From the November 17 edition of MSNBC Live with Velshi and Ruhle:
ALI VELSHI (CO-HOST): Wow. “I think there's very little benefit for people of wealth and I'm not going to benefit,” that was President Trump talking to reporters in late September claiming he and other wealthy Americans wouldn't benefit from the Republican tax plan. That's just not true. Let's take a look, using the President's 2005 tax return, at least the beginning pages of it, the only information we have on his tax liability because this president has refused to release his tax returns. Well, analysts found that he would save millions and his children stand to save over a billion dollars under this tax plan. First, there is something called the Alternative Minimum Tax. That's a provision of the tax code that prevents the wealthy from using loopholes to pay substantially lower personal tax rates. With it repealed, as in the House bill, President Trump would have saved back then more than $31 million. Given changes to the tax code, however, his savings would come down to about $22.6 million, because there are changes in something called capital gains.
Now, what about his family? The House bill repeals the estate tax by 2024. Currently, Trump heirs would owe a 40 percent tax on money they inherited over a certain amount. Though most heirs end up paying closer to 17 percent after loopholes and deductions. But based on Bloomberg's billionaire index, the president is worth $2.86 billion. Trump's heirs could potentially save more than a billion dollars if this bill becomes law and Donald Trump were to pass away after 2024. That is a sizable savings and it's worth noting that Trump claims that he's worth significantly more than that $2.8 billion. If he's telling the truth about that, this one item in the bill would be worth billions with an “S” to the Trump family.
One more provision of interest, lowering the rate for pass through companies to 25 percent. That's a category that many of President Trump's businesses fall into. The drop from the current statutory rate of 39.6 percent -- it's a little complicated because when you have one of these entities some of the money flows through to you personally, and you pay it at the highest marginal tax rate. If that were to drop to 25 percent, there would be a savings for Donald Trump but there isn't enough information on that tax form from 2005 that I showed you. You'd have to see more information to see just how much. But you know for a fact that would be a tax saving.
MAURY CARTINE: The reality is that there will be benefits to the middle class but not the way this bill is presently written or will be even with Senate amendments. It won't accomplish the goal. There's a lot of parts of that bill that are very harsh on middle-income and upper middle-income people. Most notably, the change in the state and local tax deduction, including property taxes. That would be very, very difficult for Americans to be able to get through in the metropolitan area in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.
STEPHANIE RUHLE (CO-HOST): Trickle-down economics. We understand, that's the basis of this. What are the biggest issues that plague America: Student debt, failing education, health care costs, infrastructure, and worker participation. Worker participation; think about the massive cost of child care, why so many people don't got back to work. Show me where, in this bill, these issues are being addressed.