This tweet from Donald Trump’s social media director Dan Scavino caught our eye, but we’re not sure he’s watched it.
It’s a clip from 1991 where Trump testified in front of the House Budget Committee — chaired by New Jersey Democrat Frank Guarini — where he proceeded to bash the Tax Reform Act of 1986 championed by Ronald Reagan and argue that income taxes need to be higher to help spur investment into real estate.
In other words, thanks for the reminder that Trump used to be a Democrat?
1991: The House Task Force on Urgent Fiscal Issues needed EXPERTS! They called upon @realDonaldTrump.#Trump2016https://t.co/AOZG7TZGwT
— Dan Scavino (@DanScavino) April 19, 2016
Transcript via CSPAN, with the part about raising income taxes highlighted in bold. Stick around until the end where Trump compared America in 1991 to the Soviet Union:
Well, first of all, I think I could say to Mr. Seidman, who I believe has done a really fantastic job while he was in government, that had the 1986 catastrophe of the tax reform act not been passed, I’m not sure that you’d know Mr. Seidman in the capacity of RTC; you’d know him in some perhaps more positive capacity, but not in the Resolution Trust. And I think in bringing that point up to Mr. Seidman before he tended to agree with me, I think. (Turns to Mr. Seidman.) Good. So this tax act was just an absolute catastrophe for the country, for the real estate industry, and I really hope that something can be done — as Congressman Thomas recently said, that something can be done to change at least parts of it, because it has taken all incentive away from investing in real estate, and real estate really means so many jobs.
I mean, you have a city called New York City, you have a City of Boston, you have other cities and so many other cities, but I can tell you from very personal knowledge, New York City has virtually no construction right now. And we’re not only talking about office buildings, of which there are many; we’re talking about housing, moderate-income housing, low-income housing, even high-income housing, where you create jobs, you create so many other things. They buy carpet, they buy furniture, they buy refrigerators, they buy other things that fuel the economy. And incentive has to be put back in to the construction of things that are needed, such as housing of all kinds.
I heard this morning that we’ve had the lowest number of houses built in terms of the housing since 1946 or 1947. And that’s not much of a tribute to this group of folks that are representing the country, unfortunately. I feel — you know, I feel very badly about it, everybody feels very badly about it. The fact is that the one word that nobody up on the panel has mentioned is the word depression, and I truly feel that this country right now is in a depression. It’s not a recession. People are kidding themselves if they think it’s a recession. You look at what’s happening in the automobile business and the — in the retailing business, and the retailing business in any part of the country virtually is a total disaster. But in the real estate business we’re in an absolute depression, and one of the reasons we’re there is what happened in 1986 — in addition to what Mr. Seidman said — is what happened in 1986 with the changes.
I really came on the basis that I wanted to — I’ll answer questions on it — but I wanted to discuss the Tax Act of 1986. Active-passive — you’re absolutely right — a hundred percent right, and something has to be done. It has to be brought back, it has to be reformed, it has to be taken care of. I think for certain types of building, such as housing, I think depreciation schedules should be very severely limited — cut, so that people have incentive to build housing as opposed to commercial, which really — again, the commercial is probably taken care of for a long while. The reason it’s taken care of for a long while, however, unfortunately, is the fact that the economy is so bad that there’s no reason for the commercial. And I think that gets taken care of and gobbled up very quickly had the — if the economy improved.