19 days to go: When will Trump release his tax plan?

I said tax plan, not tax return.  I know that he lied when he said he’d release his tax return before the election, and then lied again when asked why he changed his mind.  I’m talking about his tax plan, the one that would raise taxes on millions of working class Americans, while he slashes taxes from billionaire property developers from 40% to 15%.

I recall reading that his advisers said this was an oversight, and that their intention was to cut taxes for everyone (how wonderful!)  They said the tax plan would be revised.  Apparently his advisors are too incompetent to even deliver a tax plan that accords with his stump speeches.  So when will we get the new tax plan?

I’m still waiting . . . 19 days to go.

Don’t Americans have a right to know where a candidate stands on taxes, before going into the voting booth?  How long until we get the official tax plan?

I’ve spent so much time trashing Trump that it’s only fair to give him credit when he does the right thing.  Last night he sharply pivoted on trade, and now favors trade deals, indeed even trade deals that result in freer trade than the Obama deals:

Donald Trump — who has built his campaign around a dramatic rollback of American’s multinational trade deals — said Wednesday that under his administration that there would be “more free trade” than there is under President Barack Obama.

“So my plan – we’re going to negotiate trade deals. We’ll have free trade. More free trade than we have right now,” Trump said during the third presidential debate.

Kudos to Trump for finally seeing the light on trade.

(BTW, I don’t think candidates should have to release their tax returns, but if they promise to do so, they should do so.)



14 Responses to “19 days to go: When will Trump release his tax plan?”

  1. Gravatar of Kevin Dick Kevin Dick
    20. October 2016 at 07:57

    This is particularly galling because they could simply grab the Sumner progressive consumption tax plan right off the shelf! 🙂

  2. Gravatar of Anand Anand
    20. October 2016 at 10:08

    I don’t know if the trade comment is sarcastic.

    But in the debate, Trump said that Reagan was too soft on trade; Trump ran an ad against him in September 1987. Only a few months ago, in April, the Reagan administration had put a 100% tariff on Japanese electronics.

    Incidentally, the Cato institute can’t seem to decide whether Reagan was the biggest protectionist since Herbert Hoover (http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa107.html) or whether he was an ardent free trader (http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/reagan-embraced-free-trade-immigration)

  3. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    20. October 2016 at 11:44

    Kevin, Exactly.

    Anand, The truth is that Reagan has a mixed record on trade.

  4. Gravatar of Ray Lopez Ray Lopez
    20. October 2016 at 12:21

    Is it time for Sumner to release his tax plan? Does Sumner believe government deficits can be fixed with a hard or soft landing? The former is to do nothing until default, then an asset sale to meet claims or simply renunciation of the debt (Argentina style, Russia style, Greek style, and numerous other examples historically) and start over, which surprisingly seems to work OK throughout history (creditors are suckers born every minute, and they seem to get over default with time); the latter is to do something like raise taxes for everybody and cut back on Social Security/ Medicare for non-needy cases (eliminating other areas in government is futile, as not enough savings).

    Well candidate (for saving the world) Sumner? What is your tax plan? A progressive consumption tax at what percent?

  5. Gravatar of Gordon Gordon
    20. October 2016 at 12:50

    Scott, I wonder if you may be giving Trump too much credit on his free trade comment. People can be pro free trade while holding very ignorant beliefs on what constitutes fair free trade. For example, he could believe that “fair” would mean no trade deficits. So his recent comment is not necessarily an 11th hour conversion if you consider his past comments as a complaint about what he believes are unfair trade practices.

  6. Gravatar of E. Harding E. Harding
    20. October 2016 at 13:24

    Uh, Scott, Trump has always said he’d replace loser trade deals like NAFTA with great trade deals like those McKinley made (he didn’t say that last part). That’s why he’s gaining converts in McKinley country.

  7. Gravatar of Patrick R. Sullivan Patrick R. Sullivan
    20. October 2016 at 15:28

    Who cares what his tax plan is? It wouldn’t get implemented anyway. But maybe he could make this guy Treasury Sec’y;


    Mr. Edmundson got exposed to finance writing graduate-school papers about monetary policy at the University of Nevada, Reno.

    He traces his philosophy to what he learned working for a Bozeman, Mont., wine distributor. He marketed the best-selling wines without highlighting the grapes’ origins or tasting notes.

    “The wine industry tends to be portrayed as something complicated and difficult with fancy terminology,” he says. “On the investment side, it’s really similar. You can focus on the small details rather than the big picture.”

    When Mr. Edmundson joined the Nevada plan in 2005 as an analyst, roughly 60% of its stocks were in indexes. He turned it even more passive after becoming chief investment officer in 2012. He fired 10 external managers, and, by 2015, all of its stock and bondholdings were in passively managed funds.

    Its outside-management bill is about one-seventh the average public pension’s, according to Nevada plan documents and Callan Associates, which tracks retirement-plan expenses.

    If Nevada consumed a typical Wall Street diet, it would pay roughly $120 million in annual fees. In 2016, Nevada paid $18 million.

  8. Gravatar of Tom Brown Tom Brown
    20. October 2016 at 16:03

    Gordon, you write:

    Scott, I wonder if you may be giving Trump too much credit on his free trade comment

    I laughed out loud when I read that part of Scott’s post: I assumed he was being sarcastic.

  9. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    20. October 2016 at 20:28

    Gordon, I agree, And even if it was an 11th hour conversion, it would simply be another reason he’s totally unqualified to be President. You don’t change you mind on one of the very most important campaign issues in a debate, 20 days before the election. He’s just a complete idiot, there’s no other way to put it.

    I was just being sarcastic. Who knows what he believes?

    Harding, You said:

    “Trump has always said he’d replace loser trade deals like NAFTA with great trade deals like those McKinley made”

    So then why is he now suddenly calling for free trade? McKinley was a protectionist. You really should just give up, it’s getting embarrassing trying to defend Trump.

    Patrick, Excellent, that might be worth a post.

  10. Gravatar of bill bill
    21. October 2016 at 05:34

    I’m for great trade deals too. The greater, the better.
    Does anyone know any details about what makes a trade deal great?

  11. Gravatar of ray ray
    21. October 2016 at 05:45

    Professor Sumner: I am trying to understand your position on consumption. When I was in college, it has always been stressed that consumption taxes are regressive since the poor spend a large proportion of their income on consumption. It is true that the rich spend more on consumption in absolute dollars, but it still represents a smaller portion of their income. I understand the negative incentive effects of income taxes but don’t you think the regressive nature of consumption taxes is more problematic.thanks in advance.

  12. Gravatar of Patrick R. Sullivan Patrick R. Sullivan
    21. October 2016 at 11:09

    ray, consumption taxes can be made ‘progressive’ by exempting some basic dollar amount of consumption from taxation. Or not taxing the consumption of food and medicine, say.

    Consumption taxes do not have to be ‘regressive’.

  13. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    21. October 2016 at 12:32

    Bill, Trump says it should be freer trade than under Obama.

    Ray, Forget what you learned in school, it’s wrong. Income is a meaningless number, so the share of income spent on consumption is also meaningless. I favor a progressive consumption tax, where the more people consume, the higher their tax rate (in percentage terms).

  14. Gravatar of ray ray
    22. October 2016 at 02:21

    Professor Sumner: Thanks for the reply. I share your concerns about income as well. I just tracked down your earlier article on income and am reading it right now. thanks.

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