Tax Reform

The GOP Tax Bill Isn't the End of the World. Far From It.

It's a conventional Republican tax plan with all the predictable problems - and benefits.

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Ron Sachs/CNP/AdMedia/Newscom

Sometime today, both the House and the Senate will hold final votes on the tax legislation that has been working its way through Congress this year. And then, tomorrow, President Trump will sign it into law.

Democrats have treated the bill's passage as an apocalyptic event. Earlier this month, when a previous iteration of the bill passed in the Senate, Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic House Minority Leader, declared that it was literally the apocalypse. "It is the end of the world," she said, singling out the bill's repeal of the individual mandate. "This is Armageddon." How perilous the world must seem to her that this muddled bit of tax cutting could bring it all down.

Pelosi's apoplectic reaction offers, among other things, a reminder of how long it has been since Republicans last passed major legislation, and how unhinged the responses to such an event can be. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) is not the end of the world, nor anything close. It is not even, unfortunately, the end of the tax code as we know it.

Instead, it is a predictable, conventional piece of Republican tax legislation, one that cuts taxes for corporations and individuals while sharply increasing the deficit. It is the sort of thing you can imagine passing, more or less, under Mitt Romney or John McCain or Jeb Bush. Which means, of course, that it has all the problems, and benefits, of conventional Republican thinking about taxes.

Among those benefits is the bill's centerpiece: a permanent reduction in the corporate tax rate, from 35 percent, the highest in the developed world, down to 21 percent. There is little serious disagreement amongst mainstream economists that America's corporate tax rate is too high. In 2012, President Obama proposed slashing it to 28 percent. Predictably, the Republican plan goes further, but it still leaves America with a rate that is higher than the European average of 18.8 percent. Cutting corporate taxes may not provide the sort of quick boost to job creation or economic growth that some of its more enthusiastic backers claim. But it positions the nation to be more competitive internationally in the long term by permanently reducing the cost of doing business in the United States.

Corporations are not the only beneficiaries of the bill's cuts to tax rates, however. The plan cuts tax rates across all seven tax brackets, doubles the standard deduction (while eliminating the personal exemption), expands the child tax credit, and alters the alternative minimum tax so that it will affect fewer people. According to an analysis the Tax Policy Center, these changes would reduce taxes for every income group. Only about five percent of taxpayers would pay more next year.

The bill is broadly unpopular, and has been widely misunderstood by the public, with one recent poll showing that a majority of the public believes their taxes will go up under the bill. In fact, it will reduce taxes for most Americans. If you are reading this, you will most likely get to keep more of your money as a direct result of this legislation.

At least, that is, for the next several years. The individual tax reductions, including the doubling of the standard deduction, are all set to expire at the end of 2025. This is where the bill's problems become more apparent.

Sunsetting these provisions allows the bill to comply with the Senate's self-imposed requirement that the bill not increase the deficit by more than $1.5 trillion over the next decade. Republicans, however, have argued that the provisions won't really expire, because no future Congress would allow middle-class taxes to rise. "Those are sunsets that will never occur, we don't believe will ever occur, we don't intend to ever occur," House Speaker Paul Ryan said last month at event hosted by The Washington Examiner.

This may well be true. Under President Obama, the vast majority of the temporary tax cuts passed under President George W. Bush were made permanent.

The problem is that if it is true, and the provisions don't expire, then the bill will increase the deficit far more than projected. What Republicans are arguing, essentially, is that the actual text of the legislation should be ignored, because the authors do not intend for the bill to be implemented as written. It is effectively an argument for intentional legislative deceit. At best, it asks for support on the basis of a transparent budget gimmick.

The bill also repeals the individual mandate to maintain health coverage that was part of the Affordable Care Act. This won't repeal Obamacare, as the subsidies, regulations, and Medicaid expansion will be left in place. But it might partially hobble it, sparking political blowback in the process.

The main reason for repealing the individual mandate is that it provides about $340 billion in deficit reduction, helping to offset the budgetary effects of the tax cuts, because, according to the Congressional Budget Office, about 13 million fewer people will choose to obtain government subsidized health coverage. Republicans have credibly argued that the estimated coverage loss is too high; if so, however, that means the deficit reduction is smaller too. It's another budget gimmick — an attempt to have it both ways.

Indeed, Republicans are also promising that the bill won't raise the deficit at all. Although static estimates suggest that it would raise the deficit by a little more than $1.4 trillion, Republican leadership maintains that this will be made up via new revenue from increased economic growth. The bill, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said earlier this year, would "pay for itself." On the night the bill passed in the Senate, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell even went so far as to declare that it would result in an increase in government revenue.

Not a single independent analysis backs up this claim. The most favorable estimates, which assume large dynamic effects stemming mostly from the corporate tax cut, project that growth will make up for about $1 trillion in lost tax revenue. An analysis by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget found that the total hit to the deficit could amount to $2.2 trillion. That this comes after eight years of blistering GOP criticism about debt and deficit increases under Obama is more than a little telling.

Republicans did produce one short document outlining their argument for growth. It provided no detailed analysis, yet concluded that the bill would pay for itself via "a combination of regulatory reform, infrastructure development, and welfare reform as proposed in the Administration's Fiscal Year 2018 budget." In other words, the bill, on its own, won't actually pay for itself.

It is an admission that even under the most generous assumptions, GOP claims about the bill's likely effects have no realistic basis. Republicans may not exactly be lying about the bill, but they are certainly bullshitting.

There are other problems with the legislation as well: It provides a tax break for pass-through corporations, which pay at the individual rate, in a way that is nearly certain to encourage accounting gimmicks and other types of tax arbitrage. When Republican lawmakers in Kansas set up a similar provision, it encouraged tax avoidance but not economic growth, according to an analysis by the Tax Foundation. Republicans sold tax reform on the notion that it would simplify the tax code, reducing opportunities for gaming the system. Instead they have produced a bill that provides an incentive for complex tax-avoidance schemes.

Meanwhile, Republicans won over holdout votes with sketchy side-deals, at least one of which appears to directly benefit a number of Republican legislators. Republican leaders haven't even bothered to pretend that these add-ons have a purpose beyond buying votes.

And even backers agree that the text of the legislation, which was hastily written and rushed through the legislative process, has numerous errors and glitches in need of correction. Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas), who helped design the legislation, has already said that he anticipates a follow-up bill with technical corrections. Republicans are passing this bill into law despite knowing that it is a shoddily constructed mess.

This is not the first piece of partisan legislation to be passed with apparent gimmicks, glitches, and handouts. When Democrats wrote the health care law that became Obamacare, they structured it with gimmicks intended to make it score as reducing the deficit. The major spending provisions were phased in after four years to give it a lower total cost in the 10 year budget window, because some Democrats lawmakers felt it was important for the price tag to come in under $1 trillion. The CLASS Act, a long-term care program that was never going to be fiscally sound, and was eventually cancelled, was attached in order to bolster its on-paper deficit reduction. But the law's backers at least felt an obligation to provide the appearance of fiscally responsible legislation.

