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特朗普的减税政策其实是一场抢劫

更新时间:2017-4-28 12:20:45 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

This Isn’t Tax Policy; It’s a Trump-Led Heist
特朗普的减税政策其实是一场抢劫

What do you do if you’re a historically unpopular new president, with a record low approval rating by 14 points, facing investigations into the way Russia helped you get elected, with the media judging your first 100 days in office as the weakest of any modern president?

如果你是一位不受欢迎程度达到历史新高的新总统,支持率比此前的历史最低水平还要低14个百分点,正面临就俄罗斯帮你当选的方式展开的调查,而且媒体对你就职100天的评价是当代最差的总统,你会怎么做?

Why, you announce a tax cut!

嘿,宣布减税啊!

And in your self-absorbed way, you announce a tax cut that will hugely benefit yourself. Imagine those millions saved! You feel better already!

你宣布了一项会让自己获得极大好处的减税计划,这符合你一贯自私自利的风格。想想自己能节省下几百万美元!已经感觉好多了吧!

I’m deeply skeptical that President Trump will manage to get a tax reform package passed into law, and that’s just as well. Trump’s new tax “plan” (more like an extremely vague plan for a plan) is an irresponsible, shameless, budget-busting gift to zillionaires like himself.

我对特朗普总统能设法将一个税收改革方案通过、使之变成法律深表怀疑,这倒是件好事。特朗普的新税收“计划”(更像一个是为一项计划制定的极为模糊的计划)是送给像他这样的亿万富翁的礼物,是不负责任、厚颜无耻且有损预算的。

This isn’t about “jobs,” as the White House claims. If it were, it might cut employment taxes, which genuinely do discourage hiring. Rather, it’s about huge payouts to the wealthiest Americans — and deficits be damned! If Republicans embrace this “plan” after all their hand-wringing about deficits and debt, we should build a Grand Monument to Hypocrisy in their honor.

这与白宫所说的“创造工作机会”无关。如果有关,它或许会削减工薪税,那才能真正地鼓励企业招人。相反,它是给最富有的美国人拿出一大笔钱——这下财政赤字是跑不了了!如果共和党人在对财政赤字和债务状况那样痛心疾首之后,转而支持了这项“计划”,我们就该给他们建一座“虚伪大纪念碑”。

Trump’s tax “plan” is a betrayal of his voters. He talks of helping ordinary Americans even as he enriches tycoons like himself.

特朗普的税收“计划”是对他的选民的背叛。他一边谈论帮助普通美国人,一边却让跟他一样的大亨变得更加富裕。

For example, it’s great that the tax plan promises help with child care costs, a huge burden for low-income families, especially single moms. But Trump doesn’t explain what form his help will take.

比如,税收计划承诺帮助支付儿童看护费用,这是好事,因为这对低收入家庭是一个巨大的负担,尤其是单身妈妈们。但特朗普没有解释他会以什么样的方式提供帮助。

Maybe he will eventually provide details, but in his campaign tax plan (which over all seems similar to the latest), fewer than 10 percent of low-income households with children would get anything at all, according to a study by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center in February. It added that under the campaign plan, families earning between $10,000 and $30,000 a year would receive an average child care benefit of just $10.

或许他最终会提供一些细节,但无党派机构税收政策中心(Tax Policy Center)今年2月发布的一项研究显示,根据他在竞选期间提出的税收计划(总的来说,看起来跟最近这个差不多),能得到这类帮助的低收入家庭不足10%。报告还提到,在竞选期间提出的计划之下,年收入在1万至3万美元之间的家庭能得到的儿童看护补助平均只有10美元。

In fairness, Trump’s proposal does include some sensible elements. Raising the standard deduction is smart and would simplify everything, reducing cheating and the need for record-keeping because millions of filers would no longer itemize deductions.

公平地讲,特朗普的提议的确包含一些合理的成分。提高工资免税额是精明的做法,能将一切变得简单,减少欺诈和做记录的需求,因为数百万人将不再需要列减税项目。

But the heart of Trump’s “plan” is to lower taxes for corporations and the affluent. It would eliminate the alternative minimum tax, without which Trump would have paid less than 4 percent in taxes for 2005; with it, he paid 25 percent.

