Reason Roundup

Nobody Thinks They've Gotten a Recent Tax Cut, but a Majority Have: Reason Roundup

Plus: Silk Road 2.0 creator sentenced, and FUCT at the trademark office

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Fewer than 40 percent of Americans surveyed think they've seen a tax cut since 2017, when President Donald Trump signed the "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act." In fact, most people think their personal tax burden has gone up. But "independent analyses have consistently found that a large majority of Americans would owe less because of the law" and "preliminary data based on tax filings has shown the same," reports The New York Times. Meanwhile, "not even one in 10 households actually got a tax increase."

Data from the Tax Policy Center show 64.8 percent of Americans got a tax cut, while SurveyMonkey/New York Times data found only 39.6 percent thought they got a tax cut.

People with household incomes of less than $30,000 were the most likely to accurately perceive the situation (32.1 percent got a tax cut, and 30 percent think they did). Much larger tax-cut perception and reality gaps exist at higher household income levels:

    • About 69 percent of people with a household income of $30,000 to $50,000 got a tax cut, but just 36.1 percent think they did.
    • Nearly 82 percent of those in the $50,000 to $75,000 range got a tax cut; 41.5 percent think they did.
    • 86.6 percent of households making $75,000 to $100,000 saw a tax cut, but just 47.9 percent think they did.
    • And 89.5 percent of those in the $100,000 or more bracket got a tax cut, while just 46.4 percent think they did.

"To a large degree, the gap between perception and reality on the tax cuts appears to flow from a sustained—and misleading—effort by liberal opponents of the law to brand it as a broad middle-class tax increase," write the Times' Ben Casselman and Jim Tankersley.

FREE MINDS

FUCT at the trademark office. The clothing company FRIENDS U CAN'T TRUST—that's FUCT, for short—has taken its battle with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office all the way to the Supreme Court. The office denied founder Erik Brunetti's request, citing a federal rule against registering "scandalous" trademarks. "Now the Supreme Court on Monday, for the second time in two years, will review whether provisions of a federal law, the Lanham Act, violate the First Amendment," reports CNN. The first case, from 2017, involved a band called The Slants. Read (or watch) more about that case here.

FREE MARKETS

Silk Road 2.0 creator sentenced. Ross Ulbricht, creator of the original darknet digital marketplace Silk Road, was relegated to two consecutive lifetimes in federal prison. But after the federal government seized Silk Road in 2013, a Silk Road 2.0 quickly took its place, thanks to the efforts of "Dread Pirate Roberts 2" Thomas White.

"White was arrested in 2014" by the U.K.'s National Crime Agency, writes Tim Cushing, "but his sentence has only now been handed down." And "the creator of Silk Road 2.0doing double the business of Silk Road 1.0 at its peakis looking to be out of prison years before his inspiration sees freedom."

White was sentenced to 5 years and four months in prison. "There's your compare-and-contrast. In the US, drug crimes are the worst crimes," Cushing writes.

"Our government argues lengthy sentences for drug cases are needed to deter others from drug dealing. Seeing how quickly the new Silk Road replaced Ulbricht's version makes it clear lengthy sentences aren't deterring anything."

QUICK HITS

  • Sen. Kamala Harris (D–Calif.) has released a decade and a half worth of tax returns. In 2018, Harris and her husband's combined gross income was $1.89 million.
  • The Mueller report is reportedly being released sometime this week.
  • Whole Earth's "3 Nut Butter" clearly contains the word nut in its name. Its label lits "Peanut, Pecan & Walnut" under that. But because Whole Earth didn't use the specific nut-warning language required by U.K. regulators ("contains nuts"), the country's Food Standards Agency has recalled the product.
  • All your passwords belong to us:

NEXT: Activists Try to Stop Conservative Writer Michael Knowles from Speaking at UMKC, Throw Liquid at Him

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  1. Apparently even the staff is having trouble with the new website. This appeared, disappeared, then reappeared.

    1. Yeah, some backend glitches going on. Bear with us!

      1. Backend glitches amongst the bears eh?

      2. Did you remember to feed the squirrels? You don’t want unhappy squirrels.

      3. Please tell them to fix it so that you can reply more than 5 posts deep.

      4. Did the bear eat the server squirrels?

    2. That’s been happening a lot longer than we’ve had a new website.

    3. Apparently even the staff is having trouble with the new website. This appeared, disappeared, then reappeared.
      Better than Siegfried & Roy, eh?

  2. …Harris and her husband’s combined gross income was $1.89 million.

