Trump, Macron: same fight

By Thomas Piketty

It is customary to contrast Trump and Macron: on one hand the vulgar American businessman with his xenophobic tweets and global warming scepticism; and on the other, the well-educated, enlightened European with his concern for dialogue between different cultures and sustainable development. All this is not entirely false and rather pleasing to French ears. But if we take a closer look at the policies being implemented, one is struck by the similarities.

In particular, Trump, like Macron, has just had very similar tax reforms adopted. In both cases, these constitute an incredible flight in the direction of fiscal dumping in favour of the richest and most mobile.

Let me recap recent events. In the United States, the Senate has approved the main lines of the Trump plan ; the rate of federal tax on corporate profits will be reduced from 35% to 20% (with moreover an almost total amnesty for the profits repatriated by multi-nationals); a reduced tax of approximately 25% will be instituted for the pass-through income of company owners (as an alternative to the higher rate of income tax at 40% applicable to the highest salaries); and inheritance tax will be considerably reduced for the richest (and even totally eliminated in the version adopted by the House).


Also read A Global Tax Counter-Revolution