The Republican bill, and the GOP's evidence-free assertions about its likely budgetary effects, have all but ensured a future in which politicians do not feel obligated to even engage in the pretense of fiscal responsibility. Republicans complained endlessly about the opaque process by which Obamacare was passed. But now they have escalated the gimmick wars, and there may be no going back.

On its own, then, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is a fairly typical Republican plan to cut taxes without reducing spending, making some productive changes to the tax code while intensifying the nation's long-term problems. Yet understood more broadly, through the lens of politics as well as policy, the effect of the GOP's duplicity, opacity, haste, and carelessness is not only to produce bad legislation, but bad precedent — another excuse, going forward, for politicians of both parties to disregard even the imperfect norms of transparency that have often governed the policymaking process whenever it is convenient. So no, it is not the end of the world. Far from it. But neither, I suspect, is it a pathway to a better one.

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  1. Good article by Suderman. Coherent, sober and straight to the point. Free of TDS.

    1. Yeah, not bad from him, I suppose.

      Though, it does seem like he is pissed that the government is taking less of our money just because Republicans.

      But it is okay, Suderman is not really a libertarian, he just couldn’t get a better job anywhere else.

      1. The government isn’t ‘taking less’ if they substitute taxation for borrowing. Chronic deficits have the same negative effects as taxation, in will ultimately need to be paid back either through future taxation or excess inflation (which may as well be taxation).

        Repeat after me: a tax cut financed by borrowing or printing rather than spending cuts isn’t really a tax cut. Say it over and over till you get the point.

        1. Anyone’s badly conned who believes giving $1.5 trillion to those earning over $100k / yr., while making those earning less ultimately to pay for it, is helping our economy.

          1. Giving? From whom is this 1.5-T taken from? And are those earning less made to pay for it? Perhaps the real question is, how much of someone else’s money are you owed?

            1. Do you really think you’re going to get a straight answer? The truth is that there is no amount of.money that would ever be enough to be ‘fair’ to these people. Which is true of why they (progressives) are such an existential threat to our freedom.

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              2. I’m making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life.

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          2. Your assertions lack reasoning and evidence. First, allowing people to keep more of the money they earn isn’t “giving $1.5 trillion” to anyone. Second, what makes you think “those earning less ultimately to pay for it”?

            To stoop to your level, I’ll just assert, you’re paying for it. But in reality, what will happen is interest on the debt will increase, and eventually government will have to cut spending because they won’t be able to raise revenues even if they increase taxes, or they’ll just print the money leading to inflation, in which case all consumers will be paying for it. Which is perhaps better, because then everyone will be paying for government, rather than the progressive scheme whereby almost half pay nothing.

        2. Deficits add dollars to the economy. Taxes take dollars from the economy. Say it over and over till you get the point.

          The federal government is Monetarily Sovereign. It creates dollars ad hoc, by paying bills. Federal taxes do not fund federal spending.

          Learn what Monetary Sovereignty means.

        3. Tax corporations only and eliminate the personal income tax. Let the lawyers on both sides sort taxes out and the consumers can set market prices by judging utility.

          1. And watch every large corporation move to Ireland, and shift as much economic activity, including “Jobs!!!” overseas?

          2. Gao,I’m not trying to be insulting, but that is a horrific idea for many reasons. Including the basic fact that this is where most of,your economic mic activity comes from. Even idiot socialists in Europe figured that out.

      2. That’s right , it’s not bad

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  2. I agree with most of this, but I’d like to make one argument in favor of the tax plan:

    1. The government ain’t gonna cut spending
    2. If the government gets more in taxes, it will likely raise spending by more than it received
    Therefore 3. Cut taxes and let me keep more of my money
    Because 4. We’re all fucked in the end.

    1. Gutting government spending may be a wish upon a star, but definitely 3 and 4.

    2. I keep wondering if this will result in a “bust out” in the end, like when the gangsters take over a restaurant, order bunches of stuff, and disappear before the bill is due.

      For us, that would imply eventual inflation, in large enough amounts the debts will be pretty much liquidated. It has happened in other countries. Lordy I hope that pocket currency doesn’t become 22LR.

    3. My sentiments exactly. These fuckwits won’t quit until idiots stop lending them money. Might as well keep more of it in the meantime.

      1. Money or 22LR?

    4. I agree Tony.

      We’re not all necessarily “f****** in the end”, as government can print up the money to pay its debts, leading to the inability to borrow more and forcing spending cuts. So maybe it’s better sooner than later as later it will be worse.

      One thing that irritates me, is how Democrats have turned to blatant lying to get their way. The MSM backs them up, which explains why so many think they’ll get a tax increase. If they’re ever going to win back a lot of seats, they’ll have to start calling out the liars in their own party (and perhaps, ostracize the Clintons for Bill’s sexual abuse). They’ve lost the trust of a lot of independents, and trust is something that takes years to build, and seconds to lose.

  3. Once again the libertarian movement has failed to provide a realistic alternative to the tax cuts and hikes coming from Washington. All the movement has provided is a weak tea-flat tax, fair tax, or a bone to the anarcho capitalists, no tax.
    When will libertarians wake up to the wonderful, wacky and often supressed other option-TAX HONESTY?
    The income tax is totally constitutional-as it is actually written. However, it has not been collected as written since WWII. Conservatives refused to blow the whistle on the unconstitutional collection scam because they wanted the Cold War paid for. Liberals in turn wanted the welfare state.
    But the constitutional framework is still present. The laws themselves cannot be changed, because to do so would make the tax unconstitutional. Not even Congress can do that.
    Withholding laws still only authorize federal paymasters to withhold. There is still no law making ordinary Americans liable for the tax. The tax laws are over eighty years old, and merely changing the tax rates does not alter the fundamental jurisdiction issue.
    Until the tax can be fundamentally acknowledged as a public office duty tax, that simply taxes the net profits from the exploitation of a federal privilege for profit, we will not have fundamental tax reform. LIbertarians should be educating themselves on basic principles of rights vs privileges to lay the groundwork for that reform. see http://www.losthorizons.com

    1. 6/10 Needs more caps.

    2. I think I read something similar in Wesley Snipes’ newsletter some years back.

    3. This guy gets it.
      Btw Wesley Snipes was right, but he didn’t have the might.

      1. If Wesley Snipes can’t take down a black SUV full of federal agents, what chance do we have?

      2. Plus, end the Fed and return to lawful currency. Libertarians tend to want to reinvent the Constitution when it already has the answers. If we care to look for them.

        1. I wouldn’t be shocked that see him do a film featuring a scene where he beats the living shit out of a bunch of treasury agents.

    4. “The income tax is totally constitutional-as it is actually written.” If only the 16th amendment had been properly passed by state legislatures, which I doubt.