    She would have incarcerated homeless mothers just for the joy of it. The coin is just icing.

    1. This has to be fake news…. there is no way this is possible in our racist, sexist society. Besides, everyone knows that the 1% are evil. And there is no way KH could be evil… she’s not even a Republican!

  3. The clothing company FRIENDS U CAN’T TRUST—that’s FUCT, for short—has taken its battle with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office all the way to the Supreme Court.

    See you next Tuesday for the ruling.

  4. To a large degree, the gap between perception and reality on the tax cuts appears to flow from a sustained—and misleading—effort by liberal opponents of the law to brand it as a broad middle-class tax increase…

    Also, I believe from a number of them getting a smaller refund.

    1. Bingo! As an accountant who has prepared tax returns for others I can attest based upon their comments most people confuse their total taxes paid with the refund they get(or don’t).

      1. Morons

      2. Because that is the number people remember and, lacking any historical context, it’s the one they go with.

        The nice thing about preparing your own taxes is being able to do a side-by-side comparison. Our gross income went up, deductions went down slightly, net income went up, overall tax rate went down, with a final result of earned more/paid a heck of a lot less.

        My son snapchatted/instagrammed/whatever the eff kids are doing these days’d that out to his friends who’ve been parroting the liberal talking points on this (and who have dumb parents).

      3. Yep. One of my contractors pays too much in estimated taxes, so that she can get a refund. Brilliant.

    2. Don’t public high schools require kids to take personal finance classes that cover taxes?

      1. Hahahahahahaha

        1. Hmm. My public elementary school had us fill out a 1040 form in fifth grade as part of math class.

      2. First, you’d need teachers with the math skills to fill out a 1040EZ.

    3. Most middle class people have no idea how much they pay in federal income tax. Both the working poor and the rich pay attention to it because they need to.

  5. Seeing how quickly the new Silk Road replaced Ulbricht’s version makes it clear lengthy sentences aren’t deterring anything.

    Well, then, the government will impose them just for the sport.

    1. The new Dread Pirate Roberts appears to have come under the jurisdiction of British rather than American courts, and so has been sentenced to 5 years instead of life. It might still be as much as an average murderer gets in the same court system, but it’s much lower, and perhaps he expected that.

  6. But because Whole Earth didn’t use the specific nut-warning language required by U.K. regulators (“contains nuts”), the country’s Food Standards Agency has recalled the product.

    Once again, hard to believe they lost their empire.

    1. I’m sewing “contains nuts” warnings on all of my pants before the government comes after me.

      1. Is that the British meaning of “pants”?

    2. Hey, that’s just a regulatory agency. And at least they got the letter of the law right, if not the spirit.

      My company once lost a case in state Supreme Court in which the court said they could not rule in our favor because the law did not say “quoted text”, where “quoted text” was copy-pasted verbatim from the actual law in question. They literally ruled that the law didn’t say – word for word – what the law actually says.

      Government is as government does – to paraphrase Forest Gump. Or perhaps it is: Government is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get.

      1. Did they have a justification for this? I mean, they’re supposed to explain their logic even if you disagree with it…

        1. Yes. The logic was very explicit.

          We find against your company because the law does not say “copy pasted text from the law”.

          literally that was the justification. They ruled that if the law had said exactly and precisely what it said, then we were correct. And there is nowhere to go from there, so…. you lose.

          It was the strangest case in a long list of strange cases we experienced. I asked our Chief Inside Counsel if we couldn’t just point it out to the court – you know, “hey guys, uh, you just ruled that the law needed to say something, and that is exactly what it says”… He just rolled his eyes at me and said “yeah, it doesn’t work like that”.

          There’s “theory” and then there’s “practice”. Apparently they are not the same at all.

  7. Pursue Those Indictments!
    But the scary bottom line is this: over the last couple of years, one political party, aided and abetted by a compliant media and a deep-state bureaucracy, conspired to void the results of a free, open, and democratic election because they disapproved of the people’s choice.

    Some people think that it would be best if we put this whole episode behind us, that we sharply limit any investigations into wrongdoing and that, especially, we refrain from punishing the highly placed actors who leaked, lied, and conspired against the president. I am not of their number. What just happened in the United States represented an existential threat to the integrity of our institutions. It happened because highly placed individuals had cultivated a sense of entitlement and presumption of higher virtue—what James Comey called a “higher loyalty”—which they believed exempted them from the constraints and procedures that the rest of us must observe. They broke the law because they believed that they answered to a “higher” law. Out of such convictions are revolutions born and countries destroyed. The best safeguard against it happening again—indeed, against it continuing on now—is to hold those responsible to account. It is too early to say whether that will happen.

