Taxes

Trump's Phony Postcard Tax Return

The tax bill does not deliver the simplification that the president promised.

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At a meeting with congressional leaders last month, Donald Trump kissed a postcard-sized tax form, expressing his commitment to simplification of the hideously complex Internal Revenue Code. "Over 90 percent of Americans are going to fill out taxes on that postcard," Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin promised on Sunday.

That's not really true, because the bill that emerged from Congress this week does little to simplify the tax code and in some ways makes it even more complicated. The tax return on a postcard, originally a symbol of radical reform, has become a gimmick aimed at distracting the public from a revenue collection system that is just as confusing, frustrating, intrusive, and manipulative as ever.

Hoover Institution economists Robert Hall and Alvin Rabushka promoted the idea of a "postcard tax return" in their 1985 book The Flat Tax, tying it to the elimination of deductions, credits, and every tax bracket but one. Under Hall and Rabushka's plan, everyone would pay a single rate on all forms of income after subtracting a "personal allowance" aimed at maintaining progressivity.

The postcard tax return touted by Trump and Mnuchin, by contrast, is tied to a tax bill that retains seven income brackets (while redefining them and fiddling with the rates) and all the major tax breaks, including the ones for charitable donations, mortgage interest, and state and local taxes. The limits that the bill imposes on the latter two deductions will make tax preparation more rather than less complicated, since filers will have to figure out how much of those expenditures can be subtracted from their taxable income.

The Trump administration's postcard promise is based on a trick that the Tax Policy Center's Roberton Williams highlighted last year: shifting the figuring off the main form. Most of the items on the "Simple, Fair 'Postcard' Tax Filing" that the president kissed, such as "wage and compensation income," "contributions to specified savings plans," "earned income credit," and child credits (doubled under the tax bill but still phased out as income rises), require additional consultation, consideration, and calculation.

The main rationale for the claim that the tax bill simplifies returns is the near-doubling of the standard deduction (which is coupled with the elimination of personal and dependent exemptions). That change is expected to reduce the share of filers who itemize from 30 percent to 6 percent.

The problem is that taxpayers still won't know whether the standard deduction exceeds their potential itemized deductions unless they go to the trouble of documenting the latter throughout the year and running the numbers when they prepare their returns. That work also does not show up on the postcard return.

The tax bill introduces new wrinkles, including a 20-percent deduction for "pass-through" income from businesses such as partnerships and sole proprietorships, which is reported on individual returns. The upshot is that the tax rate for pass-through income will be lower than the individual income rate (but higher than the new, lower corporate rate), inviting new forms of tax gamesmanship.

The last thing our tax system needs is more complexity. According to the Tax Foundation, the Internal Revenue Code, which totals 2.4 million words, is nearly six times as long as it was in 1955 and almost twice as long as it was in 1985. That's not including 7.7 million words of tax regulations or 60,000 pages of relevant case law.

The Tax Foundation says complying with IRS filing requirements consumed nearly 9 billion hours last year, at a cost of more than $400 billion. That's not including billions of dollars in costs resulting from suboptimal economic decisions encouraged by the tax code, or the damage done to principles of fairness when the law is so complicated that the average person cannot reasonably be expected to understand it.

The president said he wanted to "make the tax code simple, fair and easy to understand." It's a worthy aspiration that the tax bill does not come close to fulfilling.

© Copyright 2017 by Creators Syndicate Inc.

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141 responses to “Trump's Phony Postcard Tax Return

  1. The Flat Tax mentioned here is the ultimate proof of dumbfuckery by fiscal conservatives, especially.libertarians. Progressive tax rates subsidize roughly half the entire share of the personal income tax for the core middle class, $40-100k Adjusted Gross. So a flat tax would DOUBLE those income taxes of those middle-class voters!!! ignorance is NOT bliss.

    A consumption tax — also a favorite of anti-gubmint goobers — is actually crazier! Does ANYONE not know the rich consume a tiny percentage of their income? DUH. Forbes reports that the middle class consumes almost their entire income (include credit card debt, auto loans and the like. Do the math.

    What’s my point? As crazy as Trump is .. which is VERY … his bullshit ame is built on a foundation created by conservative and libertarian “think” tanks, all hustling donations to propose solutions for …. not a damn thing.

    It ain’t just progressives so eager to be suckered! Just WHO was so easily suckered by postcard returns and flat taxes?

    1. >”So the flat tax would double those income taxes of middle-class voters.”

      GOOD! Maybe when people actually have to pay for all the stupid nonsense the government spends money on they’ll realize they could spend it more effectively themselves.

      1. So, you’re eager to double your own taxes … stop sucking at the teat of Bill Gates and Warren Buffet … because any thought of getting elected to implement your authoritarian fascism is only for squishes, RINOs and pussies.

        Will of the People and Consent of the Governed were invented by our founders, as clever diversions from their preferred communism. I’m so glad we agree!

        1. What’s up you Commie!

          1. Lay bait for an asshole. Catch a BIG one,

            Self-righteously claims to love the Constitution … but repeatedly shits all over it .. calls OTHERS a commie … while HE defends pure authoritarianism,.

            Says will of the people and consent of the governed is COMMUNIST.
            Shits all over the founding fathers also.

            Lay bait for an asshole. Land a prize catch!
            See his OTHER screwup downpage!

            1. So the guy advocating for redistribution of wealth is the “anti-authoritarian?” (That would be you).

              Let me guess your response: BULLY, FASCIST, SNICKER, GIGGLE, FART, PUKE.

              1. So the guy advocating for redistribution of wealth is the “anti-authoritarian?” (That would be you).

                The pathetic bullshitter would be you.

                Let me guess your response: BULLY, FASCIST, SNICKER, GIGGLE, FART, PUKE

                All true, but I called you out as a liar
                So that’s TWO fuckups.

                (boldface is defense of aggression … and a lying sack of shit).

                1. You had to destroy the town to save it, right?

                  FASCIST. AUTHORITARIAN. DICTATOR. AGGRESSOR!

                  Let’s just leave it at moron and call it a day.

                  1. I called you out as a fcking liar for this

                    So the guy advocating for redistribution of wealth is the “anti-authoritarian?” (That would be you)

                    Put up or shut up, punk
                    .