  4. Well, if you think that the government is a bloated pig that needs to learn to live on a leaner diet, then one way to get that to happen is to stop overfilling the trough. Force the pig to learn to adjust to eating less.

    1. Or elected representatives should tax and spend according to the needs and wishes of their constituents in a responsible and economically sound way?

      1. So Past Me, hypothetically speaking, if you didn’t want to pay any taxes and were willing to forego all government services, would that be acceptable, or would the government still be able to tax you no matter what your needs and wishes were?

        1. How do you forego national defense? Clean water? Criminal justice?

          1. You’re dodging the question, Past Me.

            1. Define what you mean be forego so I can answer the question. Do you mean finding a corner of the world not under some government’s jurisdiction? Then sure, naturally you wouldn’t have to pay taxes there.

              1. Then sure, naturally you wouldn’t have to pay taxes there.

                Wrong, USG will still get theirs.

          2. Well if they weren’t making it illegal to get clean water from the sky, we would have an out

          3. A lottery could fund national defense. And stuff like NASA.

      2. “”responsible and economically sound way””

        I don’t think that means what you think it means.

      3. Only someone as vapid as you could look at federal income of $3.4TT (FY 2017) and say to themselves “The government needs more money.”

        Are you really going to argue that spending necessarily increased from 2009 and that we can never return to that level of spending again?

        1. What are you referring to? The bill that is the subject of this article is nothing but more spending.

          1. “elected representatives should tax and spend according to the needs and wishes of their constituents”

            So is it your contention that we don’t tax enough or that we spend too much, cause $3.4TT in income sounds like they take in more than enough money.

            I mean, can you imagine if we cut spending back to 2008 levels? We’d have a surplus of around $500BB.

            (Oh, and their constituents have continually shown that their needs and wishes are never ending so good luck ever getting anything remotely responsible or economically sound.)

            1. Proportion of GDP seems to be the more useful measure when talking about size of government, but size of government in and of itself has never been a concern of mine. Except to say that if we really shrunk government/GDP to levels libertarians want we’d see a depression so painful that we’d turn to socialism like this country has never seen and never look back. Assuming we keep will of the people in the equation, and sometimes I wonder about you guys on that.

              1. Do you know what bald assertions are?

                1. Is a bald assetion something similar to blatent bullshit?

              2. “Except to say that if we really shrunk government/GDP to levels libertarians want we’d see a depression so painful that we’d turn to socialism like this country has never seen and never look back”

                I see you’re still making shit up out of thin air.

                1. Stopping the export of expended ordnance and lives would be a good start.

                  1. However, pieces of paper with $100 printed on them is a winner.

              3. Historically, lower tax rates correspond to higher growth rates. This goes for your fabled European welfare states as well. When was Sweden’s economy performing best? 40 years ago before it has such an expansive welfare state.

                Tony, good God. Even *leftist* economists (real ones anyway,) don’t argue that reducing the size of the government would cause a depression. Do you even know what a depression is?

                1. I think Tony tripped over something other than his dick this time…
                  HOW do we know what government constituents actually need/want?
                  Is there a ranked list somewhere?
                  Personally I’d like more waste & fraud.

          2. Actually, there does not appear to be ANY spending in the bill. Unless it is your position that all of the money made it the country belongs to the government and any portion they let you keep is spending.

            The bill is focused on changing how much of your money the government keeps. If you believe that the money you earn belongs to you … then it is a contradiction to suggest this bill has spending in it.

            1. Increasing the deficit = spending. I didn’t go to MIT or anything but I know addition and subtraction.

              Your “ignore one side of the ledger” logic would have us cut all taxes to nothing and that would restore everyone’s rightful property claim. Except that you’d be endorsing anarchy and thus a lunatic.

              1. “deficit = spending”
                No. Jesus Christ, Tony, you can’t even have finished 1st grade. You clearly don’t know additiona and subtraction.

                If I spend $5 a day and make $4 a day and cover my expenses by borrowing another 1$ a day, then my salary gets cut to $3 a day, I have to borrow $2 a day instead of $1 to maintain my expenditure. My spending has not changed. At all. It is the same. Still $5 a day. My deficit has increased from $1 to $2 a day.

                Deficit =/= spending. Deficit = spending (per unit time) – income.

      4. Tony, if you feel that way, then why do you support progressive democrats that do,things like add $ 10 trillion to our deficit in a few short years?

    2. Sounds great, but it’s not like that pig is simply settling for eating the food in its trough. It’s eating the food in its trough, then breaking into the storage and eating the food there, then eating the trough, then eating the barn, and then eating the fence. Simply buying less food to put in the trough isn’t going to stop it.

      Instead, someone has to stand there and slap the shit out of the pig every time it eats anything other than its allotted food. This agrees with your words, “Force the pig to learn to adjust to eating less,” but I think it’s naive to think that simply buying less food will solve the problem.

      In theory stuff like sequestration was supposed to accomplish this. But the problem is that our masters lack the backbone to actually stop the gluttony.

    3. Fuck that. Make bacon.

      1. That would look good on a T-shirt.

        1. I saw a short once that showed two cartoon pigs fucking with the caption “Makin’ Bacon”.

          1. My brother has that t-shirt

    4. “if you think that the government is a bloated pig… Force the pig to learn “
      or
      Eat the Pig

  5. If this proves to be the eleventieth time that giving money to billionaires and corporations doesn’t trickle down to normal workers, will defenders of this concept give it up?

    1. “Trickle down” was a euphemism invented by the left. There is no economic system based on trickle down. It doesn’t exist. It’s a myth. People who use the phrase only betray their own ignorance.

      1. Call it what you want, it is the central defense of this bill.

        1. Nonsense! You’re just spouting talking points.

          The central defense of this bill is that tax cuts increase revenues because they stimulate investment and growth and thus a large tax base. This is based on two ideas, supply side economics and the Laffer cruve. While I agree with them both in principle, as a matter of practicality there is no way to know what side of the Laffer curve the economy happens to be on. No way to know how much revenue would result in the tax cut’s stimulation.

          Therefore you pay attention to budget offices and things like that which estimate the effects. And in the case of this tax cut, the estimate is only a half trillion dollars of new revenue at the cost a one and half trillion in lost revenue. It’s a net loss.

          Which is why I have said, over and over and over, to cut the spending. The progressive solutions NEVER include spending cuts. Ever. They, which includes you, think that taxes can keep being raised over and over with no ill effects. Both sides are wrong, the Republicans AND you. Don’t act so smug about it, because we know you would raise the taxes if you had the chance to.

          CUT THE SPENDING!

          1. “as a matter of practicality there is no way to know what side of the Laffer curve the economy happens to be on.”

            What? Then why does the curve exist at all? We are clearly on the wrong side of the curve for any further tax cuts to produce revenue benefits, and only the most partisan of analysts using the most absurd assumptions say otherwise.

