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About this blog: The Raucous Caucus shares the southpaw perspectives of this Boomer on the state of the nation, the world, and, sometimes, other stuff. I enjoy crafting it to keep current, and occasionally to rant on some issue I care about deeply...  (More)

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Some thoughts on the Shiny New Tax Bill

Uploaded: Dec 20, 2017

o This bill carries a whiff of desperation. It's the dog's breakfast, simplifying nothing, passed with no hearings or opportunity for debate or any outreach across the aisle, drafted in secret or handwritten marginalia, rushed through against an artificial deadline to get Something/ANYthing out of their majorities this year – it’s as if the GOPers recognize the high likelihood of their impending electoral comeuppance. That reckoning would be even worse, they seem to think, if they have nothing this Holiday Season to lay at the feet of their patrons, the campaign-contributing billionaire base. It is mostly a Dark Money pay-off: The Donor Relief Act of 2017.

o How on earth do you craft and sell a tax-cut bill so poorly that it may lower fees on 75% of taxpayers, yet only 25-30% of taxpayers support it? Granted, that’s double the Americans who favored that health care stinker, but this is like handing-out candy to schoolkids that's so, uh, pungent that they refuse to gobble it up. To hear Speaker Ryan predict, in his most earnest undergraduate tone, that surely folks will like it better when their paychecks are swollen by the bill’s nickels and dimes trickled onto the working class, boggles the mind. You can’t fool ‘em all, All the time, as a famous earlier Republican once intoned.

o Supply-side economics is always and forever voodoo, as another former GOP President famously noted. It is a deeply flawed, rationalized free lunch for the rich that didn’t spur growth for Hoover, JFK, or Reagan, nor in the recent, doomed Kansas Experiment. It never will.

If you decide to encourage growth, sound policy experience demonstrates that you convey the major savings directly to the middle and working classes - those who will spend it, stimulating demand that justifies expansion. The 1% primary beneficiaries here are already spending money as fast as humanly possible, and their investments can/do go anywhere in the world. This will Not encourage US growth to offset its significant deficit impact – never has/never will.

Item: 43/44 economists from across the political spectrum agree with the above – the 44th later admitted that he’d miss-read the question. Voodoo.

o This is exactly the Wrong Time to even try to stimulate the economy to encourage growth (which was opposed by the GOP at the Right Time - when it was needed to pull the country out of the slack demand doldrums of the Great Recession – but then again: #Obama). You stimulate directly, and when unemployment > 10%, not when it’s under 4%. To deficit-spend in relatively good times is at best a foolish waste. It also beggars the country’s ability to deficit-spend when it should - in hard times.

o The other purported justification – a dramatic corporate tax rate cut – is similarly ridiculous. It is touted to spur investment (Jobs! Jobs! Jobs!) and repatriate earnings, but will do neither. Several problems – corporations are already sitting-on record earnings that could be invested if they wanted to invest, borrowing money is already practically free if they wanted to invest, and a large portion of any new investment will involve AI/robotics, not jobs. McKinsey reports that 1/3 of American jobs will disappear by 2030; if it does anything, this will only speed that day. Finally, if I’m Apple, the world is my tax home - I can borrow or spend anywhere, and I will. With my army of accountants and lawyers, I already pay next to no federal income taxes, so the formal rate is irrelevant.

The lowered corporate rate will, if anything, encourage more dividends to the shareholders. And who are they? These days it’s not widows and orphans – 89% of stocks are owned by Americans in the top 10% of earners, with incomes > $100K; only 4-in-10 of our countrymen own any stocks, at all.

o The GOP has forever prided itself on fiscal responsibility uber alles. Are we to believe suddenly, that caution has been flung to the wind? Of course not - this is only a temporary inane-ity. See next.

o This bill is only Act One, of course. When this cut starves the government of needed revenue and so balloons the deficit, suddenly the GOP will remember it roots. They will leap-in to cut programs – slashing away at the safety net they will piously point-out we can no longer ‘afford.’ Except we could, if we didn’t now give away a cool $Trillion to the donor class.

o Instead of cutting taxes, the US should be investing in the future - e.g., via student loans that don't consign our young to the avaricious mercies of the banksters, and 21st century digital infrastructure to ensure 21st century competitiveness. Competitor countries are doing both - they will win the 21st century, as the US won the 20th with the help of education and highway investments.

