The Tax Bill Passes

So, it happened. The GOP got the votes for the tax bill and it passed both houses today. Trump is guaranteed to sign it.

The reconciliation process fixed some of the flaws in the bill but many of the others — the explosion of debt, the blow to individual insurance markets, the half-baked territorial tax, the BS budget gimmicks that make the bill seem smaller than it actually is — remain. The cut in the corporate tax rate is good as are some of the simplifications. But it’s not the radical reform we needed. In the end, however, the deficit remains my primary concern. This is yet another example of how the GOP has abandoned even the pretense of fiscal conservatism.

That having been said, the reactions from the Left Wing are nothing short of hysterical. Seemingly, every liberal blog out there is calling this a betrayal, a plundering of America, the end of freedom, the end of America, the end of the world. The GOP tax cut bill is irresponsible, but if the “resistance” wants to be taken seriously, they need to knock it off with this apocalyptic bullshit. A bill can be bad and not be the end of the world. And hearing cries about “the process” from people who cheered Obamacare and “fiscal responsibility” from people who thought the stimulus was too small is laughable. This will not be the panacea the Republicans are claiming; but neither will it be armageddon. It’s simply one more step on our way to full fiscal insolvency, a process that’s been going, almost without pause, for 15 years.

What I think really bothers the Left is that Trump finally has an accomplishment he can claim. Frankly, he’s welcome to it.

That last part has been harped on by the Trumpaloos as proof of Trump’s genius. But I have a hard time believing any Republican President wouldn’t have gotten this tax cut through. And they might have gotten a much better and more responsible bill.

I know my blogging has fallen dramatically since Trump’s election. I’ve gone from posting almost every day to maybe once a week. The reason is because I can’t think of much to say. Trump is bad, the Democrats are stupid and the GOP is reckless. Each day of 2017 has been just a rerun of those realities. There are only so many ways I can say the same thing.

Hopefully, 2018 will see some changes. I suspect — or maybe hope is the right word — that the GOP will begin to resist Trump’s worst tendencies now that they’ve gotten their judges and their tax cuts. But we shall see.

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, folks.

19 comments:

  1. richtaylor365

    . The reason is because I can’t think of much to say. Trump is bad, the Democrats are stupid and the GOP is reckless. 

    Gee, I wonder (not really) what is so different from ,”Obama is bad, the Democrats are stupid, and the GOP is reckless”? Oh, that’s right, it is because there is an “R” in the WH, that’s the difference, right thinking, indeed. Buck up there, Sparky, soon enough a Democrat will be in the WH and your world will be righted again.

    When the bowing, apology making, income re-distributing, one world order defending, leading from behind, industry/economy killing, community organizer was “The Man”, as horrible as he was at it you were Chatty Kathy at blogging. But now that the guy who is  making reality of the things that he campaigned on, the malaise and hopelessness is just too great for you to soldier on. I know the feeling, having lived it for 8 years with Mr. “If you like your doctor and healthcare plan, you can keep your doctor and healthcare plan”, but still managed to suck it up and validate,” this to shall pass”.

    Needles to say, I agree with very little of your tax plan excoriation. Is it perfect? of course not, but learned a long time ago that “good” is not the enemy of “perfect”. There is some much needed tax relief in this plan. Even though it will hurt me individually, still living in a blue  totalitarian state where Democrats are insatiable in their rapacious taxation grabs, I believe it is good for America as a whole so I roundly support it.

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  2. Iconoclast

    Yeah, Hal has become quite adept at spewing forth the standard left wing talking points on just about any issue.  The fact that Tripper is on board and stogy literally agrees with Hal 100% on a particular post pretty much tells me everything I need to know; I may as well read Mother Jones or Move On.

    We get it: Hal Doesn’t Like Trump.  And so Hal doesn’t even wanna play anymore. Fair enough.  This venue has been limping along for years.  Perhaps it’s time to put it out of its misery.

    I was going to respond to one post or another about how part of the GOP’s problem is the Never Trump faction — people in congress who share Hal’s personal dislike of Trump.  They call themselves Republican, but have sworn on their mothers’ graves to make The Donald fail, regardless of the cost.