                    1. It’s hard to tell since your writing style is that of a dementia patient, but it appears you’re arguing in favor of the current tax code which is redistributionist at it’s core. Are you, or are you not, in favor of taxing ‘the rich’ more because ‘they can afford it’? I’m honestly asking, because your post lacks any indicators of what your preferred solution would be.

                    2. I do love this bit the most though:

                      Lay bait for an asshole. Catch a BIG one,

                      Hihn admitting that he’s inciting people so he can take the asshole tone that he was always going to adopt anyway. Truly, Hihn is an expert troll that rationalizes his own hostility. As a bonus feature, he projects that onto people even when they aren’t being hostile towards him.

                      You need to go see a psychologist, Hihn. Honestly, I mean that. For your own good.

                    3. And just for the record, poking people with a stick so they punch you in the face is itself a violation of whatever bizarro-world NAP that Hihn ascribes to.

                    4. . Are you, or are you not, in favor of taxing ‘the rich’ more because ‘they can afford it’?

                      WHOOOOSH

                      I simply stated some facts that you goobers are obviously ignorant of
                      1) A flat tax on income or consumption is impossible.
                      2) Because progressive tax rates subsidize roughly half the entire share of the income tax for the core middle class ($40k-100k)
                      3 A consumption tax is even more stupid. because the rich consume a tiny share of their income and the middle class consumes nearly all of its (including debt-paid consumption).

                      Instead of stumbling around, crashing into walls, why not simply say which of the actual words confuse you.

                      I’ve even posted a link to the actual IRS data.

                      P.S. I say it’s impossible, so the retards say I favor progressive tax rates!
                      Denying reality for fantasy is a psychiatric disorder, rather serious.
                      So take your intimidation and stick it where the sun don’t shine. The truth cannot be bullied.

                    5. Gotcha, so you didn’t actually have any point or solutions you just wanted to throw shit. That was my assumption, but I did want to confirm it.

                    6. You didn’t actually have any point or solutions you just wanted to throw shit

                      If you’re too fucking lazy — or stupid — to click the link to a comprehensive package of solutions, including a full restructuring of both federal taxes and federalism… stop your fucking whining
                      .
                      A flat tax, on income or consumptions is both stupid and impossible. Impossible, because progressive rates subsidize nearly half the entire middle-class share of taxes. Stupid, because we know the income tax punishes investment, so why shift the punishment to consumption, while babbling about free markets. DUH

                      So, assholes like JustAnotherSkippy say I DEFEND progressive taxes, which I already jammed up his ass ? linking to 3 FLAT taxes. The rates on income and consumption must be equal — to avoid market distortions.

                      So fuck you, Skippy ? and eat shit, BYODB.

                      I’d even posted a link to actual IRS PROOF … while you goobers babble, attack and shriek
                      .
                      THIS link will start you on the solutions you lied about so shamelesslyPOSTED at 10:03 AM — Nearly three hours before your latest shit screed

                      Bully somebody dumber than you, if anyone (sneer).

                      .

                    7. “So fuck you, Skippy”

                      Skippy is a different poster retard.

                    8. I mentioned them both, chump.
                      (sneer)

                    9. In a reply that wasn’t to Skippy.

                      Retard.

                    10. NOW THE DUMFUCK — PROVEN A LIAR CLAIMS …. I CAN’T MENTION SKIPPY UNLESS THE COMMENT IS ADDRESSED TO SKIPPY! OMFG

                      In a reply that wasn’t to Skippy
                      Retard.

                      If anyone thinks THAT is crazy … see him here
                      https://reason.com/archives/201…..nt_7069277

                      And here
                      https://reason.com/archives/201…..nt_7069239

                      He’s a SERIAL asshole!

                      Called put as a liar. Challenged to prove it.!
                      Has the snowflake’s safe zone been violated? Am I being punished? Revenge assault? Stay tuned. The animals have crashed their cages today.

                    11. “How does a PROVEN bullshitter respond?
                      MOAR cyber-bullying”

                      That’s quite the admission. At least you recognize you’re doing it.

                    12. “Called put”

                      Wtf is that? What does “Called put” mean you gibberish spewing imbecile?

                      Speak properly if you expect not to be laughed at. Not that it will work.

                    13. Called out as a liar means both labeled a liar AND challenged to prove the lie.
                      The general term is common among literate people.
                      https://www.thefreedictionary.com/call+out

                      And you have FAILED to support your lies, as challenged, instead launching more “revenge” aggression. Blowhards love to bellow belligerently, even when there’s solid proof of their assholery. For many, as with Trump, it’s associated with a tiny dick. Insecure manliness.

              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.

                This is what I do… http://www.onlinecareer10.com

    2. SHIT FUCK BALLZZZZZZZZZZZZZZX!!!1!1!1!!1!1!!1!-!1!1!1!1!

    3. Re: Michael Hindered,

      The Flat Tax mentioned here is the ultimate proof of dumbfuckery by fiscal conservatives, especially.libertarians.

      Squak! Polly Wants A Craker! Squawk!

      Only very few of what YOU think are “libertarian think tanks” believe the flat tax or sales tax is a good idea. There are proponents of a flat tax, there are proponents of a so-called “fair tax” and then there are those of us who want the State to go away. Stop making these ridiculous sweeping generalizations.

      1. Bend over. This will jam up your ass with less pain

        Only very few of what YOU think are “libertarian think tanks”

        Despite your bullshit quotation marks … I never mentioned think tanks … ansd YOU put me in bold!!!
        (I did mention “dumbfuckery of fiscal conservatives” — which you satisfied)

        Cato is libertartian.A Flat Tax is The Answer

        Reason is Libertarian (flat tax vs fair tax)

        Ron Paul is (allegedly) Libertarian Ron Paul Suggests 10% Flat Tax ….

        (boldface for self-defense… and ridicule)


        1. “Despite your bullshit quotation marks … I never mentioned think tanks … ansd YOU put me in bold!!!”


          “What’s my point? As crazy as Trump is .. which is VERY … his bullshit ame [sic] is built on a foundation created by conservative and libertarian “think” tanks, all hustling donations to propose solutions for …. not a damn thing.”