o I hope (without expecting it) that this will be the end of GOP blathering about “wealth redistribution.” That redistribution has been upward - feathering the nests of the wealthiest among us – for the past forty years. This is only the most blatant recent example of how that works.

o For well-heeled CA Republicans, this must feel like a pyrrhic victory. The very rich are benefitted handsomely, wherever they reside. The merely rich, however, not so much – especially in blue states. Caps on mortgage interest and state/local tax deductions are gonna hurt. Congratulations, as we Californians shoulder still more of the national fisc – we already subsidize the red states - sending much more tax money to the feds than we receive in services – this new travesty will only make it worse. Interesting to note that Orange County Republican Darryl Issa voted no - it will hurt his constituents, he said.

o One upshot of this War on Blue States is that it will be more difficult for the dozen-or-so GOP congressfolk to keep their positions. Will 2018 be the year California sends a completely unified delegation to Washington? Stay tuned, and let the "butwhatabout x" comments commence.

Comments

 +   1 person likes this
Posted by MichaelB, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Dec 20, 2017 at 12:35 pm

<When this cut starves the government of needed revenue and so balloons the deficit, suddenly the GOP will remember it roots. They will leap-in to cut programs " slashing away at the safety net they will piously point-out we can no longer ‘afford.' Except we could, if we didn't give away a cool $Trillion to the donor class.>

Letting people keep more of what they earn/not letting the government spend (waste) it is not a "giveaway". It doesn't belong to government to begin with.

Needed revenue for exactly what? Elected officials could actually spend less to avoid/reduce deficits - but progressives will piously point out taxes always need to be increased, more "investments" are required, people doing well are really making others poor, and spending for the "safety net" has to continually be expanded/can never be cut. Ballooning taxpayer dependency is fine because it's "fair" or "for the less fortunate".

How about giving away the idea that the "job" of the government is to give you whatever you want whenever you need it? And replacing it with getting more people employed and self sufficient instead?


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Sam, a resident of Oak Hill,
on Dec 20, 2017 at 12:36 pm

"To deficit-spend in relatively good times is at best a foolish waste. It also beggars the country's ability to deficit-spend when it should - in hard times. "

Yes, I agree. With unemployment already low and the economy running well, now seems to be the time to be saving up for a rainy day by trying to bring down the budget deficit and the national debt. Republicans like to talk about fiscal responsibility when Democrats are in charge, but when their own turn comes up they spend like drunken sailors, too. It's like I've always said: Democrats may be "tax and spend", but Republicans are "spend and spend".


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Jerry, a resident of San Ramon,
on Dec 20, 2017 at 12:48 pm

GOP have no clue about the real economy, they are paid by the top .01%. As someone in the top .01% I am happy to get the tax cuts and pass through provisioning paid for by people I know personally who voted for Trump. Next year the GOP will go after the other programs to pay for the tax bill but will never look into spending cuts for the military. Safety nets will no longer exist to help the middle and lower class, I am sorry if you voted for any GOP members. The swamp will be drained next year!


 +  Like this comment
Posted by MIchaelB, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Dec 20, 2017 at 1:10 pm

<I hope (without expecting it) that this will be the end of GOP blathering about “wealth redistribution." That redistribution has been upward - feathering the nests of the wealthiest among us " for the past forty years. This is only the most blatant recent example of how that works.>

The blathering on this issue is coming from the left. And it's not going to end anytime soon either.

It's supposedly "wealth redistribution" (or being "unfair") to let people who actually pay most of the income taxes to keep more of the money they earn/invest vs. have the government spend it and/or create new entitlement programs with it. A blatant example of promoting equality of outcomes and increased government dependency despite claims of only wanting "opportunities" or providing "a fair shot" to those who want it.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Resident, a resident of Laguna Oaks,
on Dec 20, 2017 at 3:19 pm

ATT paying bonuses of $1k to everyone and investing in capital equipment buys because of the Trump/GOP tax cuts:
Web Link

But company's are only going to pay out dividends to the wealthy, right libs? /s

This is only the first.

Winning


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Ennis, a resident of Pleasanton Valley,
on Dec 20, 2017 at 4:49 pm

Ennis is a registered user.