            I would cut spending where it’s needed to cut spending, but you want to take away healthcare for old poor people and turn it into gold plating for billionaire yacht appliances. You’re the one who insists on making this about morality instead of fiscal responsibility, so let’s make it about that.

            1. Clearly on the wrong side? Do you have an argument that isn’t a bald assertion?

              1. Tony’s argument is ‘rethuglicanz bad’.

            2. What? Then why does the curve exist at all?

              Because it’s describing a property of a real system. What the fuck kind of question is that? It’s a description of an economic principle that exists separate from the description.

              1. If you tax something, you get less of it.

                Some people say that.

                This bill reduces tax on business, so we should expect more of it.

            3. The only issue is the shape of the curve.

        2. Wow, I think the central defense of this bill is that the government should take less of the people’s money.

          Of course, if the economy grows at an increased rate due to these changes, which most economists believe it will (although they differ widely on how much). Then the people who become employed due to the growth will certainly benefit.

          This is not of course, “trickle down”, it is just simple economics.

          Oh, and taxes are a business expense for corporations and included in the price of goods, You should be opposed to taxes on business since the effect is the same as a sales tax that liberals always whine about being regressive. Corporate taxation is just a way to collect more taxes from the people by hiding them in the price of goods and services.

    2. But isn’t that the basis of liberal economics? By the government spending money on things by giving it to corporations (for public works, etc), it will trickle down to workers somehow

      1. Depends on what part of the business cycle we’re in, and not “somehow.” Raising worker wages has always required specific attention, meaning policies and practices that give them leverage against employers.

        1. Now we get to the heart of your idiocy, workers wages. The cost of a worker is a liability on a company and can be thought of as income, benefits, and associated regulatory cost. If you look at the cost of a worker over the last 40 years, growth has been fairly stable. But then why has income not increased at inflation you ask? Because of democratic policies to require higher regulatory costs and benefits. See ACA as a glaring example. So Democrats make employment more expensive which makes away from income growth .. then complain about income. This is why you can’t be argued with, you don’t understand market basics.

          1. In fact, although WAGES have been stagnant, the total cost of employee compensation has increased significantly on average. A significant contributor to this has been the cost of health care benefits.

            Obamacare (for example) increased these costs significantly by the way, diverting compensation as wages into compensation as benefits.

      2. Government spending provides people with things they actually want like high speed trains and bombs.

        Corporations spend it trying to find ways to provide things people don’t want like better and cheaper goods and services.

        1. Don’t forget the government implemented bike lanes, they’re the answer to every modern metropolis’s problems I hear.

          1. They’ve spent millions to force them down our throats in Spokane. Putting them on all the major arterials. Cyclists barely use them, including me. I mean, who the hell wants to bike down the most heavily travelled arterial son a bike?

            The same cunts on the. City council also voted to make Spokane a ‘sanctuary city’. By rights they should be executed for treason, with their bodies hung out in front of city hall as a warning to the next batch of statist cunts.

    3. How does making our corporate tax rates more competitive with Europe’s piss you off so much, don’t you want us to be like them?

      And isn’t the whole point of your retarded Keynesian economics that the government NEEDS to spend more money so that it trickles down to the lowest wrungs on the ladder?

      1. I suggest you read up on mainstream economics if you want to speak intelligently about it. It is often clear that you guys latch onto this mindless morality-obsessed Austrian nonsense because you simply don’t know the first thing about the subject.

        We can lower the statutory rate for corporate taxes if it makes people’s OCD calm down, but American corporations who actually pay that rate are probably already out of business due to incompetence.

        1. Does mainstream mean idiotic unproven socialist policies supported by the DNC?

          1. He means retarded faggots like Krugman, who can’t even avoid contradicting himself.

        2. Once again Tony, corporations do not “pay” taxes, they simple collect the taxes as part of the cost of their products. Taxes are a business expense.

          Now, for further bad news, just like other business expenses, corporations move their operations to minimize those business expenses. Hence the problem with having high corporate taxes compared to other places is that companies move their activities (including jobs and those taxes) to the lower tax location.

          So you have a lose-lose deal. You did not get all the high taxes due to the relocation and you collected less personal income tax because of the lost jobs.

        3. Ah yes, crazy, Austrian Larry Summers, employed by the Clinton and Obama administrations, publishing that kooky research of his indicating that corporate taxes are born largely by employees and consumers. And that other kooky, crazy, right wing Austrian economist Christina Romer (of Obama’s CEA) publishing research finding a negative association between tax rates and economic growth.

          You’re off the deep end Tony. All the way off it. Among Austrians, monetarists, neo-classicals and neo-Keynesians, there is a consensus (including among Democratic economists like Romer and Summers) that employees and consumers bear the bulk of the corporate tax rate, and that the US has a higher than average marginal corporate tax rate (which is the rate that matters) among OECD countries even after taking into account deductions and whatnot.

          Your definition of ‘mainstream’ seems to be Marxist. But your idiotic Daily Kos talking points are the kind of thing that make even Paul Krugman blush with shame.

    4. “giving money to billionaires and corporations”

      Do you guys actually believe this? Or, do you just say it because it sounds good? Normally, it’s paired with some line about “stealing that money from the poor.” I guess you just didn’t feel like typing the whole thing out?

      Allowing rich people and corporations (and upper-middle class people, and middle class people, and frankly anyone that actually pays taxes) to keep more of their own money hardly qualifies as “giving money” to them. But, if you start from a presumption that all wealth and property belong to the state for its own distribution/consumption, then i guess it makes perfect sense.

      1. Playing semantic tic-tac-toe doesn’t change the fiscal situation. If you insist on parsing who is morally entitled to what, you’re leaving out the fact that taxes pay for things. If you pay no taxes, it is not a situation of you keeping “your” money, it’s a case of you getting the panoply of public services for free.

        1. With regards to semantics, I’m not the one taking creative liberties to suggest people/companies aren’t primarily entitled to the money they earn.

          But, yeah, taxes do pay for things. And in absolutely no uncertain terms, we (our government) must cut spending. Money that isn’t filtered through the government as taxes also pays for things.

          I’m willing to tolerate a modest level of taxation that pays for public services. I object to a ridiculous level of taxation to pay for individual needs, a ginormous bureaucracy, and rampant cronyism. Things like infrastructure and defense are public services. Health care and unemployment are individual needs. 2M+ federal employees is batshit. Both parties are neck deep in cronyism.

          1. We all have our list of wants from government. I happen to think it makes the most sense to make healthcare and unemployment public concerns, but whatever floats your boat. That’s what we have democracy for, to attempt to reach some consensus on these things. Nobody, of course, will get everything he wants.

            1. Yeah, that’s kinda the problem. Tons of people with lists of stuff they want from the government. But the government doesn’t have any money to do those things. It has to take that money from people (or be given it).

