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December 01, 2017

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On the scoring that the CBO always used to use, the deficits are substantially worse. But that methodology, used on behalf of both parties over the course of decades, simply wouldn't give the answers needed. So the CBO was instructed to use a different method this time. It did give much more favorable answers . . . just still not favorable enough to support the bill without expirations on all the cuts for individuals.

Last year, when the US had a sane president, Republicans were telling us what a terrible thing the budget deficit was.

This year we learn that they misspoke, and that increasing the deficit is a good idea because increasing it doesn't increase it, because dynamic scoring.

It's true of course that any sort of static increase in government deficit will be smaller dynamically, because of (Keynesian) multiplier effects, so long as the resulting government debt is not too scary. It's also true that cutting taxes on the rich has the lowest multiplier, and so the smallest difference between dynamic and static effects, because rich people are the least likely to recycle additional income in the domestic economy.

But economic theory is irrelevant. The only explanation that makes sense of what Republican politicians do is that their primary motive is to make rich people richer.

No wj, they don't explode the deficit with dynamic scoring. Only by the CBO scoring which is used for reconciliation.

The Joint Committee on Taxation -- ie, the tame experts of the House and Senate Republicans -- says that with dynamic scoring the cuts add $1T to the deficit over ten years. The only folks claiming no increase in the deficit assume growth rates that haven't been seen since the years following WWII, when manufacturing outside of the US had all been bombed out of existence. Most of them also assume that productivity gains will show up in wages below the SS cap, which hasn't happened since the mid-1980s.

I'm a numbers guy. I also understand that the vast majority of voters are not numbers folks. When McConnell goes out in public and says that the tax cuts won't increase the deficit, I want an asterisk that points to the assumptions.

The only explanation that makes sense of what Republican politicians do is that their primary motive is to make rich people richer.

No, Pro Bono, I don't think that's quite it. They don't mind if their actions make rich people richer, mind. But their motivation is to make rich Republican donors richer. One or two have been so clumsy as to actually say so explicitly.

https://washingtonmonthly.com/2017/12/02/the-gop-tax-bill-reparations-for-the-rich/

One move Marty needs to report to us is his dropping out of his Obamacare health care plan and going with an individual plan in the private marketplace, since he will no longer be required to pony up the abomination of the individual mandate penalty for going without.

I''m interested in hearing the rates and coverage available given whatever pre-existing conditions may unfortunately persist.

Also, my preferred method of cutting the first $25 billion tranch of Medicare expenditures, more to follow annually into perpetuity, to enable the return of Orrin Hatch's tax dollars, after he has made a career of stealing income and medical care from the taxpayer by virtue of his chosen profession, is to name specific conservatives of al walks of life and in me level who reach age 65 and deny them entry into the Medicare program, no exceptions, thus relieving them of the stress of living out their lives as leeches on Ayn Rand's and Grover Norquist's ample backsides.

Maybe there could be a special insurance pool established for these folks, which would, for exorbitant fees and deductibles, make any life-saving medical procedures beyond financial reach but provide them tickets to the annual Republican Pigfuckers Ball at Mar-a-Lago, but they would have to enter through the freight service entrance, services to be specified later.

iPad auto correct errancies.. Make up whatever terrible insults you wish as replacements.

Simply, all the tax cuts will be permanent.

nice crystal ball ya got there.

Do Roy Moore and Donald Ump frequent the basements of any pizza joints, that you guys know of.

I'm thinking of paying a visit to investigate.

There are reports that Chuck Grassley and Orrin Hatch know of kids on the CHIP program who are sneaking a slice at pizza joints in their areas and have dispatched armed conservatives to investigate this alleged sodomy of the 1%.

The whole discussion is moot, the economy is likely to run North of 3% without the stimulation, so the growth assumptions are very conservative.

This is gibberish. If the economy will run "north of 3% growth without the stimulation" then why are we undertaking this exercise?

I don't have to believe big deficits are good.

You spilled a good deal of internet electrons trying to convince us not that long ago that deficits were "bad" under Obama, but now with a new (GOP) administration, they are no big deal. So....essentially more gibberish.

This is incoherence.

PS: Democrats who claim their hair is on fire about federal deficit increases due to this bill should be taken out and horsewhipped.

THE MESSAGE IS SIMPLE, FOLKS: MORE FOR THE RICH, LESS FOR THE REST OF YOU SUCKERS.

Burn it down. All if it.

wj's plaintive dreams of GOP "moderation" notwithstanding, this is the heart of the GOP message since the 19th century.

It is ugly. It is morally reprehensible. It needs to be utterly excised from our political discourse.

Grassley:

I think not having the estate tax recognizes the people that are investing, as opposed to those that are just spending every darn penny they have, whether it’s on booze or women or movies

i'm at a loss

wj's plaintive dreams of GOP "moderation" notwithstanding, this is the heart of the GOP message since the 19th century.

Certainly that "plutocrats forever!" strand has afflicted the GOP for a long time. Sometimes it has indeed been the predominant strand . . . and today is definitely one of those times. But I don't agree that it is the only part of the message, nor that it is necessarily the core.

"I think not having the estate tax recognizes the people who are investing, as opposed to those that are just spending every darned penny they have, whether it's on booze or women or movies."

