Breaking Down the Donald Trump Tax Plan

Leading Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has released the official “Trump Tax Plan.”

A quick scan of the document can give you a pretty good idea of what The Trump Tax Plan is all about. The four goals are, on the surface, broad ideals that almost no one can complain about. Those goals include a) tax relief for the Middle Class, b) a simplified tax federal tax code and c) growing our economy, all while (d) not raising our debt or adding to our deficit.

Trump’s plan appeals to the lower income voters by eliminating income tax for single people making less than $25,000 a year (or married couples earning less than $50,000). It appeals to higher income voters by limiting the income tax rates to 25%. It appeals to both large and small businesses by limiting effective business tax rates to no more than 15% of business income. And in a move that appeals to all tax-payers, Trump’s plan eliminates “the death tax” — money is only taxed when it is first earned.

Trump’s plan intends on paying for this by closing tax loopholes used by corporations and the rich, and by convincing corporations to bring back to America the money they are holding overseas.

The plan goes on to explain in greater detail how and why Donald Trump’s approach to our tax system will work. As with most documents like this, the Trump Tax Plan seems reasonable to anyone who doesn’t know the ins-and-outs of the American economy and our complicated tax code.

As NPR‘s Danielle Kurtzleben concludes, Donald Trump’s tax plan isn’t all that different from standard GOP tax plans. Compared specifically to other leading candidates, his plan looks a lot like those of Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio — not as extreme of a change as proposed by candidates like Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee or Ben Carson. While his personality may be extreme, Trump’s tax plan is very middle-of-the-road, compared to what the other candidates have to offer.

Trump said on Monday that his new tax plan would “grow the American economy at a level that it hasn’t seen for decades,” anywhere from 3-6%. However, as CBS News pointed out, leading economists are leery to accept the Trump Tax Plan — and similar plans proposed by other candidates — as one that can actually work. In fact, Jeb Bush (whose plan Trump’s is the closest to) took plenty of criticism from experts claiming that our economy isn’t able to grow consistently at such a rate due to trends that simply can’t be changed in Washington, DC.

The wealthy take a lot of heat from the left about the number of loopholes they are able to use to pay effective tax rates lower than some middle- or lower-class families. Donald Trump has one of the most recognized names and faces when it comes to wealthy Americans. How would the Trump Tax Plan affect Donald Trump’s own taxes?

Trump declined to give specifics, but simply said, “It’ll be much simpler.” He called it “ridiculous” that as one of the wealthiest Americans, his “returns go up to the ceiling and beyond.” But as with most of our country’s financial elite, he admits that he continues to “fight like hell to pay as little as possible” when it comes to taxes, which is something Trump has always admitted.

Now that most of the candidates have released their tax plans, it will certainly be an issue raised at the next GOP debate. When he has to defend his views in real-time against candidates with radically different ideas, will he be able to hold his own?

The #CNNDebate was amazing — so much fun!

A photo posted by Donald J. Trump (@realdonaldtrump) on

Tune in to CNBC on October 28 for the third GOP presidential candidate debate, live from Boulder, Colorado, to watch Donald defend the Trump Tax Plan.

[Image credit Andrew Burton/Getty Images]