Voodoo Economics Returns

Roll us over and do it again!

Our Congress is once again on a break (is there ever a time when this isn’t so?)  They have tried health issues and failed…..they are talking abut some sort of gun regulations…..and since nothing is sticking to the wall then they will go to the ever popular tax reform.

And since the GOP is in control then we will try their fix for the economy…..supply-side solutions.

This solution has not been a answer for 30+ years….hey, why not try it again?

Our president has decided the “voodoo economics” will solve all the ills of our economy….

Billionaire US President Donald Trump wants to reform the US tax system, like others before him. But his plan looks more like tax cuts for America’s wealthiest and some of the world’s biggest corporations.

Although it’s yet to be fleshed out, it’s based on the idea that the cuts will pay for themselves, with the economic growth they generate in years to come. Yet, that’s never happened in the history of US tax cuts.

In economics jargon: this is a classic supply-side response to a demand-side problem. But why help companies and investors if workers are the ones in trouble?

It’s been done before and George HW Bush famously called it “voodoo economics” to discredit the notion that cutting tax rates will increase revenues.

Source: Donald Trump’s ‘voodoo economics’ | USA | Al Jazeera

An IST factoid:  Tax cuts have NEVER paid of themselves!

But you will be asked to buy into the dream anyway…..you cannot drain the swamp and keep the crap in place.

I have written on this subject before and pointed to the fallacy……..

Source: It Is Always Supply Side Economics – In Saner Thought

Source: The Humor That Is Trickle Down Economics – In Saner Thought

Source: Let’s End The Illusion Now! – In Saner Thought

A laughable solution that the population falls for almost every time.

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Tax Reform–2017

A Repub president, a Repub Congress and now it is time for the Repub stand-by….TAX REFORM.

They are in control….time to do what they always want to do…..Tax Reform….those policies that screw the Middle Class and give the wealthy incentives and more money.

Trump made it official……he put his tax plan out there……

President Trump launched his push for tax reform Wednesday in Indianapolis, promising a “once-in-a-generation opportunity” and “revolutionary change.” “Under our framework, we will dramatically cut the business tax rate so that American companies and American workers can beat our foreign competitors and start winning again,” USA Today quotes Trump as saying. The New York Times reports the proposed framework reduces the corporate tax rate to 20%, doubles deductions for married and single filers to $24,000 and $12,000 respectively, and reduces the number of tax brackets from seven to three. The top bracket would see a reduced tax rate; the lowest bracket would see an increased tax rate. Overall, Trump claims the plan represents the biggest tax cut in history: “There’s never been tax cuts like we’re talking about.”

Trump is promising the middle class will be “the biggest winners” of his tax plan, which will cause “jobs to start pouring into our country.” But the framework presented lacks details to show whether that would or would not be the case. (CNN reports Trump also claims the plan is “not good for me,” but that’s impossible to prove without his tax returns.) The framework does, however, include details that will specifically benefit rich Americans, for example by getting rid of inheritance taxes paid by the country’s wealthiest families. Without further specifics, the head of the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget calls Trump’s tax plan “nothing more than a fiscal fantasy.” Trump says he wants to work with Democrats to fill in those details, but Republican leaders say they’ll likely use a special rule to pass tax reform without Democratic support.

It has all the selling points needed…..jobs creation, more tax savings for the workers,etc…..for instance…..a few highlights to work with….