              I don’t think it’s that hard to separate public and individual concerns. Can you name the specific individual beneficiaries? Are some people excluded from receiving the benefit? Defense is about protecting the entire country (actual defense, not this never-ending MIC, expeditionary, GWOT bullshit). My next door neighbor isn’t exempt from that protection because he’s a hippie. In contrast, medicare/medicaid/unemployment/etc. all have clear obvious individual people receiving the benefit.

              1. Could you replace it with something private and voluntary? Maybe I lose some libertarian points for this, but I don’t think defense and things like interstates could very reasonably be done like that. But, the only significant limitation to privately/voluntarily pooling together the money to pay for people’s medical costs/housing/food is the potential shortage of people who would be willing to do it. If you can’t get enough people to willingly do it, then is it reasonable to force people to do it?

                1. In short, no, Curt, it is not reasonable to force people into labor for the benefit of those they do not know.

                2. I think interventionist wars done for moral or ideological reasons should be undertaken by private mercenary groups at the expense of powerful lobbies that have the money to fund those operations. You want to take out an african brutal warlord? Go hire mercenaries , fund it yourself, and take them out. Same with middle eastern fanatics. But here’s the thing, all such activities have to be OK’d by the defense department at a macrolevel. That is the only funding that should take place – to pay for the defense department’s oversight committee for such private adventures.

                  DEfense should focus on our defense and any mutual allies defense where it is reciprocal.

              2. Excellent description Curt

            2. I AM SO BUTTHURT ABOUT TAX REFORM I HAVE CONSTANT DIARREAH!!!!111!!!!

            3. Tony – what would you say to a completely voluntary taxation system based on a kickstarter model.

              I think it could actually be legally implemented if congress agreed to it being a valid method of developing a budget.

              So, essentially our congress proposes in detail some very specific item they (as a proxy for their constituents) want, then put it on a kickstarter like website with specific funding goals, with the assumption that if the funding isn’t reached all the money is returned to supporters. Conversely, if the funding goal is reached, the supporters end up paying for it.

              I do have things I want to happen, and if the government does it with my funding, I’m good with it. I’m presuming you have different things you want the government to do with your money – diversity is good, so we all win.

              Would you support something like that?

              1. Isn’t it just a lot easier to cleanse America of the progtards? Negotiating with them always results in disaster eventually, due t their incrementalism.

      2. Let’s be honest, no one enables more rent seeking activity than democrats with authoritah. Big Wall Street giveaways, and automatic bail outs with Dodd Frank,, and lots of ‘public private partnerships’ with a variety of companies. All carried at the taxpayer’s expense.

    5. Are you ignorant to the fact that America has a far more progressive tax statement than most of Europe? The bottom 40% have a negative effective tax rate. My God man, just a bit of logic next time.

      1. And we have relatively crappy public services. Like healthcare isn’t even established as a public good.

        People are less anxious about paying taxes when they know they don’t have to worry about massive unexpected expenses.

        1. “People are less anxious about paying taxes when they know they don’t have to worry about massive unexpected expenses.”
          There’s this thing called ‘insurance’ that non-morons buy to deal with that.

          “Like healthcare isn’t even established as a public good.”
          Neither is food. maybe we should nationalize that too.

          1. Mark, please don’t encourage it.

          2. Yes it is! Oh my god, how many times are you people going to repeat this lie? Ever heard of SNAP? We fucking subsidize access to food for poor people.

        2. Like healthcare isn’t even established as a public good. (Tony)

          Econ 101: A public good is both non-excludable and non-rivalrous. Non-excludable means that people can’t be effectively excluded from using it, and use by one person doesn’t make less available to others.

          Health care fails on both accounts. It’s a matter of definition, not wishes.

        3. And we have relatively crappy public services. Like healthcare isn’t even established as a public good.

          Have you ever driven across Canada in any direction? How about visiting Canadian parks?

          We have a different focus on what we spend our money on. Most of what we consider public services don’t exist in Canada. That all said, I’d be fine if both countries spent considerably less at the federal level.

    6. Not taking someone’s money doesn’t mean you are giving them money.

      1. It is if they owe a bill.

        1. So if I stop buy your house and sloppily paint your house puke green without asking your consent, I have the right to send you a bill for however the fuck much I feel like, then lock you in my basement if you refuse to pay?

          And you think you have the moral superiority here?

          1. You’re using the word ‘think ‘ in a perilously broad context here.

  6. CUT THE SPENDING!

    You will never get the government small enough to drown in a bathtub without putting it on diet.

    1. Just put it face down & you can drown it in a puddle. I know of a case where someone passed out & drowned under a shower, & another in the spray of a broken fire hydrant. Any way you can get water in there. Actually the most common way is from the inside, via congestive heart failure.

      1. Sure, you can get freak accidents, but I’m not content to wait around for a freak accident to reduce the size and scope of government. If you want the reliable drown the demon baby, you gotta make it fit in the tub.

    2. You will never get Grover Norquist small enough to drag into the bathroom and drown in a bathtub without putting him on a diet first either.

    3. Start with the Hoover Dam. A bathtub is a mere itch to Leviathan.

  7. I’ve nothing vs. duplicity & dishonesty if it favors justice. Seriously. You should lie if it’ll help fool those who would reduce freedom.

    That’s the trouble w idealists: idealism. They want things straightforward, when there are benefits to being cagey.

  8. One can only hope that both the left and right are correct on this bill. If the right is correct, I should suffer less from thievery. This is good. If the left is correct, it will be the comming doom of the system as we know it. This is good.

    Granted, I hold no hope for the replacement to be any better and believe it would probably be worse… but a total breakdown is the only chance of improvement as well, no matter how unlikely the chance is still better than zero as it stands with the status quo. What’s the worst that could happen? The statists round me up and kill me and it’s all over anyhow?

    1. Basically, Uncle Sam should suck a bag of dicks. Why should anyone obey laws when the Federal Gov’t ignores the Constitution? Except for Uncle Sam’s superior firepower.

      1. If we get rid of the progressives, things will get better. And I don’t give a shit what letter that progtard may have after it’s name.

  9. Tax reform passed the house without a single democrat vote.

    Why are democrats the most extreme obstructionists? #WeCantHaveADysfuctionalLegislature

    1. And the only republicans to say no were from very wealthy districts.

      1. Yes, wealthy high state and local tax locations. What a great deal they had going. All those local and state taxes were deductible, so you could vote to have the government buy stuff with high taxes and make the schmucks in the rest of the country cover it part of it by deducting it.

      2. Yeah, the ones losing out by capping the SALT deduction. I feel their pain, because I live there.

    2. An “obstructionist” is someone who votes against a bad law. Right? Big bonus for the rich; screwing for the rest.

      1. If gov’t wants it, I’m an obstructionist.

  10. The main reason for repealing the individual mandate is that it provides about $340 billion in deficit reduction…

    I thought the main reason for repealing the mandate penaltax was to stop penalizing people for not buying something they don’t want.

