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December 10, 2017

Comments

Big cut in the corporate tax rate.
Big cut for pass-throughs.
Double the standard deduction, which will be a modest benefit for some folks, and a net increase in tax liability for others.

You left out the part where the bits that benefit individuals (outside the top 1%) all expire in 10 years. So it can be passed in reconciliation. But the corporate cuts are permanent.

Haven't heard a single conservative around here whinging about the tax bills difficult readability, compared to the 500-plus page ACA.

That's all true, but the bill is pretty simple, really. There's a lot of funky edge case crap to pull in the last few votes they need, but it boils down to this.

Several things.

First, it's too much work commenting here since T's election, with all the heads exploding daily if not hourly.

Second, the ACA was 2500 pages, not 500.

Third, 500 pages is still too long and who knows what other BS is buried in it.

Fourth, other than the corp tax rate, the rest of the bill is Red State punishing Blue State burden shifting. There was at least one element of this going the other way in ACA, excises on hunting and fishing equipment, albeit on a much smaller scale.

Fifth, it's stupid politically. The economy is doing fine, so priming--if the cuts can actually be shown to stimulate--is unnecessary. It's the kind of dumbassery I objected to in the Dem stimulus of 2009. It's just as bad now. But what is worse, when the inevitable market correction comes, what will be blamed? Republican tax cuts for the rich. So, stupid on steroids. Felony stupid. Tone deaf. Dumb.

Sixth, any claim to principle the Repubs might have once had is forfeited. Ditto their faux concern for the deficit.

Seventh, FWIW, on a personal level, my single largest deductions are property tax and imputed state income tax from states in which my firm does business. So, even with the reduction in marginal rates, my taxes go up slightly. I think the idea is to hammer taxpayers with combined incomes over 300K or so in Blue states. I don't know why Repubs think this is good policy much less the right thing to do, but it's the only reasonable inference I can draw.

What McKinney Said.

More broadly, there are a lot of elements of the final GOP tax bill on the corporate tax, especially international corporate tax, as Obama was proposing. A major difference being a 28% corp rate vs. 21% now.

Which is to say, there was room for some cooperative bipartisanship on this bill if the GOP wanted to take a more deliberative approach, instead we get this rushed, horrid process, which is completely unnecessary.

this rushed, horrid process, which is completely unnecessary

my theory about the process here (and even with the ACA-killer failure) is that the GOP strategists have come up with a new way to approach legislation. previously, legislatures would have taken some time to work on big bills like these. they would have at least pretended to invite the other team along; there would have been horse-trading; they would have had industry buy-in; they would have thought about the consequences of blowing through all of their "political capital"; maybe they'd listen to public input. all that democracy crap.

the problem with all that is that it takes time. and time tends to chip away at a majority - courts, members leaving unexpectedly / special elections, public opinion changing, imminent elections weighing on members' bravery.

so the play now is to take your new majority, get in a huddle, do a few cheers, and then come out blasting bills through as quickly as you can. don't spend months working on them. slap them together and get them voted on before anything can threaten to break your team's spirit or its majority.

make big plays, establish new baselines. any little problems your create in the process can be fixed down the road.

the national GOP's problem is that their Senate majority is too slim and they can't count on everyone to be a team player. if they had one or two more true team players, they'd be blasting the crap through as quickly as they can. instead, they have to deal with people who want to showboat.

but state GOP legislatures (NC, for example) have big enough majorities that they don't have to worry about weak team members.

 there was room for some cooperative bipartisanship on this bill if the GOP wanted to take a more deliberative approach

I have the distinct impression that avoiding any hint of bipartisanship has become a core requirement for the Congressional GOP. That is, they will refuse to do even things that they desire if the Democrats speak up loudly in support. Unless they already have unanimous support from their own caucus. Or maybe if the bill is required to keep the government open -- although for that they may feel it necessary to let things be shut down for a while first.

It's a reflection of the hyper-partisanship that has been growing across more and more of our society. We really do need to get over it. Preferably sooner rather than later.

"I think the idea is to hammer taxpayers with combined incomes over 300K or so in Blue states. I don't know why Repubs think this is good policy much less the right thing to do, but it's the only reasonable inference I can draw."

