Today’s Boring Policy Number: 16%


Remember all that stuff about how Donald Trump’s tax plan treats pass-through income? (Quick refresher here if you don’t.) Apparently the Tax Foundation gave up on getting a straight answer about how this works, so they’re now giving two estimates of the impact of Trump’s plan. If we assume he’s going to keep the low pass-through rate—the one that would benefit his own businesses—they figure his plan would create a whopping 215,000 new jobs per year over the next decade. And that’s with lots of dynamic scoring pixie dust sprinkled around.

In other words, I think we can safely say that Trump’s plan would create approximately zero jobs. However it would blow a huge hole in the deficit (about $6 trillion without pixie dust) and it would be a huge windfall for the rich, increasing their after-tax income by a whopping 16 percent. And make no mistake: unlike a lot of Donald Trump’s fanciful ideas, a Republican Congress would be delighted to pass something like this. And they’d do it in a way that couldn’t be stopped by a filibuster.

Once again, I get it. This is BORING. It’s policy stuff. Ugh. We really don’t want a bunch of dull numbers like this mucking up our beautiful front pages or our lovingly hand-crafted nightly news programs. That’s why I kept this post short.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

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Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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