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Trump's Tax Plan

Discussion in 'Politics Forum (Local/National/World)' started by searcher, Sep 27, 2017.



  1. edsl48

    edsl48 Silver Member Silver Miner

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    A once good idea turns into the usual slop put forth by our legislators, Based upon this, Rubio's demand for an injection of welfare benefits n the bill and no telling what all is in the bill I hope it fails.
     
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  2. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    GOP, with tax bill finalized, makes its case to a skeptical public

    [​IMG]
    The Washington Post
    Jeff Stein, Mike DeBonis
    37 mins ago


    Republicans, confident they've found the votes to pass a massive tax overhaul, entered the next phase of their effort Sunday, attempting to sell the plan to a public that polling suggests is deeply skeptical.

    GOP leaders argued that the tax bill — the final version of which was unveiled Friday — is aimed primarily at helping the middle class, brushing aside nonpartisan analyses that show the bulk of the legislation's benefits would go to the wealthy and to corporations.

    “This is a very large tax cut for working families,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNN. He said some upper-income families, particularly in blue states, would actually see their taxes go up because of the reduction of the state and local tax deduction under the plan.

    The sales pitch is trying to turn public opinion in favor of a $1.46 trillion Republican bill that centers on a massive tax rate decrease for corporations and a dramatic reduction in the estate tax, which is paid only by a fraction of the wealthiest American families.

    Most Americans would see their overall tax burden reduced under the bill during its first few years of implementation, but the bill's long-term implications for the middle class are more complicated, depending both on an individual family's circumstances and decisions that won't be made for years.

    Most Americans would see their overall tax burden reduced under the GOP plan during its first few years of implementation, as it would reduce tax rates for every income bracket. But the size of those tax cuts will vary widely, due in large part to changes that the measure would make to the tax code's complicated system of tax deductions. It would double the “standard” deduction used by many middle-class taxpayers while also eliminating or reducing some other deductions frequently used by those who itemize their returns.

    The plan schedules many of these individual-side tax cuts to expire in eight years, though Republicans say they expect a future Congress to extend these cuts before they sunset and, as such, should be considered permanent.

    The bill would also raise revenue by eliminating a number of deductions and the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate, which the Congressional Budget Office estimates will lead to 13 million fewer Americans having health insurance a decade from now.


    Americans have been skeptical of the promises the GOP is making about the bill. Polling has consistently found approval ratings for the bill at below 35 percent, and a CBS poll from last week found that 76 percent of Americans believe its biggest benefits will go to the largest corporations.

    Congressional Republicans have started their uphill climb to persuade Americans otherwise, touting the broad benefits they expect as a result of the large corporate rate tax cut and dismissing claims that the bill will balloon the deficit.

    “We give everyone in every tax bracket a tax cut,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) said. “We're going to get the economy roaring back again, improve pay, increase jobs, and make America more competitive.”

    Confronted by a report from the International Business Times that some Republican lawmakers inserted last-minute changes that would personally enrich them, Cornyn said: “Our Democratic colleagues simply refused to participate in the process — we could have made it better if they had.”

    But not everyone is convinced, including members of their own party. “Do I think they could have done better for the middle class? I do,” Gov. John Kasich (R-Ohio) said on NBC's “Meet the Press.”

    While the tax debate has consumed Congress, there has been scant progress toward a spending deal. Current federal spending authority is set to expire at the end of the Friday, and a partial government shutdown will ensue if Congress does not act to extend it.

    House Republican leaders filed a spending bill last week that would temporarily extend funding for most government agencies at current levels until Jan. 19, while providing longer-term military funding at higher levels — $650 billion through Sept. 30. But that bill is considered dead on arrival in the Senate, where Democrats can block it because of the chamber's 60-vote filibuster threshold.

    To cut a long-term spending deal, Democrats are pushing for an equivalent increase in both defense and nondefense funding above the spending caps set under a 2011 budget agreement — one similar to agreements reached in 2013 and 2015 to raise the caps for the following two years. But bipartisan negotiations that have been open for weeks have yet to produce an accord.

    Democrats railed against the House GOP gambit last week. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), in floor remarks Thursday, called the proposal “a spectacle, a charade, a sop to some militant, hard-right people who don’t want the government to spend money on almost anything.”

    “And it is a perilous waste of time as the clock ticks closer and closer and closer to the end of the year,” he added.

    The spending talks are suffused with other issues. For instance, Democrats and some Republicans want legislation providing legal status to “dreamers” — immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children — to be attached to the year-end deal.

    Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) struck a deal with Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to provide subsidies for the Affordable Care Act health insurance marketplaces in return for her vote on the tax bill.

    The Children's Health Insurance Program expired Sept. 30, and states have been warning for weeks that coverage could be threatened if Congress does not reauthorize it soon.

    And a key surveillance authority used by U.S. intelligence agencies to monitor noncitizens abroad expires Dec. 31, prompting fears of a lapse in national security.

    Even if a bipartisan agreement is reached on some or all of these issues, the timeline is tight: The House is not expected to vote on its spending bill until Wednesday at the earliest, leaving little time for the Senate to take that bill, amend it, and send it back to the House. Any hiccup could mean a breach of the Friday shutdown deadline.

    http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/polit...ptical-public/ar-BBGSuiQ?li=BBnb7Kz&ocid=iehp
     
  3. edsl48

    edsl48 Silver Member Silver Miner

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    My current standard deduction = 12,700. My current exemptions = 4050 x2 =9100 for a total of 21,800 So the bill will be offering me an additional 24,ooo -21800= 2200 reduction in my taxable income benefits flow to the ones on the upper end since I don't itemize? MEanwhile wheelbarrow loads of benefits to the upper end along with additional credits for the FSA to produce babies for future welfare roles.
    I was a firm backer of the new tax law but what we now see has been butchered and twisted for the usual special interests.
     
