- - Thursday, May 31, 2018

I identify as a liberal, so I was interested in what J.T. Young had to say about what he believes I think (“Why liberals hate the Trump tax cut,” Web, May 22).

I am a retired certified public accountant. I have a professional understanding of the tax code and a basic understanding of economics. I disagree strongly with the latest tax attempt at tax “reform,” and here’s why. First, putting an extra $20 per week in everyone’s paycheck, without having a $20-per-week increase in production, does not increase wealth for anyone. By definition it creates inflation.

Second, during the campaign Donald Trump famously bragged that he didn’t pay taxes because of depreciation. “I love depreciation,” he told Hillary Clinton on the debate stage. As well he should. Year after year, he eliminates taxable income by claiming depreciation on his commercial real-estate properties, and doing so is perfectly legal.

Meanwhile, the value of those properties does not decrease. It increases. But there is no federal tax on the increased value. Under Mr. Trump’s new tax plan, this income will never be taxed at all, because the law has eliminated the federal estate tax. But it is worse. His estate will inherit those commercial properties at the new fair-market value, and his heirs can begin the “depreciation” process all over again, for many times the original amount invested and already deducted.

Mr. Trump has legislated a perpetual upper class that does not pay taxes. I estimate Mr. Trump’s changes to our tax code will save the Trump family hundreds of millions of dollars that they would have paid under the previous tax code.

Third, what happened to trying to balance the budget? Mr. Young’s piece focuses on tax rates at various levels of income. In my opinion, the changes to the rates were little more than smoke and mirrors to divert attention from Mr. Trump’s real agenda.


Middlebury, Conn.

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