    As I say, some of my friends think it would be a bad thing for the country to pursue high-profile indictments. I, on the contrary, thinking about what the country has just been put through, believe that our best hope of preventing this from happening again is to make an example of those who, smitten with the delicious sensation of their own virtue, did their best to reverse the results of an election because a candidate they did not like had the temerity to win.

  8. http://twitter.com/neontaster/status/1117080464320290822

    Pay attention to how tight the messaging is in defense of Ilhan Omar and how precise and consistent the wording is from media, politics, academia, etc.

    These people know how to follow orders if nothing else.

    1. Hive mind. They don’t need an email list now; they have Twitter.

    2. This has been my rant and my worry for the last few years. Not that the propaganda machine is so pervasive, but that very few seem to notice, and even fewer seem to see it as a threat.

      It is one thing to have Tariq Aziz as your news anchor…. it is quite another when everyone pretends that he is a credible source.

      1. That the propaganda system is so blatant and obvious, and people appear not to notice (or care), is more worrying.

    3. They’re not following orders, so much as they all get their talking points from the same sources and have no capacity for independent thought. NPR was running the same line this morning.

      I knew something was up when she did her little spot on Colbert last week so she could run her “How do you do, fellow Americans?” line.

  9. “The Mueller report is reportedly being released sometime this week.”

    For months it’s been clear that #TrumpRussia denialists are living in a fantasy world. We in the reality-based community, on the other hand, always knew Mueller would deliver explosive bombshell revelations making the case for impeachment.

    The walls are closing in.

    1. The left has tipped their hand with their strategy. For the last few days, all of the mainstream and left news outlets have been running articles to frame the debate. CNN had several versions of “what to expect from the Mueller report” – basically a talking-points primer on how to ignore the findings and dig for dirt – and should you fail to find any, then you’ll know that there is a cover-up at work.
      NPR, CNN, MSNBC, NBC, ABC, NYT, LAT have all run versions of this. I’m sure there are others, these are just the ones I noticed in my various feeds.

      1. That will sell to the true believers. For the rest of the country, however, there is no getting past the bottom line of there being not just no collusion with the Russians but no evidence of it at all.

        1. I am enjoying the religious “unfalsifiable” aspect of their thoughts. They’ve arrived at “having spent 2 years looking to ‘get’ Trump at an expense of tens of millions and using every available tool to spy on and squeeze his associates into a betrayal, the fact that we don’t have any evidence is proof positive of a conspiracy to cover it up!”

        2. “For the rest of the country, however, there is no getting past the bottom line of there being not just no collusion with the Russians but no evidence of it at all.”

          I can almost guarantee that this will not be the case. There will be enough “Although there is no evidence of collusion, Person A reportedly mentioned working with Person of Interest B to bring illegal evidence to light” or some such nonsense.

          We know for a fact that some people expressed interest in reports that the Russians had dirt on Hillary. And what campaign wouldn’t at least discuss that fact? But this will be all that the true believers need- a few straws to grasp- in order to justify continued bleating about collusion.

          Like any internet argument, the collusion narrative doesn’t require hard proof. It just needs enough innuendo that the anti-trumpers can save face and keep perpetuating the accusation. Indeed, the small crumbs they will inevitably get from the report will be the proof they need to insist that there is a great conspiracy afoot.

      2. These media corporations certainly know what their audience wants, and it isn’t independent, unbiased journalism.

  10. “Spartacus” Booker Says Moving Illegals To Sanctuary Cities Makes Us ‘Less Safe’
    Cory “Spartacus” Booker wants to be President. Today he held a kickoff campaign rally in Newark, NJ. A sanctuary city. One that should be willing to help with all those swarming and overwhelming our border ..right? Nope. NIMBY! Cory had additional thoughts during a ‘Face The Nation’ interview. You see, bringing undocumented immigrations (illegals) to sanctuary cities makes us ‘less safe.’

    Yes, he really said that.

    1. He must be racist right? CATO and reason and well as the wokeltarians all assure me that illegal immigrants are less criminal and morally superior in every way to nasty natives. How could anyone but a racist object to the government sending illegal immigrants to their community?

      Funny how silent reason has been on this incredible gift Trump is trying to give to sactuary cities.

      1. I don’t know if this was strategy or Chance the Gardner again, but it worked brilliantly.

        Not only does he have every governor and mayor of sanctuary cities railing against sending immigrants their way, he has die-hard progressives sending out rants against illegal immigration. Apparently Cher tweeted that Los Angeles cannot afford any more immigrants – they need to take care of the people they already have.

