Donald Trump Goes After the Upper Middle Class Vote

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Donald Trump is giving a big economic policy speech this morning. So what is he proposing?

Who benefits most from this? Answer: the upper middle class. If you’re poor, a tax deduction helps very little because your child-related expenses are low (thanks to being poor) and your tax rate is 10 percent or less, so you get to write off a pittance at most. If you’re rich it doesn’t help much because it’s chump change. But if you’re in the upper middle class, it’s great. Your tax rate is probably around 20-30 percent, so you can write off a fair amount, and it’s a meaningful sum of money. So it’s great for all the lawyers and doctors out there.

By contrast, a tax credit is the same for everyone. The poor get $2,000. The middle class gets $2,000. The rich get $2,000. The rich still don’t care much, but both the poor and the middle class benefit. But that’s not what Trump is proposing. Like Republicans everywhere, he and his economic team just don’t care much about the poor or the working class.

More importantly, though, neither a child tax deduction nor a child tax credit mean anything to me. I don’t have kids. So where’s the blogger tax deduction? Or the write-off for cat-related expenses? What is Donald Trump doing to try to buy my vote?

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FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

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