I have a very straightforward rule when assessing politicians. Simply stated, if they are open to tax hikes, then it’s quite likely that they have no desire to control the size, cost, and power of the federal government.
Based on that rule, I’m skeptical about Donald Trump.
To understand my doubts, here are some passages from a story on the topic in the New York Times.
For years, Republicans have run for office on promises of cutting taxes… But this election cycle, the Republican presidential candidate who currently leads in most polls is taking a different approach… Mr. Trump has…suggested he would increase taxes on the compensation of hedge fund managers. And he has vowed to change laws that allow American companies to benefit from cheaper tax rates by using mergers to base their operations outside the United States.
These policy positions are raising a lot of eyebrows.
“All of those are anti-growth policies,” said David McIntosh, the president of the Club for Growth… “Those aren’t the types of things a typical Republican candidate would say,” said Michael R. Strain, a scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, referring to the candidate’s comments on hedge funds, support for entitlement spending and the imposing of trade tariffs.
And Trump’s failure to sign the no-tax-hike pledge exacerbates the concerns, particularly when combined with his inconsistent statements on tax reform.
Mr. Trump and former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida are the only leading Republican candidates who have not signed a pledge to not raise taxes. …In an interview with Fox News last week, Mr. Trump said a flat tax would be a viable improvement to America’s tax system. Moments later, he suggested that a flat tax would be unfair because the rich would be taxed at the same rate as the poor.
Byron York of the Washington Examiner writes about Trump’s fiscal policy in the context of traditional Republican orthodoxy.
Trump is preparing a tax proposal that will again set him far apart from the party’s powers-that-be. …Trump has been sending signals that his tax proposal, which he says will be “comprehensive,” will include higher rates for some of the richest Americans, a position generally at odds with Republican orthodoxy. “I want to see lower taxes,” Trump said at an appearance in Norwood, Mass., on Friday night. “But on some people, they’re not doing their fair share.”
And if his campaign manager is accurately channeling Trump’s views, the candidate even equates higher taxes with making America great.
Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski would say little about Trump’s intentions, but noted that “Mr. Trump has said that he does not mind paying what is required to make our country great again.” Raising taxes on anyone, even the super rich, has generally been anathema to Republicans for a generation.
Wow, what’s next, a Biden-esque assertion that higher tax payments are patriotic?!?
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