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Will Trump’s tax plan really increase the national debt?

Sarah Schott
web posted December 5, 2016

After reading an article titled, “Trump Tax Plan would Increase National Debt by $7.2 trillion”, I was immediately drawn in. The author claims, “Donald Trump’s tax proposal would dramatically cut income taxes for the wealthiest Americans and, overall, would worsen the national debt by $7.2 trillion over the next 10 years.” This reasoning would make sense since collecting taxes overall helps the government pay for all its expenses and if taxes were decreased, the government would have less money available.

However, looking closely at Trump’s tax policy, he states, “The Trump Plan will collapse the current seven tax brackets to three brackets. The rates and breakpoints are as shown below. Low-income Americans will have an effective income tax rate of 0. The tax brackets are similar to those in the House GOP tax blueprint.”

Figure 1:

Less than $75,000


More than $75,000 but less than $225,000


More than $225,000


*Brackets for single filers are ½ of these amounts

Looking at the current tax brackets, Trump plans on not just cutting income taxes for the wealthiest Americans, yet also for the middle and even lower class. Under the current tax bracket those single filers who make less than $75,000 pay a 25% tax rate, yet under Trump will only pay a 6% tax rate.  So really, Trump is not just lowering taxes for the wealthy, but for all Americans.

Figure 2:

2016 IRS Tax Rate Schedule

Tax Rate

Single Filers

Married and Filing Jointly or Qualifying Widow(er)

Married and Filing Separately

Head of Household


$0 - $9,275

$0 - $18,550

$0 - $9,275

$0 - $13,250


$9,276 - $37,650

$18,551 - $75,300

$9,276 - $37,650

$13,251 - $50,400


$37,651 - $91,150

$75,301 - $151,900

$37,651 - $75,950

$50,401 - $130,150


$91,151 - $190,150

$151,901 - $231,450

$75,951 - $115,725

$130,151 - $210,800


$190,151 - $413,350

$231,451 - $413,350

$115,726 - $206,675

$210,801 - $413,350


$413,351 - $415,050

$413,351 - $466,950

$206,676 - $233,475

$413,351 - $441,000


$415,051&  above

$466,951& above

$233,476 & above

$441,001&  above

What about the problem of increasing the nation’s debt? According to Trump, many jobs will be created in America due to his increased focus on bringing jobs back to America, especially from China. With this increase in job growth, more people will be supplied with a larger net income. With a larger net inco. (cme, there will be more people paying taxes so that the government can support different programs and projects. Because of his focus on bringing jobs to Americans, Donald Trump plans on imposing tariffs on certain imports. These tariffs mean tax money from other countries would be received by the American government and then used to lessen the United States debt.

Since Donald Trump is an advocate for less government control and unnecessary government spending, the American government will predictably spend less money during Trump’s presidency than if Clinton had been elected president. Therefore the US will not need as much money for government operations and therefore will not increase the debt. Overall, higher taxes proposed by Hillary will increase unemployment. The increase in unemployment is caused by companies who have to pay high taxes. Therefore, they are not able to support additional workers. So, will Trump’s tax plan really increase the national debt? No, there will be the creation of jobs which will mean more people would be paying taxes. Also the taxes on imports would bring the government money for the support of its functions. Reasonably, the economy will grow and exports will increase causing the debt to diminish. ESR

Sarah Schott is a junior in high school. © 2016 Sarah Schott






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