    But why bother?

     

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  3. West Virginia Rebel

    Other stuff Trump has gotten done:

    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/year-one-list-81-major-trump-achievements-11-obama-legacy-items-repealed/article/2644159

    People will be noticing the benefits of the bill when they get their tax returns. The cuts for those making less aren’t permanent, but they’re good for at least another decade. Let the Democrats complain; these are not the biggest tax cuts in history; they’re not even as big as Reagan’s. But for most average people, they’ll do.

     

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  4. hald

    I’m pretty sure my taxes increased.

    In 2016, I had itemized deductions of approximately $22,000 and personal exemptions of $20,250 (5 * $4,050). I have no child tax credit as my children are all H.S and college aged.

    I cannot estimate 2017, since I still need 1099’s and 1098’s. This will be the last year I can itemize.

    Estimating 2018, I will have a standard deduction of $24,000 and personal exemptions of $0 (they were zeroed out), my taxable income just increased by $18,000.

    Even though my marginal tax rate reduced from 25% to 22%, the increase in taxable income gives me a net tax increase of several thousand dollars.

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  5. Hal_10000 *

     believe it is good for America as a whole so I roundly support it.”

    Then give up the bullshit pretense that you ever ever cared about the deficit.

    And Trump isn’t fulfilling his campaign promises. He’s carrying out standard DC swamp crap and catering to special interests. Only with a side dish of incompetence and bigotry while making himself rich. You are being grifted; you just don’t realize it yet.

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  6. Hal_10000 *

    We get it: Hal Doesn’t Like Trump. 

    I (and Lee) spent years being excoriated for criticizing Bush by GOP boot-lickers calling themselves conservatives. I have no trouble being excoriated for criticizing the incompetent, verbally incontinent, anti-conservative populist shill camping out at 1600 PA for the next four years.

    The problem is that it’s boring. During the Obama years, I could criticize because there were alternatives — GOP plans to reign in spending and entitlements, reform taxes. There was serious deficit reduction from 2010-2016 as the GOP held the line on spending, there was progress on social issues. There were serious ideas for entitlement and immigration reform.

    Now, there’s nothing.  The GOP has completely sold itself to the Tangerine Toddler as he loots the country for as much personal wealth as he can and lies so much he makes the Clintons look honest. They’ve sold out to his isolations, anti-trade and anti-immigration beliefs which will empower China and Russia to do as they want.

    Only this time, there is no alternative. There is no hope.  The opposition party is not putting forth plans — as the GOP did — for deficit reduction and entitlement reform. They are calling for MAWR spending, MAWR socialized medicine, MARW laws, MAWR regulation, MAWR investigation. Democrat governors are responding to global warming by killing the only real alternative to nuclear power.  And since the Culture Wars have been mostly won by the Left, I don’t really see much of a need to align with them on that issue.

    If you believe in small government, fiscal responsibility, honesty, balanced foreign policy, free trade and immigration, you have no party in this country. You have no major politician advocating your views. There are only so many times I can link to Cato or Reason or National Review before I get bored.

    We can not thrive in this Administration; we can only survive it.

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  7. Hal_10000 *

    People will be noticing the benefits of the bill when they get their tax returns. 

    No, they won’t. First, the bill did not simplify their tax returns. Second, it applied to 2018, not 2017. This will show up, assuming the IRS can figure out what the hell happened, in the witholding tax and then the returns filed in 2019.

    Note that almost all of those Trump “accomplishments” are stuff he either have no hand in (GDP growth) or where Obama actually “did” better (stock market growth) or are next to meaningless (called for a plan to do X) or address problems that don’t actually exist (chain immigration)

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  8. richtaylor365

    Then give up the bullshit pretense that you ever ever cared about the deficit.

    Says the guy who lauded Obama’s almost doubling of the national debt from $10.6 to $19.4 Trillion, you gave up that “pretense” years ago.  Yes, any debt increase worries me, but the hypocrisy of those that just now discovered fiscal responsibility, how predictable.