Tom -couldn't agree more. We are the largest debtor nation in the world and we have just used our national credit card to transfer $1.5Tn to the top 1%. This will create jobs! -estimated at 390K in total when the economy is already generating 200K per month organically -where is the sense in that? Capitalism and politics the GOP way. November can't get here fast enough...


 +   4 people like this
Posted by Scott Hale, a resident of San Ramon,
on Dec 20, 2017 at 5:55 pm

Scott Hale is a registered user.

Losing. I wonder how many GOP defenders/cheerleaders here in Calif actually know a very important (and big) deduction for those who itemize is capped and they will lose quite a bit of deduction? Oh, they will howl at the moon (full or not). All above $10k will now be taxed, aren't we lucky.

Yeah, go run and look at your RE tax bill. Anything above $10k, sorry, no longer able to deduct from income. Whooops. And before anybody says only 'rich' people have RE tax over $10k, well you are sadly you are out of touch. Much like the GOP is.
OH, and do remember the tax cuts for individuals sun set and are not permanent. Whoops II.

And final whoops the hit to deficit. GOP used to howl at the moon about the deficit amount. Now lookie what they did? Oh sure, the 'increased' economy will pay that off. riiiiiggghhhhtttt


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Doug Miller, a resident of Country Fair,
on Dec 20, 2017 at 6:09 pm

Doug Miller is a registered user.

As one of those hopeless deplorables, I want to encourage Mr. Cushing to keep on blogging in 2018. And Merry Christmas to all.


 +   5 people like this
Posted by Resident, a resident of Laguna Oaks,
on Dec 20, 2017 at 8:00 pm

Scott,

Interesting that only NOW do I hear you libs lamenting the deficit when over the last administration it doubled and nary a word came out of any of you.

And yep, whatabout is a useful tool when you have google.


 +   4 people like this
Posted by Sam, a resident of Oak Hill,
on Dec 20, 2017 at 8:27 pm

So is deficit spending a good thing or a bad thing? Or is it only bad when the other party is doing it but OK when your own party is doing it?

No wonder this country is in a mess.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Resident, a resident of Laguna Oaks,
on Dec 21, 2017 at 5:38 am

Sam,

Apparently to the blogger and Scott it is now.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Resident, a resident of Laguna Oaks,
on Dec 21, 2017 at 5:39 am

Meaning, deficit spending is bad now.


 +   5 people like this
Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Dec 21, 2017 at 7:07 am

Res: Pretty basic stuff - deficit spending is a tool of 'fiscal policy.' It makes sense in Recessions like the recent one, where economic activity is spiraling down to a low ebb (and especially where so-called 'monetary policy' options are exhausted, since interest rates were practically 0% already).

Government injects money by buying stuff on credit (infrastructure, say), which stimulates the economy as workers earn and spend, so it starts to spiral back up. The deficit spending of 2008-9 by both Administrations was of that variety - it worked, and the economy started to recover to where it is now. In fact, recovery would have been better/quicker if we'd done more of it.

The economy is humming now (thanks Obama, and Bush even a bit). It doesn't need fiscal policy help. If anything, the right thing to do now is nothing, to allow the interest rate increases to re-establish the usefulness of that tool, as debt is still almost free in real terms.

This new deficit spending, though, is mostly just a giveaway to the donor class. It'll worsen the debt, but without helping the economy because the donees won't spend much of it. The much more important ulterior motive is to dig a debt hole to build pressure to cut social programs like SocSec and Medicare/Medicaid. Utterly, transparently cynical.


 +   3 people like this
Posted by Sam, a resident of Oak Hill,
on Dec 21, 2017 at 7:17 am

@Resident :"Sam, Apparently to the blogger and Scott it is now"

I'm not asking about whether Tom and Scott or Democrats in general think deficit spending is bad or not. I'm an independent and I know that Democrats have their problems when it comes to spending. But you Republicans were supposed to be different. You all said so yourselves. You all spent that last eight years complaining about the Obama administration's profligate spending, remember? You all said that when Republicans got into power things would be different - that there would be fiscal responsibility. Hey, I'm in favor of that! But now you're basically telling me that all that Republican complaining about Obama's fiscal irresponsibility for the last eight years was all a bunch of bunk and that you Republicans are fine with spending and spending and driving up the deficit and national debt, too?