They hope to engender property, sales, and income tax revolts and bolster republican-led virulent anti-government campaigns, a la Howard Jarvis in California and Douglas Bruce's Tabor Amendment in Colorado, in all states, but blue especially.

This would shrink state and local government to the point where public sector unions would be sent packing just as private sectors unions have been, public schools would be utterly strapped and close, and drown the state-level babies of government in the bathtub so that when federal safety nets are farmed out to the states, the states can't afford them.

Devolve and drown and die.

Remembrance of Things Past is over 3000 pages. It's much more rewarding reading than Atlas Shrugged at just over 1100 pages in the first edition.

"with all the heads exploding daily if not hourly."

My head is on a ten-minute egg timer for its explosions.

Nevertheless, what McKinney said.

I can delay my next head explosion by half an hour.

First, it's too much work commenting here since T's election, with all the heads exploding daily if not hourly.

I hear ya.

What McKinney Said.

Pretty much.

The rumpcare Bill was 46 pages, or so I've read.

Death sentences tend to be short affairs in America, whereas keeping Americans alive seems to require endless pages of compromise, rationalization and small print.

This is not to say that Obamacare was/is not complicated.

I have the distinct impression that avoiding any hint of bipartisanship has become a core requirement for the Congressional GOP.

We owe so much to Newt.

I guess every great leader has those who prepare the way.

Heads exploding at a political blog do little harm.

Wait until actual explosions occur because working and middle-class Americans have been duped:

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/rural-areas-in-a-destructive-downward-spiral-no-matter-what-trump-says-2017-12-18?siteid=bigcharts&dist=bigcharts

Furthermore, any theories about repatriated corporate earnings boosting the fortunes of American employees have been roundly shot to Hell by nearly every corporate chieftain in just about every business publication I read.

I've made more money this year by holding the equity paper of corporations than I have ever made in a year working for a living.*

I haven't lifted a finger.

That's what I call productivity, suckers.

*I haven't made anything until I sell, of course, but it still feels better than being under constant onslaught by employers for the act of merely working for a living.

Here, try this. Money for nothin. Oops, too late!:

https://bigcharts.marketwatch.com/quickchart/quickchart.asp?symb=LFIN&insttype=Stock

Yup, Newt.

His is a head that needs to roll downhill into a basket, and will, rather than explode.

'Corker told IBT that he has only read a short summary of the $1.4 trillion legislation. “I had like a two-page summary I went through with leadership,” said Corker. “I never saw the actual text.” Despite not reading the bill -- and having time to read it before the final vote scheduled for this week -- he reiterated his support for the bill to IBT, support he announced hours before bill’s full text was publicly released on Friday.'

My head exploding is the least of the real-life explosions we need to worry about:

https://washingtonmonthly.com/2017/12/18/the-trump-administrations-use-of-kompromat-to-undermine-mueller/

Oh jeez, every day since the new Congress started the Dems and media have had a story about how the Congress couldn't get anything done. Now they are moving too fast.

This bill went a normal route through committee and has been discussed for months, years before that. The only rushing is last minute changes that happen with all major legislation.

This bill went a normal route through committee and has been discussed for months, years before that.

[citation required]

https://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2017/12/the-republican-tax-bill-will-send-more-jobs-overseas/

The economy is doing fine, so priming--if the cuts can actually be shown to stimulate--is unnecessary. It's the kind of dumbassery I objected to in the Dem stimulus of 2009.

Who agrees that The Economy was doing fine in '09 ?

--TP


I don’t really care about another trillion or so added to the deficit, except that this is now the reason that will be given for a wholesale attack on Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. I don’t think they even bother concealing it

And Marty, if you have evidence of thoughtful discussion of this tax bill it would be nice to see links. That is not the story I have read. I am open to the possibility the press has been biased, but doubtful. In the past they have bent over backwards to portray people like Ryan as serious policy wonks.

Who agrees that The Economy was doing fine in '09 ?

Some crickets, maybe.

That's a stunning thing - the idea that somehow the economy in 2009 was comparable to today's economy. But I recall Marty (not who you were responding to, I know, but same apparent amnesia) recently bemoaning the big deficits in Obama's early years, as though it were simply a matter of Obama being a spendthrift rather than something to do with *the near-collapse of the global economy*. Minor detail.