          1. What dio HE put in bold .. with his question?
            Do you drool?

            1. Reread the quotes above. You did indeed reference think tanks immediately above regardless of if that bit was in someone else’s quote. We can read Hihn. You said it.

              1. You are SUCH a sick fuck..Now you say it’s IRRELEVANT what I responded to.
                Your life must be SO barren,
                .
                .

                1. That moment when you call people names instead of talking about your preferred tax type.

                  You want to debate the minutiae, your point still falls since you listed one think tank, a former congressman, and a bullshit magazine as your support. That’s one out of three being a relevant response. Impressive, for you.

                  Not having any points of your own does make it rather easy to fling shit instead of having a conversation, I suppose, but I have yet to hear what your proposed alternative taxation method is. If not a progressive income tax, or a flat tax, then what is your preferred type? Maybe you can answer simple questions, but I doubt it since this is the second time I’ve asked.

                  1. That moment when you call people names instead of talking about your preferred tax type

                    1) Linked to it four hours earlier.
                    2) This is the THIRD time I’ve told you
                    3) THAT is a SUPPORTED ARGUMENT for you being a sick fuck,.

                    ONE MORE TIME FOR THE PSYCHOTIC CYBER-BULLY:
                    https://reason.com/archives/201…..nt_7068411

        2. So the 10 percent flat tax proposed by Ron Paul would double my taxes? How exactly?

          1. So the 10 percent flat tax proposed by Ron Paul would double my taxes? How exactly?

            Where did you get such a stupid notion??

            1. You claimed it you fucking retard.

              Lolololololol you’re so fucking stupid you don’t even realize you did it!

              Watch now as you make a fool of yourself denying it!!!

              1. ANOTHER FUCKING BULLY! Called out as a liar.

                So the 10 percent flat tax proposed by Ron Paul would double my taxes? How exactly?

                Where did you get such a stupid notion??

                Phred|12.20.17 @ 5:05PM|#
                You claimed it you fucking retard

                Prove it, asshole..

                Watch now as you make a fool of yourself denying it!!!

                WRONG AGAIN,JACKASS.
                Bend over, as I jam it up your ass.

                WHERE did I say it? Give is a link. I’ll even help you. (sneer)
                The “#” next to the date is the link to the exact comment. RIGHT-CLICK to your clipboard.
                Then PASTE to your reply..

                The faster you do it, the less pain to your hole. (laughing hysterically) ..

                1. Lolololololol you’re so fucking stupid you don’t even realize you did it!

                  Watch now as you make a fool of yourself denying it!!!

                  1. CALLED OUT AS A LIAR ,,… FOLDS LIKE A TENT … REPEATS SAME LIE

                    Lolololololol you’re so fucking stupid you don’t even realize you did it!
                    Watch now as you make a fool of yourself denying it!!!

                    Nope. No denial. STILL jamming it up your ass,.

                    WHERE did I say it? Give us a link. I’ll even help you. (sneer)
                    The “#” next to the date is the link to the exact comment. RIGHT-CLICK to your clipboard.
                    Then PASTE to your reply..

                    The faster you do it, the less pain to your hole. (laughing hysterically)

                    And here
                    https://reason.com/archives/201…..nt_7069291

                    And here.
                    https://reason.com/archives/201…..nt_7069239

                    A SERIAL STALKING ASSHOLE!

                    1. Lolololololol you’re so fucking stupid you don’t even realize you did it!

                      Watch now as you make a fool of yourself denying it!!!

                    2. Called out as a liar — jammed up his ass — he defiantly repeats the proven lie
                      Says I’ll deny it — three times — but I jam it up his ass — three times.
                      The fourth will be heer soon,.

                      This is quite common behavior by cyber-bullies, when humiliated so often.
                      They have a RIGHT to be assholes … claim to be Politically Incorrect
                      But assholes. Enabled by Trump.
                      Sad.

                      Now for the fourth repeat of the same stupid lie ….

    4. The double tax argument is complete BS, but even if it was accurate I’d still favor a flat tax. I prefer growth and accountability over entitlements.

      1. The double tax argument is complete BS,

        It’s not true that the universe disappears if you refuse to see it.

        but even if it was accurate I’d still favor a flat tax. I prefer growth and accountability over entitlements.

        So you’d accept doubling your income tax (on the average) AND that would somehow foster growth?

        Here’s the proof, https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-soi/14in11si.xls

        $40-100k AGI (all on average)
        Income share =- 29.0% of total
        taxes paid share = 16.9%. (only 58% of your share)
        Do the math = `71% INCREASE. to pay own share.

        That’s just reported income. the middle-class has most of the loopholes.
        On the table, that’s why they have 29% of the gross income, but only 26% of taxable income.
        Adjust for that and your tax would double
        But I’m proud of you for spurning your entitlement!.
        … or have you been suckered by Progressives on who pays what?

    5. Michael makes an excellent point! The Flat TAX and FAIR TAX proposals are dumbfuckery, especially by libertarians! All the libertarian think tanks and legal firms and webzines and LP candidates (at least since Irwin Schiff and Aaron Russo) have abandoned the moral high ground and are selling our classical liberal birthright (to keep the fruits of our labor) for a mess of Bullshit please make it easy for me to fill out Porridge!
      So any libertarian think tanks even know about the classical liberal PUBLIC OFFICE DUTY, which is the law contained in the income tax code for individuals? Libertarian philosophy is supposed to be about rights vs privileges, about the distinction between the public and the private, about the Constitution, or at least the principles embodied therein. The libertarian/conservative establishment has abandoned these core ideas. They ignore the FAKE DOCUMENTS like the Notices of Tax Lien and the Notices of Levy and the Notices of Deficiency by which the IRS supersedes its collection authority. All they want is convenience, not honesty!
      You want an easy tax return? Go to http://www.losthorizons.com and you will see one thousand easy to fill out tax returns that have resulted in full refunds of state and federal income taxes, including payroll taxes, since 2003. Yet libertarian think tanks ignore the law as it is written so they can avoid ruffling some judicial and political feathers!

    6. Hey, I agree with Michael Hihn on something — the Fair Tax is a dumb idea.

      The flat tax would be a big improvement on what we have now. If the rate is set low enough and the standard exemption is set high enough, it wouldn’t hurt middle income taxpayers more than the current tax code does.