Like I said, Democrats may be “tax and spend" but Republicans are “spend and spend". When Democrats come back into power in the White House and Congress (and they eventually will) and Republicans are once again attacking Democrats for being big spenders and having no fiscal responsibility, and Republicans are once again saying that they will bring back fiscal responsibility when they get into power, I and a lot of other Independents are going to remember this current Republican hypocrisy about more spending and driving up the national debt further. We won't forget.


 +   4 people like this
Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Dec 21, 2017 at 7:22 am

ATT's employment record is very mixed - they are retraining some 100K workers in an organized way, but they've laid-off at least an equal number, if you're keeping score at home. (AI/robotics is a primary driver, as it is all over the economy - much bigger than scapegoated immigrants or globalization. It's looming everywhere, and the US is ill-prepared - but that's for another blog.)

ATT's proposed merger with Time-Warner is also being opposed by DiJiT's DOJ Antitrust Division. Coincidence? Could it be that this much ballyhooed, one-time gesture is made in anticipation of favorable settlement terms with Mr. Loyalty-is-EVerything? We'll see.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Jerry, a resident of San Ramon,
on Dec 21, 2017 at 8:57 am

Res: 1k per preson? its chump change, let me know when they are giving 20%-30% bonus to all employees. I work for a hedge fund - we are getting +50% bonus on top of our bonus of 100% for performance, so tax cut or not it have very little effect on me personally.

As for the tax bill - GOP are giving money upfront while charging more somewhere else, it's called "zero sum game". It's written to make it look like you are getting more money, but people just looks at one side. I would prefer the bill to be written as giving anyone between a salary of $30k-$500K a tax cut like they did for the corporation.


 +   3 people like this
Posted by Scott Hale, a resident of San Ramon,
on Dec 21, 2017 at 10:50 am

Scott Hale is a registered user.

SillyScreenName: Huh? I'm one of those who actually knows about the deficit and how LARGE it is. I'm of the thinking the deficit can NOT be controlled simply by controlling spending either. Somebody will need to pay that debt off at some point. And boy will GOP howl again if there is even a breath of taxes going up. Oh, that will already happen AUTOMATICALLY IN 2027. Oh, didn't catch that detail, huh? Head, meet sand.


 +   5 people like this
Posted by Glenn H, a resident of Avignon,
on Dec 21, 2017 at 1:38 pm

Happy Holidays to all the born again, johnny-come-lately, pearl-clutching, deficit hawks on this message board.


 +   4 people like this
Posted by Resident, a resident of Laguna Oaks,
on Dec 21, 2017 at 1:48 pm

Scott

My heads not I'm the sand, but when the Dems again control the purse strings, they'll have to either continue the tax reduction or explain why they need to raise taxes on the American people.

It's called 4D chess and the republicans are finally giving the Dems a taste of their own playbook.

And how about that repeal of the ACA mandate they threw in for good measure?

Bottom line: the democrats had 2 full years to give the American people back some of the money THEY earn. Now that Trump has followed through on another campaign promise, you all can go sulk in the corner.

Winning.


 +   3 people like this
Posted by Resident, a resident of Laguna Oaks,
on Dec 21, 2017 at 1:53 pm

Jerry,

“1k per preson? its chump change, let me know when the..."

I was waiting for one of you big shots to say this. Do the math you elitist prig, and multiply that by the many company's making similar announcements.

Honestly...


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Chris_SR, a resident of San Ramon,
on Dec 21, 2017 at 2:13 pm

Chris_SR is a registered user.

Sorry to interrupt, but wanted to see who all is making their second property tax payment, which is due in April, this month? With SALT write-off being limited to $10k next year I've read paying the second installment now let's you write it off on this year's taxes so that's what I've done.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Chris_SR, a resident of San Ramon,
on Dec 21, 2017 at 2:13 pm

Chris_SR is a registered user.

Sorry to interrupt, but wanted to see who all is making their second property tax payment, which is due in April, this month? With SALT write-off being limited to $10k next year I've read paying the second installment now let's you write it off on this year's taxes so that's what I've done.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Glenn H, a resident of Avignon,
on Dec 21, 2017 at 2:16 pm

Jerry if your post was parody, I say well played. Otherwise, well...