Who agrees that The Economy was doing fine in '09 ?

I think McK is arguing that the trough of the recession was in spring, '09 (as measured by NBER), and the ARRA was passed in Feb, '09 --so what good did it do? Of course, the path of the economy 2009-present absent the ARRA is unknown.

On another note, lengthy bills are not necessarily bad bills.

This bill went a normal route....so a bill that had no hearings is a "normal" route? That's good to know. This shall come in handy when the Democrats regain control and expropriate the expropriators, abolish private property, and institute pure communism!

I think McK is arguing that the trough of the recession was in spring, '09 (as measured by NBER), and the ARRA was passed in Feb, '09

The kind of dumb-assery I was referring to is partisan legislative gift-giving under the guise of public policy. The 2009 stimulus package was wasted boondoggling. I did not care for it then and I do not care for now. But I have no intention of re-litigating the stimulus bill. I am indifferent to left-wing cheering for the stimulus package just as I am indifferent to Republican cheering for the current legislative horseshit.

I am indifferent to left-wing cheering for the stimulus package just as I am indifferent to Republican cheering for the current legislative horseshit.

I'm not sure anyone is cheering the 2009 ARRA package so much as noting that stimulus was actually needed then, as opposed to now. I could go on about both the size and direction(s) of the stimulus in a not-very-complimentary way from my spot out here on the left wing.

Many comments submitted to the FCC in favor of repealing net neutrality were apparently fraudulent.

https://futurism.com/ny-attorney-general-stolen-identities-account-millions-net-neutrality-comments/

Ninaillingworth would irritate most people here ( she’s a radical who hates the Democratic Party), but this link has a lot of links to articles on net neutrality. I got the previous link from this piece.

https://www.ninaillingworth.com/2017/12/18/the-simple-truth-the-fcc-isps-are-attacking-free-speech-online/

The 2009 stimulus package was wasted boondoggling.

It paid for repaving route 128, which needed doing. Kept a bunch of folks busy doing it.

So, not all bad.

Two things, this bill was debated and voted out of the applicable committees in both houses. There have been committee hearings on the subject all year. And I already provided cites the last ti.e cleek asked.

Secondly, I was for a $3B stimulus package. And no I dont have to go back and "prove" it. I was, want to challenge me you do the work.

Secondly, I was for a $3B stimulus package.

Is that supposed to be a "T"? $3B would have been about 0.1% of the federal budget in 2007, not enough to make any significant difference.

Yeah trillion. Thanks

For McKinney, from wikipedia.

Since its inception, the impact of the stimulus has been a subject of disagreement. Studies on its effects have produced a range of conclusions, from strongly positive to strongly negative and all reactions in between. In 2012, the IGM Forum poll conducted by the University of Chicago Booth School of Business found 80% of leading economists agree unemployment was lower at the end of 2010 than it would have been without the stimulus. Regarding whether the benefits of the stimulus outweighed its costs: 46% "agreed" or "strongly agreed" that the benefits outweighed the costs, 27% were uncertain, and 12% disagreed or strongly disagreed.[2] IGM Forum asked the same question to leading economists in 2014. This new poll found 82% of leading economists strongly agreed or agreed that unemployment was lower in 2010 than it would have been without the stimulus. Revisiting the question about the benefits outweighing the costs, 56% strongly agreed or agreed that it did, 23% were uncertain, and 5% disagreed.

this bill was debated and voted out of the applicable committees in both houses

Including all the stuff hand written in the margins? Sounds like, if so, the Congressional infrastructure is in seriously bad shape.

There have been committee hearings on the subject all year.

False. The House bill was introduced on Nov. 2 and passed 14 days later.

bobbyp: "Holy crap, Marty, that was some storm we had yesterday! It came out of nowhere really fast."

Marty: Well, not really. We have been discussing the weather off and on all year, have we not?"

Sure, the first time anyone discussed it was the day the bill was introduced. No.

And then yes, it changed during debate on the floor, when people offered amendments and marked it up, like all legislation. Then, they went to conference committee and spent a few days cleaning it up and tomorrow they will vote on it. Aside from needing to pass it through reconciliation it was done pretty much through regular order. It at least went through the process.

