WASHINGTON ― Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) had a tart message for President Donald Trump on his tax reform proposal Thursday: You’re doing it wrong.
Schumer pulled out the old internet meme after Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said he couldn’t guarantee that the tax cuts would benefit the middle class. The one-page outline of the plan released Tuesday would definitely represent a large cut for the wealthiest Americans.
“The president’s outline yesterday is a direct assault on the middle class,” Schumer told reporters on Capitol Hill.
“If on one piece of paper you can guarantee that the wealthy and special interests will pay less, but can’t guarantee that for the middle class, you’re doing it all wrong,” Schumer said.
He added that the blueprint looks more like a self-interested ploy to aid Trump and the billionaire and millionaire members of his cabinet.
“What President Trump unveiled yesterday is not the Trump tax plan, it is the plan to lower President Trump’s taxes, the taxes of his Cabinet and people as wealthy as they are,” Schumer said.
Republicans have hailed the president’s outline as the right path to reform the nation’s complicated tax laws, arguing that increased economic activity will offset any revenue lost due to the cuts.
Many analysts said there was not enough specificity to the short document to say exactly how large the tax cuts would be. But based on Trump’s campaign platform, the cuts could add some $8 trillion to the deficit, according to a New York Times tally.
Schumer suspected ill intent lies behind such a proposal from a party that complains about deficits when it comes to things like disaster relief and helping 9/11 responders, but not when it comes to giving the wealthy tax breaks.
“The Trump tax breaks blow such a gigantic whole in our deficit, it could endanger Medicare and Social Security, which may well be the nefarious ultimate goal of the hard right,” Schumer said. “You can be sure a few years down the road that our Republican colleagues on the hard right will come to us and say the deficit is so big, we have to reduce Medicare and Social Security.”
The Senate minority leader described Trump’s tax ideas as a “non-starter” for Democrats.