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  4. Ensoniq

    Ensoniq Midas Member Midas Member Site Supporter ++

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    Plus your tax bracket dropped - right? How about ((your Agi)*(new rate -old rate)). Gotta add that to the 2200 off the top and that's a tax reduction not a decrease in taxable basis
     
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  5. Aurumag

    Aurumag Dimly lit. Highly reflective Midas Member Site Supporter

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    Meanwhile, the income tax itself remains a questionably ratified, unConstitutional method for maintaining a velvet shackled, compliant populace; surreptitiously implemented in conjunction with the elimination of Senatorial States' rights (16th and 17th Amendments).

    How can a fundamentally flawed, anti-liberty form of taxation ever be fixed, especially one which was specifically engineered by a globalist banking cabal?

    Abolish the income tax.
     
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  6. Ensoniq

    Ensoniq Midas Member Midas Member Site Supporter ++

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    I'll take better while we're waiting for best to happen

    Because the enemy of the better is the best - Prager
     
  7. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    GOP Tax Bill Would Set Up Years of Challenges
    [​IMG]
    The Wall Street Journal

    Richard Rubin
    9 hrs ago



    WASHINGTON—Republicans are on the cusp this week of passing a historic overhaul of the U.S. tax system but might also be ushering in a new period of instability in the tax code, because the plan is advancing without bipartisan support and with expiration dates that guarantee it will be revisited for years.

    A $1.5 trillion reduction in the overall tax burden over a decade accompanies the most sweeping rewrite of U.S. business and income taxes since the Reagan era, achieving goals long sought by many conservative economists and politicians. But to get the bill through a closely divided Congress, Republicans made many of its pieces time-limited.

    Individual tax cuts and a new 20% deduction for millions of businesses are scheduled to vanish after 2025. A corporate-tax-rate cut and international tax rules are permanent to encourage long-run planning, but other business provisions arrive, then disappear.

    One-time revenue sources like a $339 billion tax on stockpiled foreign profits pay for long-running tax cuts, making the bill more costly in the future. Key features—including the $2,000 child tax credit and a $10,000 cap on the state and local deduction—aren’t indexed to inflation, eroding their real value over time.

    Congress will need to make substantive and technical corrections as problems arise, said Martin Sullivan, chief economist at Tax Analysts, a nonprofit publisher of tax notes.

    “It’s just the beginning. It’s a whole new chapter,” he said. “It’s built on unstable financial foundations and on unstable political foundations. And it was built in great haste.”

    Deals with wavering lawmakers late last week left Republicans lined up to pass their bill as soon as Tuesday and send it to President Donald Trump’s desk. With a 52-48 majority in the Senate, Republicans can lose two votes and still pass the measure. One complication emerged Sunday when Mr. Trump said Sen. John McCain, who is battling brain cancer, was headed home to Arizona. The president said Mr. McCain would return to Washington if his vote was needed for the bill to pass.

    The party-line vote echoes the Democrats’ passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, and the bill’s expiring provisions echo the Republicans’ passage of tax cuts in 2001 and 2003. Both provide a roadmap for the political and fiscal path that looms for the tax bill.

    Like the tax cuts championed by President George W. Bush, large pieces of the tax legislation are scheduled to lapse under a future president. That means every campaign until Dec. 31, 2025, can be fought over the tax legislation, and Democrats will look for lessons from victories in 2006, 2008 and 2012.

    Like the health law championed by President Barack Obama, the GOP tax bill is expected to become law without a single vote from the opposing party. That, too, makes it unstable and a target. Democrats can look back on Republicans’ successful campaigns in 2010, 2014 and 2016 to see how to capitalize on an unpopular, complicated law.

    “We will emphasize the fact that Republicans made the big corporate tax cuts permanent, while tax cuts for middle-class families are small and temporary, and that’s for families that aren’t seeing an increase,” said Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D., Md.), who heads Senate Democrats’ campaign arm.

    Democrats eventually succeeded in scaling back the Bush tax cuts for high-income households. Moreover, the GOP tax bill will strike a blow against the health law, ending the penalty for not having insurance.

    Yet large portions of both the Bush tax cuts and the ACA remain intact, in part because erasing old laws is just as hard as making new ones.

    “In the short term, the bills are unpopular because the losers scream the loudest,” said Brian Riedl, a senior fellow at the free-market-focused Manhattan Institute. “And in the long term, they are hard to repeal because the beneficiaries are the loudest.”

    It would be hard for a future Congress to shrink the new tax bill’s $2,000 child tax credit or the bigger standard deduction, for example.

    “People are going to see this in their paychecks,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on CBS Sunday.

    But other pieces—a doubled estate-tax exemption, a new tax break for pass-through business owners, the 21% corporate tax rate, limits on the state and local tax deduction for individuals—are ripe to be reversed or scaled back.

    A future Democratic Congress and president could also dial up tax rates on high-income households and businesses.

    “Anything that benefits the middle class or low-income families will be made permanent,” Mr. Riedl said. “But anything that benefits exclusively upper-income families is in danger.”

    Making some provisions permanent means the bill might be more expensive than advertised in the long run.

    The bill cuts taxes by $1.5 trillion over a decade, but 74% of that cost is in the first five years. The true 10-year cost of the Republican policies, without the expirations, would be at least $2 trillion and even more beyond 2027, according to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

    That threatens to add to deficits already slated to rise because of growing spending on entitlements like Medicare.

    Republicans sought to pass their bill without Democratic support using a process that allows a simple-majority vote but limits the bill. Republicans had to cap the size of the tax cut and write the measure so it didn’t increase budget deficits beyond 2027. When their biggest revenue-raising ideas fell flat, including the idea of a border-adjusted tax on imports and a tax exemption for exports, they jettisoned expensive ideas like full repeal of the alternative minimum tax or a 35% top individual tax rate. They also turned to the same kind of expirations Mr. Bush used.