      1. Hey, I agree with Michael Hihn on something

        I’ve already linked to IRS data, which documents your MASSIVE error.

        The flat tax would be a big improvement on what we have now. If the rate is set low enough and the standard exemption is set high enough, it wouldn’t hurt middle income taxpayers more than the current tax code does.

        How will you cut spending by 50%?
        Or … if you eliminate the massive subsidy paid to you by the rich, who makes that up, the French?
        (Hint: we don’t get to pull tax rates out of our ass because they “feel good”)

        Here’s a fiscal summary, with a link to the proof (IRS data)
        https://reason.com/archives/201…..nt_7068634

        1. “I’ve already linked to IRS data, which documents your MASSIVE error.”

          The person you are replying to never made any argument of any kind, so what the hell are you talking about when you stupidly make a fool of yourself claiming he made an error?

          Why can’t you read, you fucking retard?

          1. Jammed it up Phred’s ass here https://reason.com/archives/201…..nt_7069239
            Bend over once again
            .

            The person you are replying to never made any argument of any kind,

            Pay attention asswipe. Your bullshit is exposed immediately above, My words are italic here.
            Boldface is for added ridicule

            I’ve already linked to IRS data, which documents your MASSIVE error

            The flat tax would be a big improvement on what we have now. If the rate is set low enough and the standard exemption is set high enough, it wouldn’t hurt middle income taxpayers more than the current tax code does.

            How will you cut spending by 50%?
            Or … if you eliminate the massive subsidy paid to you by the rich, who makes that up, the French?
            (Hint: we don’t get to pull tax rates out of our ass because they “feel good”)

            Here’s a fiscal summary, with a link to the proof (IRS data)
            https://reason.com/archives/201…..nt_7068634

            Linked as stated, chump. Proof of your lie clearly visible
            SHAME ON YOU

            (my tone and boldface in defense of repeated aggressions by a serial psycho)
            Such bullies often seek revenge for their self-humiliation. Wait and see. Will there be a third? A fourth?
            (sneer)

            1. “Michael Hihn|12.20.17 @ 4:59PM|#

              How does a PROVEN bullshitter respond?
              MOAR cyber-bullying

              Seek professional help
              (snort)”

              That’s quite the admission. At least you recognize you’re doing it.

              1. Aaaaannnddd? that still doesn’t have anything to do with CE, whom you were replying to!!

                Ahahahahahahahha you’re so fucking stupid you don’t know how threaded comments work!!!

                AHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHA

                OMFG HOW CAN YOU BE THAT STUPID AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAJAJ!!!!

                1. Aaaaannnddd? that still doesn’t have anything to do with CE, whom you were replying to!!

                  Here psycho …
                  https://reason.com/archives/201…..nt_7069277

                  1. Aaaaannnddd? that still doesn’t have anything to do with CE, whom you were replying to!!

                    Ahahahahahahahha you’re so fucking stupid you don’t know how threaded comments work!!!

                    AHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHA

                    OMFG HOW CAN YOU BE THAT STUPID AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAJAJ!!!!

                    1. Is your hissy fit over? Calmed down. I linked to the proof. And you still go ape-shit.

                      I called you out as a liar .
                      … jammed it up your ass,
                      … challenged you to prove your lie ..
                      Even TAUGHT you how to prove me wrong (by linking to a comment you lied about.

                      all that here (linked also for my blog readers) combine the spaces
                      https://reason.com/archives/2017/12/20/trumps- phony-postcard-return#comment_7069239

                      AGAIN called you out as a liar .. also with proof
                      here http: //reason. com/archives/2017/12/20/ trumps-phony-postcard-return#comment_7069306

                      AGAIN (combine the spaces).
                      http:// reason. com/archives/2017/12/20/trumps- phony-postcard-return#comment_7069291

                      AGAIN http: //reason. com/archives/2017/12/20/trumps- phony-postcard-return#comment_7069277

                      and immediately above.

                      Called out a liar .. with proof … how do you “respond?”

                      GIGGLING … while repeating the same lie … SEVEN times

                      (for those who came to this comment from the link on my blog, this is the 2-year-l cyber-bully I’ve been describing. Do a page search for his name … one … sick … fuck … stalking me down the page like a wild dog … also now proven to YOUR eyes)

                      To those who asked, I have no idea how tiny his dick is

  2. I think the important lesson here is that if you don’t get 100% of everything you want, then nothing of value has been achieved.

    1. That’s the way ideologues think across the entire spectrum.

  3. The double calculation is a red herring. Do that once or twice and you will quickly figure out if you are part of the 94%. Or. Skip it entirely and take your 94% chance.

    1. The double calculation is a red herring

      Which one?.

      Do that once or twice and you will quickly figure out if you are part of the 94%. Or. Skip it entirely and take your 94% chance

      Could we have that in English?. 94% appears nowhere else on this page.

      1. “Could we have that in English?”

        Would that help you stop making a fool of yourself by displaying your degenerative mental illness?

        You post GIBBERISH, you fucking clown, and call it Prime Rib.

  4. On the one hand the tax reform bill doesn’t crimp stadium construction or simplify down to the size of a postcard.

    On the other hand, it cuts the corporate tax rate by 40%.

    On the one hand, the tax reform is bad because it doesn’t cut entitlement spending.

    On the other hand, Reason roundly opposed the ObamaCare replacement bill despite the fact that it cut $1.022 trillion in entitlement spending.

    I never thought I’d see Reason go full retard like this.

    Making the government smaller is a good thing–regardless of whether Reason likes making the government smaller.

    1. Reason isn’t the only one. The amount of recognized experts in support of either the Republican efforts on healthcare or this tax bill is laughably small. Perhaps there are bad ways to do good things?

      1. Tell me what wasn’t to like about this bill from a libertarian perspective:

        https://www.cbo.gov/publication/52849

        It cut $772 billion in Medicaid.

        It cut $1.022 trillion in spending.

        It cut $321 trillion from the deficit.

        It got rid of the individual mandate, the employer mandate, as well as an assortment of other taxes.

        It got rid of direct subsidies to the insurance companies.

        The only semi-legitimate complaints I read were about things it didn’t do.

        Among the non-legitimate complaints were the arguments against it coming from Reason.

