Taxes

Democratic Rhetoric on GOP Tax Law Is Just Silly

Your money is yours, not the government's.

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An acquaintance who owns a large California business likes to talk about the negligible impact of the tax code on his personal life. As he puts it, well-off folks can afford the homes, cars and vacations they enjoy. Their lifestyle is static. When the government taxes them at a higher rate, that simply means they have less money to expand their business. It won't force them to subsist on macaroni and cheese, sell the Tesla or feel any personal discomfort.

That's a key point to consider when you listen to the rhetoric from Democratic leaders about the supposed evils of the recently passed Republican tax plan. The left wants to punish the rich, but defending higher taxes mainly punishes everyone else.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi referred to the bill as a "rip-off, this plundering, this pillaging of the middle class." Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), whose leftist rhetoric almost gained him the Democratic presidential nomination, said: "Today marks a great victory for the Koch brothers and other billionaire Republican campaign contributors who will see huge tax breaks for themselves while driving up the deficit by almost $1.5 trillion."

Sanders' words were particularly foul by suggesting that these donors—people who fund myriad libertarian causes, including some such as criminal-justice reform that should appeal to liberals—are trying to stuff more dollars in their pockets. But Sanders probably is right that the tax plan will add to the nation's appalling deficit. That's an apparent flaw in a Republican tax bill that lowers tax rates in an attempt to jump-start economic growth, but Democrats (through the Byrd Rule) have made it virtually impossible to cut spending. Better half a loaf than nothing.

And how can Democrats seriously complain about deficit spending? Their political platform is all about spending more government money. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren even compared the bill to robbery, yet all such spending is taken from current taxpayers—or from future ones in the form of the growing national debt. That said, many observers—even conservative ones—don't believe that the bill's myriad breaks will pay for themselves.

"Most Republicans say that the tax cut will generate so much extra growth that it will increase revenues," opined the editors of the conservative National Review. "No economic model of the tax cut, not even any of the models produced by conservative economists, backs this claim." It lets Republicans, however, "offer tax cuts to various constituencies without having to impose any restraint on spending."

The last sentence sums up my problem with every tax bill I've written about in my adult life. Despite Republican rhetoric about cutting government, no one ever cuts government spending. Indeed, the Trump administration wants to invest in military and national-security programs, build a border wall (that Mexico is definitely not going to pay for), and even push NASA to send astronauts back to the moon. Those things aren't free, either.

Nevertheless, many of us object to the Democratic concept that cutting taxes for individuals and businesses is the same as "spending" more money, as writer David French pointed out. That's only true if the government has a claim to our entire paycheck.

A lot of attention has focused on the political ramifications of the bill. Indeed, the plan was the first major legislative victory for the president—one he desperately needed. But that's neither here nor there in terms of policy. (As an aside, if Donald Trump spent more time on such substantive matters and less time tweeting nonsense, perhaps Republicans would have a better chance of passing other substantive measures.)

What matters is whether the bill's provisions are good ones. Mostly they are. It does some constructive things. For instance, most Americans—not just the wealthy, despite Democratic claims to the contrary—will have lower tax rates. Most parents will benefit from a doubled child tax credit. It repeals the individual mandate penalty for health care, which was a noxious portion of Obamacare. It lowers the corporate tax rate to 21 percent and reduces myriad tax penalties for businesses. It also doubles the exemption for the hated death tax.

Unfortunately for those of us living in high-tax blue states, we'll get hit with some higher taxes given that the plan caps the deduction for state taxes and reduces the mortgage interest deduction on large home loans. But why should the rest of the country subsidize our state's foolishly high income taxes or our sky-high home prices, which are driven by liberal slow-growth policies? If Sacramento Democrats were seriously concerned about this problem, they could, you know, give Californians a tax break to ease the pain.

At least the bill pushes in a lower-tax direction and rebukes the Democratic class-war nonsense. Who really cares how rich people spend their own money? We should all be more concerned about encouraging them to invest in their businesses.

This column was first published in the Orange County Register.

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  1. Speaking of silly …

    That simply means they have less money to expand their business. It won’t force them to subsist on macaroni and cheese, sell the Tesla or feel any personal discomfort.

    Smartass sarcasm can be unwise ? after LITERALLY saying jobs could not be created … then switching to the opposite side on taxing the rich!!

    The left wants to punish the rich, but defending higher taxes mainly punishes everyone else.

    That’s true. But all the damn whining about “the left” here — many times per day — is kinda dumb on a web site that BELEEBS independent voters are their future … but NEVER a peep about “the right” (as a group) ? which is GUARANTEED to drive away those same Independents Nick and Matt wrote a book about. Independents can smell tribal bigotry at 1000 yards. It’s WHY they’re neither tribe.

    And the libertarian establishment has NO tax plan at all.

    And how can Democrats seriously complain about deficit spending?

    Whataboutism (yawn)

    …David French pointed out. That’s only true if the government has a claim to our entire paycheck.

    Only true for the wackos who chant, mindlessly, “all taxation is theft.” And a tax cut IS like spending … for YOUR reason … the goddamn deficit, back when you cared about it, 48 seconds earlier.

    Cont’d

    1. Part 2

      But why should the rest of the country subsidize our state’s foolishly high income taxes or our sky-high home prices,

      Double taxation is only bad when “the left” does it. And bashing California is as much fun as .. Benghazi.
      P.S. The tax law will cause a large increase in state tax revenues, as reported at ?. reason.com!

      At least the bill pushes in a lower-tax direction

      That’s the same excuse used by the GOP, for the deficits you cared about, 94 seconds earlier.

      and rebukes the Democratic class-war nonsense

      THAT is the silliest of all It does the exact opposite. The right is too damn stupid to deal with BULLSHIT tax cuts for the rich. This one is for real.

      It was libertarians who began saying Left ? Right = Zero
      Now it’s libertarians who need to hear it.
      Time is running out …

      1. I’ll add this. Just breaking. Those blue states who are getting jammed have 39 GOP House members. Dems need 47 to control. I’m not familiar with those states, and a House District can be quite red in a blue state, but even Newt Gingrich is warning of a Democrat sweep next year.

        1. Gingrinch has zero idea what he is talking about then.

          Not only will Republicans pick up more House seats but they will pick up more Senate seats.

          The Democrats have not won a single Republican seat in Congress. Jones winning the Alabama Senate seat was Moore being rejected by nearly 50% of Alabama Republican voters.

          Obama’s administration kept saying for years that the Great Recession was over but Americans knew this to be a lie based on economics. This tax reform will so influence most American’s perception of the USA finally leaving the Great Recession behind us that the Democrats will take a beating and the GOP will gain Congressional seats.

          1. You also predicted that New York would go for Trump in the presidential election.

            We’ll see what happens.

            1. 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. Gingrinch has zero idea what he is talking about

            You disagree.

            Only two tax policies have been followed by peacetime booms since the 1920s. Kennedy’s, then Reagans’ which were identical (in principle). In Kennedy’s words, “across the board, top to bottom, personal and corporate”.