    Hell even Obama (more than once) admitted that our corporate tax rate was too high, onerous to our global growth, and  not competitive to the rest of the industrialized world.

    And certainly you understand the correlation between a rising GDP and rising tax revenues. The premise put forth is that super charging the economy with “normal” GDP growth will provide more tax revenue, more tax revenue will require less borrowing, thus a reduced deficit.

    It also highlights the fundamental difference between you and me, between the progressives and the conservatives, the solution to deficits is not more taxation, it is a reduction in spending. Any normal family, faced with financial constraints will tighten their belt and go on a budget. But the government has the power to tax, to rob normal folks of their labor and ability to produce, no belt tightening for them.

    And Trump isn’t fulfilling his campaign promises

    Some he has, some he hasn’t, but the last time I checked he has the job for 4 years, so yeah, let’s hang him now because after only one year at the job he has not fulfilled ALL of his campaign promises.

    I (and Lee) spent years being excoriated for criticizing Bush by GOP boot-lickers calling themselves conservatives.

    Gee, I remember most folks here were slamming Bush because he went full progressive with his spending. But if the fantasy of you and Lee against the world gives you comfort, have at it.

     I have no trouble being excoriated for criticizing the incompetent, verbally incontinent, anti-conservative populist shill camping out at 1600 PA for the next four years.

    Come down off that cross for just a minute. Criticize away, Trump usually has it coming. But you were the one that said it was no fun anymore, like here;

    The problem is that it’s boring.

    Of course it is. Your gal didn’t win, so now you want to take your toys and go home. The hopelessness and despair is just too great for you to endure, where is a safe space when you need one? I don’t remember all the conservatives here hiding out in a cave for the Obama 8 years, maybe you need more fiber in your diet.

     he makes the Clintons look honest. 

    Um, NO!!!!!

    If you believe in small government, fiscal responsibility, honesty, balanced foreign policy, free trade and immigration, you have no party in this country.

    OK, now some common ground. This is probably my biggest lament because very few people in power are of my ilk, hold my values or voice any urgency to those issues which  I believe need fixing. Yes, there are few fiscal conservatives willing to espouse an agenda of austerity, too bad, but new people get elected to congress all the time. But  the issues at hand; comprehensive immigration reform that respects our laws but is fair, entitlement/welfare reform, tax reform, removing the heavy hand of the government on business by overturning stupid regulations thus allowing the free markets to thrive, making us competitive with the rest of the world with our corporate tax rate, protecting free speech and the right of free expression, getting government out of the religion business, and allowing normal folks the luxury of keeping just a bit more of their own money, we need new people with the energy and fortitude to tackle these issues. Our current class of clowns is just not up to the task.

     

     

     

     

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  9. Hal_10000 *

    Says the guy who lauded Obama’s almost doubling of the national debt from $10.6 to $19.4 Trillion,

    I never did any such thing. My praise for the GOP holding the line on spending and cutting the deficit by 2/3 after the Obama/Bush spending binge.  I also said the corporate tax rate cut was good IF it came with eliminating loopholes which this did not. And you’re trotting out the bullshit that tax cuts pay for themselves. That’s worse than Pelosi’s claim that the stimulus would pay for itself.

    the solution to deficits is not more taxation, it is a reduction in spending.

    No, I’m contrasting a real conservative in the Reagan mold vs. a faux conservative in the Fox News mold.  Reagan raised taxes AND cut spending. Bush 41 raised taxes AND cut spending. Clinton raised taxes AND cut spending.  The result was budget surpluses and a thriving economy.  Only in Faux Conservative land does raising spending and cutting taxes do … something.  Where are the GOP’s spending cuts? They jacked up military spending for no particular reason and have not touched entitlements.  Until spending is cut, no tax cuts.  You don’t get to eat your dessert before you eat your broccolli.

    Your gal didn’t win, so now you want to take your toys and go home. 

    That power-hungry corrupt sack of lies was never my gal.  And I haven’t noticed you (or Alex) posting around here lately.  Why is that?

    Um, NO!!!!!

