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Trump calls his tax cuts biggest ever, but they're $131 billion smaller than Obama's

Donald Trump enjoys repeating the lie that the tax package he signed into law is the biggest tax cut in U.S. history. But it isn’t even the biggest tax cut in the last decade. Even when it comes to cutting taxes, which is generally associated with the right than the left, Trump comes up short […]

By Oliver Willis - December 22, 2017
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Donald Trump

Even when it comes to cutting taxes, which is generally associated with the right than the left, Trump comes up short compared to President Barack Obama.

The tax cuts that Trump put together with his fellow Republicans overwhelmingly benefit the ultra-wealthy, but they are still billions of dollars less than the Obama cuts.

Bloomberg reporter Sahil Kapur pointed this out as he appeared on MSNBC right after Trump held a signing ceremony for his legislation in the Oval Office. Kapur pointed out that while Trump has made the false claim “over and over again,” Obama “signed a larger [cut] in 2013.”

KAPUR: There are a few things he said that doesn’t quite measure up to the facts. Number one, he said this would be the largest tax cut in American history, a claim he has made over and over again. That’s not true. By — in terms of inflation adjusted dollars, it’s not even the largest tax cut this decade, President Obama signed a larger one in 2013 while extending and making permanent most of the Bush tax cuts.

PolitiFact already ranked this claim as blatantly “false” when Trump made it months ago.

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget crunched the numbers to compare Trump and his predecessors, and in yet another measure — there are so many — Trump comes up well short of previous presidents.

While the Trump bill cuts taxes by $190 billion, the cuts that Obama made permanent in 2013 cut them by $321 billion — $131 billion more than Trump.

Historically, Trump doesn’t measure up either. The cuts he proposes are ranked eighth historically. That puts him behind Reagan, Roosevelt, Truman, Obama (twice!), Johnson, and Harding.

Obama was able to keep the portion of the Bush-era tax cuts targeted at the middle class, a promise he made while running for president in 2008. He had to compromise with Republicans on expiring tax breaks for the top of the economic ladder, but that was accomplished as well.

Even when playing on his own turf, with legislation crafted and passed by his fellow Republicans in secret, larded up with giveaways to the ultra-wealthy, Trump comes in below the other men who held the presidency.

He can’t measure up, and is compelled to lie about it, something someone in a weak position would be forced to do.


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