    The choice of temporary provisions let Senate Republicans avoid some of the most politically toxic pieces in the House-passed bill, including repealing the medical-expense deduction and imposing taxes on graduate-student tuition waivers.

    As a result, the bill leaves pockets of uncertainty around the tax code, for business and individuals.

    The tax breaks for pass-through firms such as sole proprietorships and partnerships expire after 2025. If they are allowed to expire, a large gap would open up between the new permanent 21% corporate tax rate and top pass-through rates, which could reset near 40%.

    Alcohol-policy changes that lower excise taxes on some beer, wine and distilled spirits last only through 2019. Immediate writeoffs for capital investment last only through 2022 before phasing out.

    The bill does nothing to alter, extend or repeal breaks for wind energy and investment in distressed areas that are already slated to expire over the next few years. It doesn’t touch ACA taxes taking effect soon that Republicans are trying to address separately.

    For individuals, the potential uncertainty is further out but larger. Two big pieces are permanent. One changes to a generally slower measure of inflation, which means cutoffs for tax brackets rise at a slower pace, leaves more households in higher brackets than they would be under current law. The other ends the health-insurance mandate.

    Nearly everything else ends after eight years, putting the individual tax system into suspended animation. The rules and regulations and tax-code sections Republicans say they want to repeal don’t disappear. They get put on ice.

    Then, unless Congress acts, New Year’s Day 2026 arrives and the seal is broken. The personal exemption returns. The AMT snaps back to hit millions more households. Current versions of the deductions for moving expenses, casualty losses and mortgage interest would return, almost as if nothing had ever changed.

    Many Republicans say a future Congress would lock the looming changes in place. But it might not happen.

    The Bush tax cuts scheduled the estate tax to repeal in 2010, for one year only. Few thought Congress would let that happen, with the morbid incentives it created to delay or hasten death, but it did.

    Congress is now about to make its third major estate-tax change in seven years by doubling the $5.6 million per-person exemption, a move that itself is set to expire at the end of 2025.

    Write to Richard Rubin at richard.rubin@wsj.com

    http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/polit...of-challenges/ar-BBGVKyt?li=BBnb7Kz&ocid=iehp
     
  8. latemetal

    latemetal Platinum Bling Platinum Bling

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    Without spending cuts, the government will raise taxes somewhere else...I bet middle class gets fucked again.
     
  9. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    File Your Taxes on a Postcard? A G.O.P. Promise Marked Undeliverable


    The New York Times
    By JIM TANKERSLEY
    12 hrs ago


    WASHINGTON — The Republican tax bill does not pass the postcard test.

    It leaves nearly every large tax break in place. It creates as many new preferences for special interests as it gets rid of. It will keep corporate accountants busy for years to come. And no taxpayer will ever see the postcard-size tax return that President Trump laid a kiss on in November as Republican leaders launched their tax overhaul effort.

    This was not the grand simplification of the code that Republicans promised when they set out to eliminate tax breaks and cut the number of tax brackets as they lowered rates.

    As their bill tore through Congress, their ambitions fell to the powerful forces of lobbying and the status quo. Killed tax breaks returned to life. New ones sprung up beside them. A plan for three individual tax brackets became five, and finally eight.

    Trade groups, such as the one for real estate agents, were able to preserve many benefits targeted for elimination. The groups whose breaks were actually killed formed an eclectic, if less powerful, bunch: bicycle commuters, gamblers, workers whose companies give them free food.

    What emerged on Friday, in the final product agreed to by Republican members of a House-Senate conference committee, was a bill that layers new tax complexities upon businesses large and small, and which delivers a larger share of benefits to corporations and the rich than to the middle class.

    It sets all tax relief for individuals to expire in eight years, while making deep and permanent cuts to the corporate tax rate. It limits one key benefit for taxpayers in high-tax states, such as New York, but otherwise does little to back up Mr. Trump’s promise last month that “we’re also going to eliminate tax breaks and complex loopholes taken advantage by the wealthy.”

    The final legislation, which appears on track to be approved by Congress next week, offers little redress to workers who have grown to believe that the country’s tax law thicket advantages those with power, political connections and lawyers on retainer. Its evolution undermines a central selling point for a bill that is already seen by most Americans as unlikely to benefit them, according to polls.

    Budget experts had hoped for a tax overhaul that stoked additional economic growth by eliminating targeted tax breaks, which would allow for lower tax rates, a trade that economists generally believe increases efficiency in the economy.

    “The whole purpose of tax reform is to eliminate tax breaks to simplify the tax code and reduce rates,” said Marc Goldwein, senior vice president for the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget in Washington. “But from what I can see, they only repeal one significant tax break, and very few if any tiny ones.”

    Republican leaders spent most of the year promising something quite different. A tax plan “framework” released in September declared that Mr. Trump’s first principle for a tax bill was to “make the tax code simple, fair and easy to understand.” A collection of “policy highlights” for the House bill, when it was first released, proclaimed that the plan “eliminates special-interest deductions that increase rates and complicate Americans’ taxes.”

    Those arguments echoed a message that conservative groups had found scored highly with voters — the idea that a tax bill could “un-rig” the system. In August, In Pursuit Of, a communications and marketing firm that supports the influential Koch network, conducted a focus group test of Mr. Trump delivering a short message along those lines, and it rated highly. The results were shared widely among Republicans, and echoed in party leaders’ speeches when they launched the tax push in earnest.

    “With this plan, we are getting rid of loopholes for special interests, and we are leveling the playing field,” Speaker Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin declared at a news conference unveiling the House bill on Nov. 2. “We’re making things so simple — we’re making things so simple that you can do your taxes on a form the size of a postcard.”

    The House measure did take one significant step toward simplifying the process for some taxpayers. It nearly doubled the standard deduction, a decision that stuck through every version of the legislation, including the final one. Because of this change, congressional staff members project, only 6 percent of Americans will itemize their tax returns, down from 30 percent now.