    1. Heh. Like people know what they want without the government telling them first.

    2. And the reason to have it is because the rest of us pay for the healthcare of the uninsured through higher premiums, increased medical costs, and taxes.

      I’d be “okay” with losing the individual mandate provided hospitals could turn away patients who cannot prove ability to pay for care–including from the emergency room.

      (How long do you think it would take for this country to pass universal healthcare if hospitals only cared for people who could pay?)

  11. The Democrats are making a big mistake by running against this tax reform bill. The bill is unpopular in opinion polls because the Dems flat out lied about how many people would face higher taxes, and because the original House version was rather mean-spirited (taking away deductions for medical expenses and student loans and state income taxes, and taxing tuition waivers for grad students who don’t actually receive any cash to pay the tax.)

    But the final version took out most of the politically stupid House provisions, and allowed the 10K SALT deduction cap to include state income or sales taxes. And the mortgage interest cap at 750K only applies to new mortgages. Most people are going to get a decent sized tax cut (800 to 3200 bucks), and their retirement accounts are going to get a boost from more profitable companies facing lower tax rates.

    1. Yes, big mistake. Like in Kansas.

      1. Hard to argue with the success of the blue state model in Illinois and Connecticut, both the very definition of prudent fiscal policy.

    2. The Republicans are going to have a hellishly hard time explaining to a public school educated public why this tax bill isn’t going to give everyone $2,700 more next April.

      The timing on this was terrible. We really should have elections on April 15th.

      1. And boom. Ivanka flubs this exact issue so that it gets massive press coverage, thus educating the electorate.

        7 dimensional chess!

  12. Lost in all the smoke and mirrors is the simple fact that the federal government is Monetarily Sovereign.

    What does that mean? It means the government is sovereign over the dollar. It can do anything it wishes with the dollar. It can create dollars at will. It can give the dollar any value it wishes. It is the absolute, 100% sovereign over the dollar.

    So what does THAT mean? It means that even if the federal government collected $0 taxes, it still could continue spending, forever. No need to cut Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, or funding for education, housing and other poverty aids.

    And for you folks who are terrified of a hyperinflation (which the U.S. NEVER has had in its 240 years), the federal government has the unlimited power to give the dollar any value it chooses. It can revalue (make the dollar more valuable) or devalue (make the dollar less valuable) at will.

    When the U.S. went off the gold standard in 1971, the need for federal taxes disappeared. The public has been lied to ever since.

    It’s an easy lie, because the public doesn’t understand the difference between federal financing vs. state/local government financing. State and local governments are monetarily NON-sovereign, so they need taxes. The federal government doesn’t.

    But there are penalties for ignorance, and Americans have been paying those penalties.

    Look up “Monetary Sovereignty” and get the straight information, folks. Yes, Monetary Sovereignty really is a “free lunch,” so accept it.

    1. Tell me again, why shouldn’t all spending be deficit spending?

    2. If half of the canaries are flying at all times, you’re still a moron.

    3. Being Monitarily Sovereign (do I really have to write it in capital letters?) over a currency that nobody actually uses is pretty useless.

      Collecting taxes in dollars is one of the major ways that the Federal government props up the legitimacy of the dollar.

      And the Federal government cannot dictate what value the dollar has outside U.S. borders, in this internationalized economy,

  13. When this bill cuts revenues, fails to produce more jobs, and then starts wrecking Medicare, and possibly Social Security will Suderman concede that it was a disaster, or will he double down that until Medicare and Social Security are completely wrecked?

    1. Let me guess, you actually think SS and Medicare are solvent now. For your sake I hope whomever has your guardianship doesn’t take advantage of someone as obviously stupid as you are.

    2. It’s always a disaster, because grifters, parasites, and crony capitalists run the show.

  14. We really, really should cut our corporate income tax rate to 10%.

    That’s low enough to undercut Ireland and Liechtenstein, and given our non-territorial approach, it would actively encourage US companies to move as many transactions into the US as possible rather than leave them with foreign subsidiaries.

    Which means the US would collect the tax on them, and the money would already be in the US to potentially be spent/invested in the US, instead of Ireland collecting tax and the profits then sitting in an Irish subsidiary’s ledger.

    21% is lower enough to cut revenues, and will marginally reduce use of subsidiaries and inversions, but not really pull things back to the US.

    1. Without disagreeing with your basic premise, I will merely point out that tax is treated as just one more business expense which goes into investment analysis. As such, you cannot assume that the only way to justify an investment within the US is to have the absolute lowest tax rate. There are other intrinsic benefits to investing here, for instance having local access to the US market (e.g. Hyundai building plants in the US).

      The US and Ireland are in many contexts quite separate markets. Companies may wish to focus on one (or both), and one means of doing that (depending on the market niche) may be a stronger local presence.

  15. “Republicans may not exactly be lying about the bill, but they are certainly bullshitting.”

    Philosopher Harry Frankfurt’s long essay/short book “On Bullshit” spills a lot of ink on the difference between lying (in occasionally excruciating detail) and bullshit. Basically, lying is saying something that the speaker knows to be untrue. Bullshit on the other hand has little to do with true or false, and applies to many, many members of Congress:

    “Bullshit is unavoidable whenever circumstances require someone to talk without knowing what he is talking about. Thus the production of bullshit is stimulated whenever a person’s obligations or opportunities to speak about some topic are more excessive than his knowledge of the facts that are relevant to that topic. This discrepancy is common in public life, where people are frequently impelled ? whether by their own propensities or by the demands of other ? to speak extensively about matters of which they are to some degree ignorant.

    1. I’d settle for approximately instead of exactly. On the truth side of the equation.

      1. Verified.

  16. It’s interesting to see so many conservatives/libertarians supporting a Keynesian tax cut with one possible supply side element: the reduction in the corporate tax rate.

    If this latest Republican tax bill has any effect on the broader economy I strongly suspect it will be a short run demand side effect (due to an increase in the budget deficit) over a long run supply side effect.

    1. Duh! Why would the PTB derail the Gravy Train?

  17. It is one thing to reduce corporate tax and say reducing it keeps corporations in the US. But to insult our intellgence and say that this will create more companies to hire more people is ridiculous. Companies get tax writeoffs on people they hire anyway because it is a cost. So you reduce the tax rate, it does not entice a company to keep hiring. Same with small businesses. If an employee does not add value to the company relative to the cost of that employee, that employee is not hired. And if net income is taxed less for small businesses, why would the small business person want to put more of that money to an employee they were able to get by without?

    1. Holy fuck, you brainless shit stain, maybe if you actually read the article rather than treating it as another exercise in confirmation bias as you do everything in your entire existence, you might have read the very next paragraph, which says:

      “This is not the first piece of partisan legislation to be passed with apparent gimmicks, glitches, and handouts. When Democrats wrote the health care law that became Obamacare, they structured it with gimmicks intended to make it score as reducing the deficit.”

