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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 12/31/19

Two Years Ago Trump Slashed Corporate Taxes. He Just Did It Again.

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Donald Trump has not been a complete failure as president.

Rollbacks of environmental regulations and gains achieved under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare); shout-outs to white supremacists; rewards to supporters with cabinet positions; cuts to education and social safety nets; separations of refugee families at our Southern border and detention of thousands of their children in cages; prominence to Christian evangelicals and anti-women's reproductive choice hardliners; seats on federal benches to a record number of judges, praise for authoritarian dictators; theft of congressionally appropriated money for military families to pay for his wall; et cetera, are handing the ultra-right exactly what it has always craved.

One group particularly pleased with Trump's now-impeached presidency is the billionaire class.

The two years ago, Donald Trump signed into law the Republican "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act," a tax bill that handed $1.5 trillion in permanent tax breaks to corporations and the wealthy like Trump and his ilk.

It was supposed to stimulate an economy that didn't need stimulating, put more money into everyone's pockets (especially those who don't need it), and create jobs.

Instead, it slashed the corporate tax rate and encouraged businesses to use their additional capital to pay off shareholders not employees to the tune of more than $700 billion.

CEOs admitted they will not increase employee pay and are working to "reduce their work forces further."

An Economic Policy Institute and the Center for Popular Democracy report describes how the tax overhaul, predicted to add $1.5 trillion to the national debt over 10 years, "delivered big benefits to the rich and corporations but nearly none for working families."

That wasn't enough, though.

According to a Monday New York Times piece, corporations like Anheuser-Busch, Credit Suisse, General Electric, United Technologies, Barclays, Coca-Cola, Bank of America, UBS, IBM, Kraft Heinz, Kimberly-Clark, News Corporation, Chubb, ConocoPhillips, HSBC, and the American International Group, lobbied Treasury Secretary, former Goldman Sachs banker, Steven Mnuchin, to eliminate two provisions in the tax law--base erosion and anti-abuse tax (BEAT) and global intangible low-taxed income (GILTI).

They got them.

The Times reported:

"The corporate lobbying campaign was a resounding success. Through a series of obscure regulations, the Treasury carved out exceptions to the law that mean many leading American and foreign companies will owe little or nothing in new taxes on offshore profits...Companies were effectively let off the hook for tens if not hundreds of billions of taxes that they would have been required to pay."

It added:

"The Organization for International Investments powerful trade group for foreign multinationals like the Swiss food company Nestle' and the Dutch chemical maker Lyondell Basell objected to a Treasury proposal that would have prevented companies from using a complex currency-accounting maneuver to avoid the BEAT...This month, the Treasury issued the final version of some of the BEAT regulations. The Organization for International Investment got what it wanted.

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Ted Millar is a writer and teacher. His work has been in featured in myriad literary journals, including Straight Forward Poetry, Better Than Starbucks, the Broke Bohemian, Caesura, Circle Show, Cactus Heart, Third Wednesday, and The Voices (more...)

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