            They both primed all three legs of the stool — employers, investors and worker/consumers. You need all three for a boom, most recently proven by Obama’s. Workers didn’t “consume” their dollars, they paid down debt or added to savings. Recall, at the time MANY workers feared for their jobs, very little job security. Employers and investors had very low confidence,.

            1. Good point. I’ve certainly avoided a number of potential business expansions or new invest,nets because of government tax and regulatory policy concerns. As you also live in WA, you know full well that makes it even worse under our current batch of idiots in Olympia.

              1. Now in Idaho. And retired after 40 years as a Entrepreneur Coach/Consultant — financial and marketing.

                NOW the point!. In a few cases — too few, sadly — we were able to finance expansion by adopting profit-based compensation (a specialty). IF the circumstance are right, “productivity” can be explosive, reducing the number of employees needed. Then. the “surplus” employees are laid off an/or used in the expansion. The marketing also helped.

                I seem to recall the tax situation was generally favorable in WA.
                Did you vote for me in 2000? Insurance Commissioner.

        2. I’ll add this. Just breaking. Those blue states who are getting jammed have 39 GOP House members. Dems need 47 to control.

          In order to have your taxes go up due to the SALT changes, you have to itemize and you have to pay enough above the $10000 deductible in order to make up for your lowered tax rates. That’s going to be a tiny percentage of voters. And Republican voters in those states aren’t going to blame the elimination of SALT deductions, they are going to blame their high state taxes imposed by Democrats, because otherwise they wouldn’t be Republicans in the first place.

          1. I got the 39 number from a California writer who had a higher feel for how many get burned. Don’t recall where I read it. (I read a LOT, both left and right)

            SALT expenses would be a lot higher in CA, which has a big chunk, eh?

            1. Aren’t currently owned properties grandfathered in under the final bill that passed?

              1. I THINK that made it all the way. But I also THINK it was on the limit for mortgage interest deduction, not the property tax deduction.. That was helpful, eh? 🙂

        3. even Newt Gingrich is warning of a Democrat sweep next year.

          He is?

          Coulda fooled me.

          1. even Newt Gingrich is warning of a Democrat sweep next year.

            He is?

            Yep
            Two weeks before your own link Newt Gingrich: My fellow Republicans, a Democratic wave election is coming unless we act right now | Fox News

            Coulda fooled me.

            He TOTALLY BAMBOOZLED you!
            He managed to WRITE two exactly opposite messages
            And Fox PUBLISHED two exactly opposite messages.
            Both on the SAME website ,,, foxnews.com

            The biggest flip-flop of the year … and you never noticed! The bastard,
            I’d LIKE everyone to click my link and and yours, though very few will,.

            First Newt says (at Fox): My fellow Republicans, a Democratic wave election is coming unless we act right now.

            Then, Newt says the exact opposite, also published by Fox … a mere two weeks later!.
            Newt Gingrich: Get ready for the great political surprise of 2018

            YOU’VE MADE MY ENTIRE MONTH!!

            Your best guess — how many other Fox fans got snookered just as badly as you. The bastard.

            1. He didn’t flip-flop, you spastic. Did you bother to read your own link?

              “As a first step back from the edge of disaster, Republicans must pass tax cuts by the end of this year and continue economic growth”

              FFS, he specifically cites that he believes the tax bill will help the GOP in 2018. He didn’t flip-flop. The first column is “We must do this to win”. The second column is “We did this. Now we will win”.

                1. Then read your own words
                  we must do this = we already did this

                  paraphrase: do this or we’re dead = don’t worry, we already did

                  you spastic

                  Left – Right = Zero

        4. I’d wager that many conservatives in blue states like eliminating the SALT deductions, even though they may personally pay more in taxes. It’s an incentive for their state to tax less, which might lead to lower state taxes. I’ll probably be voting for the Libertarian in the likely case neither major party candidate appears to support less government and more freedom.

      2. Double taxation is only bad when “the left” does it.

        And the GOP has become the party of Big Deficits.

        Reagan – cut taxes, spend more = big deficits
        Clinton – hike taxes spend less = balanced budget
        Dumbya – cut taxes, huge spending = Big Deficits
        Obama – hike taxes, less spending = smaller deficits
        Dotard – cut taxes, higher spending = Big deficits

        1. Obama’s stimulus being off budget helps.

          1. Yes, a supplemental spending bill does not remain on the budget. One third of the ARRA were temporary tax cuts though.

            1. Remain? It was never in the budget.

        2. Brainwashed much?
          There was no balanced budget under Clinton. Here’s the debt each year. NEVER went down
          And here’s the PROOF.
          As an aside, Clinton took office in the 22nd month of a boom … and left a recession.
          Official dates for out business cycles since the 1800s

          Now Google “Grace Commision” (under Reagan) Hands-on managers and accountants went OUT INTO federal agencies (no closeted hearings), looking for spending cuts. The proposal would have saved $10 TRILLION by 2000. It was buried in a REPUBLICAN Senate. He began arguing for a Line Item Veto .. over his own party.

          Next … Reagan vs Obama, also with links (lol)

          1. Part 2 — In parts ? there’s a two link maximum and I have LOTS of proof!

            Reagan’s stock market was still crashing to 70%. Obama’s had rebounded to -46%
            http://observationsandnotes.bl…..story.html

            Reagan tax policy began with 10.8% unemployment, down to 5.8% in TWO years. Obama’s stimulus began with 8.3% unemployment, INCREASED to 10.0%, was 9.8% after two years and took 69 months to hit 5.8%
            http://research.stlouisfed.org…..UNRATE.txt

            It gets worse … ready?

            1. Part 3

              Reagan inherited the highest prime-rate ever at 21.5% Obama at 3.25%
              Prime rate history

              Reagan began with a far worse recession, but in his first 4 years, real GDP had increased 12.6%. Obama’s first four years saw only 3.3% TOTAL.
              http://www.bea.gov/iTable/iTab…..ri=1&903=6

              Now compare business cycles (prior link) and prime rates. Libruls claim the recovery was launched by the Fed lowering interest rates, The recession ended in Nov, 1982, with the Prime Rate at 11.5%. Never saw single digits until June, 1985 — just shy of three years into the recovery — and did not see historic averages until December of 1991 (6.5%). Libruls lie ,… just as badly as Republicans.

              Left – Right = Zero

              Back to the business cycles. The depression ended, Mar 1933 — WAS OVER WHEN FDR TOOK OFFICE. Before a dime of New Deal spending!

              Now see a recession in 1957 ? the worst of five postwar recessions —
              one year AFTER the Interstate Highway System ? “the biggest public works project since the pyramids” FAIL on the economy. TOTAL FAIL

              Any questions?

              1. Reagan began with a far worse recession

                Not close to true. 4Q 2008 GDP was NEGATIVE 8%.

                1. That’s a single quarter.. And kinda laughable considering
                  *unemployment
                  *prime rate
                  *stock market crash.