        They opposed it because they said cutting Medicaid wasn’t really going to happen because future congresses might reinstate that spending–as if that could ever not be a problem.

        They opposed delaying the cuts until 2018, but the alternative was having no cuts at all.

        I don’t care how many appeals to authority “experts” agree that making the government smaller by slashing spending on socialist Medicaid programs is a bad thing. We’re supposed to be able to depend on Reason to make the libertarian arguments.

        And now they’re complaining about the tax reform bill because it doesn’t cut entitlement spending!!!

        That’s going full retard.

        1. “It cut $321 [b]illion from the deficit.”

          Fixed!

        2. It wasn’t Hillary doing it?

          /LINOs

        3. Ken, well put.

          The next battle for cutting entitlement spending can be fought with the 2018 budget.

        4. Tell me what wasn’t to like about this bill from a libertarian perspective:

          How would you know?

          It cut $772 billion in Medicaid

          Q. Why do you shit on free market OUTCOMES, while claiming to defend free markets??
          A. Anti-gubmint gooberism.

          We had a free market in health care for the indigent, since the 1500s, until Medicaid. (Includes England). Americans, even as colonists, freely and willingly paid to provide health care, for anyone who could not afford it. — and more recently the uninsured, REGARDLESS of income.

          THAT is what Americans prefer, in a free market. REAL libertarians have known, since Medicaid began, that we’d need a transition back to private charity and charity hospitals. As the decades passed, the transition became more and more central — because it takes an unknown amount of time and money to restore the private infrastructure destroyed by Medicaid.

          That’s what liberty lovers still believe.
          But we’ve been largely supplanted by anti-government goobers, whose mentality extends no further than “REPEAL IT.” And whose ignorance includes what outcomes were achieved in a free market,

          That’s why progressives have been kicking our ass on health care. They are the ONLY ones claiming to provide what Americans have always wanted … and always been willing to pay for. Only an authoritarian would try to impose anything else, as you do.

          Cont’d

          1. Part two

            That’s why the greatest threat to individual liberty is ,… you. And your ilk.
            Expanding liberty ALWAYS reduces or limits government.
            Shrinking government can do the OPPOSITE of expanding liberty, as I’ve just shown.
            Your priorities are fucked up. That makes you a threat to all of us…

            You’re also full of shit on Reason’s position, and I note many goobers swallowed your bullshit on blind tribal faith. Their ignorance is your only tool.

            .

            1. So, you can’t point out what’s not to like. Got it.

              1. It’s the exact opposite of a free-market outcome.
                CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?

                1. Yes, I can quote clearly hear you failing to point out what is not to like. Again.

                  1. So you LIKE the exact opposite pf a free-market outcome

        5. Beautifully said Ken.

    2. Making the government smaller is a good thing–regardless of whether Reason likes making the government smaller

      That would require SPENDING cuts .. not TAX cuts.
      Or do you to suck off my grandkids?

      1. “On the other hand, Reason roundly opposed the ObamaCare replacement bill despite the fact that it cut $1.022 trillion in entitlement spending.”

        “It cut $772 billion in Medicaid.

        It cut $1.022 trillion in spending.

        It cut $321 [b]illion from the deficit.”

        I even gave you the link. It’s in bright orange.

        You actually commented on the spending cuts–and then later pretend I was only talking about taxes?

        You’re unhinged. Seek professional help.

        1. Behold Shultz the psycho (again)

          You actually commented on the spending cuts–and then later pretend I was only talking about taxes?

          Two different comments of yours, you lying sack of shit..

          You’re unhinged. Seek professional help.

          Pathetic fuckwad. The one you just cited can be seen here.

          https://reason.com/archives/201…..nt_7068284

          The one you’re full of shit on, I quoted from here. IN ITS ENTIRETY


          https://reason.com/archives/201…..nt_7068254

          On the one hand the tax reform bill doesn’t crimp stadium construction or simplify down to the size of a postcard.

          On the other hand, it cuts the corporate tax rate by 40%.

          On the one hand, the tax reform is bad because it doesn’t cut entitlement spending.

          On the other hand, Reason roundly opposed the ObamaCare replacement bill despite the fact that it cut $1.022 trillion in entitlement spending.

          I never thought I’d see Reason go full retard like this.

          Making the government smaller is a good thing–regardless of whether Reason likes making the government smaller.

          THAT WOULD REQUIRE SPENDING CUTS
          You structured that one to support ANOTHER psycho lie about Reason — this one on Obamacare.
          Then this fucking lie about me.
          You pathetic piece of shit. Get an ego transplant.

          1. Seek professional help.

            You clearly have some kind of psychiatric problem, and there’s help for that.

            1. How does a PROVEN bullshitter respond?
              MOAR cyber-bullying

              Seek professional help

              (snort)

              1. “How does a PROVEN bullshitter respond?
                MOAR cyber-bullying”

                That’s quite the admission. At least you recognize you’re doing it.

                  1. “How does a PROVEN bullshitter respond?
                    MOAR cyber-bullying”

                    That’s quite the admission. At least you recognize you’re doing it.

  5. Does Mr. Hihn have a newsletter or blog where we can find out what his solution to taxes is?

    1. It probably involves bold-faced type and parentheticals about what noises he’s making while writing it.

      1. It’s here dumbass
        Boldface is to enhance the ridicule of of idiots … and to defend against unprovoked attacks, also known as aggression and cyber-bullying. You fit both.

        Don’t miss BOTH parts. The tax plan and New Federalism — a restructuring to implement the 40-year-old libertarian concept of competing governments, of which you are likely also ignorant. The first step in reducing government, before privatizing is possible, would have different levels of government competing to manage most government programs (non-defense). Each state would begin with it’s own “mix” of federalism. States might join together for (say) food stamps. Then, every ten years or so, TAXPAYERS in each state would go out for bids.

        As we’ve known since the early 80s, when so many programs are run from 2-4 levels of government, nobody can be held accountable. Am I going too fast? In that sense it’s more important to consolidate an entire program into ANY one level. Accountability. Each level would keep they savings they create – for their taxpayers.

        To be fair, I’m merely showing what libertarians did, routinely, when we still existed (as liberty lovers instead of government haters) See what all we’ve lost? Also why I stand up to bullies like you. Liberty is a lifelong battle, and you are among its enemies.