Harvey Weinstein is a happy camper hearing that formulation, given his estate plan. However, unlike Grassley, who has done his sexy face fucking of little black boys via Luciane Goldberg's pimp service in D.C. all these decades, Weinstein apparently got the women for free and wrote the bubble baths off on his taxes.

Ump is claiming to close friends .. who, is another question, I mean what does the term close friend mean in the context of Ump, is it like Charles Manson referring to Squeaky Fromme as his close friend ,.. that Billy Bush is not a real person.

This according to Daniel Drezner.

The National Enquirer may buy Time Magazine.

Mad Magazine may reissue the Encyclopdia Britannica.

Professor Irwin Corey may purchase the National Science Foundation.

Pat Robertson is thinking about a version of Al Goldstein's Screw Magazine with centerfolds of Roy Moore (there is never too much Moore) revealing his
the labia folds of his all-female teenaged Bible study class.

Korean nukes look better all the time.

Nigel skrev :
rather a good article

Rather.

The world is getting strange very quickly.
But it was not completely unforeseen.

In Harlan Ellison's Dangerous Visions anthology, Philip Jose Farmer's novelette Riders of the Purple Wage takes place a long time after automation has eliminated the need for human labor, in a world in which most proles live contentedly on the more-than-adequate universal base income, the "Purple Wage".

Democrats and the Tax Plan ...Clintons, Obamas, and Pelosi are still rich and free

leader Chuck Schumer seemed less concerned that millions would be booted off their insurance than with the fact that Democrats weren’t able to reach an agreement on how best to carry out Republicans’ massive overhaul of the American economy.

“Tonight,” he tweeted, “I feel mostly regret at what could have been. Tax reform is an issue that is ripe for bipartisan compromise. There is a sincere desire on this side of the aisle to work with the GOP, particularly on tax reform, but we have been rebuffed, time and time again.”

...

Like I say, watch not what they say, watch not what Democrats do, watch what happens.

I am not going to compete with the Count to get the Feebles attention, but Hatch and Grassley were able to vote for their tax cuts.

Could they have been stopped? Of course they could have been stopped. They're still alive.

Should have omitted the last sentence. There are many steps before that, but Grassley and Hatch could have been stopped. Fact.

Like I say, watch not what they say, watch not what Democrats do, watch what happens.

Current reading among others, Hayden White, Metahistory

"For however much these individuals discover their aims in their own resources, it is for all that not the freedom or lack of it in their souls and intelligence, but the accomplished end, and its result as operative upon the actual world already there, and essentially independent of such individuality which constitutes the object [of study] of history." ...Hegel

Huh. And from Hegel to Marx.

History is Drama, the accomplished end independent of individuality,

the thing done.

Could they have been stopped? Of course they could have been stopped. They're still alive.

i'm not sure murder is permitted under Senate rules.

It's also true that cutting taxes on the rich has the lowest multiplier, and so the smallest difference between dynamic and static effects, because rich people are the least likely to recycle additional income in the domestic economy.

I’d like to ask Grassley to explain what the term “velocity of money” means. And how are the liquor-store owners, movie-theater owners, and women (???!!!) supposed to get their $11M?

Should have omitted the last sentence.

yes, please.

i'm not sure murder is permitted under Senate rules.

what we need is an app that combines an auction capability with a crowdsource funding model.

you and a few hundred thousand of your closest friends can bid for your senator's or house rep's vote. direct democracy and market dynamics all wrapped up in one!

at least it would give us a fighting chance against plutocratic money.

rake 20% off the top and the federal budget problems go away.

if we're gonna be the united states of money, at least give everyone a place at the table.

Here come the lawyers...

The president cannot obstruct justice because he is the chief law enforcement officer under [the constitution’s Article II] and has every right to express his view of any case

John Dowd, attorney for Donald J Trump. Also, self-described author of the "I fired him because he lied to the FBI" tweet.

Get out yer bullshit shovels, here we go.

The funny thing is that I could completely believe that Trump had clean hands, or at least sufficiently clean-ish hands, but ends up implicating himself because he simply cannot shut the hell up.

Character is fate, said Herodotus. We'll see how it turns out.

The president cannot obstruct justice because he is the chief law enforcement officer under

la loi est moi

I look forward to reading the explanation of why Bill Clinton (and perhaps Richard Nixon) could properly be charged with obstruction of justice, but Trump cannot.

look forward to reading the explanation of why Bill Clinton (and perhaps Richard Nixon) could properly be charged with obstruction of justice, but Trump cannot.

Duh. IOKIYAR. The Democratic-majority House didn't know that in 1974.

Democrats and the Tax Plan ...Clintons, Obamas, and Pelosi are still rich and free

Yeah, but they didn't write it. And show no signs of supporting it, regardless of whether they stand to benefit from it.

Or are you arguing that anyone who stands to benefit from something financially must necessarily be a supporter? Because I, for one, am not. Just like I benefit from capital gains being taxed at a substantially lower rate, but feel rather strongly (and have argued here, as I recall) that there is no reason to tax them any different than any other income.

