Watch CNN's Damning Comparison Of Trump And Clinton Tax Plans

Christina Alesci: “Bottom Line, It's Really Hard To See How Trump's Plan Would Help The Average Person”

From the October 11 edition of CNN's Wolf:

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BRIANNA KEILAR (HOST): Well, Clinton and Trump do have more specifics on their tax plans and CNNMoney's Cristina Alesci is here to walk us through some of this. So give us the main points here, what we need to know.

CRISTINA ALESCI: Well the main point is, when Trump was talking he was talking to the wealthy for the most part about increasing the taxes. If you're voting with your pocketbook, pay close attention to this, because the two plans are very different. Clinton's plan is more complex and Trump is more simple, but it leaves many questions unanswered. Look, very high level here, Trump will cut taxes for everyone. But the disproportionate benefit will accrue to the wealthy. And Clinton's plan will cut taxes a little for low- to mid-income Americans, probably not that much, but the wealthy will get hit with the bulk of her increases.

Now, on corporate taxes, Trump will cut the corporate tax rate to 15 percent. Clinton doesn't touch it, but will try and close those loopholes, like companies keeping cash offshore. Now let's take a closer look at the numbers. With Trump, the average tax cut will be about $2,900, but you've got to figure the ranges here. The extremes. The highest income earners will get a $1.1 million reduction in their tax bill. Under Clinton's plan, the highest earners there see an increase by $800,000. So, what is the collective impact of all of this, Brianna? Trump's proposal would reduce tax revenue by $6.2 trillion over ten years. Clinton would raise it by $1.4 trillion.

Now, Trump's team is taking issue with some of these estimates. Especially those revenue estimates that we just showed you because they say it doesn't count the economic benefit -- that companies, instead of paying tax, will save that money, spend it on hiring more people, making investments. But critics say, “look, when you raise debt, when you reduce revenue like that, you're probably going to raise debt and interest rates will rise, and probably negate the positive impacts of what you just talked about.” So, bottom line, it's really hard to see how Trump's plan would help the average person day one, Brianna.

KEILAR: OK. And then, but what about say, him? He Is a wealthy person. You talked about how the wealthy are going to benefit from this. So, if he was looking at his own tax bill, how do we think that would sort of -- what would that look like under his plan?

ALESCI: Yeah. That's an excellent question because we've been talking about that billion dollar loss that The New York Times broke, you know, for the past week and a half. So if you're talking about his ability to take losses, to offset future income or other benefits real estate developers get, there doesn't seem to be anything in his plan to limit or restrict his ability to do that. Trump's plan, though, here is the thing -- it does benefit him in one very big way, it eliminates the estate tax. So he could pass his wealth to his children without them getting hit with a big tax bill. Clinton's plan leaves the estate tax in place, and she wants to expand it so that it hits more wealthy people.

So there is a big divergence on that front, and people get very upset about the estate tax because they think, “oh I've worked all of this time and my kids are going to get taxed on all of this hard-earned income.” The reality is that only [0.2 percent] of people paid the estate tax last year. So, it only hits the very wealthy, Brianna.


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