        You can’t make this stuff up. I don’t know how he does it, but every apparent stumble seems to make the other side look like a bunch of idiots, hypocrites or worse.

        1. I have never met an open borders advocate who was in any way adversely affected by illegal immigration or who lived anywhere near where illegal immigrants live. For them, it is always about other people suffering for their principles never them.

          1. I lived in a place with plenty of illegal immigration. So there you go.

            1. “Lived”? You appearently don’t live there anymore. Why is that? CATO and Reason tell me illegal immigrants are vastly superior to natives. Why did you leave such a wonderful place?

              1. I still live in a place with extensive illegal immigration. And while not an open borders purist, I believe in short fences and wide gates.

          2. I live in California, and there are tons of illegals. I am pretty open borders.

            I don’t understand why you think this is a valid criticism. Numerous states have strident support for illegal immigration and a large number of illegals. California, Colorado, New Mexico. Even in red states like Texas, there is quite a mix of illegals in urban centers that also support immigrants.

        2. The cognitive (and verbal) dissonance is deafening.

        3. I can’t wait for the Reason article about sending all refugees to sanctuary cities. Utopian clowns forced to face their nonsense ideas? Love it.

        4. It reminds me of every Peter Sellers movie where bumble is a gift

  11. This redesigned platform is not visually appealing and is functionally inferior to that which it replaced.

    Its as if Reason is motivated by a desire to drive away the commentariat.

    1. It is making changes for change’s sake. I wonder if the Mary Stack outbreak last week had something to do with it.

    2. There’s not even a preview button.

    3. Its as if Reason is motivated by a desire to drive away the commentariat.

      That’s a feature not a bug…

      Wouldn’t be the first time….

      Every cloud has a silver lining!….

      “I’m change averse!”…

      “Gee our old LaSalle ran great! “…

      There’s gotta be a hundred more, but that’s all I got for now.

      1. Ooh, dang!

        Blockquote doesn’t work any more.

        1. blockquote

          italics
          bold
          emphasis
          strikethrough

          1. So blockquote works, it just does double-spaced lines instead of putting a vertical bar and an indent.

            1. This is going to take getting used to. The only change that really concerns me though, is the limit on reply depth. That functionally impacts the ability to converse.

              1. The limit has gone away.

                (Now to test if they fixed u tags at the same time as comment depth.)

      2. You knew who you were then,
        girls were girls, and
        men were men…

        Change is good if the change is good.

    4. I like how the comments section closes after each comment you make, so you have to scroll to the bottom of the article and reopen it each time. At least the old version would take you to your post.

      1. Turns out I’m just impatient. If I wait 30 seconds for everything to fully load, the last thing it does is open the comments and take me to my posts. Which is its own problem… Why am I waiting 30 seconds for a bunch of clickbait that I’ll never click?

        1. Yeah, I had to turn adblock back on because of that. Didn’t want to… but the site was borderline unusable with the load times and refreshing ads. And by “borderline” I really mean “unpleasant enough that I wasn’t going to use it at all for very much longer”.

          1. What you need is Windows Vista & MSIE on an old laptop to match. The clickbait, esp. if animated, made HyR near unusable for me, frequent hangs. Now HyR is loading fast, big improvement.

            Also it’d been rumored a few hrs. ago that threaded commenting was gone, but I see it’s still here, nested to about the same depth limit as before.

            Let’s see how this works…
            [quote]quote[/quote]
            …instead of blockquote.

    5. It’s as if Chesterton never had a fence.

    6. I had to install a CSS browser extension to get things back to readable. Changed the font back to sans-serif and brought back the orange links.

  12. Without using a number, how old are you? I’m old enough to remember the left caring about what the Patriot Act would do to privacy.

    Everyone’s Income Taxes Should Be Public
    Disclosure of tax payments would make it easier to hold politicians accountable. It also would help to reduce fraud and economic inequality.

    1. How would it reduce income inequality? That is a really telling statement. The only way I can see it reducing inequality is because it would give the left the opprotunity to terrorize anyone they don’t like who makes too much money.

      1. Yep, it is to aid in creating an enemies list for Maoist public attack.

        1. Plus, Lefties would have a huge advantage if Republicans and Libertarians were required to divulge all their financial records (Including tax returns). Lefties get a large portion of their money via shady Socialist fronts and Mafia Union groups. Those financial records always seem to get lost or bleached when they are on Hillary electronic devices.