They have all had time to read it NOW.

If the Dems want the individual tax cuts to be permanent all they have to do is come up with ten votes.

We need a hearing to determine exactly what Marty means by "the" individual tax cuts.

Oh, wait: we've been discussing the estate tax, cap gains, AMT, and top marginal rates for YEARS. Let's just vote.

--TP

There have been committee hearings on the subject all year.

committee hearings are not a bill. in fact there have been multiple bills, in two Chambers, with dozens of amendments, an uncountable number of scribbled markups. they're still working on it. they haven't been around for more than a couple of months, at the most.

pull the other one.

If the Dems want the individual tax cuts to be permanent all they have to do is come up with ten votes.

And if the Dems wanted to impeach Dumf, all they would need is to round up is maybe two dozen GOP Representatives and maybe a dozen or so GOP Senators, right?

You are lowering the bar of banality to dangerous levels.

Yes, but to make the individual tax cuts permanent they only need to get ten Democrats to vote for it. No reconciliation, tax cuts permanent. Political cover, but no Republican could be against it. Well maybe Corker for a minute.

Yes, but to make the individual tax cuts permanent they only need to get ten Democrats to vote for it

i suspect that the impediment there is that the (D)'s find the bill to be generally crap. so, not a great deal of motivation to vote for it for the sake of the one piece that is less crappy.

Marty, I'm explicitly asking you this time:

Which are "the" individual tax cuts you keep mentioning?

--TP

I suppose there probably was discussion of some parts of the
tax bill

https://www.ibtimes.com/political-capital/senator-orrin-hatch-says-he-wrote-tax-provision-center-corker-controversy-2629922?amp=1&__twitter_impression=true

TP, specifically the ones set to expire that the Dems keep saying should not expire.

I saw a list last week but really, I'm not going to look it up for you.

If the ones set to expire were made permanent, social security wage tax bite reduced to 3%, estate taxes at 100% above $10M, eliminate the carried interest provision, and created a new tax bracket at 90% above $1M, why the GOP would only have to corral 15 Dem votes to override a Strump veto.

What's holding the GOP back?

Well bobbyp, that would be the Dems. Getting votes from the other party is not the same as getting votes from your own party for something you supposedly support.

Marty,
"Getting votes from the other party is not the same as getting votes from your own party for something you supposedly support." (emphasis added)

And thus the fun, whenever the debt limit needs raising.

meanwhile, this happened:

While nuclear deterrence strategies cannot prevent all conflict, they are essential to prevent nuclear attack, non-nuclear strategic attacks, and large-scale conventional aggression

what are "non-nuclear strategic attacks" and "large-scale conventional aggression"?

are there hostile armies massing on our borders? would hacking infrastructure be a "non-nuclear strategic attack"?

our potus, the crown prince of folly.

our potus, the crown prince of folly.

yeah. but her emails.

Are hearings scheduled in the tax bill for Merrick Garland's Supreme Courts appointment to replace serial harasser Clarence Thomas?

No?

Well then, fuck off.

I gots money coming to me, since I'm a shareholder, not a working prole:

https://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2017/12/ceos-are-already-spending-their-tax-cut-on-the-rich/

Not one fetus will be hired or receive a pay raise.

https://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2017/12/bride-of-tax-plan-by-bloggersrus.html

Getting votes from the other party is not the same as getting votes from your own party for something you supposedly support.

when did the Congressional GOP invite Dems to work with them to pass a "tax reform" bill through the normal (non-reconciliation) process?

Trump tried it. and the Congressional GOP's response was derision.

if the GOP actually wanted Dems involved, they could have. you know they didn't because they used the reconciliation process, which lets them craft a bill that only needs GOP votes to pass.

but, as always, we have to hold the Dems responsible for what the GOP does.

are there hostile armies massing on our borders?

You missed the part about how it's the US's job to deal with such events anywhere in the world that we choose to do so :^) My guess is that we're still 15-20 years away from a big enough majority of the US population being tired of that to kick the neo-cons out and start scaling our military back.