Btw would some one pls tell the dems that Tiny Tim is a fictional character? That said, the "Tiny Tims" of the US are the ones most likely to be adversely affected by illegal immigration..thanks to establishment dems AND repubs.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Dec 21, 2017 at 4:02 pm

MichaelB: I think you need new rants - these are shopworn and way too general - all this nonsense about "equality of outcomes," for example, is strawman stuff. The $Trillion giveaway I referred-to is in the future - it's taxes that the 1%ers Would Be paying, at historically very favorable rates, but for this hot mess of a bill. I hope at least you recognize that the investor class pays at a substantially lower rate than we wage slaves - as uncle Warren Buffett has pointed out - he pays a much lower % than does his secretary (@ $60K/year).

And as a great American has suggested - however much you earned in income, you didn't make it all by yourself. Taxation is part of the social compact - we pay it as part of a community, and to ourselves as the government, not some evil other thing. We all pay into the kitty for defense, protection, infrastructure, education, public services, etc. You ain't being robbed, MichaelB; your success is being underwritten and facilitated.

So, show a little gratitude to the rest of us, your benefactors and each other's keepers, eh?


 +   3 people like this
Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Dec 21, 2017 at 4:21 pm

Glenn: do you really not understand that saying 'there's a time and a place for deficit spending' does not imply that it's 'all the time' or 'every place?'

The problem with Keynesian economics is not that politicians prime the pump when needed in hard times - that's a good thing. Rather, it's that they don't slow spending when times are good (well, except for Governor Brown in our fair state, who is doing just that).

The GOP is claiming that they're priming the pump, when they shouldn't be - using an ineffective approach that will only deepen the debt without positive offsets. And they seem to have you fooled about the whole project.


 +   4 people like this
Posted by Resident, a resident of Laguna Oaks,
on Dec 21, 2017 at 4:34 pm

“ I hope at least you recognize that the investor class pays at a substantially lower rate than we wage slaves - as uncle Warren Buffett has pointed out - he pays a much lower % than does his secretary (@ $60K/year)."

For crying out loud. Why don't you guys who continue harping on the wealthy go ahead and put your money where your mouth is. Send your additional contributions for the government to this address:

Bureau of the Fiscal Service
Liberty Center Building
401 14th Street., SW
Washington's, DC 20227

If any billionaire or wantabe wants to complain about paying too low of taxes, please make a notation on your checks and send it to the above address for immediate cashing (and wasting).

Until then, stop pontificating and giving the rest of us your sob stories.

Put your money where your mouth is.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Dec 21, 2017 at 4:55 pm

"I'll take Complete Non-Sequiturs for $100, Alex."


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Scott Hale, a resident of San Ramon,
on Dec 21, 2017 at 6:00 pm

Scott Hale is a registered user.

SSN: Heads? Hmmm.
GOP is in control, or have you noticed? That's not going to end for quite a while. for now, they grew the deficit, which is quite hypocritical of the GOP party, no? Head, still in sand.....And now they rush keeping the GOV funded because they want to go home? Really? Poor congressional babies; they can't do their job, so they want to go home. Right.
And when the DEMS do get into control of something, I'm sure they will muck things up too. never ending cycle.....


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Scott Hale, a resident of San Ramon,
on Dec 21, 2017 at 6:02 pm

Scott Hale is a registered user.

know what the problem of prepaying prop tax is? Once you do, u must continue to do so or in the year you opt to make a single payment, you just lost THAT writeoff......ouch! Or more ouch. And if any of the GOP defenders don't think congress and Trump did that on PURPOSE for those high prop tax state that didn't vote for him...well I have this bridge to sell......


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Scott Hale, a resident of San Ramon,
on Dec 21, 2017 at 6:07 pm

Scott Hale is a registered user.

SSN: Please don't speak for me, because as usual you got it wrong.

Deficit needs to be taken care of, or have you noticed? Do you care? Have kids, grand kids? You should care beyond dropping drivel drops here.

Catch up, ok?

Just don't come here and cry when you figure out your tax reduction (if any) is quite temporary. Can't blame the Dems for THAT tax increase, huh?

Head, sand. Stuck.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Sam, a resident of California Reflections,
on Dec 21, 2017 at 6:51 pm

Hey America, your tax reform is finally here! We won't get another shot at this for a long time, but this one will be ground breaking! You over there, here's a hundred bucks. Now go succeed like you have never before! And you over there by the Ferrari - go buy a Tesla for your teenager. It's on us!