      2. My guess? It’s going to be similar to this idea now that people should discuss and post their income at their works. This is so coworkers can know if they’re getting underpaid or not.

        I have mixed feelings about the value of that, but at least it involves me voluntarily disclosing things. I’m not that private of a person, but please at least ask me before digging around in my personal space.

      3. Life would imitate art. Meaning “The Purge.”

      4. Maybe it’d reduce income inequality via people making less $ so as not to disclose making more.

    2. Every politician, yes. Everyone else? Fuck off, slaver.

      1. Every politician should have to reveal their average income in the five years before taking office and have a 100% tax on all income above that level they recieve for the first five years after leaving office.

    3. In response to the democrats wanting Trumps taxes the republicans should request all representative taxes be public, they won’t because they are just as guilty about tax dodging as anyone. If Trump had some tax issues we would know about it already from the deep state

  13. Where did the ‘preview’ button go?

    1. I’d gladly trade it for an edit button.

    2. ‘Preview’?
      We don’t need no stinking Preview!

  14. People may not understand the impact of tax cuts on their 1040, but swing voters go one way or the other based on the secondary effects of things like tax cuts–whether they realize it or not.

    The remarkably low unemployment rate, the remarkably high labor participation rate, the fact that salaries for blue collar workers are rising higher than the rate of inflation (which translates into an improvement in the standard of living): all three of these things will translate into votes for the incumbent regardless of whether voters attribute them to Trump’s tax cuts and deregulation.

    1. The only people who got fucked by the tax bill are people like me with high incomes who live in tax shithole states. I understand why they limited the state tax deduction but it isn’t going to have the effect they hoped. Most people are not effected by it. It just screws the successful. And sadly, there are not enough of them to do something about the tax shitholes they live in.

      1. Money is pouring into tax free municipal bonds for this reason. High tax states are under pressure to find other sources of revenue. You saw all the tax sacrifices local governments were willing to make to attract high wage jobs for Amazon’s new headquarters. They should be just as willing to make the same sacrifices to keep the high wage jobs they already have. And, if nothing else, states probably aren’t spending money they might have spent otherwise if it weren’t for the additional pressure tax reform put on high wager earners like you.

        1. New York and New Jersey are both looking to raise taxes. There are too many parasites who pay no taxes but still vote for any of that to matter.

          1. They had an onerous tax they wanted to stick on people who own second homes in New York, but it was so unpopular with the real estate industry that they settled for barely increasing the mansion tax. Yeah, they’ll try anything and everything to increase revenue before they cut spending, but, in the meantime 1) They’re trying to find ways to tax people out of state (hotel taxes, part time residents, etc.) rather than people who live there, and 2) they’re not spending money they would be spending if doing so didn’t hurt their own voters as much. They’re screaming about this stuff because it’s causing them pain, and pain is good when it comes to high spending and high taxes. High spending and high taxes is supposed to hurt. They would never stop their misbehavior if it didn’t hurt, and that’s what that deduction was doing. It was recreational Fentanyl. Hard to convince voters that their state’s tax and spending policies are hurting them when they can’t feel the pain.

          2. In fact, I’ve got a solution for residents of New York and New Jersey, and it doesn’t involve leaving the state.

            Maybe voters in New York and New Jersey should start voting for Republicans who promise to cut taxes at the state level–rather than vote for Democrats because they’re Democrats.

            I know it sounds crazy, but, believe me, voting for state representatives because they promise to cut taxes at the state level won’t bring an end to western civilization–no matter what they say at the New York Times.

            1. They won’t do it. You are kidding yourself. I would love to think they would but they won’t. Beyond that, Republicans in Blue states are almost as bad as Democrats.

              1. If it ever happens, then this is the way it will happen.

                The more high taxation becomes an issue, the more the opposition will gravitate to high taxation as an issue. The more taxation remains an issue, the more power the opposition will enjoy.

                If New York and New Jersey ever overcome their single party political machines, that’s the way it will happen.

        2. They should be just as willing to make the same sacrifices to keep the high wage jobs they already have.

          They should but they won’t. The handouts to Amazon and the like are really all about “creating jobs” headlines for the politicians. There are no similar headlines for simply making the regulatory state more business friendly. The latter is usually bemoaned as handouts for the rich or some such nonsense.

