The Treasury Department was caught removing a federal government economic study that debunks the administration’s claim that Trump’s corporate tax cuts will benefit the middle class.
Trump’s proposed plan would slash corporate tax rates from 35 percent to 20 percent, which the administration claims will help grow the economy. It’s the old “trickle down” lie we’ve heard from Republicans in the past, and it’s been debunked over and over.
In fact, the idea was debunked by a 2012 Office of Tax Analysis study that the Treasury Department just got caught quietly removing from its website by The Wall Street Journal.
The study found that workers only reap about 18 percent of the benefits from corporate tax cuts, while corporate owners see 82 percent of the economic benefits.
The study is in line with the general consensus among economists. The Wall Street Journal points out that the bipartisan Joint Committee on Taxation, as well as the Republican-led Congressional Budget Office, found that workers would gain 25 percent of the benefit of corporate tax cuts compared to 75 percent for corporate owners.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin recently told Fox News that “most economists believe that over 70 percent of corporate taxes are paid for by the workers.” This is an outright lie. It’s literally the opposite of what is true.
A spokesperson for the Treasury Department defended removing the study to the Wall Street Journal, arguing that it was a “dated analysis from the previous administration” and it “doesn’t represent [their] current thinking and analysis.”
The Journal notes that numerous other studies from the Obama administration remain on the site.
“The paper was available on the Treasury website during the summer, and it wasn’t clear when it was removed or whether Treasury intended to publish a new analysis,” according to the report. “Other technical papers from 2008 through 2016 remain on its site, along with working papers dating back to 1974.”
It’s rather incredible that Republicans continue to push the “trickle down” lie that cutting taxes on corporations will result in more money for middle-class workers. It’s true that some of that money does get reinvested in businesses and new projects, but the overwhelming amount of tax savings further increases the flow of wealth to the richest CEOs and corporations in the country.
It’s not a “theory.” Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush implemented similar “trickle down” tax cuts and saw devastating results.
Mark Mazur, who was the top tax policy official at the Treasury Department under Obama, slammed the department covering up the contradicting study for hurting the public interest in an effort to benefit the rich.
“The career economists who worked on this technical paper did a great job summarizing the mainstream of economic thought on this important topic,” Mazur told The Journal. “They shifted my thinking a bit, by pointing out clearly how some of the burden gets shifted to labor. The public interest is advanced by using the best economic science available and being transparent about the analysis undertaken.”