It’s Infrastructure Stupid

Think back to the campaign of 2016….one of the big promises from Trump was to resurrect our dying infrastructure…..and so far we got nothing of the sorts.

But today the party leaders and Trump will meet on how to go about getting the $2 trillion for the plan that has been set forth.

This plan will go NOWHERE….why? The only way to pay for this plan is a rise in taxes on corporations and the wealthy……

With President Donald Trump and Democratic leaders set to meet Wednesday to discuss a possible $2 trillion infrastructure package, a progressive advocacy group on Monday warned that any proposal that doesn’t include significant tax hikes on the rich and corporations “will be meaningless and doomed to failure.”

“If major tax increases are off the table, there is no way to pay for a $2 trillion infrastructure plan, it’s that simple,” Frank Clemente, executive director of Americans for Tax Fairness (ATF), said in a statement. “Other options, such as raising the gas tax, might be part of the package, but by themselves won’t come close to reaching the $2 trillion that’s needed.”

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/05/20/without-tax-hikes-corporations-and-rich-critics-warn-2-trillion-infrastructure-plan

Every body agrees that our infrastructure is in trouble…….ever body agrees that it needs to be updated….the problem is NOBODY wants to pay for it.

I have an idea!

Since we have spent about $6 trillion on wars in the last decade or so…cancelling those abortions would easily pay for the infrastructure they all say they want.

The price tag of the ongoing “war on terror” in the Middle East will likely top $6 trillion next year, and will reach $7 trillion if the conflicts continue into the early 2020s, according to a new report out Wednesday.

The annual Costs of War project report, from the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University, puts the full taxpayer burden of fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria over the last 17 years at several times higher than official Defense Department estimates, because it includes increases in Homeland Security and Veterans Affairs spending, as well as new military equipment and personnel.

https://www.militarytimes.com/news/pentagon-congress/2018/11/14/price-tag-of-the-war-on-terror-will-top-6-trillion-soon/

The Fiscal Times look at out spending on wars as well….

“It’s important for the American people to understand the true costs of war, both the moral and monetary costs,” Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) said in a statement last week, according to The Hill. “Our nation continues to finance wars and military operations through borrowing, rather than asking people to contribute to the national defense directly, and the result is a serious fiscal drag that we’re not really accounting for or factoring into deliberations about fiscal policy or military policy.”

http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/2018/11/19/Problem-Our-6-Trillion-War-Tab

I think the easy answer would be the best answer.

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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!

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.

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!

A BAT In The Belfry

Ever wonder where that saying came from?

Surprisingly, belfry does not come from bell, and early belfries did not contain bells at all. Belfry comes from berfrey, a medieval term for a wooden tower used in sieges. The structure could be rolled up to a fortification wall so that warriors hidden inside could storm the battlements. Over time, the term was applied to other types of shelters and towers, many of which had bells in them. Through association, people began spelling berfrey as bellfrey, then as belfrey and later belfry. On a more metaphorical note, someone who has “bats in the belfry” is crazy or eccentric. This phrase is responsible for the use of bats for “crazy” (“Are you completely bats?”) and the occasional use of belfry for “head” (“He’s not quite right in the belfry”).

Now that has absolutely nothing to do with the post what so ever…..but now you know.

Trump is about to start his assault on tax reform and one of those items we need to watch for is a “border tax”…….

With an ObamaCare alternative off the table for now, the White House is turning its attention to a new initiative, the first fundamental overhaul of the tax code in 30 years. Intense lobbying already is underway, with one of the most contentious issues the idea of a “border adjustment tax,” or BAT. Here’s where things stand:

