The tax proposals from the Republican presidential hopefuls all have two things in common: They would balloon the deficit and shower the wealthy with lots of money. The various candidates' plans all have different details.
Some would eliminate all taxes on stock trades
and real estate investments, which would overwhelmingly benefit the
wealthy, while others would repeal the estate tax, which literally only affects the heirs of millionaires.
But the proposals all employ the same broad strategy: Give a small
number of very wealthy people massive, hulking piles of money, while
giving everyone else much tinier piles. In other words, they're newer,
bigger versions of President George W. Bush's tax cuts.
Just how well the rich would make
out, and how much the deficit would swell, depends on whether or not big
tax cuts for the wealthy will significantly boost the broader economy.
Recent history and traditional economic modeling suggest they will not.
The Bush tax cuts dramatically boosted the take-home pay of the
wealthiest Americans, but did not ultimately increase wages.
The resulting inequality, meanwhile, may have exacerbated the housing
bubble that consumed the economy and fueled the 2008 banking crash.