    Um, yes. As dishonest and perfidious as the Clintons were, Trump is worse. He lives in an alternative reality, constantly spewing things that aren’t even remotely true, starting with the crowd size at his inauguration and continuing to his bizarre NYT interview. He screams fake news anytime the facts contradict his prejudices. The Clintons put their assets in a blind trust; he’s still running his businesses and profiting handsomely off making Mar-A-Lago the second white house. He just passed a tax cut that will personally profit him millions while lying about its contents.

    I’m used to Presidents who lie. This one is engaged in a whole-scale assault on the concept of truth.

    Our current class of clowns is just not up to the task.

    On this, at least, we can agree.

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  10. richtaylor365

     My praise for the GOP holding the line on spending and cutting the deficit by 2/3 after the Obama/Bush spending binge.

    Wow, revisionist much? It’s like we had this discussion a few dozen times. Crickey,  how many times did you praise Obama (not the GOP like you are doing here) for bringing down the deficit? My standard joke that I have used beyond it’s shelf life is that we have a ready made formula for the Hal seal of approval; blow out the deficit by over a trillion the first couple years, then slowly bring it down, how many back slaps did you give Obama for that? You keep forgetting the numbers, Trillion plus deficits 4 years in a row, then slowly bring it down (but then it goes up again) this is your definition of responsible governance…………..hardly. And now you switch gears and say it was the GOP that made this magic happen?

     And you’re trotting out the bullshit that tax cuts pay for themselves

    I guess you did not read my link, too bad. History has shown us that a rising and sustainable GDP growth also super charges tax revenues, so yes, a mechanism does exist whereby these tax cuts could (not will) pay for themselves.

     a faux conservative in the Fox News mold.

    Not sure what this looks like, explain.

    Where are the GOP’s spending cuts?

    Funny you should ask

    Again, I know you want everything now, and think one year equals four, and if we had a real conservative in the WH with a super majority like Obama had, we could have gotten all this stuff done in one year, but any nudge in this direction is progress.

    Until spending is cut, no tax cuts. 

    TBH, I could live with that, at least on the individual side.

    Why is that?

    I already wrote about that, more than once fairly recently. As disappointed as I was about the Obama years, staying in bed under the covers and waiting his term out was hardly a solution. We had the readers here then to keep things going, and I certainly had stuff to say. But at this point, writing for 2 or 3 people did not seem like time well spent. Repmom already ripped me a new one over this, but it had nothing to due with being butthurt over any election or feeling hopeless over it’s outcome.

     

     

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  11. Hal_10000 *

    And now you switch gears and say it was the GOP that made this magic happen?

    Oh, come on, Rich. You’re better than this. You know damned well I was posting in response to two points: that the GOP were all RINOs and sellouts who wouldn’t stand up to Obama and that Obama was the biggest spendthrift of all time.

    Here was go again. And you can follow along in the budget tables if you want.

    The first trillion dollar deficit was FY 2009.  A Bush year. Democrat stimulus increased that by $300 billion.

    The FY 2001 budget was 1.862 trillion.

    After six years of GOP rule, the FY 2007 budget was $2.567 trillion, a 38% increase, an average of 6.5%

    For the next two years, the budget inreased to $3.517 trillion, another 37% increase.

    Obama took over in FY 2009. The FY 2010 budget was 3.457 trillion, 2% lower.  The FY 2011 budget was $3.603, a 4% increase. The GOP took over Congress and the next four budget were:

    $3.536 (down 2%)

    $3.455 (down 2%)

    $3.506 (up 1%)

    3.368 (up 5%)

    3.852 (up 4%)

    4.062 (up 5% — estimated)

    As is usually the case, there are two things: what “conservatives” believe and reality.  In reality, Bush left the budget 89% larger than he found it and Obama left a budget 15% larger than he found it — less than GDP growth+inflation. Even if you shift the stimulus over to Obama’s side, those numbers become 73% and 26%.  Here is how much our spending has increased under the last few Presidents back to Reagan (rampant inflation makes the Nixon/Carter/Ford/Johnson years a bit tricky.