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/trump-administration-plans-temporary-shutdown-of-petition-function-on-whitehousegov-website-2017-12-18?siteid=bigcharts&dist=bigcharts

It might return in late January. The word "people" in "We The People" will be eliminated and replaced with "Monied"

None of this collectivist "we" stuff either.

My guess is that we're still 15-20 years away from a big enough majority of the US population being tired of that to kick the neo-cons out and start scaling our military back.

too many people are way too in love with the idea that the US should be the strongest military ever, always, for any real cuts to happen.

What cleek said.

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/sally-yates-pens-wake-up-call-to-trumps-america-without-ever-mentioning-his-name-2017-12-19?siteid=bigcharts&dist=bigcharts

Hey, I'll pile on.

$1.5T for a tax cut, but health care for kids might have to go.

Money quote:

For the $1.5 trillion dollars that they’re borrowing to pay for their tax cut, you could pay for 915 years of CHIP.

Of course, that's Wyden, and he's shrill.

I don't hate (R)'s, I don't think they're any more or less evil than the run of the mill of humanity. But I have a profoundly different understanding of what it means to participate in a polity than they do.

At the national level, the (R)'s as a party appear to embrace Margaret Thatcher's pronouncement that there is "no such thing as society". There is no cohesive political entity where participation implies any mutual obligation, or any responsibility for each other's well being.

If you have money, it's your money, you owe no-one else a thing. If you're fortunate, good for you, if other folks are not that's their problem.

Let private charity address it. Or, even better, let poverty and misfortune be the goad that gets people off of the freaking asses so that they take care of themselves.

It's a point of view that I find brutal and repellent. So, I'm against it. Have been, am now, and will continue to be.

I don't wish the (R)'s ill personally, but I consider their program to be profoundly harmful, and look forward to their being out of power. Frankly, I look forward to their being, politically speaking, crushed, plowed under, and the ground where their corrosive ideology is buried sown with salt so that it never raises its head to the light of day again.

Enjoy your tax cuts, everyone, assuming you get one.

Sally Yates:

Not only is there such a thing as objective truth, failing to tell the truth matters. We can’t control whether our public servants lie to us. But we can control whether we hold them accountable for those lies or whether, in either a state of exhaustion or to protect our own political objectives, we look the other way and normalize an indifference to truth.

what if we look the other way and see tax cuts ? the GOP and its attendant cult knows which way it wants to look.

russell: I don't hate (R)'s, I don't think they're any more or less evil than the run of the mill of humanity.

The run of the mill of humanity believes (among other things) that we have to do something about climate change, so let's assume the run of the mill of humanity looks at us Americans and wonders how in hell we tolerate the (R)'s in our midst.

--TP

https://www.thedailybeast.com/trump-is-americas-first-lawless-president?via=newsletter&source=DDMorning

Russell,

I don't hate (R)'s, I don't think they're any more or less evil than the run of the mill of humanity. But I have a profoundly different understanding of what it means to participate in a polity than they do.

.....


I don't wish the (R)'s ill personally, but I consider their program to be profoundly harmful, and look forward to their being out of power. Frankly, I look forward to their being, politically speaking, crushed, plowed under, and the ground where their corrosive ideology is buried sown with salt so that it never raises its head to the light of day again.

I don't wish them ill personally either, but that's about as far as I'm willing to go. I think they are a gang of fools, knaves, and liars, who are doing serious damage to the country and are either oblivious or just don't care as long as they and their donors get theirs.

So, taken as a group, I do think they are evil. These are people who, among many other things, wanted to tax graduate students, and schoolteachers, but not billionaires' kids. Real estate developers, and those making $500K+ get the big breaks, and scumbag Ryan again puts Medicare and CHIP and Social Security in his sights, to pay for them. That's one individual it's hard not to hate.

Couple of republican assholes get married and someone agrees to put whatever they want on their wedding cake/cookie:

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/restaurant-owner-apologizes-for-trump-jr-ted-cruz-obama-cake-photo

Plus it's a bi-racial marriage ... a Canadian/Cuban Dreamer and, if I'm not mistaken, a white man impersonating a black man.

I mean, isn't rump jr attempting a lame "spook" grin there, like the black actors in old Abbott and Costello movies from the 1940s who only part in the films was to howl, wide-eyed like they was asceared, as he peers down at Obama's likeness in icing.