As for Grassey saying that he thought some agreement could have been reached on tax reform, nobody (except tax accountants and advisors) disagrees with the idea that our tax system needs serious reform and simplification. Grassey may be wildly optimistic about what might have come out of it. But nobody, including you and I, know what might have. We can be pessimistic about what could have managed to get bipartisan agreement, but that's pure speculation at this point.

The chief law enforcement officer comes out in favour of molesting teens:
https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2017/12/president-trump-endorses-roy-moore-finally.html

You are officially now a banana republic.

OF COURSE Trump is in favour of molesting teens.

Hasn't he said as much, about his own daughter, in her younger days?

Whatever you say about Moore, he hasn't been accused of wanting incest.

Baby steps, Republicans, baby steps!

Oh wait, maybe that's the wrong thing to say...

remember when "conservatives" cared deeply about the morality of politicians?

2015 was such a strange and baffling time.

I’d like to ask Grassley to explain what the term “velocity of money” means.

That is the speed at which the money goes from Grassley to the prostitute to the pimp to the liquor store.

if we're gonna be the united states of money, at least give everyone a place at the table.

the stupid party excels at stupidity:

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/12/senate-gop-accidentally-killed-all-corporate-tax-deductions.html

Eventually, he came upon the corporate alternative minimum tax (AMT). At present, most corporations face a 35 percent (statutory) rate on their income. But by availing themselves of various tax credits and deductions, most companies can get their actual rates down far below that figure. To put a limit on just how far, the corporate AMT prevents companies from paying any less than 20 percent on their profits (or, more precisely, on the profits that they fail to hide overseas).

The GOP had originally intended to abolish the AMT. But on Friday, with the clock running out — and money running short — Senate Republicans put the AMT back into their bill. Unfortunately for McConnell, they forgot to lower the AMT after doing so.

This is a big problem. The Senate bill brings the normal corporate rate down to 20 percent — while leaving the alternative minimum rate at … 20 percent. The legislation would still allow corporations to claim a wide variety of tax credits and deductions — it just renders all them completely worthless. Companies can either take no deductions, and pay a 20 percent rate — or take lots of deductions … and pay a 20 percent rate.

Well, at least that reduces to zero the chance that the House will just pass the Senate version. ;-)

I do wonder what they will do to fix the AMT thing.

But it's not a hard fix, only $40B over 10 years, which could be plugged by making the final corporate rate 20.5%, or only increasing the estate tax exemption by 50% rather than 100%.

but yes, perfect example of a sh1tty process producing a sh1tty bill and an abundance of unintended and "unintended" consequences.

It also makes one ask, what else is lurking in the hand-written scribbles? You just know that this won't turn out to be the only thing, even if it is the biggest.

now that they've passed it, they can finally sit down and read it.

it's really the best way to handle the law that governs ~$4,000,000,000,000/yr of federal tax receipts.

and I have to note the headline of that article is false; corporate AMT applies to certain credits and preference items, not all deductions a corporation might take.

It also makes one ask, what else is lurking in the hand-written scribbles?

I like Murkowski's exemption for cruise ships that dock in Alaska. Only the ones that dock in Alaska.

This reminds me of the big fun back when the Department of Homeland Security was first set up. Remember the "potential terror target" designation for Old MacDonald's Petting Zoo in Woodville AL? Or the Amish Country Popcorn Factory in Berne IN?

They hated us for our popcorn.

It's gonna be good for a few laughs, anyway.

I forgot Mule Day and "Beach At The End Of A Street".

Let pork roll down like waters, and boondoggles like an ever-flowing stream.

I, for one, look forward to a bright technological future, in which a massive tax bill, passed with little examination in the middle of the night, can be turned over to an AI for analysis and explanation; taking into account all the weird last-minute corrections and punctuation anomalies.

"HAL-9000, please analyze this tax bill"

"You must be shitting me, Dave"

It's hard to know what the worst feature of the bill is. They are all terrible.

And Marty, I believe the $1 trillion figure is after some dynamic scoring. You know, that doesn't just mean you get to make up whatever numbers you want.

The deficit is going to grow dramatically, and economic growth is not going to be north of 3% - no way nohow.

The bill is an abomination. It is an unforgivable giveaway to the GOP donor class, and anyone who voted for it or supported it ought to be shamed. That includes, I suppose about 90+% of republicans, including the allegedly "respectable, sensible" ones.

I suspect all of us. Much closer to 99% but since it feels like being on the other side of the ACA passage I completely understand how some of you feel. Things that are fundamental to our beliefs, that this will make everyone better off, you hate.

Marty,

If paying fewer dollars in taxes is the one and only thing that makes "everyone" better off, then you Republicans are wusses. Why not raise the standard deduction to $50K? Why not cut the corporate rate to 10%? Why not really CUT taxes?

--TP

If it was the only thing that will make everyone better off this would have passed in January.

The arguments just get less rational every day.

Okay, Marty, you rational person, you:

What else makes anyone better off? Does any kind of government spending figure into it, for instance?

--TP

Things that are fundamental to our beliefs, that this will make everyone better off, you hate.

Marty.