  • Corporations: The New York Times reports that the plan calls for a steep reduction in the tax rate paid by corporations from 35% to 20%, which Trump sees as vital to stimulating the economy.
  • Standard deduction: This would roughly double to $12,000 for individuals and $24,000 for married couples, “meaning Trump can accurately argue that many more low income earners would pay no tax under his plan,” writes Jonathan Swan at Axios. But:
  • The fine print: The savings in the larger deduction isn’t quite as big as it appears, notes Business Insider, pointing to the fine print: “To simplify the tax rules, the additional standard deduction and the personal exemptions for taxpayer and spouse are consolidated into this larger standard deduction.” For example, a single person with no dependents currently takes the standard deduction of $6,350, plus one personal exemption of $4,050. The new plan replaces that with a single deduction of $12,000, or a 15% increase.
  • Wealthiest: Though initial plans called for a reduction in the top rate paid by the wealthiest individuals (those who make more than $418,000) from 39.6% to 35%, Politico reports that this is “now open to negotiation.” That’s partly because Trump wants to make sure Democrats are on board, reports CNN. Another idea being floated is to impose some kind of tax surcharge on the wealthiest Americans. The plan also calls for the elimination of the estate tax and the alternative-minimum tax.
  • Lowest rate: It would reportedly rise from 10% to 12%, though the increase for low-income Americans would likely be offset by the bigger standard deduction.
  • Simplification: The current system has seven brackets ranging from 10% to 39.6%. Trump wants to reduce the number of brackets to three, perhaps from 12% to 35%, reports the Hill. (Income levels for each have not been determined, and it’s possible a fourth bracket would be added for the wealthiest Americans.) Under the changes, Trump says most Americans would be able to fill out their taxes on a single page, reports the AP.
  • Elderly parents: A new credit of up to $500 would be created for those caring for non-child dependents, including parents, per USA Today. The newspaper’s roundup also notes that people would no longer be able to deduct state and local income or property taxes, which would hurt residents in high-tax states such as California and New York.
  • More details: Business Insider has a comprehensive roundup of what is known about the plan, including a 25% rate for “pass-through businesses,” which applies to those who own their own business The plan would also increase the Child Tax Credit, an idea championed by Ivanka Trump.

“Trickle Down Economics” makes a comeback……a theory that has NOT worked in 30 years and so why not keep pushing a lie…..something the GOP has mastered.

And yes I have an idea for tax reform that I posted a month ago…..

Source: Tax Reform—-2017 Edition – Gulf South Free Press

Listen to the rhetoric and smile or dig through the manure pile and find the truth of the matter……this is a typical GOP proposal…..wealthy get richer and the working stiffs get buried…..

The one thing that the GOP seems to ignore….what may have worked in the 1980’s will not work in the 21st century…..but Hell keep pushing that failed theory….dress it up and force feed it to the population.

Betraying The Veteran (Again)

For too long the American veteran has been a prop for the political parties….veterans are rolled out whenever they want to project this air of patriotism and then are quickly kicked to the curb and pushed aside.

And it has been that way for 50+ years and nothing ever changes….the vets are lied to, promised, used and discarded like broken tools….one of America’s biggest sources of propaganda.

This President and this Congress are NO different from the past…….

Despite vowing to support America’s veterans, President Donald Trump and congressional Republican leaders have put forth budget proposals that are poised to do great damage to the economic security of veterans and their families—all to pay for tax cuts for millionaires and corporations.1 In fact, new analysis by the Center for American Progress reveals that the tax cuts Trump wants to give corporations and businesses, which will cost $4.3 trillion over 10 years, amount to 28 times as much as the deep cuts he is proposing to services and benefits for veterans.2

And these cuts are just the tip of the iceberg.

Despite the common belief to the contrary, veteran-specific benefits and services fall short of meeting the needs of veterans and their families, many of whom struggle to meet basic needs even with Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) supports.3 More than 3.9 million veterans live paycheck to paycheck—meaning their family incomes are less than twice the federal poverty level, or less than $50,000 for a family of four.4 Yet new CAP analysis reveals that if Trump’s proposed cuts to key job training programs were applied directly to program participation, more than 340,000 veterans could lose access to critical employment services that help boost wages.

Source: 5 Ways President Trump and Congressional Republicans Are Betraying Veterans – Center for American Progress

Our veterans deserve so much more than this country is willing to give them….the country asked….they went…..now they are ignored.

Ignored that is until the powers need another prop to trot out to lather up the base.

The Year Of Tax Reform

Not really but it makes a good title and a good slogan to keep idiots in line.

The GOP is scrambling to find something anything that they can hang their hats on….so far they are batting 1000 in failures….but like any good GOP they want the rich to get more of their money while the rest us struggle.

