This past December, Trump and the obedient GOP celebrated the passage of the GOP tax bill with an unsavory amount of pomp and circumstance. The grandiose display was especially abhorrent when contextualized by the fact that the bill further enriches Trump and his friends (the white and wealthy), and leaves the rest of the American people behind. While the mess of the bill can be confusing to unpack, there are four areas that encapsulate the not-so-hidden agenda.  

1. Phasing out the estate tax

What is it? The tax bill allows wealthy couples to pass on up to $22 million in assets without having to pay a tax; in some cases this would provide a reduction in taxes worth $4.4 million per estate.

How does it help Trump? It disproportionately helps Trump and the small group of wealthy individuals with similar capital. The tax would allow Trump to leave his assets to his kids Ivanka, Donald Jr, and Eric, ensuring they continue to live a privileged life — while paying little tax on the money they inherit.

2. Eliminating the alternative minimum tax

What is it? The alternative minimum tax is a standard secondary tax that was designed to prevent the ultra-wealthy from finding loopholes and avoiding paying taxes, essentially ensuring everyone pays a fair amount.

How does it help Trump? The new tax plan argues that a secondary tax is unnecessary as the tax code already does a good enough job preventing high-income taxpayers from finding loopholes. However, this is clearly not the case, and without a complete history of Trump’s taxes it’s unclear if he followed the rules.

3. Cutting the business pass-through tax rate

What is it? This describes companies, often with highly valued assets, that aren’t taxed as corporations but instead as individuals. The phrase “pass-through” describes the process in which income passes through to the owner.

How does it help Trump? The GOP tax bill offers owners of pass-through businesses a 20% tax deduction. Rent, royalties, and licensing fees, all of which are central to Trump businesses, qualify for the deduction.

4. Chopping corporate income tax rate

What is it? It’s the tax rate that American companies pay.

How does it help Trump? The tax bill cuts the corporate income tax rate from 35% to 20%, deemed the most significant change. While the individual tax rate was also lowered, it’s not permanent. In the end, businesses and people who own them, Trump, come out on top.