    An analysis accompanying the final bill predicted that “this reduction in complexity and record keeping also may result in a decline in the number of individuals using a tax preparation service, or tax preparation software, or a decline in the cost of such service or software.”

    House members also targeted dozens of tax breaks for elimination, including popular deductions for large out-of-pocket medical expenses and state income taxes paid. Some targets, such as a tax credit for adoptive parents, were spared under intense pressure. Still, the bill, passed two weeks after its introduction, killed a far greater number of narrowly tailored breaks than it created.

    But that ratio sank in the Senate, where lawmakers added waves of new breaks to the bill, such as an excise tax cut for craft brewers and special relief for certain citrus growers. Shortly before the legislation passed the Senate, Republicans tried to insert a provision that initially appeared designed to benefit a single conservative college in Michigan, before Democrats and a handful of Republicans banded together to strike it in a floor amendment.

    The final Senate bill included eight tax brackets, up from five in the House plan and seven in the current system, and it created at least as many new special-interest provisions as it eliminated. In the House-Senate conference committee, the Senate — where Republicans need to preserve nearly every vote because of their narrow majority — prevailed on most questions of whether targeted breaks would stay or go.

    Medical expense deductions stayed, as did tax breaks for teacher supplies, student loan payments and tuition waivers for graduate students, all of which had been eliminated in the House plan. The conference bill even retained a tax break that helps professional sports teams build new stadiums with taxpayer dollars. The only major provision eliminated was a special tax treatment for manufacturers.

    Republican leaders insisted that they had fulfilled their promise to simplify the tax filing process.

    “So, with the standard deduction nearly doubled and a number of those provisions, the postcard still remains,” Representative Kevin Brady of Texas, the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, told reporters on Friday. “Are there a few more items on it? Sure. But that was the process we wanted.”

    Mr. Brady went on to imply that the special breaks were retained at the behest of voters. “We said from the very beginning: ‘This isn’t our tax code. It belongs to the American people,’” he said. “And it does. So, in the House we really took it down to the foundation and began to rebuild it the way the American people want it in the 21st century, not 30 or 50 years ago.”

    http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/polit...undeliverable/ar-BBGRHa5?li=BBnb7Kz&ocid=iehp
     
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  10. edsl48

    edsl48 Silver Member Silver Miner

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    You you are correct but perhaps I am unique because those percentages dont make a very large difference and considering we now know about Corker personally getting that last second tax reduction I seriously hope it flops DOA at the vote. The public in general gets chicken feed whi;e the politically connected gets bundles of serious deductions.
     
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  11. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    How the GOP produced the worst bill since the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 | Will Bunch
    Updated: December 17, 2017 — 2:37 PM EST
    by Will Bunch, STAFF COLUMNIST



    To anyone who insists there’s no such thing as an honest Republican, I present you with Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma. Cole went on CNBC the other day to confess that he doesn’t know much about the economics of the massive tax overhaul he’s about to vote for – and that what little he does understand, he doesn’t much like. But he said he understands the most important thing is to not cross his tribe.

    In the end I’m going to trust the people who are philosophically aligned with me,” Cole told the cable business channel, in the same breath with which he praised the brilliance of House Speaker Paul Ryan – whose college days were spent tapping a keg and planning how to take away poor people’s health care. He trusts these people – despite his sense that the numbers from the tax scheme, which Republicans are all but certain to ram through Congress this week, don’t add up.

    “It just seems wrong,” the congressman said of the legislation, which increases the federal deficit by $1.4 trillion largely to benefit large corporations that are already reaping record profits (and not using those profits to hire middle-class workers). “We’d be better off if there were more populist victories in there.”

    Indeed. The American people seem to understand the GOP tax scam much better than many of the 275 or so souls who are about to send it to President Trump for his signature. There’s mounting evidence that the tax bill – which screws over the poor and delivers legislative filet mignon to the rich, with the middle class left to gnaw on the gristle – would be the most unpopular major new law in several generations.

    Writing in the New York Times, Michael Tomasky found the tax bill – winning approval from only a mere 30 percent of the public – was the second most unpopular piece of significant legislation with the American people since 1990, and that No. 1 was also produced by our current train wreck of a failed Congress, the unsuccessful (sort of) bid to repeal Obamacare last spring and summer. (The most popular bills, on the other hand, were decidedly liberal efforts to curb guns and raise the minimum wage … go figure.)

    There’s a reason the tax bill is so unpopular. It’s a terrible idea – arguably, if approved, the worst law to be enacted on Capitol Hill since the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, which allowed the return of captured escaped slaves up North to their whip-cracking masters down South. I’d argue that it’s worse, for example, than the Gulf of Tonkin resolution that escalated the Vietnam War in 1964 – because at least then senators honestly trusted a White House that was bamboozling them about the underlying facts. Here, House and Senate Republicans know exactly what they’re doing.

    True, some of the worst and most punitive measures in the original proposals – economically crippling grad students, for example – were either eliminated or toned down in the conference of House and Senate GOP negotiators. That only means it could have been worse, but what’s left is pretty horrible. The final measure still rewards America’s richest families by slashing their estate taxes, cuts a break to big corporations like Apple that stashed trillions of dollars offshore, and leaves largely untouched the tax code provisions that allow billionaire hedge-fund managers to pay a lower rate than their executive assistants. It also will cause insurance rates for everyday folks to rise by an estimated 10 percent by taking 13 million Americans out of the system, whacks America’s poorest families with a $19 billion hit, socks it to struggling Puerto Rico for no good reason, and offers zero protection to true middle-class families from significant tax hikes in 2025 and beyond. And that’s the kinder, gentler version of this bill.