This makes me froth at the mouth. No. it will not make everyone better off. And that is not a question of "belief," or faith, or whatever. It is a matter of cold arithmetic, logic, and economics. It will make more people worse off than better of, and those who are made worse off will be those who can least stand it. It is an economically idiotic, mean-spirited piece of legislation that will go down as one of the worst tax laws ever passed in the US.


I know I'm being offensive, but anyone who truly believes this bill will "make everyone better off" is a fool. A complete fool who swallows whole the uncounted lies told to advance the "reform."

since it feels like being on the other side of the ACA passage

I'm sorry I missed the town meeting my Senators and Reps held about the tax bill. I would have liked to have participated in the discussion.

anyone who truly believes this bill will "make everyone better off" is a fool.

Marty has repeatedly said that he was looking for a tax cut from the (R) majority.

Fool or no fool, he got his tax cut. It'll probably put some $$$$ in his pocket.

LOL

Now this, my friends, is a man with serious chutzpah.

Maybe he just figures he'll be safer in jail.

It'll probably put some $$$$ in his pocket.

A bigger tax cut would have put even more dollars in his pocket. But the Republican wusses stopped short of raising the standard deduction to $50K, presumably because that would make "everyone" too much better off.

--TP

Chutzpah? Or just an inability (apparently not unique in those circles) to wrap his head around the idea that someone else might have two brain cells to rub together?

Considering the paper trails that these guys have scattered (widely!), they just can't grasp that their actions might have consequences -- even after everything that's happened.

This makes me froth at the mouth.

Hey, byomtov. Thanks for frothing aloud on many of our behalf. You do it much more gracefully than I do.

"Things that are fundamental to our beliefs, that this will make everyone better off, you hate."

When Lincoln had the presumption to utter those words in his First Inaugural Address, the Confederacy seceded and declared war.

sapient,

Glad to be of service.

I have to say I am long past the point of feeling the need to have civil discussions on these matters, as though we were talking about some issue where there are reasonable grounds for disagreement.

There are none. More important, my contempt for those who support GOP policies despite apparently having the brains to know better is ballooning by the day. I don't get it.

And it has little or nothing to do specifically with Trump. This bill is not Trumpist, it is bog-standard Republicanism. And it is awful.

Daniel Davies once pointed out that a policy that is sold with a bunch of lies is unlikely to be a good policy. That perfectly describes this bill. Self-financing! Huge growth! Wage increases! No more family farms sold off to pay estate tax!. More corporate investment!

Lie after lie after lie.

And then the attacks on the educational system. "Hey, you can't deduct those taxes you pay to support local schools." "Tuition waivers? taxable! We don't need no stinking graduate students. We want trust fund babies." Oh, and pass-through entities. Don't get me started.

I am as angry as I have ever been about a political issue. And I don't want to pretend that gee, "reasonable people may differ." No.

I am as angry as I have ever been about a political issue. And I don't want to pretend that gee, "reasonable people may differ." No.

Thanks. The monuments too. It's just a daily sick stomach, and it's taking a toll on my actual sanity, much less civility. I just hope that we can do something about it before everything is destroyed. I have to believe that we can, but I've pie filtered Marty - just can't talk to people with his take on things.

I feel like we need a baseline optimism to function. This weekend was really detrimental to that.

Things that are fundamental to our beliefs, that this will make everyone better off, you hate.

How will "your beliefs" as, say, opposed to mine, "make everybody better off?"

That seems to be kinda' the nub here.

And do I hate your beliefs? To put it charitably, the answer is, "Yes, pretty much."

But Bernard, the vast .majority of people end up with more deductions overall, so why is the specific property tax deduction a sacred cow? Or mortgage I retest, although it's in both bills? It doesn't purport huge growth, 1% more than the last ten years, the same as the last 30 before that. The assumptions in this legislation are pretty balanced to achieve multiple goals.

Lies? I don't see a one. And I have little patience for the name calling and insults at this point. But yes, it's bog standard Republican policy, debated in committee, in both houses, brought to the floor and appended pretty significantly.

Like it's supposed to happen.

You know, one could argue that the feds could simply confiscate all private property, split it up into 350m equal pieces, repeal all federal laws and regulations, give everybody a couple of free guns, and let the good times roll.

Only a very tiny minority would be "worse off" as a result.

The question is: Who would those folks be?

But what the hell, Why not give it a try?

"make EVERYBODY better off"?

Not even remotely true.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/11/30/republicans-are-selling-the-senate-tax-bill-with-two-big-pieces-of-misinformation/?utm_term=.b84d62a773f8

debated in committee, in both houses

provide dates of this so-called debate.

brought to the floor

well, you got me there!

and appended pretty significantly.

Not even remotely true. Handwritten lobbyist markups? You can't be serious.

But Bernard, the vast .majority of people end up with more deductions overall, so why is the specific property tax deduction a sacred cow?

go ahead and prove that this will do one fucking thing to "grow the economy". show your work.

I notice Marty is ignoring my question:
why did the wussy Republicans settle for such small tax cuts?

--TP

"And I have little patience with the name calling and insults at this point."

No one here brought up your or anyone else's wastrel drinking habits, expensive tastes in cheap women, or your out-of-control Netflix viewing expenses, all of which have prevented each of us from saving up an estate worth $5 million dollars, nor the trillions of dollars in tonsillitis surgery our children are costing Orrin Hatch and his sugar-Daddies.


