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…..

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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!

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.

Repatriation Of The Dollar

When Trump was running as a GOP candidate he made a few promises that I thought I could get behind (that does not mean that I would have voted for him just that I thought they were good policies)……most of these policies were in the field of diplomacy and international relations….but there was one that I thought was excellent but did not think he could accomplish…..the promise of the return of funds held by American corporations in offshore accounts…..

But I was mistaken….there seems to be a bunch of cash returning to our shores……

U.S. companies have sent home over half a trillion dollars of cash they held overseas in 2018 to take advantage of tax changes, but data suggest the pace is slowing, potentially removing a key source of support for Wall Street.

Dollar repatriation in the July-September period fell to $93 billion, around half of second-quarter volumes and less than a third of the $300 billion or so sent home from January to March, U.S. current account data shows.

The repatriation bonanza followed new regulations that allowed the U.S. government to tax profits accumulated overseas, regardless of where the money was held. Prior rules allowed companies to “defer” U.S. tax on worldwide profits unless they repatriated the money.

The change offered a powerful incentive to bring home some of the $3 trillion U.S. firms were believed to hold in jurisdictions ranging from Ireland to Switzerland, either in cash or in securities such as U.S. Treasuries.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-us-repatriation-companies-idUSKCN1OU0ME

A good start but I still do not see all that offshore cash coming home……do you?  Plus I have not heard a plan to stop this practice, have you?

Just In Time For A Revolt

IST and the old Professor tries to find the history that historians try to ignore….history the Americans are seldom taught…..

There is one thing that all governments fear above all else…..the people.

We all know about the revolt because of high taxes….and then of course there was the famous “No Taxation Without Representation”….we know how all the events that took place and landed American in conflict with  her king…..the problem is my “revolt” is about 100 years prior to the now famous conflict……before the Tea Party and Shay’s Rebellion was the first test…….

It was called Bacon’s Rebellion…….

Bacon’s Rebellion of 1676 holds its place in the history books as the first rebellion (but obviously not the last) in the English colonies of the New World. Yet as historic as it was, Bacon’s Rebellion was also a petty, bigoted insurrection led by a lazy incompetent against a corrupt governor — and it nearly destroyed the colony of Virginia.

Bacon’s Rebellion and was a war between two actual cousins. One was the heavy-handed English governor, Sir William Berkeley, a veteran of the English civil wars. The other was Nathaniel Bacon, an immature, lazy schemer. His father had sent him to Virginia hoping he would grow up. When Bacon arrived, Berkeley gave him land and a seat on the council.

Bacon’s privilege aside, life in Virginia was harsh, filled with drought, starvation, and fighting with Native Americans. Meanwhile, white indentured servants, little more than slaves, did most of the work.

From the beginning, when Jamestown’s first settlers resorted to cannibalism to make it through the tough winter of 1609, Virginia was a harsh place to live. Throughout the 17th century, those conditions never really got much better — and eventually led to Bacon’s Rebellion of 1676.

https://allthatsinteresting.com/bacons-rebellion

Further reading for those interested…….

https://www.landofthebrave.info/bacons-rebellion.htm

Wonder Where The Money Went?

I like to know where my tax dollars are being spent….how about you?

War seem to be the big drain on our national budget…..that is right the waging of war is flipping expensive…..right, how damn expensive could it be?

Glad you asked and I have the answer for you……

A new report from Brown University is aiming to provide a close estimate of the cost of the overall cost to the US government of its myriad post-9/11 wars and assorted global wars on terror. The estimate is that $5.933 trillion has been spent through fiscal year 2019.

This is, of course, vastly higher than official figures, owing to the Pentagon trying to oversimplify the costs into simply overseas contingency operations. It is only when one considers the cost of medical and disability care for soldiers, and future such costs, along with things like the interest on the extra money borrowed for the wars, that the true cost becomes clear.

That sort of vast expenditure is only the costs and obligations of the wars so far, and with little sign of them ending, they are only going to grow. In particular, a generation of wars is going to further add to the medical costs for veterans’ being consistently deployed abroad.

Starting in late 2001, the US has engaged in wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, Yemen, and elsewhere around the world. Many of those wars have become more or less permanent operations, with no consideration of ending them under any circumstances.