          1. There may not be any headlines about that right now, but as taxes become a more important political consideration, I’d expect to see that reflected in state elections eventually. That wasn’t as big of an issue because federal policy was shielding the locals from the impact of state taxes, now that they’re no longer shielded, why wouldn’t it become more of a political issue than it was before? Having elections decided on issues like taxes and spending is a good thing. Much better than issues like transgender bathrooms or whether some Republican in Kansas said something about “legitimate rape”. Taxes are a legitimate issue, and feeling more pain in paying them should translate into paying less taxes to the state then you would otherwise over time. If taxes were never to be an issue so long as the federal government were papering over the pain, then tearing the bandage off was a necessary step in the right direction.

      2. Yeah, I got completely fucked by the TCJA. Wrong profession for a business owner in a high tax locality, unmarried, no children. But this is where my life is, and at the end of the day I’m OK with it (till it really is time to make a huge change).

      3. “The only people who got fucked by the tax bill are people like me with high incomes who live in tax shithole states.”

        Yeah, I agree. My effective tax rate went up from about 29% to around 31%.

        The interesting thing is that I don’t think this is going to have the effect of getting blue states to reduce taxes. No, they are just going to double down on telling their populace how they are victims of the evil republicans.

        I saw my SALT deductions go from $80k last year to $10k. That translates to around $30k in additional taxes. None of my liberal friends are using this shock to rethink California’s tax system. They are saying “If you donate that money to Democrat campaigns, it will change!”

        1. Why do you think the purpose is to get blue states to reduce taxes? Y’all are clearly hopeless anyway.

          The change is worthwhile in that it increases the disincentive in red states to raise taxes, partly offsetting the negative effect of blue-staters fleeing to red states for economic opportunity and then idiotically continuing to vote like blue-staters.

    2. “The remarkably low unemployment rate”

      That’s nothing to brag about. According to AOC, even a low unemployment rate is a bad indicator — it means everybody is working two jobs just to barely scrape by.

      #LibertariansForAOC
      #DrumpfRecession

  15. The best thing about the media sowing discontent about taxes this year is that more and more Americans will realize that taxes are too high and want more cuts.

    Many/Most Americans got a lower tax bracket and a higher standard deductions, so they paid less in tax for 2018. Lies from the media notwithstanding.

    1. more and more Americans will realize that taxes are too high and want more cuts.

      And you can tell by the number of people complaining about how much less of a return they got this year.

      1. That is probably the biggest complaint that I have heard this tax season.

        When I give them the standard reply that they likely paid less tax all year and got almost a double standard deduction, they get a glossy eyed look, because they clearly didnt pay attention to what their total tax bill was for 2018 compared to 2017.

        1. And that’s how you know they’re smart enough to want even more of what they just got.

        2. Everyone knows what they pay in taxes. Just ask them and they’ll tell you.

          I didn’t pay any taxes this year. I got $900 back!

          1. Haha. Exactly Cyto

          2. And there lies the brilliance and the great evil of tax withholding.

  16. I saw that I got a tax cut.
    Of course, I cheated and compared my 2018 withholding to my 2017 withholding. Something only a racist would do, obviously.

    1. I got a slightly bigger refund than last year. That’s because I filled out a new W-4 when the tax bill passed because I knew withholding would be reduced. Apparently, I’m the only American who thought to do that.

  17. From the perspective of a Caps’ fan, the playoffs couldn’t be going any better. Going in, we were just glad that we wouldn’t need to face Tampa Bay until the division championship, and we were thrilled that we wouldn’t have to play the Penguins until the second round. If we could have written the script ourselves, we’d have both the Lightening and the Penguins facing elimination before we ever got there–and the Pens and the Islanders beating the shit out of each other. Hotlby needs to play better, but other than that, things couldn’t be going any better if you’re a Caps’ fan. They’re playing like we’ve been here before.

    1. watching Letang drop his head as that 4th goal slid down the ice into the empty net for the Isles made my afternoon.

      1. I fear Trotz, but the Penguins always play us like they’re possessed. They hate the Caps with a passion. We beat the Penguins in the playoffs last year, but that may have been because we had Trotz.

  18. Just a suggestion but I don’t think it would hurt terribly if you kicked the font size on comments up one more point. They seem a bit cramped to me.

    1. Yes, maybe make them wider as well. The margins on this new site are so large.

  19. I HATE THIS NEW REASON FORMAT!!!!

    Had to be said. You’re welcome.

    Fucking fuchsia comments button?

    1. I love how many people are complaining about the color of the comment button.

    1. “Brought to you by Carl’s Jr.”

