Is That A Deal?

We had the longest government shutdown ever……then we had the usual recriminations back and forth….then the Congress trid to come together for a deal to fund the government…..and now we may have a deal…….

Congressional negotiators announced an agreement late Monday to prevent a government shutdown and finance construction of new barriers along the US-Mexico border, overcoming a late-stage hang-up over immigration enforcement issues that had threatened to scuttle the talks, the AP reports. Republicans were desperate to avoid another bruising shutdown. They tentatively agreed to far less money for President Trump’s border wall than the White House’s $5.7 billion wish list, settling for a figure of about $1.4 billion, according to a senior congressional aide. “We reached an agreement in principle,” said Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby, an Alabama Republican, appearing with a bipartisan group of House and Senate lawmakers who concurred.

Details won’t be officially released until Tuesday, but the pact came in time to alleviate any threat of a second government shutdown this weekend. Shelby had earlier pulled the plug on the talks over Democratic demands to limit immigrant detentions by federal authorities, but Democrats yielded ground on that issue in a fresh round of talks on Monday. A House Democratic aide said Republicans had already agreed to funding cuts that would require ICE to ramp down the number of detention beds to a range of 34,000-38,500 by the end of the year. Asked if Trump would back the deal, Shelby said, “We believe from our dealings with them and the latitude they’ve given us, they will support it. We certainly hope so.”

But Wait!

All this good news depends on Trumpy Two Step…….he can pee on this parade at any minute on Twitter.

And the media waits to pounce!

Advertisements

It’s Tax Time!

Closing thought–11Feb19

Remember those “great” tax cuts that the Idiots in Congress and the president championed before the 2018 midterms…..they made sure that they always included the Middle Class when they were selling then bragging about their accomplishment?

Remember?

Well now that it is tax time how did we poor SOBs in the Middle Class fair?

T o answer that question….YOU WERE SCREWED!

You Feel For A CON JOB!  (as usual)……

That’s right you slow individuals that believed the GOP about the tax cuts are screwed!

The new tax law does result in some people paying higher taxes (especially over the long term), but the specific issue here is tax refunds rather than total taxes paid. Whether you get a refund or owe extra to the IRS at filing time is a function not just of your total taxes owed, but also of how much tax is withheld from your paycheck by your employer on paydays. And the big story here is that as a result of the new tax law, the Treasury Department tweaked things so that on average taxpayers’ withholdings fell by more than their actual taxes owed.

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/2/6/18214039/irs-tax-refund-withholding-trump

No surprise to me…..tax cuts seldom help the Middle Class and yet the Middle Class buys the bullsh*t EVERY TIME!

The 2017 law was supposed to boost workers’ wages, create jobs, and drive more investment — and as we’ve known for awhile, it’s done none of that. But now we can add two more failures to the creatively-named Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA): It hasn’t encouraged corporations to return their profits from overseas, and it’s probably hiding a nasty surprise for many Americans come tax season.

Let’s start with the second idea. Lots of Americans work for an employer who sends them regular paychecks. Those employers rely on tables published by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to guesstimate how much their employees owe in taxes each year. Then they withhold the necessary increments from each paycheck. Come tax season, every worker settles up with the government. If their employer withheld too little, they pay the remainder. If the employer withheld too much, they get a refund from the IRS. As Matt Yglesias pointed out, the system has traditionally overdone withholding on purpose — roughly three-fourths of tax filers usually get a refund.

https://theweek.com/articles/822464/gops-tax-cut-just-keeps-getting-worse

Tax Cuts help NO ONE but the rich…..do not buy the lies and the manure about the Middle Class…..

Those Dem Economic Plans

*********Posted from a secret location known only to myself and everyone on the 4th floor of Memorial Hospital.********

The 2018 elections has brought us a few young freshmen Congresspeople and with the 2020 election looming large a candidate has issued a plan to solve our revenue people….

Let’s look at the economic proposal of announced presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren……

Two economists who are advising Warren, Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman of University of California at Berkeley, announced to the Washington Post that the senator is proposing an annual tax of two percent for assets over $50 million, as well as a three percent tax for assets above $1 billion. The proposal, the economists estimate, would raise $2.75 trillion over 10 years and would affect just .1 percent of American households—raising the percentage at which their wealth is taxed to just 4.3 percent from 3.2 percent. 

The “Ultra-Millionaire Tax” would apply to “all household assets…including residences, closely held businesses, assets held in trust, retirement assets, assets held by minor children, and personal property with a value of $50,000 or more,” according to a paper by the economists.