    Reagan: Increased spending from $678 billion to $1.144 trillion (70%)

    Bush I: Increased spending by from $1.144 trillion to $1.409 trillion (23%)

    Clinton: Increased spending from $1.409 trillion to $1.862 (32%)

    Bush II: Increased spending from $1.862 trillion to $3.518 (89%) or $3.2 (73%)

    Obama: Increased spending from $3.518/3.2 to $4.062 (15% or 26%)

    Yeah, the deficit was all Obama. What was I thinking?

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  12. richtaylor365

     You know damned well I was posting in response to two points: that the GOP were all RINOs and sellouts who wouldn’t stand up to Obama and that Obama was the biggest spendthrift of all time.

    When? Are you talking about all the other times in the last 8 years when you praised Obama for bringing down the deficit, or now when you do a 180 and now say that actually it wasn’t Obama at all but the GOP Congress that made him do it? Can’t have it both ways, sorry.

    Obama: Increased spending from $3.518/3.2 to $4.062 (15% or 26%)

    Ah, so now we are back to Obama being the fiscally responsible hand. Honestly Hal, I’m getting whiplash from all your zig zags.

    As for all the other stuff, we have been over it way too many times, my link, a USGOV link, speaks for itself, the numbers are right there in front of you. And the joke is still valid, blow out the deficit the first few years then slowly bring it down and you are Warren Buffet incarnate. The sitting President gets the praise and blame for surpluses and deficits. We have heard you tell us countless times that it was Bill Clinton’s surpluses, that’s how it works, I guess up until the time that Trump has a Dem run Congress and he follows your model and lowers the deficit, then it will be all Congresses doing, no doubt.

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  13. Hal_10000 *

    Rich, the link I have is a government site — the Whitehouse’s own OMB. The website you have a is random private website not affiliated with govt. In any case, their numbers tell you the same thing.

    First trillion dollar deficit was Bush’s.

    Under Obama, thanks mainly to the GOP, we saw the most spending restraint in the last 30 years.

    I’m sorry if the math conflicts with your beliefs. But in most places 15 is less than 89.

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  14. hald

    You should try the tax plan calculator to get an idea.  Might not be as bad as you think.

    I had already put my numbers through it.  It was off by nearly 50% on my 2016 taxes, so I’m not placing much value in the estimates of my 2018 taxes.

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  15. Iconoclast

    Note that almost all of those Trump “accomplishments” are [essentially null and void because reasons]…..

    The economy is doing better than it ever did under Obama.

    ISIS is on the run.

    Syria hasn’t used chemical weapons since the airfield bombing.

    Consumer confidence is up.

    Companies are giving bonuses and/or raising their minimum wage to 15 bucks an hour.

    But yeah, we shouldn’t give Trump any credit whatsoever, because tangerine toddler or some such bullshit. Obama is da man who made all the above happen. Because, well, freakin’ OBAMA!!!

    Like I said, why bother?  Frankly, you sound unhinged.

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  16. Iconoclast

    I (and Lee) spent years being excoriated for criticizing Bush by GOP boot-lickers calling themselves conservatives.

    Uh-huh.  I suspect most of those “boot-lickers” were people like Drumwaster and his followers.  There was a rather major falling out between Lee and Drum, but those who stood with Lee (including yours truly) mostly agreed with the criticisms, which included Bush’s refusal to veto any GOP big-spending bill, and creating yet another big government bureaucracy in response to 9/11.  There was debate over waterboarding and other aspect of how the so-called war on terror was executed.

    But Lee didn’t exhibit BDS in the manner that you display TDS.  Lee praised Bush when he thought Bush did something right.

    You? I have yet to see you give credit to Trump for anything. Well, maybe a dismissive “he’s welcome to it” hand wave re: the tax bill. And I certainly don’t recall Lee calling Bush anything remotely analogous to “tangerine toddler”.

    You utterly hated Trump long before he became POTUS. You kept predicting nothing but utter disaster, and you’re still at it.

    You’re delusional if you seriously think these two situations are comparable.

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