                  You don’t get to pick and choose which data to ignore/

                  1. Relevant GDP
                    https://www.thebalance.com/us-gdp-by-year-3305543

                    2008 decline – . 0.3%

                    A GRAPH of quarterly GDP.
                    https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/A191RL1Q225SBEA

                    1980 GDP loss was worse than 2008. A graph is hard to compare, but not a big difference. Offset anyhow by Stock Market, Prime Rate and Unemployment.

                    Do the math. Reagan had a Prime Rate of 21.5% .. PLUS a 70% market crash.
                    Where could ANY business get capital — at a profit-allowing rate?.
                    21% to the VERY best borrowers. NO way to sell stock. Obama’s Prime Rate was 3.25%.

                    By comparison. Obama inherited a PICNIC, and managed one of the worst recoveries ever (except for the length) NOTE: I won’t hold either President fully accountable. But the MASSIVE LIES about a “great recession” and “worst recession since the Depression” are shameful. For balance, it’s even bigger bullshit for Republicans to claim tax revenues “skyrocketed” after the Reagan tax cuts — they barely broke even, and nobody knows what the revenues would have been without the stimulus.

                    P.S. The ONLY peacetime booms since the 1920s followed IDENTICAL tax cuts by Kennedy. then Reagan. In Kennedy’s words. “across-the-board, top to bottom, personal and business. Tax cuts MUST motivate all 3 legs of the stool — workers/consumers, employers and investors. THAT is why Obama’s failed. Workers used their dollars to pay down debt or save, because they feared for their jobs.

          2. Treasury debt went up each year because a Social Security SURPLUS must be invested in Treasury bonds by law (to earn the coupon).

            The federal government actually took in more revenue than it spent in 2000.

            1. to explain the surplus to Hihn:

              Clinton’s large budget surpluses also owe much to the Social Security tax on payrolls. Social Security taxes now bring in more than the cost of current benefits, and the “Social Security surplus” makes the total deficit or surplus figures look better than they would if Social Security wasn’t counted. But even if we remove Social Security from the equation, there was a surplus of $1.9 billion in fiscal 1999 and $86.4 billion in fiscal 2000. So any way you count it, the federal budget was balanced and the deficit was erased, if only for a while

              https://goo.gl/P8ptj7

              Whether there was an official budget or not is a pedantic point. We ran surpluses for a while.

              1. HUH? Nobody mentioned a budget, official or otherwise.

                I use official data, with a link. You post … words/ No source.
                And below this I explain public vs total debt.

            2. You confuse total debt with public debt.
              Back to the link. Just above the table is the link to PUBLIC DEBT. — which is debt held by the public. Total debt includes intragovernment debt

              Oh … we did get CLOSE to breakeven in 1997 … AFTER THE GOP TAX CUTS!

              Anything else?

              1. I linked to a table that showed annual surpluses under Clinton.

                Here it is again https://goo.gl/uHE6Co

                The primary driver of these surpluses was the Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1993 – which no GOPer voted for.

                Of course debt went up due to SS surpluses.

                You can’t address the truth.

                1. I linked to a table that showed annual surpluses under Clinton

                  Public debt.

                  The primary driver of these surpluses was the Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1993 – which no GOPer voted for

                  Wait for it ….

                  You can’t address the truth.

                  Wannna go snarky? BEND OVER.
                  Spending cuts reduced spending from 21.9% of GDP to 18.2% — a 17% cut

                  GOP tax cuts – already mentioned in …. wait for it …. 1997! If we allow the surplus … tell me again what caused it. ….. RIGHT AFTER THE TAX CUTS!

                  Give it up. I did this for a living (retired)

                  1. Buttfuck and Hihnfection in a bum fight. Is someone recording this for youtube?

                    1. Buttfuck and Hihnfection in a bum fight

                2. Apologies to PB.
                  I just noticed that you DID have a link in your first cite. Not sure how I missed it.
                  It’s the wrong data, but I had said you posted words with no source, and I was wrong..

                  1. Is this real life? Admitting error? You are always right!

                    +10 points for honesty

                    -100 for overall asshole-ishness

                    1. Subpoena’d Woodchipper
                      Is this real life? Admitting error?

                      I do it constantly, and would gladly teach you.
                      What are you willing to pay?

                      +10 points for honesty
                      -100 for overall asshole-ishness

                      On the right, many cyber-bullies are sincerely unaware that VERBAL aggression exists.
                      Often caused by falsely equating NAP with force. (The “A” stands for aggression)

                      Verbal aggressiveness is an assault on another’s self concept, rather than his/her position. Individuals who rely on verbal aggressiveness are viewed as less credible, have less satisfying relationships, and resort to physical aggression more often.. [the same mentality]

                      Verbal hostility, or in other words, verbal harassment or abuse is basically a negative defining statement told to or about you or withholding a response and pretending the abuse is not happening.

                      [Or they know it exists, but pretend/lie they haven’t done it (MH)]

          3. This is true. Only about 10% of the Grace Commission’s recommendations were taken up during that term. However, some were implemented later. It’s really hard to get this stuff thru politically, even w “friends” in control.

            It would still help to have another effort like that. The Nixon admin. inaugurated commissions that recommended a lot of things too. A little of that got implemented then, like the all-vol armed services (which of course was huge), but much of it is still on the shelf, famously including deregul’n of marijuana. However, slowly over the next few prez terms, starting w Ford, most of it with Carter, some hanging on into Reagan, a lot of that deregul’n eventually got taken up & done. I was surprised to learn in the 1980s that that had started w Nixon, because it didn’t seem it at the time. Wheels grind slowly.

            What I think we’re seeing now is that Trump is letting much of this happen. He doesn’t have logs to roll, so he’s given free rein to certain people who’ve had the right stuff for decades. Sometimes a non-politician is best.

            1. Other Republican presidents or governors would sit & think, what advantage can Team Republican derive from control of this? Trump doesn’t give a flying fuck.

              People either hope or fear Trump’s remaking the GOP in his image. Forget it. A political party can’t be remade into something like this.

            2. What I liked best — I’m sure YOU know that Peter Grace was an entrepreneur — billionaire?
              So he sent hands-on businessmen out, instead of politician hearings or bureaucrats,

              I was 40 years a coach/consultant to entrepreneurs and business owners. They are NOT bureaucratic managers (like most large businesses). It’s called Entrepreneurial Management. For me, the whole thing was heaven,

            3. Robert, if I got your background right, you may love this. In my consulting, I always set up pay for performance, mostly on profits,

              Is say it because — Washington State has performance incentives! I blissed out as a Water Commissioner when I learned our agency — the one that regulated ius — had done a full-blown version.

              They all worked together to reduce manpower. Then the remaining workers — rank-and-file — shared a percentage of the savings for — I forget how many years. This can be POWERFUL. Politicians will NEVER make the cuts. “Profit-sharing” workers would do it better anyhow, There are some union issues, but we were always able to negotiate a fairly simple compromise, because the WORKERS shared in the savings. But that was shared forever — as long as performance ratios were maintained. A gift that keeps on giving. 🙂
              .

