When he went out on the road to promote the wildly unpopular Republican tax plan, President Trump went out of his way to downplay any potential financial benefit he or his family he may see from its passage.
In Missouri in late November, on the eve of the final push in congress, he told a crowd at one of his trademark campaign rallies, “This is going to cost me a fortune,” and later “This is not good for me.”
“We are going to eliminate tax breaks and complex loopholes, taken advantage of by the wealthy. I think my accountants are going crazy right now,” he said to thundering applause.
Article after article, however, showed that the bill would be a windfall for Trump, his family, and many of his cabinet members and closest associates. But with the final version of the bill unavailable until hours before it finally passed the congressional reconciliation committee in time for Christmas, no one knew exactly how much, exactly, they would benefit.
Until now, that is. The Center for American Progress, a prominent Washington, D.C. think tank, did the math for the president and six members of his inner circle of cabinet members and advisors, and the numbers are shocking:
Jared Kushner, Senior Advisor to the President: $5,000,000-12,000,000
Wilbur Ross, Commerce Secretary: $4,500,000
Linda McMahon, Small Business Administration Head: $4,500,000
Steve Mnuchin, Treasury Secretary $4,500,000
Rex Tillerson, Secretary of State: $4,500,000
Betsy DeVos, Secretary of Education: $2,700,000
Donald Trump, President: $11,000,000-$15,000,000
Seth Hanlon, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, told The Guardian, “I think that the American people, whether they receive a tax increase or tax cut from this bill, are outraged that President Trump, his cabinet, and members of Congress stand to receive big payouts from this tax bill.”
“…there is no doubt that Trump is getting major new tax cuts from this bill,” he added, “at the same time as it preserves special loopholes, like the deductions Trump reportedly takes on his golf courses. These are just one illustration of the venality and corruption behind this bill.”
Even though we can’t say we weren’t warned, the numbers that this enormous tax heist for the wealthy add-up to are still absolutely mind boggling.
“This is going to cost me a fortune?” No Mr. President, it’s going to cost the American people a fortune.