  20. So funny story from this weekend, to change the mood on this shitty Reason website upgrade:

    Went to Ruby Falls this weekend. Ruby Falls, Chattanooga TN and its in a giant cave complex with the waterfall at the end. People have and still do throw coins into various small pools of water that accumulate with the stalactites and stalagmites. A group of English women were super upset about the coins being in the water, even after the guide told us how they regularly clean out the coins and donate the money to the “Make a Wish Foundation”. One of the British women was furious how the coins polluted the area and the water. Limestone caves can be formed when rainwater picks up CO2 and it forms a weak acid creating huge formations in Limestone. The amount of minerals and metals occurring naturally are longer than I can type here. Even the metals found in coins.

    1. Interesting point … having filtered through limestone, all of the acid in the water will have been neutralized, making it much less likely to pick up any metals from the coins.

    2. Maybe somebody should tell those English women that Americans braved disease, starvation, and hostile natives to put an ocean between themselves and the English, and we fought and won a revolution because we didn’t want to be like them. Somehow, they do seem to imagine that the rest of the world wants to be just like them. They used to imagine their parliamentary system was far superior to ours, even if that’s hard to imagine at the moment. Still, their colonies all made the same decisions we did about not wanting to be like them after World War I. We had to save their asses as second time from the Germans, and you’d think that would have stuck a pin in their bloated sense of superiority, but that didn’t do it either. I’m thinking it might be pop culture. The Beatles, the Spice Girls, and Harry Potter are popular, so they imagine we all want to be like them? That’s why they come here and tell us not to throw pennies in subterranean fountains?

      I don’t know why. I just know that I’ve never seen so shocked a face as telling a Brit that “Because that’s the way we do things in the UK” isn’t a good reason for Americans to do anything.

      1. Our Aerosmith, Pointer Sisters, and Huckleberry Finn can beat the crap out of their Beatles, Spice Girls, and Harry Potter.

        1. The progressive mindset that drove the British to subjugate the peoples of Africa and Asia and civilize them–a la “the white man’s burden”–is still alive and well. They’ve been trying to civilize us, along with the Irish, for hundreds of years. And we still won’t stop dropping pennies in subterranean fountains. We’re such sad little hillbillies. If only we’d let them rescue us from ourselves!

          P.S. Their GDP per capita is a fraction of ours.

    3. Should have told the lady that if she feels that strongly about not contaminating the cave, she should have stayed out of the cave herself. Caves open to public tours are not pristine. I find a lot of English people have a weird excess of conscientiousness about that sort of stuff.

  21. I’m back from my Caribbean vaycay — did I miss any Nipsey Hussle articles here?

    1. Glad that people didn’t confuse Nipsey Hussle with the similarly named comedian: Mark Russell

      1. Ok, that touches on my big question….

        How does some dude from 2019 use a reference to a 1960’s/70’s comedian as his name? Does anyone under the age of 45 (other than him) have the slightest clue who Nipsey Russel is?

    2. “did I miss any Nipsey Hussle articles here?”

      No, this isn’t Worldstarhiphop, there is no irrational concern about some dead nobody.

  22. “Pelosi Calls for Tightened Security on Omar After Trump Tweet”

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/pelosi-calls-for-tightened-security-on-omar-after-trump-tweet-11555282376?

    Pelosi’s grandstanding here is pathetic–and might be endangering Omar as much as anything Trump tweeted.

    Other than grandstanding, is there another reasonable way to interpret Pelosi’s actions here? She’s playing up the security risks of Donald Trump’s tweets–and isn’t that all there is to it?

    I guess she’d rather change the subject to anything–anything–but the Green New Deal, Medicare For All, and reparations for slavery.

    1. Agreed. Pure politics from Pelosi.

      What do you think the purpose of Trump’s tweet was?

      1. Look, he retweeted a video of her speaking….. in her own words!

        Her. Own. Words!

        Obviously this is dangerous and the worst form of racism!

        1. I didn’t say anything about Trump’s intent of the tweet other than that it was also driven by politics. I don’t see how Trump’s actions here are any better of worse than Pelosi’s.

    2. Steve Scalise was available for comment, but only because lefty terrorists don’t put in enough range time.

  23. Trump’s IRS blew it. They should have modestly increased payroll withholdings, and, coupled with lower tax bills, all the rubes would have gotten HUGE refunds.

  24. http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/438669-secret-tapes-linger-over-buttigiegs-meteoric-rise

    A gay gentrifier whose main claim to fame is bulldozing black people’s houses as mayor, might be a racist. Shocking.

    1. *those* are the secret tapes? zzzzzz

      1. He demoted the city’s first black police chief to protect white officers from being diciplined for racist statements that showed up on the tapes.

