Speaker Ryan Gets 2 Pinocchio’s On His Own Tax Plan Numbers

paul ryan tax numbers don't add up

House Speaker Paul Ryan, the Wisconsin darling of the Libertarian Koch brothers, has a math problem with his proposed tax plan; the numbers don’t add up.

Sticking to the hard-line conservative talking points, Ryan insists that American corporations are suffering terribly under the U.S. tax code, and need relief in the form of massive cuts.

For the Average American, it’s hard to make the connection between a stock market at record highs and claims that corporations are struggling under the weight of their alleged tax burden.

The S&P 500 first-quarter earnings of 2017, lend credibility to the farcical notion that corporate America needs another government handout. With profits up 14.9 percent, the highest level in 5 years, selling corporate tax cuts to working class people with stagnant wages is going to take a lot more than Paul Ryan’s fantasy rhetoric and ‘creative’ bookkeeping.

Nicole Lewis writes in the Washington Post, “Ryan is very adept at citing what appear to be authoritative facts and figures. But just like watching a magician who disguises the cards hidden in his sleeve, Ryan’s facts sometimes require careful scrutiny.”

That scrutiny led the WaPo to give Ryan “2 Pinocchio’s” on his data.

But the problem is bigger than Ryan’s questionable numbers. The entire conservative agenda is based on ‘revenue neutral’ accounting. That means the government does not take in more money, it just distributes its income differently. In the case of the Ryan plan, corporations would pay less, leaving everyone else to make up the difference in order to keep the plan ‘neutral.’

As Tony Nitti explains in Forbes, it’s pretty much impossible to give corporations the tax cuts they want without adding trillions to the deficit. “… The plan Donald Trump presented during his campaign would add over $4.6 trillion to the deficit over the next ten years. The Blueprint for Tax Reform posited by Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee Kevin Brady was only slightly better, adding $3 trillion to the deficit over the next ten years.”

While the specific numbers in any tax reform plan matter, the stated goal should be the real issue, and this is where ‘republicanomics’ falls short. When real people need to pay down their debts, they don’t accomplish it by making sure they don’t take in any extra income.

Therefore, the real Pinocchio here is in the entire idea that cuts to spending programs will ever be enough to cover the tax cuts the donor class wants. If all corporations paid nothing, and many don’t pay a dime, even Republicans would have a hard time explaining how that’s a goal worth chasing.


Featured image via Speaker Paul Ryan Facebook

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About Tobin 246 Articles

Tobin is a political junkie and animal rights advocate who believes that if people can stand on line to buy junk food, they should also be able to stand on line to vote. Tobin is the author of “Afterlife: The Journey of a Dog’s Spirit” now available on Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0150RP9DA

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