Warren’s proposal, which economist Thomas Piketty recommended in his book “Capital in the Twenty-First Century,” comes weeks after Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) first told the press about her plan to tax income over $10 million at 70 percent—a proposal supported by a majority of Americans, including 45 percent of Republicans, according to a poll by The Hill.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/01/24/warren-forces-issue-massive-economic-inequality-2020-debate-ultra-millionaire-tax

The freshman women we are calling AOC has a different take on taxing billionaires…..her thought is a 70% tax on them and her thoughts are rooted deep in American’s beliefs….

In 1835, Alexis de Tocqueville produced one of the earliest accounts of the American dream. In his famous study of the Jacksonian U.S., the Frenchman wrote that Americans possessed “the charm of anticipated success” — a ubiquitous optimism that he attributed to our country’s democratic character, and to the “general equality of condition” that prevailed among its “people.”

On Wednesday night, Sean Hannity took de Tocqueville to task. In the Fox News’ host’s telling, general economic equality is not a precondition for the American dream, but rather, an insurmountable obstacle to it — because the American dream is (apparently) to earn more than $10 million year without having to pay a top marginal tax rate higher than 37 percent.

Of course, Hannity did not actually frame his argument as a rebuke of de Tocqueville. His true target was Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/01/ocasio-cortez-aocs-billionaires-taxes-hannity-american-democracy.html

Because her calls are so American that the GOP is running sacred from her proposals….yes running sacred!

What AOC is proposing

The short version is that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is proposing a new 70% tax bracket on income above $10 million. The increased tax on the wealthy would fund what Ocasio-Cortez calls a “Green New Deal,” which would combat both climate change and economic inequality.

Unsurprisingly, this has attracted lots of attention from both ends of the political spectrum. Some agree with the proposal. Some think it’s ludicrous and fear it would derail economic growth. Others think the rich should certainly pay more, but that the addition of a single super-high tax bracket isn’t the best solution.

And, like most tax proposals put forth by politicians, this one is misunderstood by much of the American public.

https://www.fool.com/taxes/2019/01/24/alexandria-ocasio-cortezs-70-tax-plan-what-all-ame.aspx

Let’s watch to see who wins this thing…..but first why would this have the GOP looking over their shoulders…..

Remember that massive tax cuts awhile back?  Appears it did NOTHING it was said it would do…….

The National Association of Business Economics’ (NABE) quarterly business conditions poll published on Monday found that while some companies reported accelerating investments because of lower corporate taxes, 84 percent of respondents said they had not changed plans. That compares to 81 percent in the previous survey published in October.

The White House had predicted that the massive fiscal stimulus package, marked by the reduction in the corporate tax rate to 21 percent from 35 percent, would boost business spending and job growth. The tax cuts came into effect in January 2018.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-economy-investment-idUSKCN1PM0B0

Turn The Page!

Outta Touch Much!

The big story for about a month now has been the government shutdown….of course many horrific stories have come out…..and as usual the boyz in DC have no clue….they are as out of touch as always.  (remember you voted for these unfeeling slugs)

For many years I have been saying, even yelling, that people that run this country from the White House are out of touch completely…..I use when Hillary was running against Obama and she wanted to look like an “average person” stopped into a service station and tried to pump her own gas….the problem was on camera she could not find the gas cap.

That was a good example but the other day our Sec. of Commerce topped Hillary……

Wilbur Ross just could understand why so many are so upset about the shutdown……

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross says he does not understand why federal employees who are furloughed or have been working without pay during the partial government shutdown would need assistance from food banks.

Several credit unions serving workers at federal departments and agencies have been offering stopgap loans, as they have during previous shutdowns. But it’s not clear how even those loans would be sufficient as the shutdown enters its second month.

“I know they are, and I don’t really quite understand why,” Ross said Thursday when asked on CNBC about workers getting food from places like shelters. “Because, as I mentioned before, the obligations that they would undertake, say borrowing from a bank or a credit union, are in effect federally guaranteed.”

https://www.rollcall.com/news/congress/wilbur-ross-doesnt-understand-furloughed-federal-workers-need-food-banks

This can be expected when millionaires are part of the governance…..Ross is just the only one that said what most of the Trump cabinet are thinking.

This illustrates why we need to get money out of the elections and find people will govern with the people of this country in mind.

Outta Touch!