Those wishing to read the report can find it here.

Those are just words…….try this on for size……$5,900,000,000,000

That is right…..more damn “zeroes” than most of us can imagine……

The Pentagon has lied to us for years, grossly underestimating the cost of its military operations against enemies largely manufactured by intelligence agencies.

“That sort of vast expenditure is only the costs and obligations of the wars so far, and with little sign of them ending, they are only going to grow. In particular, a generation of wars is going to further add to the medical costs for veterans’ being consistently deployed abroad,” writes Jason Ditz.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/heres-youll-pay-neocon-wars-5900000000000/5660051

Something else for taxpayers to watch……the Pentagon FAILED a recent audit……that’s right FAILED!

After years of empty promises and demands from frustrated members of Congress, the Pentagon finally conducted its first-ever comprehensive audit—and unsurprisingly failed it, Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan revealed Thursday.

“We failed the audit, but we never expected to pass it,” Shanahan told reporters at a press briefing. While expressing irritation with the poor money management, he added, “it was an audit on a $2.7 trillion dollar organization, so the fact that we did the audit is substantial.”

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/11/16/insult-american-people-outrage-after-pentagon-fails-first-ever-audit

Just some of the sh*t in DC the waste of American taxpayer funds and NO ONE cares….why is that?

Are Americans ignorant, lazy, stupid or just plain moronic…..or could it be all of the above?

A Proper Taxation

121 years ago today economist Henry George died of a stroke in NYC….just thought I would help people understand his theories which make more sense than the stupidity of the tax cuts of the political parties these days…..

Taxes is always a hot item during elections…..Repubs promising to lower taxes and improve the quality of life and the Dems are accused at raising taxes and bankrupting the nation…..just how that works is a source of much laughter.

Anyway there is a way to taxation that is good for the econ0my, the nation and the government.

Years ago I studied with the Henry George Foundation……it covers the idea of a Land Value Tax…..LVT is gaining popularity as the theory becomes more accessible…..I have written about the theory before……https://lobotero.com/2009/01/02/ever-hear-of-land-value-taxation/

Or if reading is not your thing…….

As I have said this theory is gaining in popularity…..especially in Europe……the video is a very good one and if my reader would just give it a listen then they might also find the theory to their liking……

As I have mentioned….this theory is gaining more and more support especially in Europe…..

The signature campaign is in place to launch the first [Georgist] political party from The New Physiocratic League, which will create a model for more political parties to come.

The New Physiocratic League (https://newphysiocrats.org), a political-economic project with a mission to create a world where we regain and amplify our earned income and democratize our physical space, launches a campaign for the first Georgist political party in decades and pave the way for more Georgist political parties to be established.

The policies of the New Physiocrats are expected to achieve more money in your pocket, soaring purchasing power, and a return to spaces of great architecture & beauty. To do so, The New Physiocrats are starting to collect signatures in Croatia (Zagreb and Vukovar) for one of the first Georgist political parties in decades, which will be the first of many worldwide (https://www.facebook.com/groups/NoviHrvatskiFiziokrati/). They are currently open to receiving pitches from locals to tailor the platform to their needs, and to receiving volunteers around the world to register local branches of the party.

https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/meet-the-people-launching-some-of-the-first-georgist-political-parties-in-decades-1027541467

If my reader is truly interested after watching the short vid and would like more on the subject then this is the full audiobook……

Yes it is lengthy….and if you would like a peek at what the book entails then this synopsis will help……

During the 19th century the U.S. witnessed a huge increase in wealth-producing power. People naturally expected labor-saving inventions to lessen toil and improve working conditions for all; that the enormous increase in wealth producing power would wipe out poverty forever.

Instead, however, squalor, misery, vice and crime increased and are still increasing everywhere as our villages, towns and cities grow and as new technologies bring advantages to improve methods of production and exchange.

The association of poverty with progress is the great enigma of our times. It is the source of our industrial, social and political difficulties. Our statesmen, philanthropists, and educators grapple with it in vain. This riddle, if not answered, will eventually topple our entire civilization. To solve the riddle, we must research the immutable laws governing the science of economics.

http://www.wealthandwant.com/HG/PP/Katzenberger_synopsis.html

Help more people understand the economics of Henry George…the country will be better off.