Jeb Bush to Donald Trump: I’m ‘flattered’ that you stole my tax plan
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) suggested on Tuesday that presidential rival Donald Trump had ripped off his tax-policy ideas.
“Finally saw Donald’s ‘tax plan.’ Looks familiar! I’m flattered,” Bush wrote on Twitter. “But he should’ve stuck with growth & fiscal responsibility.”
Bush campaign spokesman Tim Miller further suggested that Trump might also crib from the former governor’s energy-reform plan, which is being announced in a Tuesday afternoon speech.
“We assume Donald will be watching our energy policy rollout today looking for ideas,” Miller told Business Insider.
In a much-anticipated event the day before, Trump revealed his wide-ranging tax proposals, which included slashing rates, reducing the number of income brackets, and eliminating the so-called carried-interest loophole that benefits hedge fund managers.
However, some observers noted that there were a number of similarities to Bush’s plan unveiled earlier in the month — except Trump’s specific proposals generally went even further than Bush’s.
“You could call Mr. Trump’s plan a higher-energy version of the tax plan Jeb Bush announced earlier this month, similar in structure, but with lower rates and wider tax brackets, meaning individual taxpayers would pay even less than under Mr. Bush, and the government would lose even more tax revenue,” The New York Times’ Josh Barro wrote.
Slate’s Jordan Weissmann was even more direct and wrote a piece titled: “Donald Trump Steals Jeb Bush’s Tax Plan, Makes It Classier, More Luxurious.”
“In fact, it almost looks as if Trump simply looked at Bush’s plan, then slashed all the rates a little further—or, you know, classed it up a bit,” Weissmann wrote, including a side-by-side comparison of their specific ideas.
Trump’s tax plan did have some indisputably original content, however. For the people who would pay 0% in federal taxes under his proposal, Trump suggested they would instead file a one-page form to the IRS simply saying, “I win.”
His campaign didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on Bush’s criticism.