We don't know exactly how much Trump will benefit, because he still refuses to release his tax returns.
Trump makes it no secret that he is bilking the American people for every dime he can while in the Oval Office. Now, a new Treasury Department rule governing last year’s GOP tax scam will make sure Trump can keep even more of his ethically dubious gains.
The New York Times explains that the new rule “could wind up benefiting President Trump’s real estate empire.”
At issue is how the Treasury Department decides to interpret the tax scam’s 20 percent deduction for “pass through” entities, which are businesses “structured so their profits are taxed as individual income for their owners.”
In a stark break from tradition and ethics, Trump refused to completely divest of his companies when he became president. This has created massive conflicts of interest, since Trump has the power to use U.S. policy to enrich himself.
How much will Trump gain from this new rule, exactly?
We don’t know, because Trump hides his taxes from public scrutiny — despite multiple promises to share them. As far back as May 2014, Trump said, “If I decide to run for office, I’ll produce my tax returns, absolutely.”
More than 1,500 days later, Trump still refuses to release his tax returns.
While the American public remained in the dark about the details of Trump’s shady finances, Trump tried to convince his supporters that the Republican tax scam would benefit ordinary working people.
Most Americans disapproved of the scam — but Trump signed it into law anyway. And ever since then, Americans have learned more and more about how the benefits are grossly skewed toward the wealthy rather than working people.
Even before this new rule came out, the pass-through provision was already unfairly tilted to the wealthy. Most of its benefits go to Americans making more than $1 million.
The GOP tax scam already disproportionately favors wealthy Wall Street tycoons with massive corporate tax breaks. Rich corporations are shoveling the money they get from these tax breaks directly into stock buyback schemes, which benefit their wealthy investors and not their workers.
Meanwhile, workers have seen their wages fall, after adjusting for inflation, ever since the tax scam was signed into law.
While millions of Americans continue to struggle, Trump and his cronies are busy making out like bandits.
Trump has funneled taxpayer dollars into his own properties by spending nearly a third of his first term on vacation there. And the freewheeling corruption doesn’t stop at the White House doors; it also extends to Trump’s Cabinet.
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross was recently exposed for having siphoned millions of dollars from past clients. HUD Secretary Ben Carson blew $31,000 on a fancy new dining table set for his office. Embattled Education Secretary Betsy DeVos refuses to fly the American flag on her $40 million yacht so she can dodge millions in taxes.
Financial scandals also plagued former HHS Secretary Tom Price, former Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin, and former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, all three of whom were forced to resign in disgrace.
Now, Trump stands to benefit yet again from the policy of his own Treasury Department.
In this culture of corruption, the most surprising news would be if anything happened in Washington that didn’t benefit Trump’s bottom line.
Published with permission of The American Independent.