But then after a day of being beat to crap by the press Ross had to “clarify” what he meant……

Commerce secretary Wilbur Ross took much grief on Thursday when he said he didn’t “really quite understand” why furloughed federal workers were showing up at food banks when they could take out a loan instead. Given that Ross is worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $700 million, the comments were immediately seized upon by critics as being out of touch. Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, for instance, both described them as the modern equivalent of “let them eat cake,” reports the Daily Beast. Later in the afternoon, however, Ross did another interview in which he took pains to say that he knew furloughed workers were struggling, reports the Hill. “We’re aware, painfully aware, that there are hardships inflicted on the individual workers,” Ross said on Bloomberg TV.

“All I was trying to do is make sure they’re aware there are possible other things that could help somewhat mitigate their problems,” said Ross. He was referring to the fact that banks and credit unions have begun offering low- and zero-interest loans to federal workers, loans that can be paid off when back pay arrives. Ross said his earlier comments were to “make sure that workers who are experiencing liquidity crises know that may be a source that they could go to.” However, as the Hill notes, not all federal workers will be getting back pay. The Washington Post, meanwhile, reports that the Commerce Department’s own federal credit union is charging 9% interest for emergency loans.

Sorry but he still sounds like a person without a clue……loans are really nice but that puts the worker further in debt when the next temper tantrum of a president comes around again.

Still OUTTA TOUCH!

Screw Those Veterans Again!

Closing Thought–23Jan19

Everybody knows that the federal deficit is outrageous…..and everybody has a party that has a plan to control the deficit…..the only problem it is seldom that important until election time and then it is paramount and will destroy the nation if not brought under control.

All that is pure rancid manure spread by small minded idiots in the Right.

As usual the way to control the deficit is by screw someone in society…..the poor, the aging and the veterans…..well the CBO has a good plan to screw the veterans again……

Some vets use the VA but more have access to Tricare…….and this is where the CBO said changes needed to be made……

With the federal deficit expected to top $1 trillion this year, the Congressional Budget Office in December published a list of options for reducing the imbalance over the next 10 years, including three suggestions on Tricare and six that address veterans benefits.

In its Options for Reducing the Deficit: 2019 to 2028, the CBO laid out 121 opportunities for curtailing spending and raising revenue. These include raising Tricare enrollment fees for military retirees, instituting enrollment fees for Tricare for Life and reducing veterans benefits.

https://www.military.com/daily-news/2019/01/14/cbo-suggests-raising-tricare-fees-cutting-veteran-benefits-slash-deficit.html

Here’s a better idea….since the problem is a lack of income thanks to all the mindless tax cuts for decades….approve the higher tax on the uber-rich and increase the income….will not solve all the problems but will help the loss of income.

History proves that taxing the rich is beneficial…..

Do high taxes really hurt the economy as much as they believe, and will lowering them have much of an impact on stimulating it? The economic literature is clear — tax breaks to encourage economic relocation or investment decisions are inefficient and wasteful. Hundreds of studies reach this conclusion. When businesses are surveyed regarding factors important to their investment decisions, taxes often come in behind proximity to markets, suppliers, and the quality of the labor force. These other factors occupy a larger percentage of a business’s budget than do taxes, and all of them are far more critical to long-term success than are taxes. Businesses occasionally admit this. Nearly 62 percent of those interviewed in a California study on hiring tax credits indicated that they had never or rarely affected their decision to employ individuals.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/01/09/tax-the-rich-history-proves-alexandria-ocasio-cortez-may-be-correct/

Please stop believing the LIE that tax cuts are beneficial!  They help very few and raise the deficit….time to consider the alternatives to GOP bullsh*t.

Tax The Rich

The chant goes up…Tax the rich….Tax the rich…..somewhere there will be villagers with pitchforks waiting on the arrival of the “tax man”…..

Enough fanciful stuff……there is a movement taking to the airwaves a proposal for a 70% tax on the ultra-rich…..and by damn the idea has got a majority approval in the polls…..

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) sparked a flood of hysterical and error-filled responses from the right when she suggested in a recent “60 Minutes” interview that America’s top marginal tax rate should be hiked to 70 percent to help pay for bold progressive programs, but a survey published on Tuesday found that the majority of Americans are on the freshman congresswoman’s side.