    And here’s the absolute worst part. At the very last moment, the Republican negotiators stuck in a provision that benefits a narrow class of wealthy real-estate executives that includes both the one wavering swing vote that could have torpedoed the legislation – retiring Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker, who voted “no” in the initial go-round – and, lo and behold, the GOP president of the United States, Donald Trump. As reported by the International Business Times, the “compromise” suddenly included a 20 percent discount for a certain type of lucrative real-estate LLC that employs very few people, a category that includes Trump and Corker’s business models.

    Corker immediately flip-flopped in support of the tax scam. Indeed, JFK should come back to life and write a sequel to his famous (albeit ghostwritten) 1957 book Profiles in Courage, titled Profiles in Cowardice – chronicling the many Republicans, like Oklahoma’s Cole, who know this is a bad bill but are too terrified of banishment from their tribe to do something. At the head of the list is Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a career corporate shill who was insanely hailed by the New York Times as “a longtime champion of the working class” by holding out for a $25-a-month child-care credit, throwing pennies into a billionaire stampede. Trump, for all his many hundreds of lies, might have been onto something with his famous “Little Marco” dig, since Rubio came up very, very small on this one.

    That’s because Rubio, Corker, Cole, and the rest have reached the point where they know how to listen only to one incredibly narrow sliver of America – K Street lobbyists who 1) told them the GOP 115th Congress had to pass something, with zero regard to whatever that bill actually does; 2) offered their services to write the bill, to the benefit of their fabulously rich clients; and, most important, 3) threatened along with their donor pals to withhold 2018 contributions without passage of the bill – a world devoid of cash that Republican lawmakers simply cannot comprehend.

    In addition to the lobbyists, though, Congress is also getting played by Trump, who also desperately needs to sign a bill and who is clearly planning to touch off a major constitutional crisis by firing or otherwise crippling special counsel Robert Mueller the very second this measure hits his desk and lawmakers leave Washington for the holidays. That will forever label these clueless, cowardly, and immoral legislators as the folks who ignored a rogue president just long enough to funnel more money to their billionaire donors. That’s the moment that the band on this politically doomed Titanic needs to strike up “Nearer My God to Thee.” Let’s just hope the ship of functioning American democracy stays afloat until November 2018, which can’t come soon enough to send even more of these greedy cowards into an early retirement.

    http://www.philly.com/philly/news/p...-the-fugitive-slave-act-of-1850-20171217.html
     
  12. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Tax bill from Trump and GOP not just bad, but corrupt | E.J. Dionne
    Updated: December 17, 2017 — 3:01 AM EST
    by E.J. Dionne



    The tax bill the GOP is trying to foist on the country is not only an unfair and deficit-bloating hodgepodge written on the fly. It is also deeply corrupt. Every Republican who votes for this bill will be joining a festival of venality.

    Corruption is not a word to be used lightly, so let’s be disciplined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary’s definitions: “dishonest or illegal behavior especially by powerful people” and “inducement to wrong by improper or unlawful means.”

    We can stipulate that the tax bill is not illegal. But it is a dishonest power and money grab by — and on behalf of — the already powerful. As for “inducements,” well, there are those long-term investments of tens of millions of dollars in campaign contributions (enabled by the collapse of all the guardrails around political money) from wealthy individuals and regiments of interest groups. They will have a merry holiday season if the bill passes as expected.

    This legislation proves that Washington is, indeed, the “swamp” President Trump described during the campaign. But instead of draining it, he and his partisan allies have jumped right in. Actually, they have polluted it further.

    A prime example of this subtle corruption is how the “compromise” bill deals with the radical scaling back of the deduction for state and local taxes. Gutting what is known as the SALT tax break sets back the common good because doing so penalizes states that (a) have progressive income taxes, and (b) have somewhat larger governments and thus tend to invest more in education, infrastructure and programs for the needy. While California, New York and New Jersey are hit hard, many other states are hurt, too.

    But instead of restoring all or most of the lost deduction, Republicans offered a fig leaf compromise. Originally, the Senate bill reduced the amount that could be deducted to $10,000 and restricted it to property taxes. The new version keeps the cap while allowing the deduction to be used for sales and income taxes as well.

    For most taxpayers who use the existing deduction, this doesn’t solve their problem. One estimate from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy found that 1.89 million Californians would still see their taxes rise under the new provision, only a modest drop from the 2.36 million who would have had a tax increase under the version confined to property taxes. Any California representative who votes for this is voting against the interests of the state.

    Ah, but the Republicans did want to respond to rich New Yorkers and Californians who were howling to their usual GOP benefactors, including Trump, about their lost SALT deductions.

    So rather than offer general relief, the Republicans sliced the top income tax rate — for couples earning $600,000 or more — from the current 39.6 percent to 37 percent. Rep. Kevin Brady (R., Texas), the House Ways and Means Committee chairman, could not really explain why only the best off got real help, arguing lamely that middle-income people got other benefits from the bill.

    The shamelessness of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s description of the bill on CNN Sunday as “a very large tax cut for working families” is quite staggering. Consider that this confection of loopholes gives lawyers at big firms many paths to lower taxes, but not much to the people who clean their offices. Soon, all Americans will demand the right to transform themselves into “pass-through” legal entities.

    The bill’s champions claim that the big corporate tax cut will lead to massive new investment. But, as former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (no enemy of business) pointed out, corporations are already “sitting on a record amount of cash reserves: nearly $2.3 trillion.” Bloomberg added: “It’s pure fantasy to think that the tax bill will lead to significantly higher wages and growth.”

    And imagine: The “Make America Great Again” crowd appears to have designed a corporate tax system that creates new incentives to “shift profits and operations overseas,” as former Obama economic adviser Gene Sperling argued in a careful analysis. Trump probably doesn’t even know this.

    The key to corruption is operating in the dark. This bill is a mess of opaque provisions that almost no one outside the ranks of tax lobbyists understands — because many of these giveaways were written or inspired by lobbyists themselves.

