Let me paraphrase Josh Barro of The New York Times in summing up the tax talk you’re hearing in the Republican Presidential Debates: It’s all puppies and rainbows.
As Barro points out here, Marco Rubio would eliminate all taxes on capital gains, which of course would benefit those in the U.S. who have accumulated the most wealth. Donald Trump, with no specifics about how he’s pay for a trillion-dollar cut in revenues, would eliminate the estate tax (which currently affects only people worth more than $5.54 million–I bet you don’t fall into that bracket) and cut the top tax rate from 39.6% to 25%, a windfall for the highest income earners. And Ben Carson’s flat tax would actually raise taxes on lower-income families whoke (surprise!) cutting them for the wealthiest. You don’t have to take my word for it–as ThinkProgress notes , even Chris Wallace of Fox News has pointed that out.
Folks, I dislike paying taxes as much as anyone else. But the Republicans right now are using our general dislike of taxes to promote fantasies. The reality is that tax cuts for the wealthiest 1%, 5%, or 10%–which is what all these plans ultimately come down to–would result in increased costs for just about everyone else, either directly in the form of higher taxes or indirectly in the form of reduced benefits and programs.