U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to reporters as he and First Lady Melania Trump depart the White House in Washington on their way to view storm damage in...
KEVIN LAMARQUE

Trump pretends his tax plan won't be a giveaway to the wealthy

— Updated

I don't honestly expect Donald Trump to be familiar with the nuanced details of his tax-reform plan because, at least at this point in the process, his plan doesn't exist. But if the president genuinely believes his eventual proposal won't deliver a windfall to the wealthiest Americans, he's badly confused.

Mr. Trump, speaking before a meeting with a bipartisan group of House members, said he expects wealthy Americans "will not be gaining at all" under the tax overhaul he wants Congress to pass with a view toward creating new jobs and helping middle-class taxpayers.

"The wealthy will be pretty much where they are," Mr. Trump, a Republican, said. "If we can do that, we'd like it. If they have to go higher, they'll go higher, frankly."

Let's put this in the "file away for future use" category.

It's difficult to say with confidence whether Trump is ignorant or mendacious, but the idea that the rich "will not be gaining at all" from the Republican tax plan is plainly ridiculous. We may not have the details of the proposal, but we've seen what the White House says it wants, and whether the president realizes this or not, Trump has already called for a massive tax break for those at the very top.

Indeed, this isn't just part of the plan; it's the point of the plan. The entire endeavor is based on a trickle-down model that serves as the foundation of Republican ideas on the economy: make sure those at the top have more money, and in time, wealth will trickle down to everyone else.

GOP leaders, who've already missed many of their own deadlines, said yesterday the details of their tax plan will be unveiled in two weeks. If you expect the tax burden on the wealthy will be "pretty much" where it is now, you're going to be disappointed.