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Glenn H, a resident of Avignon,
on Dec 21, 2017 at 7:37 pm

Tom

Show me one of your critiques of Keynesian economics during the past eight years and I will give you a cent (as in a Lincoln penny) of credence.

Otherwise, you're just another hypocrite. Although please continue to enjoy your yuletide pearl clutching!



 +   3 people like this
Posted by Glenn H, a resident of Avignon,
on Dec 21, 2017 at 7:42 pm

What's wrong Tom, Russian collusion narrative not materializing as you would have hoped?

The resistance clown car is in high gear...


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Glenn H, a resident of Avignon,
on Dec 21, 2017 at 7:49 pm

Tom

You do realize the US govt is in a continual state of deficit spending, no?

Educate yourself - look at the stats on labor force participation for US adults

This economy is by no means (just yet)realizing it's full potential

However, to you, maybe 90 million adults out of the workforce is indeed a rosy scenario. More eggnog anyone?


 +   5 people like this
Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Dec 22, 2017 at 7:19 am

Glenn: Is "pearl-clutching" the new bully-boy epithet? It's weak sauce, and you're in danger of drowning in it. I do not understand what you're asking in the first of your rapid-fire comments (try to consolidate your thoughts, okay?) about Keynesian economics, much less is there much reason there to care what you'll grant. Perhaps you could restate?

The second comment is a mere sneer - it's irrelevant to the topic, but I left it up lest I hurt your feelings (and have to hear about it).

And those 90 million adults out of the labor force (actually 87M)? They break-out like this:

Retired 38.5M
Disabled/ill 16.3M
School 16.0M
Home respons. 13.5M
All Other reasons 3.1M Web Link

Some fraction of those 3M Americans are discouraged, but would prefer to work. That's too many, but you overstated it by more than 30 times. Thirty, times.

There IS misery in the land, and there are legitimate, deep concerns for working people's futures, but handsomely paying-off the donor class does less than nothing to address those problems. It's a squandered opportunity for real reform, and it's rationalized on voodoo.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by MichaelB, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Dec 22, 2017 at 7:33 am

@Tom

<I think you need new rants - these are shopworn and way too general - all this nonsense about "equality of outcomes," for example, is strawman stuff.>

What do you think the effort to legislatively address "income equality" is about? Why did Barack Obama (erroneously) claim that you either needed government to force your employer to give you a "raise" or for taxpayers to provide subsidized child care or "free" college to advance to the middle class? We needed the government to forcibly "spread the wealth around" for prosperity vs generating new sources?

None of this is about opportunity or being honest with people as to what employers are looking for before hiring/paying/promoting them. Or that certain jobs just don't pay that much - and never will. It's progressive nonsense - promoting the idea that income/wealth are "rights" and legislating prosperity (outcomes). I guess it's really "slavery" that a cashier or janitor gets paid less than a chemical engineer or physician does? And the government needs to get involved to equalize their incomes as part of a "social contract"?

You need some new rants about supposedly not wanting to pay taxes at all (strawman) vs. using the tax code to rig the results based on what one supposedly "needs", "can afford" to pay, and is "greedy" if they object to it. If you've done well the progressives DO want to rob you (a majority of your income being taxed between state/federal levels). And you are never going to get a straight answer from them as to what a "fair share" of taxation is.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Sam, a resident of Oak Hill,
on Dec 22, 2017 at 8:08 am

@MichaelB

Well, if you're arguing against the progressive tax system and in favor of a flat tax, I think that the vast majority of Americans disagree with you, so that's really a non-starter. Not many countries around the world which have a flat tax: Russia, Saudia Arabia, Mongolia, Bolivia, Hungary, Latvia, Bulgaria...

Perhaps you would be happier living in one of these countries which don't promote “progressive nonsense"?


 +  Like this comment
Posted by MichaelB, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Dec 22, 2017 at 9:44 am

@Sam

Yes, I would support a flat tax. Too bad that so many find it outrageous about the idea of simply using the tax code to collect revenue to run the government (that is supposed to be limited under the Constitution) and treating taxpayers the same. The tax code would be simpler and easier to comply with.