The Chamber of Commerce has thrown their hat into the GOP ring as far as taxes go……here are their ideas…..

  • Lower rates for all businesses – Our C corporations and pass-through entities face some of the highest marginal rates in the world. And, to top that off, while other countries are slashing rates, we are falling behind simply by standing still. It’s time to cut rates for all businesses.
  • An internationally competitive system – We are the last member of the major industrialized OECD countries to cling to an anti-competitive worldwide system of taxation. Let’s jettison that like a Members Only® jacket at the end of the 1980s and adopt an internationally competitive territorial system of taxation. And while we are doing that, let’s make sure any anti-abuse rules are minimally invasive and that we use a bifurcated rate on any previously untaxed earnings. After all, that cash isn’t just sitting offshore taking a vacation – much of it has been reinvested in property, plant, and equipment, or used in restructuring so companies can stay globally competitive.
  • Faster cost recovery – Let’s let businesses write off their investments more quickly so they can focus on doing what they do best: drive economic growth and job creation. And let’s make sure our research and development incentives encourage conducting research in the United States and locating the ensuing intellectual property that is created here.
  • Investment taxes –Taxes on investment income and capital gains drive up the cost of capital, thereby reducing the amount of capital productively employed, productivity, wage gains, and international competitiveness. We strongly urge that in tax reform, investment taxes be kept as low as possible to avoid damaging economic ramifications.
  • Compliance – No surprises here – the business community would like to see less complex tax rules to reduce compliance costs!
  • Transition rules – How we get from here to there is as important as the new tax regime we adopt. Tax reform should include effective transition rules to provide adequate time for implementation of any new system of taxation and to help minimize economic hardships that businesses may encounter in moving to a new tax system.
  • Certainty – The uncertainty plaguing the business community under the current tax code is paralyzing. Businesses need to know the rules of the road to best allocate resources. To have the most pro-growth impact, tax reform should be permanent to allow businesses to expand, create jobs, and remain competitive in the United States and abroad.

If the idiots in Congress ever admit defeat on health care then they will most likely move on to tax reform…..after ll it is popular if just about everybody in their party…..

The problem is that it will not be reform…..rather just a set of tax breaks for those that need no tax breaks….so there will be a new game in town…..coming soon to a channel near you.

Where’s The Money?

The time draws closer for the Congress to take up the issue of military funding….that is cash that we will need to funding all the wars we are now fighting and the ones on the horizon awaiting approval to be fought.

It appears that there are a few in Congress that want the AUMF to be addressed before any funding is approved….

Senate officials are hoping to get to a final vote on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), a military spending bill in excess of $700 billion. Getting to that vote, however, means dealing with all the military and war-related amendments in the bill.

Senate leaders appear to have decided that the easiest way to get around this is to severely curtail debate on certain particularly controversial issues, with an 89-3 vote today agreeing to limit procedural debates on the matter.

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) is trying to manage the debate, which is to say, dramatically curtail the debate. There are still major issues to be settled, however, with Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) both pushing major debates, on war authorization and transgender soldiers, respectively.

Sen. Paul intends to repeal the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF). The amendment is seen as politically awkward for some hawks, who argue that they want to create a new AUMF that explicitly covers current wars, but who are reluctant to see any limitations placed on the way America’s wars are waged.

(antiwar.com)

That’s the 2001 AUMF problem all over. Though on paper it was intended to only cover 9/11 and the Afghan War, the authorization has been used by all presidents since as carte blanche to wage any war, anywhere on earth, in which the term terrorism can remotely be applied.

There is no secret if you are a regular here on IST that I am a definite antiwar person…..while I do not agree with muich the Sen. Paul offers up as policy I do appreciate his stand in the AUMF……

As Congress takes up the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), I will insist it vote on my amendment to sunset the 2001 and 2002 Authorizations for the Use of Military Force.

Why?

Because these authorizations to use military force are inappropriately being used to justify American warfare in 7 different countries. Sunsetting both AUMFs will force a debate on whether we continue the Afghanistan war, the Libya war, the Yemen war, the Syria war, and other interventions.