    Needlessly rushing a massive special-interest tax bill through Congress is the antithesis of good government. This doesn’t seem to matter anymore, even to Republicans who built reputations as champions of moderation, openness and rectitude.

    E.J. Dionne is a Washington Post columnist. ejdionne@washpost.com @EJDionne

    http://www.philly.com/philly/opinion/commentary/tax-bill-republicans-corrupt-20171218.html
     
  13. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Why GOP tax plan could mean cuts in state and local services
    By JOSH BOAK, AP Economics Writer
    Published 11 Hours Ago The Associated Press

    WASHINGTON (AP) — It's a tax provision that could prove costly for schools, police forces, drug treatment centers and other state and local public services.

    The sweeping tax overhaul embraced by President Donald Trump and Republican lawmakers would impose a $10,000 limit on the combined sum of property and state and local income taxes that a household could deduct. The $10,000 cap will help pay for corporate and personal tax cuts totaling $1.5 trillion over the next decade.

    Conservatives have argued that unlimited state and local deductions amount to a federal subsidy for the wealthy in high-tax states like New York, New Jersey and California. But many middle class families in those states face disproportionately high housing costs and depend on deducting their state and local taxes. These households could soon pressure states and localities to ease their burden by cutting taxes — which would likely force cuts to social programs and public services.

    Some Republicans in high-tax states resisted their party's cap on local and state deductions. Two of them — Reps. Darrell Issa of California and Lee Zeldin of New York — oppose the overall tax measure because of the likelihood that it would hurt their constituents. And despite Republican arguments to the contrary, high-tax states already tend to send more money to Washington than they receive back in federal spending.

    "On balance, this bill remains a geographic redistribution of wealth — taking extra money from a place like New York to pay for deeper tax cuts elsewhere," Zeldin said. "This bill chooses winners and losers in a way that could have and should have been avoided."

    More than 73 percent of homeowners in Westchester County just north of New York City face property taxes alone that exceed $10,000. This means they couldn't deduct any state or local income taxes. The same is true of half of Manhattan homeowners, a quarter of those in San Francisco, 17 percent of suburban Chicago homeowners and 10 percent of those in Arlington, Virginia, just outside of Washington, D.C., according to figures tracked by Attom Data Solutions.

    The limit on the deduction could lead taxpayers there to demand lower taxes or to reject any additional funding requests for state pensions, schools, public safety and health services. What's more, a separate provision in the Republican tax bill would no longer subsidize employers that help their employees pay their commuter costs. This change will likely increase the cost of public transit for riders.

    The overall tax bill would impose new costs on many taxpayers that would outweigh any savings on federal taxes, argues Matthew Chase, executive director of the National Association of Counties.

    "We don't see it as a net gain for taxpayers," Chase said. "They want to strangle our revenue sources."

    The National Education Association, a teachers union, estimated that the cap on state and local deductions could put at risk $15.2 billion in annual public school spending, or $304 per pupil. Marc Egan, the association's director of government relations, said the change could discourage local governments from investing in education and might eventually depress economic growth.

    "We're always making the case that investing in education is a common-sense way to grow the economy," Egan said. "Why Congress continues to resist that on a number of fronts is a mystery."

    Even as Republicans in Congress decided to cap the state and local tax deduction for households at $10,000, their tax bill will continue to allow corporations to deduct their state and local taxes as a business cost.

    Since the federal income tax code was introduced in 1913, Americans have been allowed to exclude the taxes they pay to state and local governments. Roughly a third of taxpayers have enough expenses to itemize their deductions. And nearly all who do so deduct their state, local and property taxes. These deductions have helped make it affordable for cities and states to fund school systems, health care services and police forces, while making it more acceptable for a community's richest households to pay taxes that can help the poorest.

    The Republican tax bill nearly doubles — to $24,000 — a family's standard deduction, which goes to taxpayers who don't itemize their deductions. So there would automatically be fewer people who would deduct their state and local taxes. But in addition, many households in high-tax states could no longer itemize their deductions because of the new cap on state and local taxes. This could reduce the perceived value of these taxes and incentivize voters to push for lower state and local taxes — a stated goal of some conservatives.

    Gov. Bill Haslam has said he thinks the tax overhaul could encourage more people to move from high-tax states to his state of Tennessee, which charges no state income tax.

    "We think it actually will encourage both investment growth and population growth in Tennessee," Haslam said.

    High-tax states are already considering adjustments to their policies. Steve Sweeney, president of the New Jersey Senate, has warned that the bill could derail his state's planned tax increase on millionaires. That idea, estimated to generate about $600 million in revenue, is a central pledge of Democratic Gov.-elect Phil Murphy's agenda to help raise pension payments and school funding. Murphy has said he is still committed to the tax hike on wealthy earners. But if lawmakers now balk, its prospects become more problematic.

    California lawmakers are considering ways to restructure the state's tax code to limit the impact on its taxpayers, said Assemblyman Phil Ting, a San Francisco Democrat. Speculation has centered on reducing income taxes and raising payroll taxes — in effect, shifting some of the state tax burden from workers to employers.

    "We're looking at a variety of alternatives," Ting said.

    Allowing up to $10,000 of state and local taxes to continue to be deducted, he said, "takes it from horrible to slightly less horrible."

    AP writers Erik Schelzig contributed to this report from Nashville, Jonathan Cooper from Sacramento and Michael Catalini from Trenton.

    https://www.cnbc.com/2017/12/17/the...ld-mean-cuts-in-state-and-local-services.html
     
  14. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Catherine Rampell: A feast for regulatory parasites
    Dec 17, 2017


    The GOP tax plan’s top beneficiaries aren’t actually rich people, or even corporations, though both groups will indeed benefit mightily. The biggest winners are the nation’s tax planners, thanks to the tax-sheltering bonanza this bill is about to unleash.