Paying attention Tom? The "rich" would still have to pay most of the taxes under this type of system because their incomes are higher. They just wouldn't be treated like cash cows that need to be milked for "economic justice" reasons. Earlier flat tax proposals have exempted a portion of earnings for basic necessities for those who make less.

It IS progressive nonsense to claim that you are entitled to income/wealth for just showing up. And it is "unfair", "cheating", or that others are made "worse off" when someone who has done well by working/creating/saving and doesn't want most of what they earn taxed. Not everyone is the same and the government should not try to make them that way.


 +   4 people like this
Posted by Resident, a resident of Laguna Oaks,
on Dec 22, 2017 at 11:52 am

The President of the United States Donal Trump signed the Tax Cut bill into law just a short time ago.

That sound you hear is Democrats wailing and stomping breathlessly.

Remember when you were crowing about ACA?

Our turn.

Next up: spending cuts and streamlining, and border security.

So much winning.


 +   5 people like this
Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Dec 22, 2017 at 12:34 pm

I think we can maybe agree on only one thing: More Lies Ahead.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by no name chosen, a resident of Downtown,
on Dec 22, 2017 at 3:31 pm

no name chosen is a registered user.

@ Chris SR -- if you pay more than 10K in SALT you most likely already fall into the AMT and will not get the benefit of the added payment this year anyway.

@ MichaelB -- nice idea of a flat tax. Everyone wants one except for their personal goodies. Kid credits, SS exclusions, long term cap gains rates, etc, etc. Flat tax needs to be a percentage of every dollar that crosses your doorstep -- not one single exception. Never gonna get that.

I sincerely hope that all of the trumpers realize the added tax cost that they so richly deserve. The super wealthy will benefit, the rest will not.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Resident, a resident of Laguna Oaks,
on Dec 22, 2017 at 3:46 pm

NNC,

Funny, I remember when Democrats wanted to get rid of loopholes in the tax code.

Perhaps next time a measure comes up asking to add more to property tax, people will start to realize that actual money will come out of their pocket and and not be deductible any more.





 +  Like this comment
Posted by BobB, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Dec 22, 2017 at 3:52 pm

BobB is a registered user.

"if you pay more than 10K in SALT you most likely already fall into the AMT and will not get the benefit of the added payment this year anyway."

I pay about 16k in SALT and don't come near AMT. I already made the early payment. Your mileage may very, so each person should check his/her own situation or talk to an adviser.


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Posted by BobB, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Dec 22, 2017 at 4:16 pm

BobB is a registered user.

may vary


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Scott Hale, a resident of San Ramon,
on Dec 22, 2017 at 6:14 pm

Scott Hale is a registered user.

flat tax, with no exceptions, no loopholes, no nothing. Earn a dollar, pay a percent. Earn a billion, pay the same percent.

Another data point I'm over $10k in SALT and not AMT either...yet...


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Sam, a resident of Oak Hill,
on Dec 23, 2017 at 8:18 am

On the lighter side:

“TRUMP OFFICIAL ACCUSED DUTCH TV OF ‘FAKE NEWS'; IT THEN EXPOSED HIM ON CAMERA"

“A Dutch reporter caught the United States ambassador to the Netherlands in a baffling falsehood"as the official complained about "fake news" on camera, ironically. “

Newsweek: Web Link

............


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Doug Miller, a resident of Country Fair,
on Dec 23, 2017 at 11:09 am

Doug Miller is a registered user.

Mr. Cushing has made some predictions in this blog that can be measured over the coming year. I am looking forward to a periodic review next year, maybe quarterly.

When history is finally written about the first four years of the Trump Administration, the Democrat party will be summarized and remembered for its contributions as follows:
2017: "Russia, Russia, Russia"
2018: "Don't believe your lying eyes" as people begin to experience improved prosperity.
2019: "Impeachment, impeachment, impeachment"
2020: "Obama was responsible for everything good that happened these last four years. Elect us."

Merry Christmas.


 +   6 people like this
Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Dec 23, 2017 at 12:16 pm

It's a real pleasure to have such an attentive and faithful readership! That said, my advice would be to bask in your fleeting moment in the sun, and try not to spend all that coming prosperity at one sitting - it'd be easy to do. ;-)

I'll admit, with only a sliver of hope remaining, that I'm likely to lose a bet that ol' DiJiTs would be gone before this year's end. You might want to move-up that 2019 timetable, though. I've been reading some conservative voices of late, who expect the Congressional GOPers to jettison His Orangeness before that millstone's slung around their necks in the midterm campaigns.

