To Stop the Trump Tax Plan in the Short Term, Divide and Conquer the GOP

Donald Trump speaks at the 2017 Conservative Political Action Conference on February 24, 2017, in National Harbor, Maryland. (Photo: Gage Skidmore)Donald Trump speaks at the 2017 Conservative Political Action Conference on February 24, 2017, in National Harbor, Maryland. (Photo: Gage Skidmore)

We’re now several months into the Trump administration, and activists have scored some important victories in those months. Yet, there is always more to be done, and for many people, the question of where to focus and how to help remains. In this ongoing “Interviews for Resistance” series, we talk with organizers, agitators and educators not only about how to resist but also about how to build a better world. Today’s interview is the 78th in the series. Click here for the most recent interview before this one.

Today we bring you a conversation with Marshall Steinbaum, research director and fellow at the Roosevelt Institute. Steinbaum discusses the Trump tax proposal, how activists might stop it from passing, and how the Trump administration is a continuation of Republican economic orthodoxy.

Sarah Jaffe: We are going to talk about Trump’s tax plan. This has been threatened since the election and we are finally seeing something. Give us a rundown on what is in it and what it would do.

Marshall Steinbaum: The basic thrust of the proposal is more of the same right-wing tax policy that we have been seeing play out over the last 40 years. I would say it’s a supercharged version of that, where you have sloughed off a few of the elements that weren’t core to previous proposals, like some tax cuts for middle-income people. Instead, they have just gone full bore straight toward huge tax cuts for people who rely on their wealth to make their living.

Dig into that a little bit more. Talk about what it means to mostly target tax cuts at people who are essentially living off of capital.

Capital is an economic concept, and it is a somewhat abstract and also imprecise one. There is a robust debate about whether capital reflects something that is economically productive that contributes to the national income versus just the fruits of past…

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