    As my own CPA father likes to say: Congress has once again taken pity upon the nation’s poor accountants and guaranteed them all lifetime employment.

    Tax-filing is already unbelievably resource-intensive. Every year, the nation collectively spends billions of hours and hundreds of billions of dollars on tax planning, compliance and preparation.

    At many companies, tax departments have effectively become profit centers, where armies of accountants and tax attorneys devise ways to legally shortchange Uncle Sam.

    With all due respect to my dad and his fellow “regulatory parasites” (his term, not mine), these are surely resources that could be more productively deployed elsewhere.

    For all these reasons, Republicans have said that simplification is one of their primary goals in overhauling the tax code. And it’s true that their proposal to nearly double the individual income tax’s standard deduction would streamline tax preparation for many households (at least for a few years, before this provision expires).

    But on the corporate side — and for higher-income individuals who may soon decide to self-incorporate — it’s a different story.

    “The amount of complexity they’re adding is staggering, just unbelievably staggering,” fumes the usually mild-mannered Steven M. Rosenthal, a tax attorney and senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center.

    There are lots of changes to the tax code that will cause a boom in aggressive tax planning. Some of these are deliberate, others clearly accidental.

    Among the intentional changes, for example, are new rates and rules for pass-through businesses. These would create an entirely new, parallel system of taxation.

    Say you work as a chef at a restaurant. Your tax rate will vary tremendously depending on whether you call yourself an employee, an independent contractor receiving pass-through income for your labor or a corporation contracting out your services to the restaurant.

    There are also complicated, as-yet-unsettled new criteria for determining how much of your income qualifies for which rate, as well as what expenses can be deducted. All this creates a mind-boggling number of possible tax-planning permutations for the exact same job.

    Or consider the proposed changes to taxation of overseas profits, which would also lead to new opportunities for intricate tax scheming.

    Here, too, Congress would effectively create two parallel regimes — one for income earned abroad and one for income earned at home. With these two regimes come incentives to invest in tax attorneys who can find ways to game the system — including whether and how to shift operations, jobs and paper transactions overseas.

    Tax experts are already identifying this sloppily written bill’s glitches and drafting errors. Some of these have been laid out in a new 35-page paper, written by 13 tax professors and lawyers.

    They note that one provision, for example, would encourage U.S. companies to sell goods abroad, only for them to be sold right back into the United States. The interaction of two other provisions would encourage companies to make investments that they know would lose money.

    And so on.

    “The tax code ought to be about defining a base as broadly as possible, keeping tax rates as low as possible, and removing taxes as a calculation for how you order your economic affairs,” Rosenthal says.

    This plan, he says, does the opposite.

    It will lead more businesses to make decisions based not on market demand, not on where the biggest economic opportunities lie and not on what kind of innovations, investments and expansions hold the most potential, but where the biggest loopholes are. So much for making the U.S. economy more competitive.

    The haste with which this bill is being written and voted on — before the public or even lawmakers have time to fully understand what’s in it — will do more than just distort business decisions. It will also likely cause the plan to cost considerably more than estimated, as New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait has pointed out.

    That’s because the staffers at the Joint Committee on Taxation, Congress’ official scorekeepers on tax bills, haven’t been given sufficient time to identify and model all the ways in which the tax profession will take advantage of accidental loopholes — especially as IRS funding gets slashed.

    Congress has a pretty simple choice, in fact. It can slow down, find and fix those loopholes now. Or it can let all the regulatory parasites find and exploit them later.

    http://www.winonadailynews.com/prin...cle_d867e158-16c0-560b-835b-2ddd5162f47b.html
     
  15. Ensoniq

    Ensoniq Midas Member Midas Member Site Supporter ++

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    Apparently the sky is falling
    - ch little
     
  16. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    :bomb:
     
  17. Rusty Shackelford

    Rusty Shackelford Midas Member Midas Member

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    I am 100% positive that Nan and Shumie would complain and cry if the individual income tax was repealed in full for all taxpayers with income under $250K and the rates for taxpayers above $250K were increased 20% and corporate rates were increased 5%
     
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  18. Joe King

    Joe King Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    The current law also chooses winners and losers, but they aren't complaining about that because until now they have been the winners.
     
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  19. Ensoniq

    Ensoniq Midas Member Midas Member Site Supporter ++

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    You'd think the atmosphere was being stripped from the earth and we all only had 10 breaths left to take
     
  20. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Going to be interesting to see exactly what's going to be in it once it's actually signed into law. Also want to see what certain peeps have to say several months after it takes effect.
     
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  21. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    lmao

    Gotta be 5 o'clock somewhere. I'm outta here. Have a good one.
     
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  22. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    US stock market hits fresh highs as traders laud President Trump's tax shake-up
    • Stock market hit fresh highs as traders cheered Donald Trump’s tax plans
    • Wall Street’s S&P 500, Nasdaq and Dow Jones indices broke records
    • UK’s blue chip FTSE 100 was up 0.6 per cent or 46.44 points at 7,537.01
    • US plan will cut corporation tax in a bid to boost the economy


    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5192629/US-stock-market-hits-highs-traders-laud-tax-shake-up.html#ixzz51hu57nwN
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook
     
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  23. Ensoniq

    Ensoniq Midas Member Midas Member Site Supporter ++

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    To the moon Alice
     
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  24. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Trump takes a victory lap as House passes his $1.5 TRILLION tax bill even though White House claims he will pay more- but Senate vote is on a knife-edge
    • The House passed a $1.5 trillion tax cut by a vote of 227-203
    • The conference report now goes to the Senate for a vote
    • Little stands in the way of Donald Trump's first major legislative win
    • Just 12 House Republicans voted against the final conference report
    • The president fired off a pair of gloating tweets in the morning
    • House margin is assured but Senate will be a squeaker
    • VP Pence postponed a Middle East trip so he can be on hand to break a tie
    • Trump tweeted support for 'all great House Republicans' who voted for it


    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5194111/U-S-Congress-poised-approve-biggest-tax-overhaul-30-years.html#ixzz51kChn300
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  25. FunnyMoney

    FunnyMoney Silver Member Silver Miner

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    There's no reason for taxes. The income tax was illegal in the original constitution. Taxes allow of the creation of wars.