        3. That analysis looks rather different when you take into account that the stimulus due to tax cuts takes 5-10 years to materialize.

          1. stimulus due to tax cuts takes 5-10 years to materialize.

            WHAT? Not for Reagan’s!
            https://reason.com/archives/201…..nt_7075652

            Nor Kennedy’s. Their investment incentives were a major factor in that. Industrial investment increased in the worst year of Reagan’s recession. Two reasons. Accelerated Depreciation was MAJOR factor with double-digit inflation. Get all your tax credits in 8 years instead on 16. The sooner you can reinvest, without borrowing or selling stock. And Kennedy’s Investment Tax Credit was a 7% bonus. AND, our industrial base was fighting for its life against (mostly) the Japanese.

            Plus, ALL our trade competitors went to pro-investment tax policies (from New Deal type) after. WWII — to rebuild bombed out factories. We stayed with FULL New Deal taxes until Kennedy cut them way back, finished later by Reagan. On INVESTMENT tax policy, we were way behind from 1945-1982. Still are (double-taxation, Donald)

            Then in 1986 … DEMOCRATS REPEALED THE WHOLE THING! (JFK and Reagan investment policies) … starting the destruction of our Industrial base … and the steady decline our best-paid union jobs … fueling the inequality spurt.,

            Sorry, for the deep weeds, but all this is inter-related.

        4. Obama. Less spending.
          LOLOL

        5. Clinton never balanced the budget, and he never had any surplus.

          http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-837799

          1. THANK YOU! I had posted a link to the raw data (debt per year) but this is a GREAT explanation.
            Deep bow of thanks.

        6. Government statistics on taxes and spending are meaningless because there is so much corruption from both parties. “Quantitative easing” is a hidden tax that has devalued our money since the creation of the Federal Reserve, and is MUCH WORSE than overt taxation. The pentagon cannot account for A TRILLION DOLLARS in spending. Was the billions of dollars in cash given to Iran included in Obama’s official budget? Look at all the shenanigans going on with the Clintons over the years. As common Americans, we have no idea of what the hell is really going on in Washington.

          1. Government statistics on taxes and spending are meaningless because there is so much corruption from both parties

            Oh.

            Look at all the shenanigans going on with the Clintons over the years.

            Difficult to separate the bullshit from reality. How many Fox/Breitbart VIEWERS still believe the Uranium One farce.. .soundly ridiculed by even Fox NEWS?

            Might you be a tad selective on the “corruption” thing?

            1. I got my economic knowledge primarily by reading Austrian economists like Ludwig von Mises, not Fox News. From them I learned about the Fed, quantitative easing the real causes of inflation; and how governments try to manipulate economic stats and cover up unpopular government programs. I don’t need Fox news to tell me that corruption in government exists–knowing that our government has access to virtually unlimited borrowing, money printing and far too much power, there is going to be corruption and we shouldn’t trust anyone in government.

              1. Sorry, your positions are almost identical to Fox/Breitbart fans.

                Like … because the is corruption by biot parties, the federal budget is bullshit.
                Receipts and expenditures are a lie.
                Which means the size of the deficit is a lie
                The total national debts is a lie.

                Yes, that’s Austrian.
                The Austrian consensus on the national debt could be as high as $300 quadrillion.
                What’s your own assumption?

                Revising out Fox/Breitbart, do you believe Uranium One? The recent tax cuts are the largest in history?

        7. You are either stupid, a liar, or both. I’m only going to take time to debunk your Reagan formula. Reagan was promised subsequent spending cuts as part of tax reform. the democrat leadership reneged, as they usually do on any promise.

          So take your partisan reinvention of history and shove it up your ass.

          1. To be clear, that was intended for PB.

      3. “Double taxation is only bad when “the left” does it.”

        It’s only double taxation when the same government entity taxes the same block of income twice.

        As in the federal government taxing corporate income at the company level and taxing it again at the individual level as dividends.

        Eliminating SALT is not double taxation at all.

    2. “all taxation is theft.”
      Are you making a distinction between taxation and user fees here? For example, while gasoline taxes might be called taxes, they are (or can certainly be) user fees for those who use the highways. Lots of libertarians make the distinction and see nothing wrong with user fees for the services they actually use, and thus are not “theft.”

      1. Fine concept, but gasoline taxes just go in the big bucket, not to highways specifically.

      2. “all taxation is theft.”
        Are you making a distinction between taxation and user fees here

        The slogan is ALL taxation. Personally. I don’t see user fees as taxes, TRUE user fees. Is it a tax when I pay the admission to Yellowstone? Not to me.

        dantheserene MAY have phrased it a tad off, the big pot. The Highway Trust Fund has a balance of prox $14B. And this NEAT table shows cash flows quite simply https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/highwaytrustfund/

        You can quickly see what I THINK he’s talking about. Mass Transit gets a big chunk, some as a transfer from the (literal) “highway” fund. I recall reading about BIKE PATHS, which are not visible there. Prox $3.5 billion per month in direct tax revenues

    3. “but NEVER a peep about ‘the right’ (as a group)”

      You mean like here:

      https://reason.com/blog/2017/11…..or-an-immi

      Or here:

      https://reason.com/archives/201…..-the-right

      1. Thanks. Only one is valid (for this), and it’s about a month ago. versus …..

        1. I could post several more, but the site told me I couldn’t provide more than 2 links in a single comment, and now every comment with a URL in it gives the error message that it “contains a word that is too long (50 characters).”

          Maybe this specific article talks about “the left” in a disparaging manner because this specific article is about tax policy, where libertarianism tends to have more in common with the right (generally favoring lower taxes).

          1. As a left/right libertarian, — who’s been elected and an activist .. I’m very sensitive to left/right bias/ I KNOW many independents hate both.

            My first election included a tax revolt. The thing I heard most often was they like I had no agenda, Drove me nuts. Of course I did! I finally asked. They meant no PARTISAN agenda. And that was in the 90s. The partisan rancor is much worse today.

            I’ll show you how to use a long url because I see you comment a lot and you’re source based. I’ll use a goofy URL and I need the left and right bracket so the link, but that makes it invisible.

            So THIS [ means

            [a href=”http://goofy.com”]This is the link[/a]

            It will look like this in Preview This is the link finish the sentence if appropriate

            Hope it works for ya!

            1. Thank you! I didn’t know what kind of codes the commenting system here supports.

              1. OH? Do you know HTML? I’ve beene doing web sites since 1993. Not much code here, but I haven’t needed/tested many, You’ve seen blockquote, bold and italic — all standard html

              2. Hihn knows everything, just ask him

          2. Do you at least SCAN everything published here? That probably requires the RSS feed.
            The e-letter has a tiny fraction of the day.

            1. I followed the Volokh Conspiracy here, actually, so I haven’t been scanning everything for long.

              1. I may have stated that wrong. I mean scan the content visually.
                Look for the RSS feeds. Link upper right corner. There are many. I suggest the the “full feed” — which can be 30 or more day, but they use good titling so its easy to scan through and pick yer passions. Maybe six duplicates or alternative versions.