No one here brought up your or anyone else's wastrel drinking habits, expensive tastes in cheap women, or your out-of-control Netflix viewing expenses

Here, well, ok. But Grassley did. He is an asshole.

As for insults...what is the rational response to an argument that is based on a string of unsubstantiated assertions?

Fundamental beliefs? Are we talking religion here? I must have my head up my fundament.

bobbyp: ... what is the rational response to an argument that is based on a string of unsubstantiated assertions?

Reductio ad absurdum. Which is to be distinguished from ridicule and contempt.

Ridicule and contempt are reserved for cases in which Socrates himself would throw up his hands and admit that you can't lead men to truth by asking them questions when they refuse to answer questions.

--TP

"As for insults...what is the rational response to an argument that is based on a string of unsubstantiated assertions?"

There are lots of those in this thread, I don't throw any out claiming if you don't believe them you're a fool and a dupe, no matter how I feel about them.

I would like you, cleek, to show me one shred of evidence they won't grow the economy. And don't give me the JTC, because they assume it will, just not by as much. Reasonable people disagreeing.

And Tony, really? I'm ignoring you? I was pretty sure the question was rhetorical. Because unlimited tax cuts WOULD explode the deficit. Do you have an actual argument?

bobbyp,

Four days of Senate committee debate

their own tax overhaul, which differs in substantial ways from the House bill. After four days of debate, members of the Senate Finance Committee voted ...
from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/16/us/politics/house-tax-overhaul-bill.html

And some back and forth on the House process http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2017/nov/22/john-larson/did-house-committee-bar-democratic-witnesses-gop-t/

I would like you, cleek, to show me one shred of evidence they won't grow the economy.

I'm not cleek.

But the answer is obvious: Kansas

Kansas under true-believer Brownback tried the ideological tax cuts and shrinking government, and when it didn't work, doubled down. Result: economic contraction, decay of essential services, chronic budget crises, out-migration of college graduates.

Now, a sovereign nation with fiat currency does not have the balanced-budget problem that a state has, but c'mon, Marty -- tax cuts are not an effective economic stimulus. Never have been. Supply-side economics is just wrong.

One can't even claim we haven't given it a good try: we have, in several US states and by several nations since 1980. It has never ever delivered the promised benefits. Not once. It's snake oil, a pack of lies promulgated by people who stand to gain from the policies themselves.

Kansas isn't even close to the same thing. And between 1980 and 2008 it delivered consistent and stable growth, rapid comeback from downturns, almost 100% growth in hourly compensation. All good things for America.

There is no evidence a different set of economic policies could have provided better results.

One more note. This:

Not once. It's snake oil, a pack of lies promulgated by people who stand to gain from the policies themselves.

Is simply propaganda. A mantra repeated over and over with no supporting facts. Mostly because, all things considered, there is almost no way to prove that any other policy would have created better results. So it becomes an attempt to get people to accept as an article of faith that it is bad.

"There is no evidence a different set of economic policies could have provided better results."

"It's snake oil, a pack of lies promulgated by people who stand to gain from the policies themselves."

These are nearly identical formulations.

In fact, snake oil salesmen who stand to gain from selling mystery elixirs have for ages whimpered the first statement as a defense to the charges contained in the second as they are transported out of town hog tied upside down to a plank and covered in tar and chicken feathers.

Why 76 trombones in the jamboree? Why not 311 trombones? Or twelve?

If nothing can be proven to be better than any number of alternatives, then why bother with the 50 laboratories of democracy, except for the opportunity to see how far whattayatalk can get you into the librarian's pants.

Maybe one state has prettier librarians than the other 49.

Yes, increasing the deficit will provide a modest boost to growth*. No, it won't pay for itself, nor anywhere near it. No, it's not a good idea to stimulate the economy by increasing the deficit at a time when growth is already comfortably positive - this is one thing Keynesians and Austrians can agree on.

Oh, and simplifying the tax code is a good idea. You could get Democrats to agree to that if you didn't insist on doing so much damage at the same time.

Marty, will you not be adversely affected in future by the Medicare cuts which will result from the increased deficit?

I would like you, cleek, to show me one shred of evidence they won't grow the economy

lol. you crack me up.

the economy is already growing at a very healthy rate; we're essentially at full employment; companies have been turning record profits year after year and they're pocketing the money because they don't see where they can make big investments with that money.

what is more money in the system going to do? well, it could raise inflation (which "conservatives" used to be deathly afraid of). it could pay dividends and stock buy-backs (which won't do anything for the overall economy, but will greatly please Wall St).

meanwhile, you're growing the deficit (which "conservatives" used to be deathly afraid of).

to increase corporate profits? why? what is that going to accomplish?

show your work.

Part of the problem is that we're discussing the tax cuts without explicitly using the word "distributional" when describing the nature of this particular tax overhaul. Yes, people have brought up supply-side and Wall Street and such. People have mentioned how tax cuts for people at the bottom of the economic ladder will phase out over time, eventually becoming a tax increase.

No, there is no compelling economic need to lower taxes in the aggregate right now, given how the economy is doing overall, and the tax cuts being proposed will not likely result in any benefit to those left behind by the recovery.