Our military trains our soldiers to be focused and disciplined, yet the politicians who send them to fight have for years ignored those traits when developing our foreign policy.

Source: Rand Paul: Why we must repeal the 16-year-old Authorization for the Use of Military Force | Rare

Personally, I think any new conflict we must fight must be authorized by Congress….there should be NO blanket authorization.

Update:  After writing this draft news came down about the defeat of this proposal….

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) had to push heavily and very publicly against the Senate leadership to get even the limited debate that ultimately occurred on his amendment, aiming to revoke the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF). The vote did not occur. In the middle of the debate Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) moved to table (kill) the amendment, forcing an immediate vote. The Senate then voted to kill Paul’s amendment, by a vote of 61-36.

The post-9/11 AUMF has been interpreted broadly by US presidents as allowing unlimited war-making powers against anything even loosely described as “terror.” Sen. Paul argued that the AUMF was wrongly been used to authorize seven distinct wars, and that repealing it would force Congress to debate specific authorizations for specific wars as an alternative.

While he’d hoped this would bring in support not only from opponents of the war, but from hawks eager to get their votes on the record to authorize these many, effectively unauthorized wars, little support ultimately materialized. In addition to Sen. Paul, speaking in favor during the debate were Sens. Ben Cardin (D-MD), Chris Murphy (D-CT), and Dick Durban (D-IL).

While the failure of the amendment doesn’t preclude future efforts at passing new AUMFs to cover America’s many wars, it makes such debate a less pressing matter. Talk of an AUMF for the ISIS wars, put off since the 2014 mid-term elections on various reasons, can be expected to remain just talk, and no real advance on the effort is likely.

(antiwar.com)

This seems to get a little more popular every time they try to bring it up for a vote……hopefully the Congress will come to its senses eventually.

Come September

American politics has become so damn boring that it is too silly for words…..but that may soon change….

It is now September and the Congress returns to what they call work…..and they are faced with several options for failure….deficit…..taxation….budgetary debate….none of these will bode well for the GOP….they do not have a reliable partner in the White House….

President Trump’s public comments this week have made one thing crystal clear: September is going to be a very big month for the US. Congress faces a Sept. 30 deadline to pass a funding deal to avoid a shutdown, and Trump has thrown a wrench into things by demanding serious money for a border wall. But in a deadline with more serious consequences, Congress also must raise the debt ceiling around the end of September or the US could default on its debt, reports the Wall Street Journal. The issues are separate, but they’re likely to get lumped together, and not much goodwill is circulating at the moment. In addition to his shutdown threat, Trump on Thursday blamed Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell for the debt ceiling “mess.” Related coverage:

  • Chances of a shutdown: Flip a coin. A Goldman Sachs advisory to investors puts the odds at 50-50, but Axios has a GOP source who thinks there’s a 75% chance of a shutdown: “The peculiar part is that almost everyone I talk to on the Hill agrees that it is more likely than not.”
  • Better odds on debt ceiling: “We’re going to get the debt ceiling passed,” said Treasury chief Steven Mnuchin this week, per Bloomberg. (He wants a “clean” increase with no strings attached.) At the same event in Kentucky, McConnell said there is “zero chance—no chance—we won’t raise the debt ceiling. No chance.”
  • Unless: Yes, the budget and the debt ceiling are separate, but because the deadlines are so close together, they could become “entangled” in negotiations, per the New York Times. For example, Bloomberg notes that House conservatives are demanding big spending cuts in return for lifting the ceiling.
  • Consequences: If the ceiling isn’t raised and the US defaults on its debt, it would rock financial markets around the world, explains NBC News. Also, ratings agencies could downgrade the US. At the Wall Street Journal, James Mackintosh writes that he finds “it hard to believe that the US will default,” but he explains that the mere possibility is already making investors nervous.
  • How we got here: The Washington Post notes that, in 2015, President Obama and Congress agreed to suspend the debt ceiling decision until March of this year, and emergency measures have extended it since then. But Mnuchin runs out of tricks next month. The story also points out the contrast in Trump’s tweet about the “mess” and Mnuchin’s public attempt to ease fears and notes that Trump has mocked Congress for raising the ceiling in his pre-presidential days.