              2. Find anything Michael C Hihn comments on and you will be entertained. Maybe not enlightened, but certainly entertained

                1. Re: Subpoena’d Woodchipper,
                  (There is a special type of Entitlement Mentality in most cyber-bullies.
                  They are ENTITLED to shout down and insult mere disagreement to their Supreme Dogma. They are”True Believers” … on a “mission from God”…. for some sort of holy cause… for most of human history. We libertarians see that as an authoritarian mentality. It’s why we came to exist.)

                  Verbal aggressiveness is an assault on another’s self concept, rather than his/her position. Individuals who rely on verbal aggressiveness are viewed as less credible, have less satisfying relationships, and resort to physical aggression more often.. [the same mentality]

                  Verbal hostility, or in other words, verbal harassment or abuse is basically a negative defining statement told to or about you or withholding a response and pretending the abuse is not happening.

                  [Or they know it exists, but pretend/lie they haven’t done it (MH)]

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  2. “Your money is yours, not the government’s”

    While I certainly agree with this headline liberals do not.

    Strange how they think when they take my money and spend it on what they want they believe it will be popular. When I am able keep that money to spend on the things I need and/or want they think it will be hated policy.

    1. Can we stop using the term liberal to identify leftists?

        1. Historically, a liberal would would not align with a modern “leftist.” Liberals came about mainly from the Enlightenment as a counter to the conservatives of the time who sought to retain monarchic systems. Liberals pushed for individual rights and self-rule. Many, if not most, would probably be classified today as minarchists. A libertarian today is the direct descendant of liberalism. Today, we use the term liberal but actually mean something more like socialist/Marxist/democratic socialist/progressive. All of those, while having some differences, are very akin to each other… and each one anachronistic to original liberalism.

          Although, you could actually argue that what we call a conservative today is actually a liberal in that they seek to change or alter the modern unified state system whereas a what we call a liberal is actually a conservative in that they seek to conserve the modern status quo of centralized state power (as it is, compared to the past, very centralized and not built on individual freedom but on collective ideologies of “we all in this together-ism”).

          1. We already had Classical Liberalism as a distinction.
            Tribal partisan bias is not likely to change the terms beyond that tribe, in society as a whole.

            1. And before Classical Liberalism we already had just Liberalism as a distinction, thus your point actually defends the argument to NOT use “liberal” when we already have words for it that are more accurate… like socialist, leftist, etc.

              1. “MY point” (your version) would apply only BEFORE the definitions changed.
                Definitions reflect how people are actually using a word, already
                So “my point” was long ago decided/chosen by our society … not by tribal partisanship.
                Especially now, when a growing majority of Americans reject loyalty to either tribes.
                “Minority rule” is … authoritarian. In my Thesaurus.
                Howzat?

  3. “The last sentence sums up my problem with every tax bill I’ve written about in my adult life. Despite Republican rhetoric about cutting government, no one ever cuts government spending. Indeed, the Trump administration wants to invest in military and national-security programs, build a border wall (that Mexico is definitely not going to pay for), and even push NASA to send astronauts back to the moon. Those things aren’t free, either.”
    Didn’t Trump’s budget proposal want to cut some spending and move some of that spending to defense and border security, creating a net decrease in federal spending?

    Didn’t Trump’s tax reform push create a net spending decrease because ending Obamacare mandates reduces government spending for Medicare?

    1. No. Eliminating the ACA mandate actually is a tax decrease but also is a revenue decrease.

      1. There’s a revenue decrease from the loss of ACA penalties, but also a spending decrease from not paying for subsidies for people who decide to opt out of coverage. The net effect of dropping the ACA mandate is a revenue increase, which was the whole reason for including the ACA mandate repeal in the tax bill. It saved deficit space for other tax cuts.

        1. A Nerd. GOOD! Do you know this? The cost-sharing rebates, it killed, would be offset by higher subsidies but HOW. I cannot imagine how they’d do it, unless the subsidy costs were spread across the entire exchange — which is either higher premiums for quite a few .. or taxpayers take a hit that nobody’s telling us about?

          The current CSR could no longer be targeted to tightly defined low incomes. I think.
          I cannot find an answer to this, and it probably does not exist. Am I missing something?

        2. “There’s a revenue decrease from the loss of ACA penalties, ”

          I doubt the feds ever collected all that much from the ACA penalty in the first place.

          No one actually had to pay the penalty if they were not due a tax refund. Taking it out of tax refunds is the only way the IRS was allowed to collect it. All that anyone had to do was change their withholding allowances and/or estimated tax payments and they could refuse to buy health insurance and the IRS could not make them pay the penalty.

          1. $3 billion! (I just read it)

          2. Very true Gilbert, but most people were completely unaware that the IRS could only collect out of excesss withholding.

            1. Hysterically — because Obama ran left-center on healthcare in 2008 (yes, he did). I always thought he got the nomination, in part, because he DEMOLISHED Hillary and Edwards on a mandate. His best line was better than anything I’ve heard from the right. “If a mandate worked we could end homeless by mandating everyone buy a house,” KAPOW

              Also, he said a mandate would have to be huge to be effectives (it’s not). Said many people in Mass couldn’t afford the insurance, so still had no insurance AND had to pay a penalty, KAPOW

              It was the GOP who forced Obama to his far-left, when the a-holes refused the bipartisan deal. With Group Health Co-Op as the model, it would have been EXPLICITLY a replacement for a single-payer option. IT WAS ENDORSED AT DAILY KOS! To progressives, a member-controlled, non-profit, co-op is socialized medicine.

              Kennedy’s tax cuts were so massively successful because the GOP worked with him. He didn’t need his far-left, who STRONGLY fought the tax cuts, along with the AFL-CIO. TAX-CUTS FOR THE RICH! Reagan’s were bi-partisan too (Ted Kennedy voted for the direct copy of his brother’s)

  4. Sounds like you don’t really get it. The caps on mortgage interest and state/local taxes combined with new taxes on large college endowments are a direct attack on the Blue State Donor Model, with far-reaching implications.

    1. The real purpose of the endowment tax is to recapture some of the corporate tax cut. If you cut corporate taxes and increased after-tax profits flow through to shareholders, that’s additional dividend or capital gains income which is taxed on the individual side–except for stock held in the accounts of non-profit entities. For them, the corporate tax cut is a huge windfall, all cut on the corporate side and no tax when the profits flow through to the individual side.

    2. The blue states that have 39 GOP house members? (lol) I THINK it’s fewer than 50 seats to flip the House Dem/.

  5. “hat’s an apparent flaw in a Republican tax bill that lowers tax rates in an attempt to jump-start economic growth, but Democrats (through the Byrd Rule) have made it virtually impossible to cut spending. Better half a loaf than nothing.”