But, for a given aggregate-dollar tax cut, there are innumerable ways of distributing it. Under current conditions, certainly, tax cuts for the investor class or businesses working internationally will not provide the sort of stimulus that is supposedly needed.

What I want Marty to explain is why the tax cuts weren't very straightforwardly targeted to the people at the lower-income end. Why wouldn't simply raising the standard deduction or the personal exemption or lowering the rates on the lower brackets provide a greater economic stimulus than what is being proposed? Why is whatever increase in the deficit not going to the people who would most benefit from that additional money in their pockets and who would most increase economic demand with that money?

Lol indeed. Stimulus to ensure a reasonable growth rate that creates wage inflation and a broader based jobs recovery are things conservatives have always believed in. The pay for aspects of this are very conservative estimates, to borrow a word, and at that there would be increases triggered if it didnt, except no Dems, so can't do.

I love the consternation of the left that the growth might not pay for the stimulus to the tune of 1 trillion over 10 years, after adding 20 the last 8.

The goals are to enhance the competitiveness of our multinational corporations, reduce taxes on the middle class broadly, and simplify the tax code.

Check, check and check.

I am personally pleased at the last
minute add of addressing pass through income. It's about the only thing that impacts me directly, and I am not counting on it surviving.

The goals are to enhance the competitiveness of our multinational corporations, reduce taxes on the middle class broadly, and simplify the tax code.

Check, check and check.

work not shown, F.

I love the consternation of the left that the growth might not pay for the stimulus to the tune of 1 trillion over 10 years, after adding 20 the last 8.

You do recall what happened to the economy in 2009, right? And you do realize that the dollar figures aren't absolute, right? They are relative to what otherwise would happen in the absence of the tax cut. It doesn't mean that the debt will grow by only $1T or $1.5T, depending on who you ask. It means it will grow that much more than it would have.

That first sentence was Marty's and should have been italicized.

And, frankly, I'm not all that concerned about the debt, myself. But I would like to know why making it larger than it otherwise would be is so desperately needed and why those dollars are going where they are.

There's also the matter of hypocrisy on the part of erstwhile deficit hawks.

And between 1980 and 2008 it delivered...almost 100% growth in hourly compensation.

Cite?

And some corresponding information about the rise in the price of goods and services in that time period? Real estate? Cars? Gas? Bread and milk? A college education? Health care and insurance?

Kansas isn't even close to the same thing. And between 1980 and 2008 it delivered consistent and stable growth, rapid comeback from downturns, almost 100% growth in hourly compensation.

Bolds mine. 1980 - 2008 is an interesting choice of sample set.

Sam Brownback was elected governor of Kansas in 2011.

Also, on a personal note, a little over a year ago you informed me that my friends suck, they were terrible parents, filling their kids with hate. Because their kid was disturbed by Trump as POTUS.

Also, I was unhinged because I was disturbed by the acts of vandalism and harassment that followed Trump's election, in my community.

Conversely, my statement that Randian objectivism, in its political and social expression, was toxic, was pronounced, by you, to be "insulting".

Your sense of what is and is not offensive seems, to me, selective.

The tax bill will be good for some folks, not so good for others. It will be *consistently and unequivocally* good for US corporations, and for people who derive their income from pass-through entities.

Whether the benefits to corporations result in benefits to the population, broadly, remains to be seen. It might, but it's equally if not more likely that it will not.

The benefits to individuals mostly depend on whether folks itemize or not, and on what they itemize. And, those benefits may go away, and folks will end up worse off than they are now.

You insist that they will not go away, but we already have experience with bullshit workarounds introduced so that tax changes can be passed via reconcilation. Sometimes the workarounds go away, sometimes they don't.

The economy may grow at 3%. Or it may grow at 1%. Or it may not grow at all.

Or, it may grow, and the lion's share of the growth may go to a very small sector of the population.

Personally, I find the last the most likely. Growth per se doesn't equal a broadly distributed benefit.

Net/net, you have no freaking idea if the tax bill will be beneficial to "the middle class" or not. Claims that you do know, or can predict, are just you pulling stuff out of your butt. It depends.

What is not in question is that it will be extremely beneficial for corporations and the people who own them.

Is there an reputable economist anywhere who thinks a deficit-funded stimulus as a good idea at this stage of the economic cycle? Because it's contrary to all economic theory I've ever encountered.

Marty, you must be able to show me the economists I've overlooked, thanks.

and it should never be forgotten that the GOP is counting on the election of a despicable, deranged, theocratic, alleged child molester, Roy Moore, in order to guarantee that corporations make even more in profits and that churches can preach the religion of Republicanism.

the party of family values never fails to disgust.

Lies? I don't see a one.

I do.

The cuts will create so much growth there will be no deficit increase.
The US has the highest rate of corporate tax in the world.
The corporate rate cut will be a huge stimulus to investment. (Ask Gary Cohn about that one.)
The benefits will go to employees, not shareholders. (looked at the stock market lately?)
Estate taxes force the sale of family farms and small businesses.
The reform will cost Trump a fortune.

