Why worry about taxes.



Will the proposed tax reform create widespread prosperity. Perhaps not, but why worry? Nothing bad could happen.

  • Republicans will have a victory.
  • High tax blue states will be punished; Democrats will take the blame.
  • Corporations will have their tax cut.
  • Wealthy families needn’t worry about estate taxes.
  • The alternative minimum tax will be gone for the foreseeable future.
  • People are reluctant to discuss their income, so complaints from those whose taxes go up will be muted.
  • As we know, deficits don’t matter, if only during a Republican administration.
  • Amounts withheld from paychecks for taxes can be reduced, which will make some happy.
  • Some taxpayers will be happy with their tax bill  (some of the savings will disappear in a few years).

Perhaps proponents really believe tax reform will bring about prosperity, but it’s still good if it doesn’t. Business interests and wealthy families have much to celebrate, and there is reason to hope for more.

  • In five years, if Republicans still control Congress, they can make temporary provisions permanent; if Democrats then control Congress, they can be attacked if they let temporary provisions expire.
  • Deficit spending, should the deficit explode, can be addressed by cuts to SNAP, CHIP, Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.
  • The 39.6% marginal rate might soon be repealed.

Critics may whine, but for keeping the plebeians happy, this “tax reform” is better than a circus.






About whungerford

* Contributor at NewNY23rd.com where we discuss the politics, economics, and events of the New New York 23rd Congressional District (Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chemung, (Eastern) Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben,Tioga, Tompkins, and Yates Counties) Please visit and comment on whatever strikes your fancy.
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17 Responses to Why worry about taxes.

  1. Barbara Griffin says:

    With low unemployment and the economy booming for the corporate elite, the promises that Trump and the GOP make about “bringing back more, higher paying jobs” is hollow. Our government will have less revenue, in spite of cuts to needed domestic programs, and the deficit will rise. This isn’t pretty.


  2. whungerford says:

    Yes, the promise is hollow, but whether our future is pretty or not depends on one’s perspective. Evidently some want nothing more than cuts to domestic programs.

    There is a fat section in the NY Times today on education. I noted that STEM jobs pay well, but there are far more graduates in these fields than there are jobs for them. One field that has jobs for graduates is Computer Science.

    If tax cuts don’t produce “jobs, jobs, jobs,” “cuts, cuts, cuts” are still a “win, win, win,” right?


  3. Arthur Ahrens says:

    Republicans are poised to begin debating details of their tax plan this week, but House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) signaled Sunday that party leaders are still mulling whether to use the proposal to end a central element of the Obama-era Affordable Care Act, the mandates.



  4. whungerford says:

    Would repealing Obamacare mandates sweeten the deal for Republicans or make it less likely to pass the Senate?


  5. Arthur Ahrens says:

    I wonder if we will find out.
    I simply mentioned it to underline R mendacity and tenacity.
    They really really really want to deliver to their donors.


  6. whungerford says:

    H.R.1 has 24 cosponsors, all Republicans. Tom Reed is one. Certainly the GOP intends to ramrod their bill into law if they can.

    Tax changes take effect in 2018. Voters won’t file a return for 2018 until after the Nov. 2018 election. By the 2020 election, this matter will likely be forgotten unless it goes sour.


  7. Arthur Ahrens says:

    and more…

    As the details of the Republicans’ tax bill are seeping out, it almost looks like Donald Trump’s accountant was the primary author of it, as so many provisions work especially well for him. Here is just a sample:

    The bill repeals the tax exemption for like-kind exchanges in which a company exchanges one asset for a similar one. Surprise! The repeal doesn’t apply to real estate.

    The bill creates a special tax bracket of 25% for pass-through businesses. It just so happens that the Trump Organization is structured as something like 500 pass-through businesses. Trump could use this provision to avoid the top rate of 39.6%.

    The bill kills the alternative minimum tax. In the one year in which part of Trump’s tax returns were leaked, the AMT hit Trump for #38 million. It would sure be nice if that pesky tax went away.

    The deduction for state and local income taxes will be no more if the bill passes in its current form. That would be painful for The Donald, who lives in high-tax New York. However, there appears to be a way out for him. Pass-through businesses, like his, can deduct state income tax as a business expense. Phew!