但特朗普这项“计划”的核心是减少企业和富人的税收。它将取消替代最低税,如果没有这项税收,特朗普2005年缴纳的税额本会不足收入的4%;有这个税,他则要支付25%。

Conservatives emphasize that the official top corporate tax rate in the U.S. is too high, and they have a point. The top rate for American corporations — almost 39 percent, including a 35 percent federal rate and a bit more for the average state rate — is among the highest in the world, according to the Tax Foundation.

保守主义者强调,美国官方的最高企业税率定得太高了,他们说得有一定道理。据税收基金会(Tax Foundation)统计,美国企业的最高税率——近39%,其中联邦税率35%,州平均税率略高——是全世界最高的之一。

Yet that’s deeply misleading, because most companies don’t pay that rate. The Government Accountability Office found that two-thirds of active corporations paid no federal tax. Even large, profitable corporations paid an average federal rate of only 14 percent — and Boeing, Verizon, General Electric and Priceline paid no federal income tax over a five-year period, according to Citizens for Tax Justice.

但这么讲很有误导性,因为大多数企业不会支付那么高的比率。政府问责局(Government Accountability Office)发现,三分之二的活跃企业并不支付联邦税。就连盈利不错大企业支付联邦税的平均比率也只有14%——据公民税收正义组织统计,波音(Boeing)、威瑞森(Verizon)和通用电气(General Electric)和Priceline有五年时间不曾支付联邦所得税。

There’ve been many studies showing that the U.S. effective marginal rate for corporations is in the same ballpark as in other industrialized countries (some say it’s a bit lower, others a bit higher).

有许多研究显示,美国企业的有效边际税率跟其他工业化国家处在同样的范围内(有的说更低一点,有些说更高一点)。

So, sure, let’s lower the official corporate tax rate while reducing loopholes, but don’t pretend this will create a ton of new jobs.

所以,没问题,让我们在降低官方企业税率的同时减少税收漏洞,但不要假装这将创造无数新的工作机会。

Where the tax plan would have a big impact is in empowering some very wealthy people, because of another bit of chicanery in the proposal: Trump apparently would allow some business owners to dodge personal income tax by paying at the much lower corporate rate. In other words, tycoons would try to structure their incomes to pay not at a 39.6 percent top personal rate but at a 15 percent corporate rate.

这项税收计划将产生的重大影响在于,它会赋权给一些非常富有的人,因为这个计划还存在另外一点欺诈成分:特朗普显然会允许一些企业主通过缴纳税率低得多的企业税来逃避个人所得税。换句话说,大亨们会试图调整自己的收入结构,以15%的企业税比率缴税,而非以最高39.6%的个人税率缴税。

This isn’t tax policy; it’s a heist.

这不是税收政策,这是抢劫。

Then there’s the elimination of the estate tax. The White House talks solemnly about protecting family farms and other businesses, but give us a break! The estate tax now affects only couples worth more than $11 million. About one-fifth of 1 percent of Americans are affected — but the estate tax does limit the rise of inequality and assures a hint of fairness, since much of the wealth in rich estates has never been taxed at all.

然后他们还要取消遗产税。白宫一本正经地谈论要保护家庭农场等小生意,别逗我们了!目前的遗产税只对身家超过1100万美元的夫妻有影响。只有约千分之二的美国人会受到影响——但遗产税的确可以限制不平等情况加剧,能确保那么一点点的公平,因为丰厚遗产中的许多财富一直没有被征税。

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says Trump’s tax “plan” would be paid for partly “with growth” — which means that he has no idea how to pay for it. The Tax Policy Center examined Trump’s campaign tax plan and found it would cause the federal debt to rise by at least $7 trillion in the first decade, and more than $20 trillion by 2036 — slowing growth, not raising it. To put the latter number in perspective, that’s additional borrowing of about $160,000 per American household.

财政部长史蒂文·努钦(Steven Mnuchin)表示,特朗普的税收“计划”有一部分可以“用增长”来买单——意味着他并不知道如何为它买单。税收政策中心研究了特朗普在竞选期间提出的税收计划,发现它会导致联邦债务在最初十年里增加至少7万亿,至2036年将超过20万亿美元,这会减慢经济增长,而非提高增长率。要客观理解后一个数字,那便是平均每个美国家庭额外背上16万美元的债务。

Effectively, we’d borrow from China or other countries to finance huge tax breaks for Trump and his minions. And this is populism?

实际上,我们要从中国等国家借钱,为特朗普和他的下属填补巨额减税留下的窟窿。这是民粹主义吗?

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