Oh, and as to GDP. Growth comes from two things : labor force growth and productivity growth. Labor force growth is not today what it was from the 60's through the 80's. That matters.

"Also, on a personal note, a little over a year ago you informed me that my friends suck, they were terrible parents, filling their kids with hate. Because their kid was disturbed by Trump as POTUS.
Also, I was unhinged because I was disturbed by the acts of vandalism and harassment that followed Trump's election, in my community."

Personally, I have been subjected to being called names here that make anything I said about you or your neighbors pale in comparison.

I suspect if you go back and read the end of the world comments from last year you could understand the reaction from people like me. Or not.

Net/net I agree, it depends, so all the name calling of people who support it is based on pulling things out of the name callers butt.

So I have no tolerance for being told I cant prove it will so I am some kind of evil monster for thinking it will, and it has.

Show my work? Thirty years of stable economic impact from supply side economics shows my work. The last ten of painfully slow growth based on whatever economic theory Obama might have embraced, which to me was neither beast nor fowl, certainly hasn't done the trick.

I am ok with trying something that worked before.

It is supposed to be good for corporations, that employ people and pay taxes and contribute to the overall economic health of the country.

Since the discussion has touched on the Kansas experiment, I offer the following bit of analysis to conservative cut-taxes-at-all-costs state legislators. This is based on my time on a state budget staff. It applies to a "typical" state, which most are.

Your state budget is about half general fund spending, half single-purpose spending. An example of single-purpose spending is your state's unemployment insurance program, which is a significant chunk of money [1]. Your general fund spending is, since you're typical, about 40% for K-12 education, about 25% for traditional Medicaid, then smaller chunks for human services, safety (mostly prisons), transportation, and higher ed. Speaking broadly, the spending cuts to balance your tax cuts will have to come from those "big six" programs.

If yours is a conservative enough state to allow cut-taxes-at-all-cost legislators to win the trifecta (both chambers of the legislature plus the governor), your Medicaid program is probably already operating very close to the federal minimums. Because of that, your choices don't include squeezing Medicaid just a little; it's leave it alone or drop it altogether. Dropping it altogether will get you killed because half of the money is going to support people's elderly relatives in old-folks homes.

If your goal is to reduce state government 20%, you can't do it even if you wipe out the "little four" entirely (35% of 50% is only 17.5% of your state budget). Additionally, some parts of human services are almost untouchable because of political blowback: services for the elderly and child welfare, for example [2]. If the roads fall apart too far, you're toast. If you release the prison population, you're toast. Higher ed? Well, there's a reason that higher ed funding fell dramatically after the 2007-8 recession, and has not recovered. OTOH, look at what happened when LSU suggested they might have to close their doors if Bobby Jindal's proposed higher ed cuts were passed. YMMV.

Yes, K-12 is heavily funded at the state level. Back in the 1960s everyone discovered that property (wealth) taxes high enough to support a uniform state-wide school system were a Bad Idea. Income or sales taxes were better, as was having rich districts prop up the poor ones. (A simple progressive consumption tax is probably best, but no one's tried that.) If yours is a lucky state, you have some way to tax people from other states for significant amounts of revenue: severance taxes on oil/gas/coal a la Texas and Alaska, hotel room taxes a la Florida and Nevada. Still, the Kansas lesson on K-12 spending has at least three parts: (a) the districts where you are strongest (ie, rural) are most vulnerable to state K-12 spending cuts, (b) even in rural states you need suburban votes to retain control and (c) when K-12 is cut far enough, suburban voters will abandon you. Oklahoma is currently running a repeat of the experiment and looks to be getting the same results. What I read suggests that NC is about two years from the point where we'll know about their suburban voters.

[1] Your UI is a joint state/federal program. Your UI taxes have to spent on UI benefits and administration. You don't have to have a conforming state UI program, but if you don't, federal taxes cut in and they're almost certainly a lot higher than your state tax, and employers in your state will spend what it takes to remove you from office and put in someone who will restore the UI program [3].

[2] Note also that nutrition assistance (SNAP, formerly food stamps) is a mandatory program. The feds fund it, but your state will have to staff it and maintain the computer system the staff uses to administer it. A minimal system costs at least $200M, plus annual maintenance fees.

[3] We had a legislator in my state who decided that abandoning the state UI program was a winning re-election plank and started pushing the idea in his stump speech. Two weeks later, the opening to the stump speech became, "I have heard from the employers in my district. I didn't understand how UI financing worked. What I was saying was dumb. The state UI program must be maintained."

Marty: And Tony, really? I'm ignoring you? I was pretty sure the question was rhetorical. Because unlimited tax cuts WOULD explode the deficit. Do you have an actual argument?

My question was socratic, not rhetorical:
" Why not raise the standard deduction to $50K? Why not cut the corporate rate to 10%?" I did not ask you about "unlimited" tax cuts; that's your straw man.

Your claim was that the GOP tax cut would "make everyone better off". You said that was your "fundamental belief", so I want to know how fundamentally you hold it.

Evidently, you oppose tax cuts that "WOULD explode the deficit". I ask, socratically again: how does "the deficit" make some or all people not-better-off?

Rhetorically, I ask:
I would like you, cleek Marty, to show me one shred of evidence they won't grow the economy Santa Claus doesn't exist.