In all this drama the country shutdown looms…..

You want humor….then these debates will be the best place to go for a good chuckle…..

The Plan Is NO Plan

Trump’s play for health care was a bomb……to be honest most everything he has tried legislatively has been a bomb…..but that will change when the Congress returns next month and they want to take up tax reform.

If you think there is some sort of strategy to push through tax reform then as usual you would be wrong……

Trump let the worm out of the can in Missouri…..

President Trump begins his push for another major goal of his White House in a speech Wednesday afternoon in Missouri: the need for tax reform. But White House officials previewing the speech on Tuesday made one thing clear: Don’t expect policy details, reports the Kansas City Star. Instead, expect the president to focus on why tax reform is needed, and he’ll be selling it in populist fashion a la Huey Long, reports Axios. The speech is being drafted by Stephen Miller, notes Politico, which expects to hear phrases such as “Jump-start America” and “Win again.” Trump also is expected to hit on the theme of “unrigging the economy,” a phrase the GOP has been testing with swing voters. The broad strokes include lowering business taxes to help US corporations compete, plus cuts for middle-income taxpayers and a simplified filing system.

“We’re going to end the rigged system,” said one White House official. “We’re going to build a tax code that really allows all Americans to have access to the American dream.” Trump and the GOP aim to have legislation signed by the end of the year, but as Bloomberg notes, fundamental questions remain unanswered, such as “Will the changes be permanent or temporary? How will individual tax brackets be set? What rate will corporations and small businesses pay?” The Wall Street Journal notes that Trump has a further challenge in selling reform as a benefit for the masses when previous proposals from the White House and Republicans have largely benefited wealthier Americans. Trump speaks in Springfield at 3:30pm Eastern.

STOP LYING!

The stated corporate tax is 35% but in real time they pay NO where near that amount and if they hide profits offshore they pay NOTHING!

Really?  The best they can do is a tired plan from 40 years ago?  Trickle down economics?

It does not work!

And yet they keep trying to push through this crappy idea that only helps the 1% of the population…..a working stiff gets a stiffy from the government.

The Republican Party’s leaders in the United States House of Representatives have been hard at work for more than a year designing a major reform of personal and corporate taxes. With an election looming in 2018, the House Republicans are determined to deliver a reform package and send it to the Senate for enactment.

This reform will be very different from the last major tax overhaul enacted back in 1986. The Tax Reform Act of 1986 focused on the personal income tax, lowering the top rate from 50% to 28% and cutting rates for lower-income taxpayers. The revenue loss was offset by changes in tax deductions and other accounting rules, producing a reform that was revenue neutral at each income level, even without taking into account the effects of lower tax rates on increasing economic growth and taxable incomes.

Source: Tax Reform and Budget Deficits in America by Martin Feldstein – Project Syndicate

Nothing they do will simplify the tax code….everything they do will be to the benefit of the wealthy.

NO matter the promises this plan is the same old plan the GOP has had for decades…..

As President Donald Trump kicked off his aggressive, Koch brothers-backed tax “reform” push with a speech in Missouri on Wednesday, progressive advocacy groups and policy analysts argued that the president’s tax agenda is nothing more than a “scam” that would take money from low-income families and hand it to the rich.

“Make no mistake, what Trump and Republican leaders in Congress are proposing is not tax reform,” Frank Clemente, executive director of Americans for Tax Fairness (AFT), said in a statement on Tuesday. “They simply want massive tax cuts for millionaires, billionaires, and big corporations, at the expense of everyone else. And those tax giveaways will be paid for by cuts to Social Security, healthcare, education, and other programs that maintain living standards for working families.”

Source: As Trump Begins Tax Reform Push, Critics Rip Plan as Fact-Free, Trickle-Down ‘Scam’ | Common Dreams

Just the GOP playing the long con on the people of the US…..yet again.

The average worker making $50,000 or less will see NO change in their taxes.  PERIOD!