Ivanka Trump botches some simple facts about tax reform

"The vast majority will be [doing their taxes] on a single postcard," Ivanka says. That's not really true

By Matthew Rozsa

Published December 21, 2017 10:53AM (EST)

 (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Ivanka Trump appeared on "Fox & Friends" Thursday morning to promote the new Republican tax reform bill — but made a number of misstatements along the way.

"When you look at the things that were cut, the things that were cut were the loopholes that benefited lobbyists and the special interests," Ivanka Trump told Fox News. "The things that were maintained or expanded were things like the Child Tax Credit, that will have such a meaningful impact for everyday Americans."

But, as the government watchdog group Public Citizen discovered, 6,243 of the nearly 11,000 lobbyists listed in 2016 disclosure forms focused on working with members of Congress on specific tax reform issues. This amounts to roughly 11 lobbyists focusing on tax issues for every one congressman. Thirty-one of those lobbyists were members of Trump's presidential campaign or transition team. Overall, the lobbyists were instrumental in shaping how the tax reform bill was developed in a number of ways, according to The New York Times.

Ivanka Trump also told "Fox & Friends" that her father's administration empathizes with the "sense of financial fragility" felt by "the average American family" and that "this administration is committed to changing that."

She added, "And what we're doing to encourage economic growth through deregulation is one of the mechanisms. The tax reform is an enormous vehicle to create the type of growth that will lend itself to prosperity for all Americans."

This was reminiscent of a claim made by Ivanka Trump during a "Fox & Friends" appearance earlier this week, when she claimed that "the president said that he wanted to deliver middle income tax relief. Targeted middle income tax relief."

That's not what the president said, though. On Wednesday, Trump admitted that corporations were the primary targets of the tax deal. The Washington Post zeroed in on his statement that "the biggest factor in our plan" was slashing the corporate tax rate from 35 to 21 percent.

In fact, the last major set of tax cuts — those passed by President George W. Bush in 2001 and 2003 — almost entirely benefited the wealthy and did virtually nothing to stimulate job creation or economic growth. It also ignored how the bill will ultimately raise individual income taxes by $470 billion in order to partially offset business tax cuts of $2.6 trillion and the $240 billion lost through the estate and gifts tax repeals, according to the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center.

Ivanka Trump closed by saying that she looked forward "to doing a lot of traveling in April" to see how people benefit from the tax reform bill, claiming that "the vast majority will be doing so [filling out their taxes] on a single postcard." Sadly, many of the effects of the tax reform bill won't be felt until 2019.

Also, no tax reform plan will enable people to fill out their taxes on a postcard — unless they do so already.

Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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Child Tax Credit Donald Trump Gop Tax Cuts Gop Tax Reform Bill Ivanka Trump Tax Cuts Tax Reform Bill