      And continues on in that vein. Please go back to whatever mindless partisan black hole of intellect you crawled out of.

    2. The above comment was intended for MatthewSlyfield. I blame the server squirrels.

      As to Praveen’s comment, it strikes me of zero sum economics. Economic growth directly correlates with the creation of new companies, and with existing companies entering new markets and hiring new employees. Corporate tax rate directly slows economic growth.

      It’s possible that this bill will change the investment analysis and thereby justify ventures which were before unfeasible, and therefore lead to new jobs. Only time will tell.

      1. I am not an expert in the field, but marshaul, while i am sure some of that will happen, isnt most of it going to be companies who moved their corporate official base overseas , yet their employees are already employed in america and other places. So I do not see how this will help companies hire more employees locally other than the few corporate employees who would come back. .

        Like I said, I am not opposed to the concept of reducing the tax rate, but this was done so sloppy and the rationale was so insulting because their speeches indicate that existing companies will begin to hire more people with the tax savings. That is false and downright stupid if that is what they really believe. Sure, I have known of the occasional business owner who hires more employees when he gets more money just because he is impulsive, but such people are rare.

      2. Note that a lot of companies have been deeply in the black since we recovered from the most recent recession. Bank accounts are flush with cash that they’re not spending. How much does Apple have squirreled away? Billions. How does a corporate tax cut lead to these companies spending money they already have in excess? If Apple wants to open a new office, the cost is a rounding error on its savings account. Add to that the fact that unemployment in this country is low (Thanks Obama!) That means if new offices do open, it’s nor really going to lower the unemployment rate much; maybe it’ll lure back a few people who dropped out of the workforce? That’s a hard sell.

        Less than 20% of businesses polled said the tax cut would lead to increases in spending or hiring. [Forbes 11/2017]

        And don’t forget, our actual corporate tax rate (before this cut) averages 14% with a good number of companies paying zero percent tax.

        1. our actual corporate tax rate

          A disingenuous comment considering corporations take advantage of tax breaks the same way you do when you fill out a 1040 every year.

  18. “And even backers agree that the text of the legislation, which was hastily written and rushed through the legislative process, has numerous errors and glitches in need of correction. Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas), who helped design the legislation, has already said that he anticipates a follow-up bill with technical corrections. Republicans are passing this bill into law despite knowing that it is a shoddily constructed mess.”

    So, exactly the same process that the Democrats used to enact the PPACA.

    1. Holy fuck, you brainless shit stain, maybe if you actually read the article rather than treating it as another exercise in confirmation bias as you do everything in your entire existence, you might have read the very next paragraph, which says:

      “This is not the first piece of partisan legislation to be passed with apparent gimmicks, glitches, and handouts. When Democrats wrote the health care law that became Obamacare, they structured it with gimmicks intended to make it score as reducing the deficit.”

      And continues on in that vein. Please go back to whatever mindless partisan black hole of intellect you crawled out of.

      1. The Republican bill, and the GOP’s evidence-free assertions about its likely budgetary effects, have all but ensured a future in which politicians do not feel obligated to even engage in the pretense of fiscal responsibility. Republicans complained endlessly about the opaque process by which Obamacare was passed. But now they have escalated the gimmick wars, and there may be no going back.

        You mean that completely non-hacktastic and wholly (un)supported claim? This is just another unconscious suderman tic. Who needs to support wildass conclusions when you’ve got feelz?

    2. So, exactly the same process that the Democrats used to enact the PPACA.

      Not, not really. For whatever faults you want to ascribe to the PPACA, it was drafted by a bipartisan commission and Republicans were given access to it. The PPACA bill, unlike this tax cut/increase fiasco, wasn’t written in secret, with limited single-party access. The similarity is only that it was passed on a purely partisan vote. They took over a year to write the PPACA–together. Republicans even managed to get some amendments into the bill. Can you show me where Democrats got anything at all into the tax bill? (Can you point out a single Democrat that had access to read the bill while it was being drafted?)

      I realize you may have to look some of this up because the right-wing propaganda has warped the story. (Look up “gang of six.”)

  19. “That this comes after eight years of blistering GOP criticism about debt and deficit increases under Obama is more than a little telling.”

    That this comes after eight years of blistering criticism from Reason about debt and deficit increases under Obama is also more than a little telling. For eight years, Reason warned that if Obama’s profligacy were not reversed “we will be Greece”. Well, Greece never happened. And while it is true that Reasonettes frequently view the prospect of bigger n’ better deficits with some dismay, the passionate Jeremiads of the past have faded into memory.

    This piece is well below Mr. Suderman’s standard. He might have mentioned the whole issue of SALT and, you know, double taxation, which libertarians once disliked. And the abolition of the estate tax, which would allow massive amounts of income, via increases in the value of real property, investments, etc., to escape all taxation, also escapes his notice. Thanks to this new provision, the Koch heirs will obtain their daddies’ vast wealth tax free. And, as I understand it, Charlie and Dave’s fortunes grew from $19 billion each in 2008 to $41 billion each in 2016. Anyone for Kenyan socialism?

    1. We tried democracy and look what it got it. Government protecting inherited wealth is the essential quality of monarchy, and why not try that for a change?

      1. Why shouldn’t the government “protect” (i.e., not take) “inherited wealth” as opposed to any other type of wealth? Have you read any economic analysis of tax incidence, and how double taxation on invested wealth discourages investment? Well, an estate tax is a tax levied on money that has already been taxed as corporate income, or personal income, and likely capital gains income as well.

        Almost every economist in the country, left to right, accepts that the goal is to tax consumption, not investment, and taxing inheritance mainly amounts to 1) forcing people to pay the government to get to keep living in their parent’s or spouse’s house, or 2) taxation on invested wealth (or fully owned businesses, often forcing them to be liquidated, killing a bunch of jobs in the process, in order to pay the tax). It discourages investment, encourages gratuitous consumption (and tax avoidance) or excessively risky investment (since it may hardly be worth it to invest safely given the percentage you’re going to lose in taxes), all of which exacerbate economic instability and are a drag on private sector growth.

        You, being a stereotypical brainless, prog, bitch and moan about rich people and their yachts. So tax the fucking yachts, but what does that have to do with double or triple or quadruple taxing investment, the investment that pays most of our salaries and produces the things we consume?

        1. As a society it is good to encourage newer generations of productivity, Salaries are already not equitable because execs and boards do not follow a true free market model to compensate CEOs and other upper level managers. But in recent decades, CEOs seem to want not just to be rich, but rich for their next three wives and the next few generations of their family and their incentive becomes not just for their immediate family but down the line. . Many businesses suffer from staleness as they pass from generation to generation. As a society, if the majority agree, we have a right to shape the nature of our wealth should be and my libertarian side kicks in where once we agree on that, then everyone has the right to seek that goal the best way they see fit.

