News Release

Mnuchin and Congress Plotting Tax Cuts for Wealthy Opposed by Majority

CaptureCNN is reporting: “As President Trump struggles to move on his policy agenda, top administration officials are headed to Capitol Hill Wednesday to talk about tax [legislation] with a group of moderate House Republicans.

“White House National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin plan to meet with the Tuesday Group ahead of the first major tax [legislation] hearing scheduled for Thursday, according to two sources familiar with the matter.”

DANIEL CHOMSKY, danielchomsky87 [at] gmail.com
Political science professor at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Chomsky has written a working paper “The New York Times and American Tax Policy: Representing Citizens or Echoing Elites?

He said today: “Americans may hate taxes generally, but they also favor higher taxes on corporations and the wealthy. This has been true for the past four decades, even at historical moments commonly associated with anti-tax sentiment. Two-thirds to three-quarters of Americans favored higher taxes on the rich when Ronald Reagan cut them in the early 1980s. Two thirds favored higher taxes on the rich when George W. Bush lowered them again in 1981. And it remains true today. As President Trump poses as the voice of ordinary people and proposes massive tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy, 63 percent want higher taxes on the rich and 67 percent want higher taxes on corporations. Only 9 percent and 10 percent support tax cuts for business and the wealthy.

“While Americans have consistently and overwhelmingly supported higher taxes on business and the rich, tax policy has generally moved in the opposite direction, with sharp reductions in taxes on business and the wealthy, and increases in regressive taxes to make up some of the shortfall. The mass media contribute to this striking failure of democratic responsiveness by obscuring public preferences and excluding ordinary people from political and policy discussions. A study of New York Times coverage over 40 years shows that the Times always emphasizes public opposition to taxes and rarely mentions public support for higher taxes on business and the rich. During successful campaigns for major tax cuts, public voices for progressive taxes have been completely ignored. Conversely, the publication of even a few references to public support for progressive taxes may have encouraged tax increases in 1990 and 2012. The persistence of the usual pattern in 2016 and 2017 may help enable the Trump tax cuts this year. Attention to the public and its preference for higher taxes on business and the wealthy might limit them or prevent them entirely.”