        1. And yet you think that the rich should pay your way, sorry, their “fair share.”

          1. And yet you think that the rich should pay your way, sorry, their “fair share.”

            Call you out for another lie. .

            You’ve posted that same lie here, far below making a similar ass of yourself higher up..
            https://reason.com/archives/201…..nt_7068490

        2. So you’re in favor of competing governments (which is good), but you think Ron Paul isn’t a libertarian because he’s in favor of giving more power to the states and less to the feds? Aren’t states more like competing governments in the Ron Paul scenario?

          1. Ron Paul is not a libertarian because he’s an extreme social conservative, who lies about the Constitution, as both a fascist and a bigot. The Ninth Amendment demolished his states rights bullshit — and the 14th..

            He says “rogue judges” overturned DOMA — which means he’s even crazier than Trump on separation of powers — says we are DEFENSELESS against abuse by state governments, who (he says) have rights NEVER DELEGATED/ HOLY FUCK!

            He BRAGS of sponsoring a bill that would have forbidden SCOTUS to even consider any appeals to DOMA. The motherfukcker would have gays the first group denied ANY defense of constitutional rights .. since slavery,.

            Here’s the Ninth Amendment, which forbids ALL levels of government to deny or disparage all rights not named in the Constitution. (The Declaration’s unalienable rights)

            “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

            Can YOU name those rights? That TOTALLY demolishes Ron Paul’s racist bullshit about the 10th Amendment. He calls it federalism, but it’s the states rights tracing back to southern racists and the KKK.

            The 10th reserves POWERS to the states. But RIGHTS (the 9th) are superior to powers. Except to pure fascists. Like Ron — the spiritual godfather of the alt-right and white supremacists.

            Any questions?

  6. At least Trump is trying to get taxes simplified and Jacob cannot stand that.

    You are right, Trump said he wanted most Americans to be able to complete taxes on a postcard. Turns out he could not force Congress, made up of not a single Democrat who would cooperate and 240 Republicans many of which are RINOs, to get taxes down a postcard simplicity.

    As some of us have been explaining for almost a year now, Trump typically negotiates from an extreme position to a compromise position. That compromise position is the 2017 tax reform bill. Its does all the good things that Ken mentions above.

    From this victory, we can push to make taxes simpler in 2018. Don’t forget Jacob, that working to roll back government is clearly going to be an incremental process. This is one step in the right direction.

    1. What a crock of shit. Trump said he could shoot somebody to death on Fifth Avenue, in broad daylight, and still have full support of his base of goobers. Yep!

      Bullshit: “Trump said he wanted most Americans to be able to complete taxes on a postcard. Turns out he could not force Congress”,

      LAME. He made fucking promises beyond his power or ability to deliver.

      Bullshit: ” not a single Democrat who would cooperate and 240 Republicans many of which are RINOs, to get taxes down a postcard simplicity.”

      Translation: WHAT DID HE PROPOSE, SUCKER?
      Translation: If he’d shut his fucking mouth, instead of attacking the people he NEEDs. A dealmaker? (HAH)
      Translation: What did Republicans do for Obamacare. THEY DID THE FUCKUP OF THE CENTURY!

      A bipartisan offer would have used an HMO Co-Op (Seattle’s Group Health as the model) AS AN ALTERNATIVE TO SINGLE-PAYER. (Doctors salaried employees of patients, their own hospitals and pharmacy, so NO REIMBURSEMENT EXPENSES. CHEAPER THAN ANY PUBLIC PLAN ON EARTH.

      The assholes REFUSED. Which forced Obama to his far-left. And THEY created the worst of Obamacare.

      Reagan and Kennedy dealt across the aisle to achieve REAL TAX OVERHAULS Kennedy could ignore his hard left, which HATED “tax cuts for the rich.” Reagan did likewise with Top O;Neil. Obama TRIED and failed .. WHAT DID TRUMP DO? BULLYING!!!
      Buy a clue.

      1. Salaried doctors. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. My wife would love that. Think of the massive reduction in her caseload if she didn’t get paid on production. Why, we could all go to Mayo for the “cheap” medical care consisting of throwing every known test at every patient and getting extra special, double secret probation HIGHER medicare reimbursements.

        Fucking idiot.

        1. My stalker gets desperate …

          Salaried doctors. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. My wife would love that

          It’s true for all HMOs. Only for the past 40 years or so.

          Why, we could all go to Mayo for the “cheap” medical care consisting of throwing every known test at every patient and getting extra special, double secret probation HIGHER medicare reimbursements

          Umnm, if there’s no extra income, why would anyone incur unnecessary expenses? .

          Fucking idiot

          Says the guy who never heard of Kaiser. Or any other HMOs.
          Your wife never heard of them???

          (boldface and ridicule in self-defense of serial aggressions and stalking)

          1. An HMO is not a doctor.

            1. An HMO is not a doctor

              Nobody said they are,
              They do PAY salaries to doctors.
              Anything else?
              .

              1. Other than the fact that I have been in the business of paying Doctor’s before, and that you’re wrong, no not really.

                You do realize that even if a physician is ‘salaried’ as a category that doesn’t mean shit about their per visit payments, bonuses, or other contractually obligated payments from the system they work for right?

                I have never met a physician that was paid nothing except a base salary, except for maybe independent practitioners but that’s something of a joke since they may or may not actually pay themselves in a given month.

                1. Oh, and this is amusing:

                  Umnm, if there’s no extra income, why would anyone incur unnecessary expenses? .

                  Someone has never encountered a malpractice lawsuit, I take it.

                  1. So, your bullshit is correct, only if there’s malpractice.

                2. Actually I forgot one other carve-out, and that’s M.D.’s who never see patients at all. This category would include things like a physician who is CEO of a healthcare company or a high-level manager who happens to have their medical license. It’s a common, but very small, category that exists.

                  1. THEY AREN’T PAID FEE-FOR-SERVICE EITHER.
                    AND — AS YOU SAY — THEY ARE NOT EVEN WORKING AS PHYSICIANS.