          I dont want to be like the third world rich where they hoard so much money for not jsut themselves but their great grandkids and further down the line.

        2. You, being a stereotypical brainless, prog,…

          Ad hominem? Is that your method of persuasion?

          Taxing consumption is regressive; it harms the poor more and they have the least to spend. This is why we don’t have a VAT.

          If you’re married to someone and they die, you automatically take ownership of the house tax free. You don’t have to pay tax on something you already own. Your parent’s house, OTOH, isn’t your property until after probate. You didn’t earn your parent’s house or money. Neither of these things discourage investment in personal dwellings. It’s a bizarre claim to make. How does my child’s ability or inability to inherit my collected wealth have anything to do with whether or not I buy a house to live in? And, since the former tax law allowed for a $5M transfer without tax, I don’t feel like this is going to impose all that much on 99% of the country and the 1% that might actually worry about such things will be devastated to learn that they might have to move out of the $20M mansion and into the $3M beach house. (But hey, lets cut health insurance for the poor so that they can keep both the mansion AND the beach house! Because they “earned it.”)

          A large middle class is important to a democracy and large gaps in wealth, like we are seeing these days, destroys the middle class.

          1. Taxing consumption is regressive; it harms the poor more and they have the least to spend.

            Except you actually have to consume something to be taxed on it. The only luxury items a poor person has to worry about buying are iPhones and the latest Air Jordans.

            A large middle class is important to a democracy and large gaps in wealth, like we are seeing these days, destroys the middle class.

            I’m willing to go back to Eisenhower-era tax rates if you’re willing to go back to Eisenhower-era budgets.

      2. “We tried private ownership of property but that resulted in too many people I don’t like getting richer (along with everyone else). Why not try socialism and starvation for a change? Works in Venezuela.” – The Voices in Tony’s Head

      3. But, oh wait, the moment we decide to tax yachts, dipshit lefty hypocrite congressman who lives in the district where the yachts are manufactured will complain about how that’ll drive up yacht-builder unemployment, and we can’t have that! And you’ll probably join him in doing so.

    2. No tears over Soros shielding his $18BB by giving it to a “charity” that he controls? This is my shocked face.

      And it’s hilarious that you think eliminating the SALT deduction is double taxation while the inheritance tax is not.

      The stupidity that sustains socialism is evergreen.

      1. One or more intel agencies should get together and assasinate the entire Soros family. I’m amazed it hasn’t happened already.

      2. If I pay taxes on my income to my state and then pay taxes on the same income to the Feds, that’s me paying double taxes on the same money.

        If I pay taxes on my income and then die and my heirs pay taxes on the portion I leave to them, I’m not being taxed; I’m dead. My heirs are paying tax on money they received (unearned, even.)

        1. If I pay taxes on my income to my state and then pay taxes on the same income to the Feds, that’s me paying double taxes on the same money.

          I thought progs liked paying taxes. And you’re getting taxed by two different entities to fund two different sets of needs. That’s how federalism works.

      3. If I pay taxes on my income to my state and then pay taxes on the same income to the Feds, that’s me paying double taxes on the same money.

        If I pay taxes on my income and then die and my heirs pay taxes on the portion I leave to them, I’m not being taxed; I’m dead. My heirs are paying tax on money they received (unearned, even.)

    3. Good for them, they earned. No one else is entitled to it.

  20. *that is, tax yacht consumption more than we already do.

  21. The growth will be much less than predicted. The deficit will grow by trillions. The middle class will eventually get screwed. Some things are just so predictable. We don’t need tax cuts as much as we need spending cuts.

    1. Spending cuts are coming next. Ryan and his ghoulish team are already mentioning Social Security and Medicare. (never mind that Social Security isn’t paid out of income tax revenue.)

      If the bill converts Congress’ retirement and medical coverage to a 401K, social security, and medicare, that would at least be respectable. But they aren’t going to give up their cushy retirement system to pay for a transfer of wealth to corporations and millionaires, the rest of us are.

      1. (never mind that Social Security isn’t paid out of income tax revenue.)

        No, but you’re income is taxed to pay for it–it’s just a separate revenue stream.

        But they aren’t going to give up their cushy retirement system to pay for a transfer of wealth to corporations and millionaires, the rest of us are.

        Sounds like something you should take up with the Democrats you support.

    2. Each you god damn vegetables you whiny pansy and then march your little ass up to your room.

  22. There is little serious disagreement amongst mainstream economists that America’s corporate tax rate is too high. In 2012, President Obama proposed slashing it to 28 percent. Predictably, the Republican plan goes further, but it still leaves America with a rate that is higher than the European average of 18.8 percent.

    35% sounds high, but like most American income taxes, it’s the unadjusted number. The average percentage paid is far, far lower. Lower, even, than the new 21% and lower than the 18.8 rate in Europe. In the US, it turns out that it’s 14%, with a significant number of profitable corporations paying zero after all credits. [Forbes 2017]

    And, in the same article, they point out the if you weight the average in Europe by GDP, it looks more like 26.2%.

    So sure, the 35% number is high. Let’s chop it down and take a lot of those credits back so that US corporations average 18.8%. That’d be great! That would also be a net tax increase.

  23. President Trump: “If you like your money, you can keep your money.”

  24. Complete bullshit. If you live in a blue state, own a home, and have a decent job your taxes *are definitely going up*

    Libertarians are all rich (white) assholes in red states so dont care.

    But the bill is “broadly unpopular” because a *lot* of people actually live in NJ/NY and CA. They just have disproportionately low representation thanks to the EC.

    1. Should be easy for all those people to have their state governments take less money from them so they’re keeping more of their money too. But if you like high taxes, as evidenced by repeatedly voting for high taxes, shut the fuck up and pay them and don’t bitch that you can’t deduct them from the federal taxes that you also owe.

    2. Complete bullshit. If you live in a blue state, own a home, and have a decent job your taxes *are definitely going up

      Like I’m going to cry because you have to give up your weekly binge at the boutique eatery and wine bar. Maybe if you killed yourself, you wouldn’t have to worry about paying your fair share.

      They just have disproportionately low representation thanks to the EC.

      Dumbfuck progtard doesn’t know how the EC actually works or how Congress is actually configured.

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  27. https://duoclieuthaison.com and if your employer wants to pay for you to get extra training at a university, that becomes taxable as income. If you work for a college and get tuition relief, that is income. If you die and leave $50 million to your kids, that is not income. The little people must stay little.

  28. and if your employer wants to pay for you to get extra training at a university, that becomes taxable as income. If you work for a college and get tuition relief, that is income. If you die and leave $50 million to your kids, that is not income. The little people must stay little.

  29. Republicans were joyful Friday as they finalized their tax plan, bridging differences between the House and Senate bills and moving another step closer to getting legislation to President Trump by Christmas.

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