The donors have been placated, after all, and the incumbents don't want to have to 'splain to the folks back home why they haven't rid us all of Mr. 30%. It's also easy to forget, in our beautiful deep blue sea of a west coast, that there's an intramural civil war a-raging among you northpaws elsewhere. That won't help your prospects, and who knows? Maybe the Dems will even get their, uh, act together next year. Okay, maybe not - but they probably won't need-to.


Fleeting. Moment. And Best of the Season, backatcha Doug.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Sam, a resident of Oak Hill,
on Dec 23, 2017 at 7:33 pm

@Doug Miller: "...the Democrat party will be summarized and remembered for its contributions as follows:
2017: "Russia, Russia, Russia""

Trying to pretend that the investigation into Russian influence in the 2016 election is all a politically motivated "nothing burger" may play well in Breitbart-land, but out here in the real world it just shows everyone how out of touch you are with reality and the views of most Americans:

"Most Americans doubt Trump on Russia probe, while Mueller approval tilts positive"

CNN: Web Link


---------


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Scott Hale, a resident of San Ramon,
on Dec 24, 2017 at 10:06 am

Scott Hale is a registered user.

.....and Mueller is still coming. GOP cheerleaders: head, meet sand.

Dem cheerleaders: Head, meet sand; rinse, repeat.

Can we please have a viable 3rd choice? Head not stuck in sand Party.


 +   3 people like this
Posted by Reich is Right , a resident of another community,
on Dec 24, 2017 at 11:18 am

The Big Picture - well worth a look. Web Link


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Jerry, a resident of San Ramon,
on Dec 26, 2017 at 10:28 am

Res - Yes, enjoy the layoffs coming due to low demands since people do not have money to spend on stuff! while I collect more dividends, interest and appreciation on equities I own in the market. Supply and demand is still the law, and after pumping $1.5T into the market do not spruce up the economy, than you know what will happen after. Social Security and Medicare cuts are coming and if you are close to retirement - enjoy the GOP plan next year.

I enjoy the .01% life style knowing the GOP is fighting tooth and nails to make me better. I came to this country with nothing and now enjoying the owners class treatments with small donations and threats to cut their funding. The so call conservatives are too dumb to know the game is about making money. Divisive issues are just a ploy to take more of your money: guns, abortion, medical, religion, etc... It's a zero sum game until you get to make the rules favoring your bank account. I personally thanks the GOP for giving me an extra 20% raise and soon to be more gain in the market.


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Posted by Resident, a resident of Laguna Oaks,
on Dec 26, 2017 at 1:35 pm

Jerry,

It's not often that someone can espouse the benefits of supply/demand AND increased tax cuts, while simultaneously coming off as a complete tool as well as you.

Have a nice day.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Snowflake, a resident of Pheasant Ridge,
on Dec 26, 2017 at 1:39 pm

Snowflake is a registered user.

Really informative blog Tom - thanks for netting it out. I learn as much from your post as I do from the comments. When people use terms like "libs" or think "winning" is the end-all, it's very telling and about as un-American as one can get. They aren't really about making America great again. But hey, they're 'winning' so they go THAAT going for'em. And for the record, I'm not crying or melting, I feel genuinely sorry for our country right now as we prepare to get fleeced by this GOP "win".


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Jerry, a resident of San Ramon,
on Dec 26, 2017 at 3:04 pm

Res - Thanks for the vote! I will need to collect more from your Social security soon...


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Malcolm Hex, a resident of San Ramon,
on Dec 26, 2017 at 9:44 pm

Malcolm Hex is a registered user.

Informative blog? All I hear is the "inactive" one complain about things he can't control.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Malcolm Hex, a resident of another community,
on Dec 27, 2017 at 1:06 am

Be not angry that you cannot make others as you wish them to be, since you cannot make yourself as you wish to be.




 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Tom Cushing, a PleasantonWeekly.com blogger,
on Dec 27, 2017 at 7:19 am

Tom Cushing is a registered user.

There's been objection to some of the content in this thread, which has also devolved into that special 'personal' realm of irrelevance. So it's locked. I do feel another one coming on ...


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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