Trump brags at Mar-a-Lago that he just made his rich friends "a lot richer"

Trump is reported to have told friends at his expensive Mar-a-Lago club that his tax cuts made them "a lot richer"

By Matthew Rozsa

Staff Writer

Published December 24, 2017 2:45PM (EST)

 (AP/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
(AP/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

A new report claims that President Donald Trump bragged to his wealthy friends at his Mar-a-Lago club that his tax reform bill will make them "a lot richer."

Trump is believed to have made these remarks at his Florida resort to several friends who were dining nearby, according to CBS News. Two of those friends, who were sitting at a table near the president, later relayed the substance of his comments to the news network.

The statement contradicted Trump's earlier assertion that the tax reform bill is mainly geared toward helping the middle class. Trump himself famously proclaimed on Sept. 13, "The rich will not be gaining at all with this plan. We are looking for the middle class and we are looking for jobs — jobs being the economy."

While Trump's private comment to his Mar-a-Lago friends may have contradicted his public statements, it was also accurate. The group that would receive the largest increase in its after-tax income as a result of the tax bill are Americans who make between $500,000 and $1,000,000 each year, according to an analysis by the Tax Policy Center. Americans in that group will see an increase of 4.3 percentage points in their income, followed by the 3.3 percentage point increase that will be seen by Americans who make more than $1,000,000 each year.

After that, the benefits drop for each successive income bracket: Americans who make $200,000 to $500,000 will see an increase of 2.9 percentage points, those who earn between $50,000 and $75,000 will see an increase of 1.6 percentage points, those who earn between $20,000 and $30,000 will see an increase of 0.7 percentage points and so on.

Perhaps for this reason, Trump's credibility as an advocate of the interests of the non-wealthy is very low. Thirty-seven percent of respondents in a recent CNN poll believed that they would be worse off as a result of the new tax reform bill, compared to 36 percent who believed they would not be affected by it at all and only 21 percent who believed they would be better off.

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer at Salon. He received a Master's Degree in History from Rutgers-Newark in 2012 and was awarded a science journalism fellowship from the Metcalf Institute in 2022.

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Donald Trump Gop Tax Cuts Gop Tax Reform Mar-a-lago Tax Cuts Tax Reform