As Republicans argued in favor of the tax plan that passed Wednesday — and was signed into law Friday as President Donald Trump prepared to leave Washington, D.C., for the holidays — the Democratic counter-argument was that the tax cuts would only benefit corporations and the super-rich.
President Trump, according to critics, was likely to benefit immensely from the plan’s implementation — despite his own claims to the contrary.
But it was Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) who stood on the House floor Wednesday and alleged the Trump family stood to pocket upward of $1 billion due to the tax cuts alone:
“With this tax cut, Apple is going to get $47 billion and Donald Trump’s family is going to get $1 billion. They are going to toss out a few crumbs to working class families who work 60, 70 hours a week, and the fat cats in Washington and Wall Street are going to run off with the whole pot of gold.”
Congressman Ryan did not provide a source for his numbers, so the Daily Caller News Foundation fact-checked his claim:
Ryan’s office did not respond to a request for the source of his figure, but the congressman was probably referring to analyses by The New York Times and NBC News that relied on Trump’s most recent publicly available tax return from 2005 and a $2.9 billion valuation of his assets.
These analyses found that the Trump family could gain over $1 billion in tax benefits, the lion’s share from a repeal of the estate tax (also known colloquially as the death tax).
But the Times and NBC estimates are outdated – they were based on earlier versions of the tax bill that would have fully repealed the estate tax.
The final Tax Cuts and Jobs Act did not repeal the estate tax, however — it simply raised the exemption limit to $22 million per couple. And President Trump, whose estimated net worth is over 100 times that, would certainly not qualify.
While certain aspects of the tax bill could benefit the Trump family — as they have also been shown to benefit the majority of American families regardless of their tax brackets — Ryan’s $1 billion claim is definitely wide of the mark.