                    NOW … SKIPPING YOUR COWARDLY DIVERSIONS, WHY DID YOU LIE THAT I HAD CONFUSED HMOS WITH DOCTORS?

                    https://reason.com/archives/201…..nt_7068675

                3. If you weren’t a lowly peon, you’d know that salaried employees may or may not have — they’re called bonuses.

                  Among physicians, the major distinctions are salaried vs fee-for-service.

                  AND ALL THIS IS A DIVERSION FROM YOUR BULLSHIT CLAIM THAT iSAID AN HMO IS A DOCTOR.
                  https://reason.com/archives/201…..nt_7068675

    2. At least Trump is trying to get taxes simplified and Jacob cannot stand that.

      MIGHT IT BE THE FUCKING DEFICIT?
      Trump ain’t the only bullshitter here.
      It’s also not simplified!!!

      1. Hihn, Our resident Commie.

        1. MIGHT IT BE THE FUCKING DEFICIT?

          Hihn, Our resident Commie.

          Concern for decificts is … commie!
          No problem. He also says Will of the People and Consent of the Governed are commie!
          https://reason.com/archives/201…..nt_7068347

        2. What is wrong with that dude?

          1. TDS for starters but it would seem the delusions came before Trump was Prez.

          2. Eating cat poop and having a Randilluminati cork board conspiracy investigation set up in your room does that.

          3. What is wrong with that dude?

            Do YOU think that concern for deficits is .. COMMIE?
            How so?

    3. Getting rid of the rest of the deductions will be a lot easier when only 6 percent of filers itemize.

  7. Excellent job by Mr. Sullivan at totally ignoring aspects of the bill that represent true simplification and overstating the complications of new items. First off, the fact that tax rates and brackets have changed makes no difference whatsoever. The process is the same. The numbers just changed. And does he really think that it adds a lot more complication to have a limit on state and local taxes? Let’s see, I have actual taxes of $15,000, but I’m limited to $10,000. What number do I put in my for my deduction? More importantly, there are some changes that actually make things a lot easier. For example, the elimination of personal exemptions means we no longer have to calculate the potential for the phaseout of those exemptions. Second, the phaseout of itemized deductions has been eliminated. Third, the phaseout of the alternative minimum tax exemption has increased dramatically, which will significantly reduce the number of taxpayers that have to calculate that phase out.

  8. ITS THE END OF THE WIRLD!!!!?

  9. I agree with most of the piece but this is just wrong:

    The limits that the bill imposes on the latter two deductions will make tax preparation more rather than less complicated, since filers will have to figure out how much of those expenditures can be subtracted from their taxable income.

    That isn’t any more complicated than it is today. To say it is is completely dishonest. And I don’t know exactly where we ended up on the AMT, but any reduction in its impact is a major simplification because you have to potentially figure out your taxes THREE different ways under the current system.

    1. Name them. The AMT takes about 10 seconds. On a slow day.

      1. I can’t believe you wrote that you liar bully FASCIST! (bold for defense against the naked and unprovoked lies and aggression)

        The three ways are:

        Standard rates with std deduction
        Standard rates with itemized
        AMT

        And AMT has a phaseout exemption so it’s more complicated than itemized vs. non-itemized, BULLY, LIAR, NAZI, DICTATOR, ANTI-CHRIST FASCIST!

          1. Goooooooobbbberrrrrr aggression!

            Yes, you did. WHY?

        1. Clearly, dumbfuck doesn’t do his own taxes.
          Or he’s even fucking dumber than he seems.

          Readers: what would you do,.
          a) Calculate your taxes with the standard deduction?
          b) calculate your taxes with itemized deductions.

          Or …. wait for it … NOT calculate your taxes until you know which is larger — standard or itemized?
          Still confused? Even a moron would CALCULATE THE TAXES ONCE!!

          Show of hands. Your rate — if it differs — would be based on the highest deduction!!! Right?

          One more time. The AMT takes 10 seconds on a slow day.

          It’s always a risk to call out a belligerent, bellowing blowhard. You’ve just seen why. But weigh that against allowing your fellow readers to be fucked up. YOU could make an ass of yourself, repeating Skippy’s nonsense elsewhere. You’re welcome. .

      2. The AMT took me about an hour, and cost me thousands. Now I won’t have to worry about it.

        1. ONE-STEP MULTIPLICATION TOOK YOU … AN HOUR!

          Did you use an abacus or count your fingers and toes?

        2. I have looked at AMT and tried to figure it out. The only thing that takes 10 seconds, is running a program you bought to do it. The programmers spend who-knows how long to make that AMT section.

          If you were asked to do AMT by hand, how long do you think it would take? I bet nobody on this thread has ever calculated AMT by hand, nor could do that.

  10. The upshot is that the tax rate for pass-through income will be lower than the individual income rate (but higher than the new, lower corporate rate), inviting new forms of tax gamesmanship.

    No problem, everyone else screws that up. The corporate rate is irrelevant, because pass-throughs are loopholed out of it — a single tax vs double-taxation. The real issue is double taxation — and how Republicans conspired with Democrats to fuck our best employers … to pay for the most blatant cronyism of the last century.

    As libertarians were first to note, bipartisanship can mean co-conspiring against us. It did then.
    Dems outsmarted the Reps .. again .. as they did under Dubya.
    ,

  11. Michael Hihn pays his taxes on a post card with cat feces rubbed on it from his last meal. The Rands were right when they sent that UFO to monitor your domicile.

    1. Bacon-Magic glib reasonoid
      Michael Hihn pays his taxes on a post card with cat feces rubbed on it from his last meal

        1. That was ridicule, chump Without the boldface, who would have seen what an asshole you are, on top of the cyber-bullying assault … by a stalker? .

          1. You loved it. I’ll be sending you a Rand Paul Festivus card.

            1. You also can’t read?


  12. The problem is that taxpayers still won’t know whether the standard deduction exceeds their potential itemized deductions unless they go to the trouble of documenting the latter throughout the year and running the numbers when they prepare their returns. That work also does not show up on the postcard return.

    I’m pretty sure hundreds of CPA’s, at least, are going to do exactly that.

