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Hypocrisy, ethics questions

Ever since the election, businesses have been salivating over President Donald Trump’s potential tax reform, which they believe will save them significant money.

Trump released his official proposal Wednesday, and two things immediately stand out: the hypocrisy of Republican budget hawks and the questionable ethics that have surrounded Trump’s administration since before he was elected.

As expected, Trump’s plan reduces the top corporate income tax rate from 35 percent to 15 percent. While that will unquestionably help businesses across the country, it also will create a huge reduction in government revenue.

Republicans who have railed against the national debt argued that the tax cut will stimulate the economy. That philosophy has been questioned by economists on both sides of the political aisle, and the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation said Tuesday a big cut in corporate taxes—even if it is temporary—would add to long-term budget deficits.

If Republicans in Congress agree to that large a cut in the face of that assessment, it will be a sign that their opposition to the growing national debt under President Barack Obama had less to do with the debt itself and more to do with the man in the White House.

Of course, it’s impossible to analyze this tax reform proposal without wondering about its impact on the current man in the White House. Unfortunately, wonder is all we can do.

Trump has repeatedly refused to release his tax returns—which would provide better insight into how much he’ll save under his tax plan—and  Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said Wednesday Trump “has no intention” of releasing them.

It’s yet another case of Trump being unwilling to let people see the potential conflicts of interest behind the decisions he’s making, but even without his returns, it’s clear his plan would benefit him and his family.

The tax reform proposal unveiled Wednesday will benefit businesses and Trump. Hopefully whatever ultimately passes benefits the American economy as a whole.

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