And quite sincerely, I ask:
How will preferential treatment of "pass-through" income actually work in your case?
I'm not asking for personal info here. Just curious whether Sched C income counts as "pass-through", for instance.

--TP


Thirty years of stable economic impact from supply side economics shows my work. The last ten of painfully slow growth based on whatever economic theory Obama might have embraced, which to me was neither beast nor fowl, certainly hasn't done the trick.

Again, did you forget what happened to the economy before Obama took office? Is that your idea of stable economic growth? What universe are you living in?

Also, too, this:

https://www.cbpp.org/income-gains-widely-shared-in-early-postwar-decades-but-not-since-then-0

It is supposed to be good for corporations, that employ people and pay taxes and contribute to the overall economic health of the country.

The company I work for is doing everything it can to jack up profits, mostly at the expense of workers, in particular piling ever more projects onto people who are already overworked, and refusing to hire more help to get the projects done. Also refusing to spend a dime on other needed things, never mind the list.

And as far as I can tell, my company is one of the more humane ones. I am at the point where I start to gag when I hear about corporations and job creation.

I suspect if you go back and read the end of the world comments from last year you could understand the reaction from people like me. Or not.

Whatever, man. I can dish it, and I can take it.

I just find the sniffy complaints about the insulting tone here kind of... selective.

As far as end of the world, some kids in my community go to school and wonder if their parents will still be there when they get home.

End of the world? No biggie? All a matter of perspective.

Thirty years of stable economic impact from supply side economics shows my work.

As with the offense-o-meter, the definition of what economic impact is beneficial and which is not is highly selective.

Roy Moore, all that, plus a liar!

the GOP is a cult.

the GOP is a cult.

indeed

https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/trump-science-job-nominees-missing-150639114.html

Show my work? Thirty years of stable economic impact from supply side economics shows my work.

WTF is "stable economic impact" ?

The last ten of painfully slow growth based on whatever economic theory Obama might have embraced,

do you seriously think we're this stupid here? do you think nobody here is capable of figuring out that 2017 - 10 = 2007? do you think nobody here recalls that there was a severe economic shock in 2007, when Bush was President? and that that shock took years to climb out of ?

do you think nobody has ever seen this chart?

https://cdn.americanprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/07064306/LaborMarket_jan16_fig1.png

The last ten of painfully slow growth based on whatever economic theory Obama might have embraced...

Ten years ago, Bush was asleep at the wheel while Wall Street blew itself up. That was the effect of the economic theory that we should help rich rent-seekers get richer.

Obama managed to get the ARRA stimulus package passed in 2009 when it was most needed, to good effect. Since then the executive and legislature have been unable to agree on anything much, so no one has been responsible (or if you prefer, everyone has been irresponsible).

Again, can you please point me to the economic theory which says that a deficit-funded stimulus is a good idea at this point in the cycle?

Amusingly, the Heritage Foundation published a report in 2001 predicting that the Bush tax cuts would eliminate the national debt by 2010. If we're learn anything from that history, it's that:
- deficit-funded tax cuts or spending increases do not in normal circumstances pay for themselves, as elementary economics would tell you. (They may be justified in exceptional circumstances, see 2008-9.)
- supposedly temporary tax cuts or spending increases are politically difficult to reverse when the time comes. Marty is right that the cuts may well not reverse as planned. Which means that future deficits are likely to be larger than projected.


Thirty years of stable economic impact from supply side economics shows my work.

I seem to recall predictions from supply siders that Clinton's tax increases would result in economic disaster. And yet they were followed by a boom big enough that the Federal government ran its first surplus in half a century.

So maybe, just maybe, that economic view isn't quite as clearly accurate as you suggest.

Which means that future deficits are likely to be larger than projected.

which is why the proper response to any Republican who says the word "deficit" should be to point and laugh.

Marty,

Here is a nice summary of some of the smaller scummy provisions of the bill.

Oh, and if you are tired of being insulted don't say insult-worthy things, and don't support blatantly destructive policies.

The 1950s, with alleged backbreaking individual marginal tax rates, even for earners at the low end, unthinkably higher before JFK lowered the highest bracket to 70% were a long period of stable economic impact with stellar GNP growth by all measures.

John Boehner wept in rememberance, though that may have included remembering racial segregation in Cincinnati as well.

I'd post the charts and graphs for the 15th time in the last ten years, but fuck it.

There is no evidence that a different set of economic policies could have provided better results, so I'll follow Donald ump's best business practice of "you just tell them anything, and they'll be believe it".

The world is just one big pussy to the Republican Party.


hsh: the GOP is a cult.

indeed

https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/trump-science-job-nominees-missing-150639114.html (an article on the lack of credentials of Trump administration appointees to science jobs)

How could it be otherwise? If you insist that your people agree with views that conflict with well established science, you aren't going to find much in the way of credentialed experts.

Conyers resigns, while the RNC jumps in to spend money to support Roy Moore.

the GOP is a cult.

A Roy Moore spokespussy told someone or other today that we must take into consideration the women who HAVEN'T been molested by their candidate.

That seems a likely explanation for republican tax policy as well.

Or anything.

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