Donald Trump is bad for our economy

Donald Trump is bad for our economy

I think we can all agree that hearing the same thing repeatedly becomes tiresome. I particularly feel my blood boil when it  leads to some wildly unsubstantiated conclusion.

While many assertions are harmless, they can grow far more problematic when applied to more significant issues. One example of this is a statement I’ve heard numerous times over the last few months: Donald Trump will be better for the U.S. economy than Hillary Clinton.

Now, I am a Democrat. I am pro-choice, I support the Voting Rights Act, gun control, religious freedom, LGBT rights, and, oh, I believe in science.

Because of that, pro-Trump statements may come as a mild annoyance to me.

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However, I think that this notion that Trump will be better for the economy than Clinton needs to be addressed, because I know many individuals who, though not prejudiced themselves, view social issues as secondary to the issue of a strong economy.

While those individuals’ reasoning may be different, there is little question that the state of the economy is tantamount to quality of life.

Having said that, the claim that Trump will be good for the U.S. economy is completely unsubstantiated. Therefore, I have decided to address the various likely effects of Trump’s plans over a three-part series in upcoming issues of the Old Gold & Black.

One critical prong of Trump’s economic plans is his tax plan, which has been met with consistent disapproval. Trump’s plan would condense our seven current tax brackets (which are 10, 15, 25, 28, 33, 35, and 39.6 percent into three: 10 percent for single filers making $25-50 thousand per year, 20 percent for those making $50-150 thousand per year and 25 percent for those making over $150 thousand per year.

Trump would also lower the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 15 percent. The idea is to lower taxes across the board, improving incentives to work and invest, which in turn would translate into higher wages, and a boost in GDP — so-called “trickledown economics.” I would love if this plan could work. Who doesn’t want to pay lower taxes and have a few extra bucks in their pocket?

But unfortunately, it simply would not. According to a report by the Tax Foundation, Trump’s plan would reduce federal revenues and thus increase the federal deficit by $10.1 trillion over the next decade (even after accounting for the projected economic growth associated with the plan).

This meteoric rise in debt could lead to higher interest rates on bonds, which would unravel markets and hurt economic growth. Trump’s plan would also disproportionately benefit the wealthy. The bottom 20 percent tax bracket would see an increase in after-tax gross income of about one percent. The 30-80th percentiles would see increases between three and eight percent. The 90-98th percentiles would see an increase of 14.6 percent, while the 99th percentile would see an after-tax income increase of 21.6 percent.

Further, the immense debt will eventually have to be paid either by future generations or immense spending cuts on crucial programs, including Social Security and Medicare.

Despite this, Trump has mentioned little on what spending cuts he would implement to pay for the tax cuts. Instead, he has suggested increased spending on veterans’ healthcare and the military, as well as continued spending on Social Security and Medicare. While these may be noble goals, there is no way to cut taxes this drastically and continue to pay for social programs without seriously eroding the economy.

In sum, Trump’s tax plan would cause our federal deficit to balloon and lead to vast spending cuts on vital social programs, while predominantly boosting wages and income for the super-wealthy.

The key to booming economic growth is a strong middle class. This plan does very little to target or benefit the American middle class, which is why it received a D- rating from several tax experts at the “Fiscal Times.” In my next article, I will focus on Trump’s stance on immigration and trade.

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