I don't get it.

Republican politicians at every level of government, their billionaire paymasters, their right-wing media liars, their right-wing think tank policy shitheads, all of them sadists toward the sick and the poor and the snowflakes who give a shit, and the NRA that arms all of the above, wish everyone besides themselves ill and harm with every utterance they make and every vote they hold and every vote they disallow.

rump ordered his thugs to do physical harm to folks just like us at political rallies.

They hates them RINOs something fierce.

They show up at every political rally and town meeting held by anyone to the left of Himmler with weaponry expressly designed to kill their enemies.

Listen, it's going to be a little difficult getting this Civil War into the hot zone with all of this good will toward men.

As Abraham Lincoln, that great hater who destroyed Southern gentility for no good reason, 'cept preserving the Union and maybe ending slavery, said about his cautious top General, George B. McClellan:

"If General McClellan isn't going to use his Army, I'd like to borrow it for a time."

Among cold-blooded killers, Ryan has that winning smile as he contemplates murder.

It's his enjoyment of the entire thing that makes me hate his guts and to wish his children ill.

too many people are way too in love with the idea that the US should be the strongest military ever, always, for any real cuts to happen.

I have a standing bet that by Jan 1, 2040, it will be clear that the US will not have the capability to mount an Iraq-like operation (ie, invasion and badly-done occupation of a country of 25M people) outside of the Western Hemisphere. Even bombing the snot out of such a country without permission from whoever the dominant regional power is will be difficult.

Once it's clear that's the state of affairs, the American people aren't going to continue to pay for 11 carrier strike groups or 2200 F-35 replacements.

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/12/19/heres-how-the-final-gop-tax-bill-would-hit-your-wallet.html

https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/foreigners-would-gain-billions-under-gop-tax-plan/ar-BBH18Su

Hillbilly fetus dupes came up empty-handed.

Flyover got flown over.

If only the heartland had a brain.

are there hostile armies massing on our borders?

Russell, you know that's a really, really silly question. What do you think we are building that wall for???

Yes, but to make the individual tax cuts permanent they only need to get ten Democrats to vote for it. No reconciliation, tax cuts permanent. Political cover, but no Republican could be against it.

I've got 10 bucks says that the Republicans in Congress would absolutely be against it. Because, you know, the deficit -- they would only support this if it was tied to massive cuts to entitlements. Anybody going to let me win a sucker bet today...?

PSA: If you itemize (or would if you took this suggestion) and can swing it, pay your 2018 property taxes (or whatever portion you can) before the end of 2017 so you can deduct them this year (keeping in mind limitations on any tax credits you may be receiving).

russell @12.33: Seconded, thirded even (to quote Snagglepuss).

rump ordered his thugs to do physical harm to folks just like us at political rallies.

Yeah, well I'm not them and am not interested in being like them.

They show up at every political rally and town meeting held by anyone to the left of Himmler with weaponry expressly designed to kill their enemies.

Sucks to be them. If I was that fearful I'd look into going on some kind of medication.

Listen, it's going to be a little difficult getting this Civil War into the hot zone with all of this good will toward men.

I'm not interested in shooting people over tax policy. I just want them to stop making crappy tax policy.

What do you think we are building that wall for???

LOL.

Hostile armies are massing on our borders. They want to invade and pick our vegetables for $10 an hour.

We have always been at war with the 1st Armored Aztec Veggie Picker Division, amirite?

What do you think we are building that wall for???

LOL.

Yeah, I was laughing as I wrote it. But seriously, am I wrong about how Trump and his fans see things? I wish I was, but I sure wouldn't bet the ranch on it.

HSH - I think they banned that particular maneuver.

HSH - I think they banned that particular maneuver.

Under the bill? Where'd you get that?

A tax question here:

Suppose Apu Nahassapeemapetilon clears $100K/year from running his Kwik-E-Mart, and Moe Sizlack clears $100K/year from running his bar. (Never mind where Homer gets all that money.) Neither Moe nor Apu qualify for reduced rates on their "pass-through" income because, as I understand the GOP tax scam, they do not employ other people.

