of Governor and State positions, and finally the Presidency. Except for Hawaii, and a few high population cities made up of many immigrants, the rest of the country is very, very, red.

  • Whoever voted for the Trumpster is now realizing he lies more then Clinton. I they see that his buddies get the tax breaks and the rest of us get the shaft!

    • The Clinton standard of lying is far beyond Trumps skill set. It’s time to repeal the 16th amendment, uh for you Clinton voters that’s the income tax amendment.

      • I’m really curious why trump supporters have continued to try to label clinton a liar when trump’s rate of lying far surpassed anyone else’s during this presidential campaign. And I mean by a mile. Sometimes his lies on the same subject changed from day to day.

        • Easier to convince themselves that Trumps lies are actually lies made up by the media. But Clinton supporters also suffer from this point of view to a certain extent. I think it was the American philosopher George Costanza who said, “Its not a lie if you believe it.”

        • Only the supporters who don’t fact check things. That’s why should never blindly believe everything. And that’s a funny seinfeld reference.

    • Read the article carefully before you jump to conclusions. Did it not say that most in the middle-class would see reduced taxes? It heralds a tax increase but it conspicuously fails to note how much or how little these taxpayers pay now. The single mother with two dependents that makes 90K? That’s a lot of income in my opinion but what her current tax burden is, the article fails to mention. Thus it is difficult to opine whether the proposals are “fair” or not.

  • “Trump’s campaign rhetoric may have been populist, but his tax plan isn’t,” Howard Gleckman, a senior fellow at the policy center, wrote on its website.
    And you expected something different? Now we all pay… 🙁
    And with his war on public school things will only get worse for those who need it the most.

  • why keep talking about pre-election rhetoric. as another poster mentioned, whatever tax plan is proposed it’ll need Congress. the media needs to get into the present and future instead of dwelling in the past … but i guess it “sells” newspaper; lol.

    • by the way, many are anticipating we go from stagnant growth to moderate growth under Trump’s plans. Check out what the stock market has done since the election; new highs. Having said that, it won’t be a surprise if the market pauses and some take profits.

    • Republican majority congress will welcome his plan with open arms. To all you dam- fo-ls who voted for the Chump you’ve been scammed big time. Mega rich one percent celebrating with their champagne while you dum-ies sip the kook aid.

  • Kelly Martinez in Tampa, who voted for trump, now wants him to explain why she would see tax hikes as a single mom? Good luck with that. Better to go to The Florida Gold Coast and carry a sign outside one of his opulent mansions.

  • Those who voted for Trump didn’t stop to think that he would push for an agenda that would benefit himself, his family and his friends? That’s what a businessman does, that’s who he is.

  • Relax people! Take a breath!Breath-in,breath-out. There,aaaaahhhh,how’s that? Assume your Lotus position,take your middle finger to your thump,breath-in and slowly breath-out: Relax,there you go.

    Now Remember.
    Everything The Left Stream Media puts out, for you to read, you don’t have to bite! “Hook ,Line and Sinker! Right?
    Read the story and who the usual suspects(ie;Lily Batchelder) are…in this case. Giving their “Analysis”?
    Haaaaaaaaa!Puleeze,give me a break! lol.
    These so-called analyst are pure speculators,nothing more. Nothing has been proven yet,heck President elect Trump hasn’t even been sworn in. And where were these so-called speculators,during the elections,don’t you think this would have helped Hillary Clinton enormously? So,why Now?

    As Usual.Standard procedure,usual protocol. Spreading more “Doom and Gloom” for the president elect.
    “Nothing More ?”…..Well maybe, not more, maybe “More” Sore Democrat losers , doing what they do best. Cry and Boy do they cry BIG!

    It all comes down to this folks ………
    Back in 08 when Obama won the presidential election,(and yes I did NOT vote for him),but at the time i was willing to give him a chance to see if all this “Hope and Change “stuff was for Real. Unfortunately it wasn’t the kind of “Change” many of us wanted and the “Hope” part,well that went out the window too,hence ,why we have a Republican President .
    Today we have come to the same crossroads,as Obama’s 2008. My question is:Are my fellow Trollers (here) willing to give the Same Chance,as I did to President Obama? Or are you going to keep crying about it all the time?

    Time to Man-up!

        • I’ve been back in this section for a long time just enjoying you Chumpsters getting the Shaft from the Chump. Looks like you’re going to pay more taxes while his friends congratulate him for taking all of you foo-s to the cleaners. Way to go idi-ts.

    • You may have been willing to give obama a chance, but unfortunately, republicans like mitch mcconnell weren’t. They vowed to fight everything he tried to do just so they could say he was a do-nothing president. I guess this is why they had historically low approval ratings, while obama was last at over 50%. Also unfortunately, most of them are from reliably red states, so they didn’t face real recriminations for failure to do their jobs.

      • Mitch McConnell was doing what the people who elected all of those in Congress wanted them to do. Our system of government has checks and balances; we don’t have dictators, or at least we try to stop dictators. Our form of government was not designed to be run on executive orders from one branch of government.

      • “Only President Obama stood in their way”?…..Without the “Rich”of the Mega Donors we would have No Obama.Without the “Rich” Corporation, Big and Small businesses,you would have…. NO Jobs….simple as that!

    • @ MoiLee …Agree.
      The last 8 years has been dismal. I see a successful business person wanting to help Americans and I voted for him as I see an opportunity to get America back on track.
      Only fair to give him a chance like how we did for Barack.

      • Drain the swamp by giving tax breaks to the ultra rich? That’s bold, beautiful leadership. That’s thinking big. Very big. Thanks Donald. Magnificent plan. Magnificent. Fabulous.

        • We are relaxed because we knew all along that the Chumps unspoken campaign promise was really to make America’s wealthy one percent greater than ever. Its the foo-s that voted for him who should be rallying to make him fulfill the empty promises that you believed.

  • Relax folks this is rehashed pre election rhetoric . After all this is the Star Advertiser you are reading.
    I know you Hillarylites expect to be lied to , or can’t figure it out but Trump is a whole new deal.

  • Didn’t trump state he will be fair and take care of ALL Americans? He really is a PHONEY just look at his character and it proves what kind of person- wasn’t he having an affair while still married to Ivana(Marla)and Marla(Melania)? I predict he will do the same to Melaina his biggest loyalist (newt and gulliani is same type of person(simply screwballs)

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