    It’s not an “apparent flaw”, it’s an obvious one. Paul Ryan originally planned to make the package tax neutral but big business complained, so he changed it. The Trump Administration proposed spending cuts, but the Republican Congress refused to make them. Republicans limited the SALT deduction for individuals, but retained it for corporations. Republicans have long hoped to eliminate the estate tax, which would be worth billions to the Koch family. About half of all inherited wealth consists of increases in value of properties and securities, which is never taxed (and which should be). According to Forbes, Charlie and Dave were each worth $19 billion back in 2008 and are each worth $41 billion today. More Kenyan socialism, please.

    1. (and which should be)

      [citation needed]

      1. It’s an astonishing loophole once you know about and understand it.

        Most of us unlucky types don’t inherit real estate and stock portfolios. Most of us, we buy real estate or stock, and we pay capital gains taxes on any increase in value when we sell it. (The exception being our homes, if we live in them for long enough.) But if we should happen to die before we manage to do so – so that we never pay taxes on those gains – our heirs get this nifty thing called “stepped-up basis,” which means that any capital gains they have to pay taxes on is based on the value of what they’ve inherited, on the date they inherit it. No one ever pays taxes on gains prior to inheritance.

        So why should this be? If we’re going to tax capital gains, why should we have this strange distortion when property is inherited? Why couldn’t we at least say, to inheritors, that – okay, you’ll get this huge break on the estate tax, and in return, all we ask is that you pay this low capital gains rate on a carry-over basis?

        1. The vast majority of loopholes are targeted at the middle class.

    2. The purpose of the estate tax is straight out wealth redistribution, not revenue. It should be opposed based on a defense of property rights as a matter of course.

      1. A lot more effective to call it a “middle-class” loophole — which it is — one of many!

        Phrase it carefully.”ff we have to pay a tax but Bill Gates doesn’t, is that a loophole for the rich?

        What if there was a tax Gates had to pay but we got an exemption. Would that be a loophole for us? (Optional: politicians buying our votes?)

        THEN talk the estate tax. The word “estate:” says rich

        It’s so damn crazy because the rich subsidize half the entire federal income tax for the CORE middle class ($40-100k)
        .

      2. Don’t talk to me about natural rights and then tell me that dead people have them.

        1. The dead person’s heirs have rights. That the legal niceties may take some time to sort out beyond the departed’s death is irrelevant.

          1. This country was founded on a rejection of monarchy, which is another word for inherited wealth protected by the state.

            1. Um… no. Not even close. Monarchy is inherited just right to rule (if you accept such a thing). It has nothing to do, necessarily, with property.

              But the estate tax simply says that a living person does not have the right to property in their, well… property. If they did, they could grant ownership of their property at a designated time under agreed to circumstances with the recipient. In other words… “I’m exercising my property rights and transferring ownership to another person upon my death (not AFTER).”

              To accept the estate tax is to say that the state can insert a claim on your possessions in the middle of you passing them, as per your property rights allow, to another individual or group. It would be no different than me simply snatching your paycheck as it is being transferred from your employer to you.

              Because the transfer occurs UPON death and not after, there is no time frame in which the goods in question are without an owner allowing the state an opportunity to state a claim on an otherwise unowned good. Thus, the estate tax requires them to state a claim on property that ALREADY has a just claim upon it. That means the only way they can obtain just ownership is if the current owner freely relinquishes it. If the current owner does not, then the state’s taking of the goods, backed with a threat of violence to ensure the state’s physical possession, is theft and unjust.

            2. It’s well known that the revolutionary war was faught almost exclusively over the lack of estate taxes.

              The famous revolutionary battle cry was “No taxation without estate taxation!”

              You can read all about it in my new book: The SJW’s True History of the American Revolution.

              1. Foreword by Oliver Stone?

            3. “This country was founded on a rejection of monarchy, which is another word for inherited wealth protected by the state.”

              So by the transitive property of legal plunder, The State has dibs on everyone’s stuff when they die?

              1. Don’t forget Trump’s kids — three princes and two princesses,
                The Duke of Mar-A-Lago!

    3. Republicans have long hoped to eliminate the estate tax, which would be worth billions to the Koch family.

      Billionaires have numerous ways of circumventing the estate tax. Billionaires also don’t tend to care that much. The estate tax is mainly an issue for small family businesses, whose money is bound up in the business.

      Democrats and progressives care about the estate tax because it’s a good way of demonizing “the Koch brothers” and because small business owners overwhelmingly support smaller government so the Democrats like to screw them as much as possible.

      Your obsession with the Koch brothers is pathological and your suggestion that Republicans want to repeal the estate tax because the Koch brothers supposedly stand to gain billions is laughably ignorant.

      1. Bingo. The Kennedy’s are a perfect example of this. They use LLC, trusts and other shelters to prevent paying estate taxes.

        1. Then why have so many analysts .. all that I’ve seen — describe how changes in estate taxes would affect Trump’s kids. Virtually his entire business is LLCs. Some say several hundred interlocking.

          And LLCs have ownership “shares”, kinda like stockholders. So I’d be surprised if THAT was a shelter. And since LCCs and S Corps were,.massively expanded as a loophole … all kinds of people have created them I’ve even seen “subsidiaries” or whatever of Amazon as LLCs. And Trump’s PERSONAL loophole — he campaigned on a 49% tax cut for himself (a billionaire paying a top rate of 20%) — got much less but that is now a tax dodge.

    4. t’s not an “apparent flaw”, it’s an obvious one

      Will you be publishing that soon? As a novel or as a short story?

    5. The estate tax, I believe, was passed during the Wilson administration as a temporary measure to pay for WWI. It’s when increases in national debt had to be approved by Congress and when the vote was somewhat meaningful.

      1. It’s one of the oldest, adopted in 1797, then repealed. Then restored. Comes and goes.
        If we look in the shadows, Republicans are just as bad as Democrats in looting the public treasury to buy middle-class votes.

        Like (under Dubya) more than half of Medicare taxes are INCOME TAXES (which the middle class barely pays), not FICA. A sneaky deal which COULD go on increasing the debt forever — but blaming it on Obama.

  6. Comrade Pelosi urges all who get a tax break to send it back to the IRS!! That’ll show ’em!! Give em hell Comrades !!!

    1. I’m going to guess the number of progressive shitbirds that actually follow through on her urging is zero.

      1. My guess is fiction.

        Or perhaps the mega-rich left, where some say their taxes are already tio low — including Warren Buffett, the Master Bullshipper.

  7. So this is our Links thread, huh? Hihn vs. shreek? I’ll take it, i guess.

    1. RETARD FIGHT!!

    2. “Hihn vs. shreek?”

      Toss in Vanneman, and call the folks with the restraints.

      1. I thought we had all agreed not to mention Vanneman again. Someone brought up missing Hihn a couple weeks ago, and, alas, you can’t read a single article without him arguing in circles with everyone again

        I do enjoy his ramblings though, makes me feel much better about myself

        1. MULTIPLE aggressions here. The 6th by Subpoena’d Woodchipper)

          (There is a special type of Entitlement Mentality in most cyber-bullies. They are ENTITLED to shout down and insult mere disagreement to their Supreme Dogma. They are”True Believers” … on a “mission from God”…. for some sort of holy cause… for most of human history. We libertarians see that as an authoritarian mentality. It’s why we came to exist.)

