Trump’s trillion dollar lie: Promised then backed away from tax cut
It’s just one more example of the policy chaos in the Trump campaign and his lack of any think-through in issues.
A few hours after Donald J. Trump publicly backed away from a $1 trillion tax cut for small businesses, campaign aides on Thursday privately assured a leading small-business group that Mr. Trump in fact remained committed to the proposal — winning the group’s endorsement.
The campaign then told the Tax Foundation, a conservative-leaning Washington think tank it asked to price the plan, that Mr. Trump had indeed decided to eliminate the tax cut.
Call it the trillion-dollar lie: Both assertions cannot be true…
The campaign’s conflicting accounts of its own proposal are particularly remarkable because Mr. Trump and his advisers have taken months to refine the details, which Mr. Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, unveiled in an economic policy speech on Thursday in New York.
In this case, however, telling two versions of the same story benefited the Trump campaign.
Dropping the tax cut was central to Mr. Trump’s optimistic claim that his plan would not increase the federal debt. But by simultaneously promising to keep the tax cut, the campaign won the support of the National Federation of Independent Business, an influential small-business lobbying group.
“We’re comfortable” that Mr. Trump is committed to preserving the tax break, Jack Mozloom, a spokesman for the group, said Friday morning. “We have it directly from his campaign.”
The Tax Foundation was not so comfortable.
“There is a disconnect between the plan as understood by us and the plan as understood by the N.F.I.B.,” said Alan Cole, an economist at the foundation who worked on the cost estimate that Mr. Trump cited in his speech. “And I think your inquiry into this is probably a productive one.”