        1. well, they fail up over on the Left it will be interesting to see if this hits the mark … magazine cover Sunday, secret tapes Monday … love to watch from the front row

    2. I’m so anti-socialist that everything I see in the Democratic party breaks down in terms of pro-socialism and anti-socialism. The socialists will use anything and everything to knock non-socialists out of the race. I think that’s what Biden’s hair sniffing “controversy” was about, and I can’t help but wonder if that’s what’s going on here. If I’m reading that right, they’re not even saying that Buttigiegs said racist things on that tape–just that he ignored the racist things on the tape? The only thing I really care about is whether he’s a socialist like others in the Democrat field, what he says about the Green New Deal, what he says about Medicare for All, etc. The rest of it is all Steele Dossier shit to me.

    3. Black people weren’t going to vote for a homosexual, anyway.

  25. Are we still allowed to use HTML? Let’s find out…

    Starting quote from the article
    —-

    “To a large degree, the gap between perception and reality on the tax cuts appears to flow from a sustained—and misleading—effort by liberal opponents of the law to brand it as a broad middle-class tax increase,” write the Times‘ Ben Casselman and Jim Tankersley.

    —-
    Quote end.

    Or, more likely, people are just shit at noticing these things. The same thing happened back in Obama’s first couple of years, with tons of folks thinking their taxes were going up when they were going down.

    Being bad a noticing whether taxes have actually gone up or gone down isn’t a liberal/conservative thing, it’s just a human thing.

    1. So looks like italics still works, but blockquote is dead. Sadness.

  26. Also, the comments section needs more orange.

    Maybe people’s names should be in orange.

    1. Spoken like a true Trump puppet….

  27. So after redesign you still have this Roundup feature? Why not just a little blog-level entry on each part, so we can put the comments under each?

    1. They tried that with “Reason 24/7” a few years ago, and it failed miserably.

      The Reason Roundup, f/k/a the Morning Links, has been a staple of the site forever.

      1. Didn’t seem like a fail to me.

        But whether you call it AM/PM Links or Roundup, it’s still an inconvenient hodgepodge.

  28. Tax cuts to the masses?
    How revisionist can you get?
    What would Stalin say?

  29. my “taxes” went up but that’s because I was heavily utilizing one thing that got f’ed by tax law and one thing that got f’ed because of my recent income improvement, SALT and student loan interest deduction. The timing of both hitting at the same time was not good for my wallet. Oh well.

  30. Everyone in the media is focusing on tax refunds instead of overall rates. Reasonably intelligent people I talk to also focus on the refunds. I think it’s a combination of ignorance and a purposeful campaign to make Trump look bad. Politics as usual.

    1. I think it’s a combination of ignorance and a purposeful campaign to make Trump look bad.
      Nah. It’s just human nature. People didn’t really notice the small change to their regular paycheck because it’s small and, after a year, normal. But the refund check at the end of the year? That’s a big change, and they notice that.

      It’s not partisanship, it’s just how humans notice things. Same thing happened to Obama.

  31. […] gang talks this year’s tax-refund confusions, Democrats’ fuzzy tax math, Uncle Milty’s greatest #fail, presidential-candidate tax […]

  32. […] gang talks this year’s tax-refund confusions, Democrats’ fuzzy tax math, Uncle Milty’s greatest #fail, presidential-candidate tax […]

  33. When I did my taxes this year, I got a moderate refund. Last year I owed money. I know that my withholding went down with the new tax laws, so I decided to do a comparison. I paid about $2500 less in taxes this year to both the feds and the state, despite making slightly more money overall. But the small withholding reduction offset most of it.

    In the case of at least one of my friends, he thought that his taxes went up because his deductible expenses went down. But his overall tax burden was also less, it just turns out that he shouldn’t have been trying to itemize anymore. Once I straightened him out he was singing a different tune.

  34. […] gang talks this year’s tax-refund confusions, Democrats’ fuzzy tax math, Uncle Milty’s greatest #fail, presidential-candidate tax […]

  35. […] “To a large degree, the gap between perception and reality on the tax cuts appears to flow from a sustained—and misleading—effort by liberal opponents of the law to brand it as a broad middle-class tax increase,” write the Times‘ Ben Casselman and Jim Tankersley. Read More > at Reason […]

  36. […] of training to point out to customers that their overall tax bill probably went down. A recent New York Times noted that slightly less than 2/3ds of American tax filers payed less in taxes for 2018: “To […]

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