Matt Gardner

Matt Gardner is a senior fellow at the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, a Washington-based think tank focusing on federal and state tax reform.

Recent Articles

The Two Biggest Lies in Donald Trump's Tax Plan

The tax plan was always going to be a huge giveaway to corporations. And the individual tax cuts were always heavily tilted to the top.

This article appears in the Summer 2018 issue of The American Prospect magazine. Subscribe here . Despite a full-court charm offensive by the White House, its media surrogates, and big corporations that benefit most from the 2017 Republican Tax Act, the public stubbornly sees the truth: that President Trump’s tax bill was designed for big, profitable corporations and the wealthiest Americans. Two “big lies” drove the Trump tax cuts—the claims that corporate taxes were especially high, and that the president’s tax overhaul would be geared toward the middle class. The development of the Trump tax plan was the embodiment of the man himself: a moving target, vaguely defined, constantly changing, and sometimes reversing itself abruptly. In 2015, then–presidential candidate Donald Trump declared “tax reform” a central plank of his campaign platform, making a number of claims that subsequently fell by the wayside. For example, he said his plan...

The Big Tax Lie: Corporations Should Stop Complaining About Taxes They Rarely Paid

The new tax law hurts most workers and the country in the long run, while companies continue to reel in huge profits without creating jobs or paying their fair share.

(Photo by Albin Lohr-Jones/Sipa USA via AP Images)
Since the $1.5 trillion tax cut pushed through by Congress and President Trump took effect in January, dozens of big corporations have engaged in a public relations blitz designed to convince middle-income families that they’ll benefit from the new law. Companies from AT&T and Boeing to Walmart and Wells Fargo have announced one-time employee bonuses or minimum-wage hikes, and have strongly implied that they simply couldn’t have made these worker-friendly moves before the new tax law chopped the 35 percent corporate tax rate nearly in half. This slick corporate sales pitch is a sensible response to a new tax bill that is among the most unpopular tax plans in recent memory , largely because middle-income families understand they were at best an afterthought for the legislation’s authors. But these corporate claims are also profoundly misleading: Many of the biggest and most profitable American corporations, including some of the “ bonus companies ,”...