Donald Trump's campaign claims that his tax cut plan would offer "tax relief for middle-class Americans." That's not wrong, exactly — but a new analysis from the left-leaning tax analysis shop Citizens for Tax Justice suggests that the group of Americans getting the most relief would be the top 1 percent:
As the above chart indicates, the top 1 percent would get an even bigger tax cut under Trump's plan than they would under Jeb Bush's plan. CTJ estimates that the poorest fifth of Americans — with average incomes of $15,600 a year — would get an average cut of $250, or 1.6 percent of their average income. The middle fifth would get an average of $2,571, or 5 percent of their income, back. But the top 1 percent would get an average tax cut of $227,225, or 12.7 percent. By contrast, the top 1 percent would get $177,246 back, on average, under Bush's plan.
In total, the top 1 percent would get 37 percent of the benefit from Trump's cuts, and the top fifth would get a full 70 percent of the benefit.
Trump's campaign also claimed that the tax plan would cost nothing. CTJ's analysis suggests that's false, concluding that the plan would cost a whopping $10.8 trillion in its first decade. For context, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that individual and corporate income taxes will bring in $25.5 trillion from 2016 to 2025; Trump is thus proposing slashing income tax revenue by more than 40 percent. That's high even compared with some of his White House rivals' plans. CTJ estimates that Bush's plan would cost $7.1 trillion over ten years. The right-leaning Tax Foundation estimates that Marco Rubio's would cost $414 billion a year, or $4.1 trillion over 10. Both cost much less than Trump's plan. Rand Paul, however, managed to top Trump with a plan costing $15 trillion, per CTJ.
Correction/Update: The original version of this post used preliminary numbers for Jeb Bush from Citizens for Tax Justice. Those incorporated his individual cuts, but not his corporate cuts. The chart and post have been updated with corporate cut-inclusive numbers for Bush to enable a more apples to apples comparison with Trump.
Update: Citizens for Tax Justice has also subsequently issued new analysis of Trump's plan, which is now incorporated into this post.