Conducted by The Hill in partnership with the market research firm HarrisX, the poll found that 59 percent of the U.S. public supports raising the marginal tax rate on the richest Americans to 70 percent. The poll also found a “surprising amount of support” for the proposal among Republicans, with 45 percent backing the idea along with 71 percent of Democrats.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/01/15/poll-shows-majority-

back-70-tax-rate-ultra-rich-ocasio-cortezs-radical-proposal

The media is not down with this proposal……however the economics of this are sound…looking at it without the bias of a political party……

Taxes impede economic growth and high taxes kill the economy, right?. This is the belief among many who criticize Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s proposal to raise taxes on the wealthy to 70% or more. But what does the evidence really tell us?

Do high taxes really hurt the economy as much as they believe, and will lowering them have much of an impact on stimulating it? The economic literature is clear — tax breaks to encourage economic relocation or investment decisions are inefficient and wasteful. Hundreds of studies reach this conclusion. When businesses are surveyed regarding factors important to their investment decisions, taxes often come in behind proximity to markets, suppliers, and the quality of the labor force. These other factors occupy a larger percentage of a business’s budget than do taxes, and all of them are far more critical to long-term success than are taxes. Businesses occasionally admit this. Nearly 62 percent of those interviewed in a California study on hiring tax credits indicated that they had never or rarely affected their decision to employ individuals.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/01/09/tax-the-rich-history-proves-alexandria-ocasio-cortez-may-be-correct/

I know this will not fly with the GOP for they think that tax cuts for the rich will solve all our economic problems…..wishful thinking….it has not done so in many decades and will not work now.

Time for the uber rich to start pulling their weight to society….they profit most from society then why can they not pay for their privilege?

Why Not?

As a matter of fact……the entire “progressive agenda” is fiscally  responsible….the agenda…..

  • We are currently planning to spend $45.2 trillion over the next decade on healthcare as a country.
  • A single payer Medicare for All system would cost $32.6 trillion over the next decade, saving us $13.2 trillion.
  • Freezing defense spending at 2017 levels would save us $780 billion over the next decade.
  • Reversing the Trump tax cuts would bring in an additional $1.9 trillion of revenue.
  • Reversing the Bush tax cuts would bring in an additional $3.3 trillion of revenue.
  • Closing three corporate tax loopholes (exclusion of rental income, capital gains, and deferral of controlled foreign corporations’ income) would bring in another $2.72 trillion of revenue.
  • If the entire “progressive agenda” is implemented, we would save $18.74 trillion over the next decade.

I approve of the agenda and will support it as long as too many changes are not included.

That is where it will not fly in DC….it is fiscally responsible…..the GOP has NO idea how to be fiscally responsible…..sounds good in sound bytes but the GOP just cannot find the on switch to fiscal responsibility.

Siphon Off The Cash

Closing Thought–14Jan19

Well we watch the tube and the volatility of the markets….wild swings in losses and gains…..it is not normal.

And then there are the trade policies of our president…..his view of his tariffs are not anything like the views from financial pundits…..the news is not good from the tariffs…….out soy bean farmers think they are screwed even after the silly tariffs are removed….

With that said and reported……what about other sectors of our economy?

The financial magazine Forbes reports…..

President Trump likes to say that China and other countries are pouring money into the U.S. with the tariffs he has imposed. However, the countries that are sending goods to us aren’t paying the tariffs . The companies that import goods are paying them , which means U.S. companies need to raise prices (therefore a tax on consumers), lower their margins and have less profit (which also lowers the amount of taxes they pay to the government) or even go out of business.

The U.S. Treasury Department releases a monthly report, which provides how much in customs duties are received by the government (December’s is delayed due to the shutdown. so I have estimated that month’s result). Trump is correct that the payments have escalated in recent months. While they took a jump in the second half of fiscal 2018 (September) from the first half, they have almost doubled in the December quarter compared to the first half of fiscal 2018 before the additional tariffs were imposed.

First half of fiscal 2018: $3.1 billion per month

Second half of fiscal 2018: $3.8 billion per month

First quarter of fiscal 2019: $6.0 billion per month

Increase of 95% from the first half

Delta between $6.0 and $3.1 billion is $2.9 billion  The $2.9 billion monthly increase in customs duties over a full year is $35 billion, which is either passed on to consumers in higher prices or eats into company profits. This can potentially drive a company out of business such as a South Carolina TV manufacturer laying off 126 employees or a Missouri nail manufacturer laying off 200 of its 500 employees.

None of this “news” tracks with the bullsh*t fed to us by the “warrior from Wharton”……..(I still say this person did not get his degree legally…Daddy bought it for him)……these policies are doing NOTHING to make America Great again….NOTHING!