Now suppose that Apu sells the Kwik-E-Mart to Moe, and Moe sells the bar to Apu; they continue working at their current jobs as each other's employees. Each of them pays the other $50K in wages, and pockets $50K of "pass-through" income.

Could Lionel Hutz make a good case (for once) that they now both qualify for reduced rates on that second $50K? After all, it's "pass-through" income from a "small business" that has "payroll".

Aside for providing gainful employment to Lionel Hutz, how does this sort of tax "simplification" grow The Economy or make Homer better off?

--TP

If nothing else, this bill should bring full employment for CPAs and tax lawyers.

So, an upside.

HSH - I think in the bill, yes.

Tony P - that might work, but would be subject to challenge.

Russell - yep, if I were in law school, I would start taking as many tax courses as possible.

I've got 10 bucks says that the Republicans in Congress would absolutely be against it.

Certainly the right extremists would, and they would defect (goodbye filibuster override), ending Marty's cynically sarcastic suggestion for the Dems to essentially surrender to GOP terms wrt 'tax cuts' for those middle class volk.

Personally, I'd rather see wages go up, because that would raise both living standards and tax revenue. You'll never get there handing rich assholes more money, because they will squander it on fake art, slow race horses, and self-destructing financial toys....give to workers you say? Are you 'effing nutz?

Ugh, I just looked for it, and it appears that SALT are mentioned as being distinct from property taxes. I’m going to look into it further, because I’m fully prepared to borrow the money for my 2018 property taxes (NJ - $10k+).

This CNBC article says no prepaying of either:

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/12/18/prepaying-2018-state-income-taxes-is-blocked-in-gop-bill.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/18/business/how-prepaying-state-and-local-taxes-could-save-you-money.html

Excerpt:

Property Taxes

While the writers of the final bill had the opportunity to prohibit prepayment of local property taxes, they did not do so.


Actually it doesn't quite say that.

I actually read the CNBC article first and thought it was vague. It’s explicit about SALT, but mentions property taxes without definitively saying you can’t pay them early.

Sorry HSH, looking at the explanation of the Bill it does only refer to SALT income taxes, not property taxes.

Don't forget the individual AMT is still in effect for 2017, in case that impacts your itemized deductions.

I’m not fancy enough for ATM. I only pay as high of property taxes because of the state I live in. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I’m house-poor, but I’m certainly house-constrained.

In any case, I’m waiting until the thing passes before doing anything. Fortunately, I can move rather quickly thereafter.

I don't wish the (R)'s ill personally

I do but not the same amount for each and every one of them. Let's start with a non-treatable itching skin rash for the lighter cases going up to (non-lethal but also incurable) necrotizing fasciitis for the leaders of the band. And permanent birth pangs grade pain for The Newt (and may he reach 100 years of age with it). Locked-in syndrome should be the proper fate for The Donald.
We should all start to regularly deposit some of these: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curse_tablet (best in the water coolers at their offices)

Dragging us, kicking and screaming, back to the original topic. We have an election result:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/virginia-politics/democrat-wins-va-house-seat-in-recount-by-single-vote-creating-50-50-tie-in-legislature/2017/12/19/3ff227ae-e43e-11e7-ab50-621fe0588340_story.html?utm_term=.915b8f690d72

In Virginia's back in the beginning of November, the final recount has resulted in a seat in the House of Delegates being decided by a single (1!) vote. And, in turn, leaves the House of Delegates with an equal number of Democrats and Republicans.

A single vote! Something to ponder, the next time you are contemplating writing in someone to send a message (as opposed to because the candidates really are equally terrible).

Here you go HSH:

https://twitter.com/RichardRubinDC/status/943294135716458497

follow link to WSJ article in there if you can.

"We should all start to regularly deposit some of these: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curse_tablet"

Or just do an "Arya Stark", and repeatedly recite the names; their fate, unspeakable.

I am waiting to see if (and perhaps already if) Schumer raises a point of order that a bill came out of the conference committee, and the House voted on it, and the Senate didn't consider that bill which would have died because it didn't conform to reconciliation rules. At the least, it would force the Republicans to admit that they are in such a hurry that they are willing to play fast and loose with the rules.