    Trump is a family man and loves his kids, especially daughter Ivanka. It would be a real pity if his estate had to pay estate tax, money that Ivanka and the other kids would get absent the tax. So the bill abolishes the estate tax.

    In short, there are numerous provisions in the bill that would save Trump millions of dollars every year if it is enacted, not to mention hundreds of millions when he shuffles off this mortal coil.


  8. Rynstone says:

    This proposed “tax bill” is a gift to CPAs and Tax Attorneys. Only a handful of Congressional members are talking about cutting spending and absolutely no one that I am aware of in the media is asking what about cutting spending. They only ask “where will the money to pay for the tax cut come from” !?!?!?!

    The US gives millions away to countries and then we end up subsidizing their illegal immigrants that come to the US illegally or end up staying here illegally after their VISAs expire.

    How much higher can the debt go and how much longer can the borrowing go on and the Feds buying their own debt go on before the US debt collapses half the world’s financial institutions and economies ????


  9. whungerford says:

    I don’t know how high the debt can go, perhaps no one does. It could be a problem when interest exceeds revenue, but even in that case there may be clever ways to put off a crisis. One thing is sure–if we don’t reduce the deficit when the economy is doing well, when will we do it?


  10. Arthur Ahrens says:

    Again I mention that it is NOT about doing the correct thing. It is NEVER about the right thing.
    It is ONLY about getting reelected. PERIOD.

    Chris Collins:”(R-NY) on tax reform: “My donors are basically saying, ‘Get it done or don’t ever call me again.'”
    I’m sure that is Reed’s sentiment as well.

    It’s nice to discuss flat tax / regressive tax / progressive tax in the abstract.
    And fun to discuss the theoretical problems of a rising deficit.

    But it is ONLY about Reed getting reelected.


  11. whungerford says:

    H.R.1 can’t be called reform. Salted with “petty cruelties,” it tweaks current law in favor of rich persons and corporations under a smokescreen. Yet Tom Reed persists in pretending that it radically simplifies tax law and that it greatly benefits typical taxpayers. Can Reed sell this to the electorate?


  12. Arthur Ahrens says:

    Petty Cruelties? There’s nothing petty about this! It is generational in scope.

    And it is a huge transfer of wealth to the wealthy and 1%. It is ginormous.

    Remember a few years ago, when the buzzword trotted out by the Rs was Class Warfare?
    HR1 is Class Warfare–an attack and theft perpetrated on people who have jobs by greedy people who have never held a job and who think you can buy a car for 1000 bucks.

    Methinks that it is high time to resurrect the term Class Warfare. It is appropriate and correct today, and describes exactly what the Rs are doing.

    Reed is holding a town hall in Horseheads on Monday November 20 from 6-7 PM.

    Note: 1 town hall as opposed to 3 or 4
    6-7 pm – latest one I have ever seen
    American Legion Post – allows him to wave the flag and have a small crowd. Aren’t there any school auditoriums available at 6 in Horseheads?


  13. whungerford says:

    Yes, the townhall meeting on a weekday evening is unusual. The American Legion has a large hall. As Trump showed us, accusing your opponent of what you do or believe may work well. Class warfare is one example. affirmative action (used to justify white privilege) is another. The flat tax proposal is a good one–it’s only fair that rich and poor alike pay the same rate, right?


  14. Arthur Ahrens says:

    I think that a statement / discussion of stealing money from the working middle class to further enrich the idle rich might resonate more than esoteric discussions of a flat tax.

    Q. Just how much do these greedy bastards need before they are satisfied?
    A. ALL OF IT!!!


  15. Arthur Ahrens says:

    Middle class tax relief:

    lower corporate tax rates
    repeal the estate tax
    repeal the alternative minimum tax
    repeal pass through taxes.

    take away student interest deductions
    take away medical deductions
    take away property tax deductions
    take away SALT deductions
    cap 401k deductions


  16. whungerford says:

    It is laughable, isn’t it. But NY-23 voters do want to believe, and many will.


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