I recently heard the former president crowing about his prized tax cuts (solely for the rich, by the way) that were the bedrock of his first budget in 2017. What he never mentions are the draconian tax increases he slipped into the exact same budget to punish corporations that partake in research and development tax credits — such as the folks that brought us cellphones, electric cars, heat pumps, etc.

The tax increases enacted in 2017 were cowardly, delayed in implementation until 2022 to avoid having to answer for them during his administration. While a typical Trump move, balancing his personal graft on the backs of the hard working and the innovative, these tax increases have brought anyone that uses R&D tax credits — such as farmers, manufactures, engineers and tech companies — to their knees over the past three years. The drastic tax increase essentially shifted 90% of corporate salaries, that were always deductible, to the profit side of the ledger. Meaning, for us, a company of 90 employees, that some 72 employee salaries were assigned as profit (not deductible) in 2022, skyrocketing our earnings valuation and increasing our taxes by millions of dollars in a single year. In my case, the company owners took out loans to pay for the tax increases, crippling our company’s ability to invest for years to come.

These brutal tax increases, scheduled to last five years before phasing out, are proof of Trump’s true mindset and real intentions: Let the government steal from its own hard-working citizens to empower himself.

Bruce Fowler

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