          Many low-information cyber-bullies are sincerely unaware that VERBAL aggression exists.
          Often caused by falsely equating NAP with force. (The “A” stands for aggression)

          Verbal aggressiveness is an assault on another’s self concept, rather than his/her position. Individuals who rely on verbal aggressiveness are viewed as less credible, have less satisfying relationships, and resort to physical aggression more often.. [the same mentality]

          Verbal hostility, or in other words, verbal harassment or abuse is basically a negative defining statement told to or about you or withholding a response and pretending the abuse is not happening.

          [Or they know it exists, but pretend/lie they haven’t done it (MH)]

          Or Google the meaning of “self-righteous”

  8. Sen. Sander’s quote could just have easily been:

    “Today marks a great victory for Tom Steyer and other billionaire Democrat campaign contributors who will see huge tax breaks for themselves while driving up the deficit by almost $1.5 trillion.”

  9. Its pretty simple economics that economic growth will increase revenues, and tax cuts will speed up growth. I dont know if it will be more than at higher rates over 10 years, but certainly in the long run. Under the Bush tax cuts, within 5 years, the govt was taking in more revenue than before, even adjusted for inflation. So the govt gets more money, and everyone pays less individually.

    1. Under the Bush tax cuts, within 5 years, the govt was taking in more revenue than before, even adjusted for inflation.

      Can you post a reference for that?

      1. Can you post a reference for that?

        True but misleading. A very simple table here.
        One total per year.
        2005 revenue was higher than 2000, but there were losses along the way. It was about even (accum) when the crash came.

        VERY round numbers, just for scale.
        $2T revenue and
        $0.7T accumulate lossed before positive began.

    2. Read econ 101, there is a production function that has capital and labor for inputs, the factors of production. If these inputs are not changed and there is no increase in productivity, there will be no increase in growth.

      Of course, if we were in a recession, a stimulus might help, but we are pretty close to fully utilizing the factors of production so we should just see inflation and the fed will deal with this problem by raising interest rates and slowing the economy.

  10. Hihn vs PB

    that was worth the cost of the popcorn

    1. With John Williams ‘Duel of the Fates’ playing in the background.

  11. When the government taxes them at a higher rate, that simply means they have less money to expand their business.

    Why is this not obviously bad? Expand business = hire more people.

    1. Expanded business = more profits, and profits (unlike taxes) are theft.

      Taxes are how the people get their fair share back from capitalists who rob people with their goods, services, and jobs.

      That is why no tax is too big and no tax is too big. Government is THE PEOPLE, so taxes are THE PEOPLE taking back what capitalists stole.

      1. Great, and helpful, username, man.

      2. “That’s not theirs. That’s a national resource!”

        -Michael Moore, on wealthy people’s money

    2. they have less money to expand their business. Why is this not obviously bad?

      You TOO! I nearly shit when I read that. It’s in my comment at the top of the day. I had 40 years as a consultant/coach to business owners. which may make me more sensitive to it.

      1. I own a business and will only expand it if there is demand. I appreciate giving me more money as I am thinking of doing a project in China with a couple of Harvard PhDs.

        1. How would that equate to the overall economy?
          Higher taxes would likely deter those businesses at or near an expansion threshold, no?

      2. Yes, we all know how sensitive you are

        1. You all know I’m sensitive to entrepreneurs, having worked with hundreds of them?
          (That means business owners mostly, but also a management or life style)

  12. Good luck cutting spending when so many people don’t pay income tax. They pay payroll taxes but the impact of that is largely hidden from them since their employers cover a percentage and they don’t have to fill out a tax return for payroll taxes reminding them how much was taken out of their pay.

    Get rid of the payroll tax and bring more people into the income tax pool while reducing the overall tax burden. But good luck making that work politically.

    1. Good luck cutting spending when so many people don’t pay income tax

      Even worse, the CORE middle class ($40-100k) pays only HALF it’s share of the federal income tax. We’ve had three decades of both parties looting the Treasury to buy middle-class votes.

      We THOUGHT we won the late -70s tax revolt, but politicians got a different message. They can spend almost as much as they want — each on their cronies — as long as the middle class doesn’t have to pay for it, else we revolt again.

      Reagan was elected on his first tax cuts.. But the looting began with the next one,.1986. The effects are the same as if they had intentionally co-conspired.

    2. Yes, it would take a lot of luck to make that work politically, because the dynamic that sold SS is still operating, in more force than ever. Combining it with the general budget just isn’t going to fly.

      And maybe that’s a good thing now, because hearing separately about its budget imposes a little more discipline on Medicare & SS spending. For now the payroll tax is a cash cow, but the surplus is gone soon.

      1. The Medicare Fund would have been bare a few years back, if the damn Republicans had not looted the income tax to “pay for” Medicare Prescriptions. 40-45% of ALL Medicare spending is now paid from the general fund. IIRC that’s about $300 billion, or about 20% of the ENTIRE personal income tax.

        They needed Democrat votes and REALLY got hosed.

    1. What did your Kindergarten teacher say?

    2. but Hihn did have excellent points

      1. He often does, always did. His style I never went for much.

          1. It’s called self defense from aggression .. two in this thread alone.

            1. Yawn

            2. How is it that you were a politician yet you’re so thin-skinned?

              It’s words, not aggression, you baby.

              1. How is it that you were a politician yet you’re so thin-skinned?
                It’s words, not aggression, you baby.

                Those mere “words” (to you) – thin-skinned — are an totally unprovoked insult.
                We libertarians call that aggression – the act of an authoritarian.
                And, just a guess, 96% or more of we non-tribals are quite sure who the whiner is here.

                And I WON as a (libertarian) politician … several times, and for dozens of others I worked with and trained … by calling out authoritarians … in defense of liberty … for our communities.
                .
                Any other thoughts to share with us?

                (There is a special type of Entitlement Mentality in most cyber-bullies. They are ENTITLED to shout down and insult mere disagreement to their Supreme Dogma. They are”True Believers” … on a “mission from God”…. for some sort of holy cause… for most of human history. We libertarians see that as an authoritarian mentality. It’s why we came to exist.

                This posted in response to aggression – by an aggressor – calling somebody else an aggressor.)

                Left – Right = Zero

                1. P.S. On the right, many cyber-bullies are sincerely unaware that VERBAL aggression exists.
                  Often caused by falsely equating NAP with force. (The “A” stands for aggression)

                  Verbal aggressiveness is an assault on another’s self concept, rather than his/her position. Individuals who rely on verbal aggressiveness are viewed as less credible, have less satisfying relationships, and resort to physical aggression more often.. [the same mentality]

                  Verbal hostility, or in other words, verbal harassment or abuse is basically a negative defining statement told to or about you or withholding a response and pretending the abuse is not happening.

                  [Or they know it exists, but pretend/lie they haven’t done it (MH)]

                  1. I don’t know why you bother to react to the majority of it. Not worth your time.

                    1. Good question. I have a thing about such brazen bullying. It’s that “aggression” thing. It may be in my genes since I was trained that way as a moderator for the first-ever online libertarian forum. It was 1993, Internet access was sold by the hour, so it was directly critical that I defend our commenters — and show a positive face to the 90% who read but never comment.

