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How badly did Donald Trump lie about Hillary Clinton’s tax plan during the final debate?

AP Photo/John Locher
Ok, Donald.
  • Tim Fernholz
By Tim Fernholz

Senior reporter

Published This article is more than 2 years old.

Donald Trump said in his final debate against Hillary Clinton that his opponent will raise your taxes, but that’s only correct if you’re earning at least $143,000 a year, since that’s where Clinton’s tax increases kick in.

“Her plan is going to raise taxes and even double your taxes,” Trump said during the debate. “She can say all she wants about college tuition and I’m a big proponent. We’re going to do a lot of things for college tuition, but the rest of the public’s going to be paying for it. We’ll have a massive, massive tax increase under Hillary Clinton.”

To understand the extent of his exaggeration—she doesn’t come close to doubling your taxes—let’s look at the numbers.

The non-partisan Tax Policy Center analyzed both candidates’ plans—here’s the analysis on Trump’s, and on Clinton’s—and came up with estimates for how people in different income brackets would see their tax bills change under each candidate’s plan.

Here are the two results, side-by-side, if their plans were enacted next year:

Average change in federal tax bill

Tax bracketClintonTrump
Bottom 20%-$100-$110
Top 20%+$6,690-$16,660
Top 1 percent+$117,760-$214,690

Basically, Clinton offers tax cuts to 80% of Americans, while raising taxes on individuals who earn more than $143,000 a year.

Trump will cut taxes for everyone, but especially for the ultra-rich. Surprise!

Fiscal score-keepers at the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget say that Trump’s plan will add $5 trillion to the baseline forecast of the national debt, while Clinton will keep it on its current path, which would see the debt reach the equivalent of 86% of GDP in 2026.

Of course, neither candidate’s plan is likely to survive any encounter with Congress unscathed.

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