In Monday’s White House press briefing, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders opened by explaining the need for tax reform and the effects of the forthcoming Republican tax bill. However, rather than resorting to convoluted rhetoric, Sanders took a different approach and compared Trump’s tax reform plan to paying a bar tab.
Here’s a transcript of Sanders’ anecdote:
“Suppose that every day, 10 people, for our purposes, we’ll say reporters, go out for beer, and the bill for all 10 comes to $100. If these 10 reporters paid their tab every night the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:
The first four, the poorest, would pay nothing. The fifth would pay $1. The sixth would pay $3. The seventh would pay $7. The eighth would pay $12. The ninth would pay $18. The tenth, the richest, would pay $59. So that’s what they decided to do.
The 10 reporters drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the bar owner threw them a curveball. “Since you’re all such good customers,” he said, “I’m going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20.” Drinks for the 10 reporters would now cost just $80.
The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes. So the first four were unaffected; they would still drink for free. But what about the other six? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get their fair share? These are the reporters after all, so they’re concerned with fairness.
They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody’s share, then the fifth reporter and the sixth reporter would each end up being paid to drink beer.
So the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man’s bill by a higher percentage the poorer he was. By doing that, he explained, they’d continue following the principle of the tax system they’d been using. So he proceeded to work out the amounts he suggested that each should pay now.
And so the fifth reporter, like the first four, now paid nothing. He got a 100 percent saving. The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3, a 33 percent saving. The seventh now paid $5 instead of $7, a 28 percent saving. The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12, a 25 percent saving. The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18, which was a 22 percent saving. And the tenth now paid $49 instead of $59, a 16 percent saving.
So each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But once outside the bar, the reporters began to compare their savings. “I only got a dollar out of the $20 saving,” declared the sixth reporter.
And she pointed to the tenth reporter, “he got $10.”
“Yes, that’s right,” exclaimed the fifth reporter. “I only saved a dollar too. It’s unfair that he received ten times more benefit than me!”
“That’s true!” shouted the seventh reporter. “Why should he get $10 back, when I got only $2? The wealthy gets all the breaks.”
“Wait a minute,” yelled the first four reporters in unison, “we didn’t get anything at all. This new tax system exploits the poor!”
The nine reporters yelled at the tenth and made him feel bad.
So the next night the tenth man didn’t show up for drinks, and the nine sat down and had their beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They no longer had enough money between them all to even cover half of the bill.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how our tax system works. The people who already pay the highest taxes will naturally benefit from a tax reduction, but not the largest percent benefit. Taxing them too much — attack them — and they might start drinking overseas, where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.”
The parable makes the argument that since wealthy people pay the largest burden of taxes in the US, they will also receive the most benefit from a tax cut.
Sanders concluded the account, saying “This is a silly story, of course, but it illustrates some very important points. Our tax cuts and reforms will create a fairer system that works better for everyone. And it will make our country the friendliest in the world for American families trying to build a better life for themselves and their children, and for American companies seeking a competitive edge.”
By explaining distribution of tax cut benefits with a down-to-earth analogy easily understandable to the average American, Sanders not only demonstrated why Trump’s tax reform is necessary, but she managed to reach out to the American populace in a manner that the tax-hiking Obama administration never could. A simple metaphor that spoke to the general American populace, Sanders’ story highlights the understated genius of the Trump administration and its ability to reach the middle class. Meaningful tax reform is just one of the many steps President Trump is taking to make our country great again.