Thanks, Ugh. From WSJ:

Tax specialists are also urging many clients to pay the balance due of 2017 state income taxes before Jan. 1 and to consider paying 2018 property taxes that will exceed next year’s limit.

This is a not-so-great thing to tell people. It doesn’t matter if your property taxes exceed $10K. If you aren’t going to itemize next year because you won’t exceed the standard deduction, there is no tax benefit in paying next year’s property taxes next year in any amount, but there very likely will be in paying that same amount before the end of this year (as your 2017 final tax is concerned).

And, really, that’s part of the ruse in the so-called compromise in allowing up to $10K in local, state, and property taxes to be deducted. Once you’ve capped it at that amount, and given the increased standard deduction, it’s irrelevant to the vast majority of people.

russell: I'm not interested in shooting people over tax policy.

I've been thinking this over since I read it, and I have to say:

1) Neither am I; and
2) Neither russell nor I are Patrick Henry material.

OTOH, "tax policy" is practically the whole ball game in a civilized society. "Tax policy" can have life-or-death consequences for flesh and blood humans. It can make the difference between social mobility and entrenched aristocracy. It can distort Society as well as The Economy.

At some point, patriotism can in fact require "shooting people". But you need guns for that, and the Americans who own the guns tend to be the suckers who back the crooks who pull off the tax heists.

--TP

It can distort Society as well as The Economy

I would say it already is, and has, distorted society.

What I generally see in our history is that great advances are usually not made by force of arms. there are exceptions, but as a rule we've done better by other means.

I'm not really a pacificist, and I recognize that there are situations where folks have to, literally, fight. I don't see this as one of those situations.

But, Russell, the real question isn't whether you (or I) think it's worth fighting over. The question is whether it is reasonable to suspect that some significant portion of the population will reach the point where they do think it is.

And there is, I think, some cause to think that might happen. Probably not enough to come close to anything anyone would consider a successful revolution. But enough to make an enormous mess.

Sweet Home New Jersey:

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/republicans-tax-bill-worsens-their-2018-suburban-crisis

"I'm not really a pacificist, and I recognize that there are situations where folks have to, literally, fight. I don't see this as one of those situations."

That pretty much sums me up too. The real me. The fake news me, though, is convincing the real me that we are approaching a situation here where I question the fundamental legitimacy of the thugs governing me and the tax bill is one mere element.

I'm beginning to think the very act of these ilk governing me is a capital crime and they should stop if they know what's good for them.

I don't want to play the America game anymore, especially given the fact that a couple of Presidential elections in this century have stolen my electoral franchise, and a third .... the 2012 election of Obama ... was basically and illegally reversed by crooked Congressional rule finagling to thwart the norms of Supreme Court Judge selection.

In any other area of life, like say a baseball game, when the rules are fucked with so blatantly, we fight and the game is canceled on account of danger to the public.

But it's a funny sort of attitude, this reticence over violent change, for citizens of a country forged in its birth through savage violence over tax policy and refreshed during the Civil War and various rebellions.

I'm not in favor of violent change, but neither am I afraid of it at my age, but the opposition seems to think its part and parcel of how America works, given their waving around of the Second Amendment to threaten watering the tree of Liberty every two years and four years.

I do but not the same amount for each and every one of them. Let's start with a non-treatable itching skin rash for the lighter cases going up to (non-lethal but also incurable) necrotizing fasciitis for the leaders of the band. And permanent birth pangs grade pain for The Newt (and may he reach 100 years of age with it). Locked-in syndrome should be the proper fate for The Donald.

I have to say, and not for the first time, I have a lot of sympathy for Hartmut's baroque ideas of karma/retribution.

The only problem with locked-in syndrome for rump is that he would remain shifty-eyed.

we are approaching a situation here where I question the fundamental legitimacy of the thugs governing me

between voter suppression and gerrymandering, IMO this is a legitimate complaint. not to mention two presidents within 20 years who failed to win the popular vote.

I'm fine with preserving the rights of the minority. I'm not fine with minority rule, which is what we have now. We need to figue out how to square that circle.

Lately I feel like I'm putting up with horrendous BS for the sake of not breaking important stuff. That approach has a certain shelf life - at some point, the "important stuff" becomes "the stuff that is no longr working".

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