Friday, December 15, 2017

Breaking News: GOP Finishes Tax Bill After Extensive Overhaul and Lots of Bribes

Ever since that ruling, still making mincemeat out of the Public

Congress has tons of support for “their survival-in-office”

Top 1-2 percent vs. the rest of us
(Boy, do they enjoy their game: Damnatio Ad Bestias)

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

Introduction and Bill Details: More than 3/4 of respondents to a CBS News survey in early December said the bill “would benefit corporations,” with less than a ¼ saying it would help their own family (and full 69% saying it would help the wealthy.)

And a USA Today-Suffolk University poll released Sunday found 64 percent said the wealthy will get the most benefits, while just 17 percent said the middle class will. 

My emphasis added.

1.     Lowers individual tax rates for low- and middle-income Americans by effectively expanding the zero tax bracket and maintaining a 10 percent bracket, allowing hardworking taxpayers to keep more of their hard-earned money, make ends meet, and save for retirement. Lowers to 37 percent a bracket for high-income earners which is now 39.6 (a very big win for them).
2.     Increases standard deduction from $6,350 to $12,000 for individuals and from $12,700 to $24,000 for married couples. For single parents, the standard deduction will increase from $9,300 to $18,000.
3.     Expands the child tax credit from $1,000 to $1,650 and allowing many more parents to claim the credit by substantially lifting existing caps; preserves the child and dependent care tax credit to help working parents care for their children and older dependents – such as an aging grandparent – who need support;
4.     Preserves the adoption tax credit to help families with the high costs of adopting children; and allows parents to more effectively save for the education costs of unborn children (Note: I think this provision was voted down).
5.     Preserves the deduction for charitable contributions, continuing a long recognition of the importance of private philanthropy for the churches and community organizations that daily provide aid and assistance to those in need.
6.     Protects the home mortgage interest deduction for existing mortgages and maintains the deduction for newly purchased homes up to $1 million. This incentive for homeownership provides tax relief to current and aspiring homeowners.
7.     Continues popular retirement savings programs such as 401(k) and Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA), to help Americans build their retirement nest eggs and prepare for the future.
8.     Preserves the earned income tax credit (EITC) to provide tax relief to low-income Americans working to build better lives for themselves.
9.     Expands deduction for medical expenses; enhanced standard deduction for the blind and elderly; and education relief for graduate students.
10.   Repeals the alternative minimum tax (AMT) to simplify the tax code and eliminate uncertainty for millions of Americans who are required to calculate their taxes twice each year.
11.   Provides relief from the death tax (Estate Tax) by doubling the current exemption. (Another big bennie for the top crust).
12.   This will reduce uncertainty and costs for family-owned farms and businesses by making it less likely that Washington will impose an unnecessary layer of taxation on Americans who want to pass on their life’s work to the next generation.
13.   “Permanently lowers the corporate tax rate to 21 percent” so American companies no longer have to face the highest tax rate in the industrialized world, which will allow them to better compete in the global marketplace, create more jobs and increase wages. (Note: Most avg citizen breaks have expiration dates).
14.   A simple and easy-to-administer deduction for pass-through businesses of all sizes, allowing more small businesses to grow, invest, hire new workers and increase wages while also preventing abuse of the reformed system;
15.  Enhanced Section 179 expensing to promote business investment and growth; and
16.  Enhanced cash accounting, allowing more businesses to use the simple cash-basis accounting method.
17.  Full and immediate expensing of new equipment, which encourages growth and increases investment, productivity and wages.
18.  Protects the ability of small businesses to deduct interest on loans that allows Main Street employers to expand, invest, and hire new workers.
19.  Preserves important elements of the existing business tax system.
20.   Keeps low-income housing credit to continue encouraging businesses to invest in affordable housing and provide individuals and families with expanded opportunities.
21.   Keeps R&D tax credit, which enhances investments in American products, technology and innovations.
22.   Permanently modernizes our outdated international tax system by eliminating the antiquated “worldwide” system, in order to eliminate double taxation, enhance the competitiveness of American companies, and bring business and investment back to the United States.
23.  Eliminates the “lock-out effect” by making it simpler and less onerous for American multinationals to bring foreign earnings back to America for investment and growth here at home.
24.   Eliminates incentives for companies to shift jobs, profits and intellectual property overseas, and by creating incentives for companies to both locate in America and bring economic activity back to America.

Now the raw ugly nasty GOP politics of the deal-making:

Sen. Marco Rubio’s opposition to the GOP’s tax “reform” package sinks the bill, and if he remains opposed he would be joined by Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) and then only one more Republican defection would mean failure. But, more likely, GOP leaders will reach an accommodation with Rubio and the others for the deals they want – call it raw politics – but more like blatant bribery. 

Factor in  Rubio’s gripe about not expanding the child tax credit then it shows as a vast majority of the public agrees shows the GOP’s stinginess toward the working class as it strains at the seams with goodies for corporations and the wealthy, which is painfully obvious. 

Indeed, other last-minute changes Republicans have been considering appeared primed to tilt the package further in that direction. At one point they had to scramble to make the bill’s budget math work. e.g., Sen. Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) said they were looking at moving up the expiration date for individual tax cuts — a change that would siphon more from lower-income workers as noted in this extract from the Washington Post article seen here in a latest report on the state of that play: 

The additional revenue is needed because Republicans are seeking to lower the top tax rate paid by the wealthiest Americans, ratchet back proposed curbs on the deductions of state and local taxes, and scale back proposed tax rules for investment income. All of these changes are expected to add more than $200 billion to the cost of the bill, which is one reason GOP leaders have said they don’t have much flexibility to address Rubio’s demands.”

My view for a very long time. This a very bad bill and raw deal for most Americans – minus the top 1-2 percent that is. 

This GOP along with Trump thinks otherwise. Time will tell.

Stay tuned and hopefully it will not pass.

Thanks for stopping by.

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