  • The border tax would effectively levy a tax on products coming into the US and give tax breaks to companies sending products abroad. Proponents say it would protect US jobs, while opponents say it would raise prices of everyday goods for many Americans. See a primer at CNN.
  • As you might expect, companies such as Boeing, Merck, and Dow Chemical that export many of their products are big fans of the BAT, while heavy importers such as retailers Walmart and Target oppose it because they say it would drive up their prices, reports the Atlantic.
  • A huge ad war is unfolding. The National Retail Federation, for example, is running ads against the BAT, like this parody of an infomercial.
  • Paul Ryan and House Republican leaders are pushing for the BAT, but their Senate counterparts generally oppose it, reports the the Washington Post. Conservative Tom Cotton, for instance, called it “a theory wrapped in a speculation inside a guess,” in this op-ed at USA Today. In a possible hint of compromise, the Post notes that Treasury chief Steven Mnuchin has suggested that some products or industries could be exempt, without offering details.
  • President Trump himself sounded skeptical of the tax initially but might be warming up. “Anytime I hear border adjustment, I don’t love it,” he told the Wall Street Journal in January. In February, however, he told Reuters that it “could lead to a lot more jobs,” and on Sunday, Reince Priebus said Trump thought a border tax could even “the playing field between our country” and others, per Fox News.
  • The success of the BAT hinges on the economic premise that it would strengthen the US dollar, though there’s a fair amount of skepticism about that, notes Business Insider. A more in-depth analysis, which takes note of “significant confusion and uncertainty” about how exchange rates might respond, is at Real Clear Economics.
  • The European Union might sue if a border tax goes into effect, reports dw.com. Canada isn’t a fan, either, notes Fortune.
  • More broadly, the GOP’s failure to repeal ObamaCare complicates tax reform, because Republicans were relying on savings from the ACA’s elimination as part of their calculations. The New York Times delves into the thorny legislative consequences, which mean that Republicans might have to work more closely with Democrats.

Your produce is about to become more expensive….to start……

Let the debate begin!

The Revolution Will Be Televised!

Another lazy Sunday….and my internet connection has sucked for a couple days….maintenance and such…at least that is the excuse we get…..and I apologize for not being as visible as I normally am…..I am hoping that all this connectivity problems will be sorted out by Monday…..

Let’s do what I always do……Why not look at history for a moment?

Back in the 1700’s the US Colonies decided to take action when one of life’s little pleasures were chosen to be taxed….the TEA.

Some 200+ years later……

So today we are told that bacon will be scarce and more expensive…..Trump was elected president and now word has come out that the government is once again attempting to tax a small pleasure in the people’s lives……COFFEE!

Nearly 250 years after the Boston Tea Party, we could have a Salem Coffee Party on our hands. The Oregon Legislature is weighing a tax of 5 cents per pound on wholesale coffee, including coffee beans and ground coffee. KOIN reports that no revenue projection was given in House Bill 2875, but the Willamette Week’s math suggests it could bring in about $2 million a year. (The state’s budget gap stands at $1.8 billion.) The money would be earmarked for the Oregon National Guard Youth Challenge Program, alternative high school programs, and primary school reading programs.

Willamette Week sees a disconnect there, reporting that lawmakers typically try to “establish a clear connection” between the tax and what the revenue will do, like property taxes paid by homeowners covering fire services. “The relationship between coffee consumption and alternative education is less clear,” it writes. That said, the bill will go into effect on July 1, 2018, if it receives a three-fifths majority in the state House and Senate. A rep for House Republicans says “a tax on coffee is clearly not a proposal Oregonians would support, and we hope Democrats will disavow it just as quickly as they introduced it.”

Dammit!  Seriously?

Enough is enough!  Time for the American people to do what they do best….start a goddamn revolution!  Let this be the first “shot” fired!  Long live the revolution!

More coffee!  Time to say bye for the day my friends…enjoy your weekend and see you tomorrow with more stuff….chuq

Where Do All My Taxes Go?

This country is always having a debate about taxes….do we need more….or maybe it should be less…..In reality if people would pay attention to where their taxes go I think the conversation would change considerably….

If you are one of the lucky few that makes $50,000 a year your taxes can be broken down thusly…

 

You tell me…is the taxpayer’s money well spent?