Donald Trump driving to Mexico for tax benefits while Americans wave goodbye (illustrated)

Donald Trump is pitching his tax plan as the best Christmas present of all. But it seems like most Americans would rather just get a lump of coal from ol’ Donny Claus.

Fifty-two percent of Americans oppose the Trump tax plan, while only 34 percent support it, according to a new CNN poll.

And even among the supporters, many don’t believe it would be good news for them: Only 24 percent “believe they and their families will be better off if Trump’s tax plans are signed into law.” More people say it would hurt them or do nothing.

So let’s talk about who Trump’s plan would help — and hurt. And then let’s talk about how Trump can get what he wants without lifting a finger.

What’s in Trump’s tax plan

Donald Trump still refuses to release his tax returns despite promising for years, before and during his run for president, to do so. He claimed he was under a routine audit, even though nothing about an audit prevents him from releasing them, and now he says he may release them after leaving office.

So we don’t know, precisely, how he would benefit from his own proposal. But it’s safe to say: a lot.

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Under the plan, which hasn’t majorly changed since I wrote about it in May, here’s what happens…

  • Tax brackets would be consolidated from the seven current ones to only three: 12, 25, and 35 percent.
  • The corporate tax rate comes down to 20 percent, lower than his original proposal, which alone could balloon the deficit $1.5 trillion over 10 years. (House Republicans, meanwhile, are fighting for a version of the plan that would not raise the deficit at all.)
  • The top tax rate for small businesses comes down to 25 percent.
  • Enormously wealthy companies like Apple are given a one-time, super-low tax break on all the cash they currently stash overseas instead of reinvesting in the U.S.
  • Estate tax, which the plan calls “the unfair Death Tax,” would be eliminated — which only benefits the very wealthy who pay it now.
  • The Alternative Minimum Tax, another tax that only hits the wealthy, would be repealed. For the most recent year we know something about Trump’s taxes, 2005, Trump got hit with an AMT of $31 million.

The Balance has a good, detailed look at the plan. The bottom line: the poorest fifth of the population comes out with an average tax break of half a percent, the top one percent comes out with an average 8.5 percent break, and the national debt shoots up. The philosophical underpinnings of the plan are almost 40 years out of date, and assume that the economy will magically grow enough to justify the increased federal debt.

A simpler path for Trump

Getting this through Congress won’t be any easier than repealing Obamacare. Senate Republicans can only pull it off with 50 votes, which they may not have, if they find a way to pay for most of the tax cuts. Otherwise they’ll need at least some Democratic support.

Then they have to tangle with the House Republicans, who overall are much less open to compromising. Their demands might lose the support of a few Republican Senators, enough to break the deal.

If Trump wants to give up on Congress and save himself the headache, I wouldn’t blame him. In fact, I would encourage him to do just that — then resign and start packing his bags. He can net himself a yuge tax cut by moving to Mexico.

American tax bills are already below average compared to other developed nations, but he could do a lot better by relocating instead of building a wall. Mexico has the lowest taxes among the 34 member countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. While we sit at 26 percent, Mexico is at only about 17 percent.

And, remember, Trump loves Hispanics. He would not only save a ton of money without a fight, he’d probably be quite happy south of the border.

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Article last modified on November 14, 2017. Published by Debt.com, LLC . Mobile users may also access the AMP Version: If Trump Wants Lower Taxes, He Could Move to Mexico - AMP.

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Article last modified on November 14, 2017. Published by Debt.com, LLC .

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