  13. No one is talking fundamentals. This is supposed to be the major tax reform, a once in a generation bill. But all it does is change some rates and schedules. It does nothing to change the fundamental way the US INDIVIDUAL INCOME TAX has been illegally collected since WWII, in order to feed the welfare/warfare state.
    You want to see an easy to fill out tax return? There are over a thousand of them on display at http://www.losthorizons.com. You can fill out your return in twenty minutes and get a full refund of all withheld state and federal income taxes , including payroll taxes. All the legal geniuses in the libertarian/conservative establishment couldn’t figure out this return, because despite their law degrees and PHd’s in economics they don’t understand the difference between a right and a privilege. That should be libertarianism 101. They are like Trumps judicial nominee who couldn’t answer basic law questions.
    Until the libertarian/conservative establishment figures out the basic tax clauses in the US Constitution, the historical development of federal tax jurisprudence, the reason and meaning of the 16th Amendment, and the basic difference between an excise tax and a direct tax, we will continue to feed the God of War and Welfare with our hard earned money. It is up to the people to control the government, not for government to control the people!

    1. WARNING!

      US INDIVIDUAL INCOME TAX has been illegally collected since WWII,

      (laughing)

      1. That’s another sign of dementia.

        1. Those who believe the income tax is somehow illegal — how to they support their claim?
          Anyone who believes otherwise suffers “dementia”
          … like those who say Obama was not born in Kenya
          … anyone who says Bush2 did NOT plan the 9/11 attack.
          … anyone who also ridicules the notion of space aliens being held in Roswell New Mexico

          This is a rare,mental affliction suffered only by belligerent blowhards who are conservatives AND cyber-bullies. Liberals seem to avoid this one.

          As always I respond to personal attacks,aggression and cyber-bullying ONLY with documented PROOF. Here, it is directly above .. and undeniable. It’s called “revenge assault” for exposing his blunders and assaults all over this page. he has a RIGHT to be a flaming asshoe! (he calls it Politically Incorrect)

          Phred|12.20.17 @ 5:17PM|#
          That’s another sign of dementia

          In all fairness, in some cases, including this, the bully cannot help himself. He is out of control, where the proof is a simple page search for his name. DO NOT RIDICULE HIM. It’s not nice to make fun of the mentally disabled.

          Thank you for pursuing Truth, Justice and The American Way, which are all now under attack
          By shameless assholes. Imagine the shame off the parents who TRIED but failed. Sad.

    2. It would be nice if we could each interpret the laws our own way, but it doesn’t work that way, and they have the guns and officers and jails.

      1. You’re confusing the law — which is written — with the enforcement.

  14. The original House version was closer to a post card, with no SALT deduction, no medical expense deduction, half a million mortgage interest cap, no student loan deduction, taxes on tuition waivers and the end of the hated AMT.

    Fortunately the Senate steered them away from those electorally suicidal ideas, toward a big corporate tax cut, a modest personal tax cut, an increase in where the AMT kicks in, and a shift away from itemizing without removing the “bloody murder” deductions, all while repealing the odious health insurance mandate penaltax.

    So Democrats are making a mistake if they run against the tax cuts now.

    1. LOL, when the top 0.34% files their return on a postcard, you can believe that it was close.

      The original House version would have been DoA.

      So Democrats are making a mistake if they run against the tax cuts now.
      Given that they never did, only wanted to tax differently, this is moot.

    2. The tax “reform” will destroy the GOP.
      Trump didn’t get the 45% personal tax cut he campaigned on — to a maximum 20% marginal rate on a billionaire …… but he still pockets tens of millions in new loopholes.

      On the generic ballot, voters now prefer Democrats by a staggering 10% — 47% to 37% — per NEWT GINGRICH, who says a Democrat wave is coming unless the GOP changes NOW .. as published by FOX.!

      Newt Gingrich: My fellow Republicans, a Democratic wave election is coming unless we act right now | Fox News

      But Trump’s snowflakes are happily whistling ..,. in the graveyard. kinda pitiful.

  15. If that was the biggest problem with it

  16. It should be called the “Tax Accountants and Lawyers Relief Act of 2017,” as those are the real winners. This is not tax reform at all; it’s a giveaway to the ultrarich that will explode the national debt.

  17. I find it ironic that another reason post talks about the phony outrage in Washington, but you here commit just that sin.

    The idea of a postcard-tax-return is prima facie idiotic, if one accepts the premise that income tax should be progressive.

    At the very simplest level, progressive, scaled taxation is anathema to simplification. Frankly, I’d rather have it be a page or two and fairer, than some dumb flat tax that poses a crushing burden on those who can’t afford it, while barely scratching those who can.

    1. Postcards and progressive tax rates are not related. — or need not be.
      The 1040 short form could be a single page, if not for so many choices. Mist of it is checkboxes, not data.
      But that same form shows how crazy Trump/Ryan’s postcard was

  18. This 2018 tax code is no postcard, but it does simplify a lot compared to the old tax code. Once you create a Frankenstein, sometimes it takes a couple of tries to really put it down. For a first try, this has a lot to admire.

    1. Trump ass-kissers are SO shameful. Like Trump, they NOW praise the deficits Trump was elected to end or reduce.
      Remember? He was gonna cut taxes, increase spending AND.cut the deficit.
      Because the swamp cab be drained ONLY by the biggest political bullshitter in American history.
      And his cult will stand by him, even if he kills someone in broad daylight …
      They BELEEB!

  19. Hmmm.

    You complain that the revised tax code offers “new wrinkles, including a 20-percent deduction for “pass-through” income from businesses such as partnerships and sole proprietorships, which is reported on individual returns.” But this is not applicable to the average working man!

    What percentage of potential taxpayers are regular working people with income below the second level starting amount (~$70,000?) and will only have the standard deduction? Do they fill in the postcard return?

  20. But this is not applicable to the average working man!

    Ummm, yeah. That’s what it says!
    Bjt Jacob blew the comparison badly. Keep in mind, today’s anti-gubmint libertarians are virtually clueless on the tax code, health care and the economy, .

    I guess we should count as victory that Trump did not steal the 48% personal tax cut for himself that he campaigned on.. I’m told his secret plan to drain the swamp consists of pouring as much INTO the swamp, as fast as he can .. claiming that will cause its walls to collapse. His base is almost entirely Birthers, which gives him lots of wiggle room.
    He did day they would stand by him even if he shot somebody to death in broad daylight — so he insults even his own supporters.

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