    The church organizations have existed and prospered by simply asking for handouts and it's been this way for centuries. If a group of people have a great idea or if some governing body wants to do something then they should simply present the idea for volunteer funding. If it's a good idea, it will get plenty - the church organizations get plenty and often don't even have an idea.

    Trump's tax plan is a slap in the face to most of those middle class workers who voted for him.
     
  26. Silver Art

    Silver Art Silver Art Bar collector Platinum Bling

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    The House Passes the tax reform bill and it now goes to the Senate and then trump will sign it and a victory lap starts..............OOOPS!!!! Wait a minute!!!! False Start!!!!! Procedural Snag!!!! The House will have to vote on it again:

    https://www.cnbc.com/2017/12/19/house-passes-gop-tax-reform-bill.html


    EDIT: The Senate will still vote on tax reform bill today.
     
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  27. nickndfl

    nickndfl Midas Member Midas Member Site Supporter ++

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    Pelosi and Schumer were crying on tv like the world was blowing up. It has to be good.
     
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  28. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    California, New Jersey and New York Republicans vote AGAINST tax bill over deductions for state and local taxes – and Trump fails to convince a single Democrat to back it
    • Twelve Republican House members bucked their party on Tuesday and opposed a landmark tax reform bill
    • Eleven of them hail from California, New Jersey and New York
    • Voters in those three states stand to lose the most from limits in the deductibility of state and local property and income taxes
    • No Democrats were willing to support the bill they dubbed a 'GOP Tax Scam'


    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5195081/U-S-Congress-poised-approve-biggest-tax-overhaul-30-years.html#ixzz51kpUFs3s
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook
     
  29. andial

    andial Sir Midas Member Site Supporter ++

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    Those aren't real republicans they don't even rate RINO status.
     
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  30. Ensoniq

    Ensoniq Midas Member Midas Member Site Supporter ++

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    If this tax cut is a slap in the face then please please please

    Hit me again ;)
     
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  31. Buck

    Buck Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    I wonder if the only difference, between the soon to be voted on Senate version, and the already passed and been declared in violation of law House version, are those pesky Byrd Law violations?

    What else could the politicians stuff into a bill?
    They do know we're watching them to some degree or another
     
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  32. Irons

    Irons Deep Sixed Site Supporter Mother Lode

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  33. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Trump secures major victory as Senate Republicans pass $1.5 trillion tax cut bill despite Democrats warning they'll 'rue this day' and protesters screaming 'don't kill us' - paving the way for a final House vote today after earlier hiccup
    • The Senate passed a $1.5 trillion tax cut early in the early hours of Wednesday
    • Vote was along strict party lines. Only GOP Sen. John McCain was absent
    • The House earlier passed the tax cut by a vote of 227-203 but two provisions fell foul of parliamentary test meaning they have to vote again on Wednesday
    • President Donald Trump fired off a pair of tweets in the morning
    • Mike Pence described it as a 'historic win for the American people'


    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5197219/Republicans-force-tax-cuts-Senate.html#ixzz51nLI3kHF
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  34. Irons

    Irons Deep Sixed Site Supporter Mother Lode

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    Wealthy liberals in high tax blue states won't be able to write off all of their super high state taxes anymore!
    Huh, they ought to be happy as they always call any tax cut a "tax cut for the rich"
    Well, they're rich and now they are going to take it right in the shorts. They will be paying for the initial loss of tax revenue. Revenue will go up as more people earn more $$.
    They never vote republican anyway so nothing lost.

    When these california and NYC liberals can't write off their state income and mansion property taxes anymore they will SCREAM at chucky schumer and nancy p. Not seeing anything bad here.

    'Bout time the republicans put some thought into their stupid legislation.

    .
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2017
  35. Irons

    Irons Deep Sixed Site Supporter Mother Lode

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    [​IMG]
     
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  36. gnome

    gnome Platinum Bling Platinum Bling

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    General public gets chicken feed for a limited time only, but corporate and estate tax cuts are permanent. And the $1.5T hole in the budget will cost us in inflation.
     
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  37. Ensoniq

    Ensoniq Midas Member Midas Member Site Supporter ++

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    So they named the bill wrong and that's enough to make them vote again

    Should have named it the "2018 Up Yours Chuck and Nancy Act"
     
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  38. Irons

    Irons Deep Sixed Site Supporter Mother Lode

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    Good God man that is really tired! Your half black kenyan jesus blew the debt to sky high proportions and none of you made a peep.

    But no worries my liberal friend this is just the first step in cutting taxes, the camels nose under the tent as it were.
    You see dear Gnome we the Deplorable have not only stolen the leftist election playbook we are adopting their method of progressive legislation. This bill also kills the husseincare mandate.
    Watch as a little at a time the tax burden is shifted to the very people who never vote for tax cuts.
    I E Liberals and the places they live.

    It's only fair that pelosi, feinstein and schumer etc. voters pay the absolute most in taxes.

    .
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2017
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  39. gnome

    gnome Platinum Bling Platinum Bling

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    Fact: the deficit shrank under Carter, Clinton & Obama and grew under Regan, Bush I and Bush II.

    I'm not a liberal, I'm an anarcho-syndicalist, but regardless, I don't believe in trickle-down economics. Do you?
    That's all this bill is.


    [​IMG]
     
  40. Irons

    Irons Deep Sixed Site Supporter Mother Lode

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    Yep I do. I lived it for 2 decades before the golbalists and their minions destroyed the main street economy and the middle class wealth.


    .
     

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