Donald Trump’s tax reform plans would, if enacted, increase the gap between rich and poor Americans and see the US slip below Greece on a new global index of inequality.
According to the Commitment to Reducing Inequality (CRI) index, developed by researchers at Oxfam and Development Finance International, the US already distinguishes itself among wealthy countries by doing “very badly” at addressing inequality.
But it would fall a further six places from its ranking of 23rd overall if Trump’s tax reform effort is successful, with the US’s specific rating on tax policies plummeting 33 places from 26th to 59th – just below Peru, Chile and Sri Lanka.
“When you already have countries like Portugal and Slovenia ranking higher than the United States on the overall index, we think that’s a concern considering the wealth of the US,” Paul O’Brien, Oxfam America’s vice-president for policy and campaigns, told the Guardian.
If the White House passes its budget, which would slash social service spending and could leave millions of Americans without health insurance, the US would fall behind Greece, which is crippled by a debt crisis; Spain, which for 10 months in 2016 did not have a government; and Argentina, which has been plagued by high inflation, according to the report.
O’Brien said global understanding of inequality has grown significantly in the past decade, but this awareness has not led to the creation of pervasive government policies. Compilers of the index spent a year looking at policies around taxation, social service spending and labor in 152 countries.
“The reason we did this comparative index,” O’Brien said, “is in large part to challenge policymakers like President Trump to look to other economies and other societies, to give people smarter ways to give everyone an opportunity to lift themselves from poverty.”
The US performance on the index is strikingly bad compared to other wealthy countries, including the 35 members…