                      And as a web professional I am deeply concerned about the damage to our brand, when “newbies” visit this site and see what goes on in THE worst political commentariat. The press this commentariat gets MUST be quite damaging.

                      popehat.com (a major civil liberties web site)
                      Reason.com, a leading libertarian website whose clever writing is eclipsed only by the blowhard stupidity of its commenting peanut gallery.

                      So, aggressors and bullies LOVE the comments here. Civil libertarians see blowhard stupidity.. Which to believe? Did you know the libertarian label is rejected by 91% of libertarians? (Cato/Zogby survey)

                      There’s a reason no other major political website has unmoderated comments. They understand the risk.

                    2. I don’t think most of it is really focused bullying. It’s just a lot of posters here are dicks by reflex. I ignore most of it anymore. Although I admit to taking the time to slam Tony, AmSoc and PB frequently as they are typically such Marxist slavery enthusiasts.

      2. I enjoy his style. It makes for enjoyable reading.

  13. Damn kochsuckers trying to sell borrowing from the millennials’ grandkids to fund their crony capitalists.

  14. This would make sense if the Republicans actually cut your taxes and cut spending. What they have done is borrow money on your credit card, give you the card and money back, and say that you got free money. Of course, you know that you still have to pay it back with interest.

    God, do Republicans think that you are dumb.

    1. God, do Republicans think that you are dumb.

      Consider the evidence!

  15. The left wants to punish the rich? I COMPLETELY DISAGREE. The left believes in “crony capitalism” (much better identified as crony socialism) and makes pragmatic deals with most of the billionaires of the world (Gates, Buffet, Bezos, Soros, Bloomberg, Zuckerberg etc). These billionaires don’t want their wealth seized by the government, so they support Democratic causes and candidates in exchange for good press, good tax shelters and specialized treatment. The left wants to punish rich people with conservative or libertarian ideas, not because they are rich, but because of their ideology. It is important to distinguish the REAL IDEAS of the left from the rhetoric and propaganda.

    1. Check the facts. You place your trust in tribal partisan liars
      IRS Income Tax data https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-soi/13in11si.xls

      Obama is OUTRAGED that a $50,000 reacher pays a higher tax rate than millionaires and billionaires.
      Far right columns. Average tax rates

      President’s $50,000 secretary @ 8.3%
      Core middle class ($40-100K) @ 8.8%
      Millionaires/billionaires @ 28%

      Obama is a massive fucking liar. (Plenty on the right also)
      Now “fair share” of taxes, also core middle class, all in $billion

      REPORTED INCOME = $8,426B TOTAL
      Core Middle…………….2,601….30.9% of personal income)

      INCOME TAX PAID $1,218 TOTAL
      Core-Middle …………….294….(18.8% of personal income taxes)

      18.8%/30.9% = 60.8%. the ENTIRE core middle class pays only 61% of their own share of taxes. Who subsidizes the other 39%, Venezuelans?

      Now divide the other way. 32.3/20.9 = 155% – 100% = 55%. The ENTIRE core middle class must pay an income tax increase of 55% …. JUST TO PAY ITS OWN WAY!

      All on reported income. Biggest exemptions also target the middle class, which takes the subsidy over 50%
      Simple math. Original IRS data. Indisputable.

      Join the growing majority who reject tribal loyalty to BOTH parties

      Left and right are obsolete … Right – Left = Zero
      And whataboutism is the plague of today

  16. I think republicans are still better than democrats. Although that is getting very difficult to say about congressional republicans and their pals on the beltway. Although they still have the advantage of not being Stalinists.

    That being said, nearly the entire comgress isn’t worth a shit anymore.

    1. Just curious. That GENERALLY means a stronger passion for fiscal issues than for personal issues — where the GOP is more Stalinist. If you choose.

      But even on fiscal actions, Republicans have very bad record. especially under Dubya when they created 1/4-1/3 of Obama’s debt. The MASSIVE subsidy from general revenues (to “pay for” Medicare Prescription) is already over $300 billion per year and guaranteed to take an ever-growing share of the INCOME tax. So they’ve programmed an ever- increasing debt forever (unless Medicare is repealed). I haven’t checked in a while, but I THINK the Medicare Trust Fund would have been exhausted by now. They needed Dem votes and gave away the store.

      1. I haven’t seen much from the GOP on personal issues in a while. So I haven’t been worried about it. Not dealing with fiscal issues will destroy the country, so it has to be a priority.

        1. Did you miss Trump’s open assault on LGBT community, which his generals essentially refused in the military.
          Did you miss his MASSIVE lie the Charlottesville neo-nazis were charged and clubbed by the neo-nazis.
          Gorsuch – Abortion? Trump racist, assaults on free press, balance of power and more?

          Not dealing with fiscal issues will destroy the country, so it has to be a priority.They already blew that. STOPPING the abuse detracts from nothing.

  17. A corporation may write its check to the Internal Revenue Service for payment of the corporate income tax, but that money must come from somewhere: from reduced returns to investors in the company, lower wages to its workers, or higher prices that consumers pay for the products the company produces. Understanding the mech- anisms through which those tax burdens are transferred is crucial in determining the economic effects of the corporate income tax.

    CBo report

    1. Nobody debates that. Now show how the money will be used to create jobs.

      You can ignore the liberal nonsense about stock buybacks. If they buy back a few billion from Buffett, will he invest it elsewhere, or go to Vegas and lose it?

      They’d have done far better, at much lower cost, by simply reversing all the damage caused by the 1986 tax “reform” act. That new corporate rate will be repealed when Democrats come back, but it pleased Trump’s the low-information base.

      The ONLY peacetime booms in the past near-century followed IDENTICAL tax policies by Kennedy, then Reagan. In Kennedy’s words, “Across the board, top to bottom, personal and corporate.” Plus each had a targeted incentive for new investments in jobs-creating manufacturing investment (THAT part repealed by the 1986 Democrat tax reform bill)

      Both sides debate supply-side and demand-side economics, laced with bullhuitm since Kennedy and Reagan were neither. A growing economy is like a 3-legged stool — employers, investors, consumers. On the evidence, if ANY of the breaks (little or no confidence ) the stool falls over. Both Presidents, in lesser-known speeches, traced the tax cut dollars through all three, but without stating the three as a package.

  18. Dan Mitchell at CATO has said in the past that “Starve the beast” could be the best way to go. I agree!

  19. This is strictly power politics by the democrats. They are employing “fear tactics” gain the support of the economically illiterate voters. One of their favorite slogans is “soak the rich”. And if asked, every economically deprived person would love to be “one of the rich people.”

    1. How to choose?
      Fear tactics vs psychotic bullshit?
      Hysteria on tax cuts vs hysteria on the media?

      Right – Left = Zero

  20. Silly to you, not to the Democrats, it garners them votes.

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