Speed Reads

GOP tax plan

Wall Street titans seem to have done particularly well under the final GOP tax plan

Corporations will get the bulk of the direct benefits from the Republican tax overhaul — $1.3 trillion over 10 years — and Wall Street seems to have done particularly well. Next year alone, America's top eight banks will get an extra $15.3 billion, according to an internal Goldman Sachs report obtained by ThinkProgress, including $3.5 billion for Bank of America, $3.3 billion for J.P. Morgan, and $1.4 billion for Citigroup.

But if Wall Street banks got a big bonus, hedge fund managers at Blackstone Group, Carlyle Group, and KKR & Co. arguably scored an even bigger win. Despite explicit pledges from President Trump, the bill he'll sign did not get rid of the carried interest loophole that allows hedge fund and private equity managers to claim their hefty earnings as capital gains, taxed at a significantly lower rate than ordinary income. And it isn't just liberals who are angry the loophole survived.

On Fox Business, Trish Regan slammed Trump and his team for allowing "fat cat private equity investors" to keep lower tax rates "than a New York City cop." America's "founding fathers never, ever anticipated a swamp like the one we have today," she said.

On Wednesday, Trump's top economic adviser Gary Cohn said "we probably tried 25 times" to get congressional Republicans to ax the loophole, and "the president asked just this past Monday if we could still get rid of it." Cohn, formerly the No. 2 at Goldman Sachs, blamed Congress for Trump's failure, and Fox Business reported that Blackstone, Carlyle, and KKR did funnel "massive amounts of campaign cash into the coffers of Republican leaders in the House and the Senate as these same lawmakers voted for a tax bill that preserves the so-called carried interest loophole." But they also cited people "close to the tax bill process" who said "the White House didn't make ending the loophole a priority," citing "Trump's close relationship with Blackstone chief Steve Schwarzman, a key outside economic adviser."