What Could Go Wrong?

Trump Maladministration

The House passed the Murder-Suicide Tax Bill after a whole hour of debate, while protesters were removed from the gallery. I watched a bit of coverage on MSNBC this afternoon, and various Republican talking heads were gleefully talking about the lower payroll taxes most working Americans would see starting in 2018.

I take it they think this is going to help them in the 2018 midterms. The worst of the effects may not hit people until 2019; between now and the midterms things may not be disrupted that much; people may decide it’s not that bad. On the other hand, the paycheck difference most people will see won’t be big enough to make any damn bleeping difference in their lives, so they may not feel all that grateful for it, either.

It’s also the case that a lot of people’s taxes will go up because of many deductions that were eliminated. Not all of those people are poor and working class; it may hit the pretty-well-off professional class pretty hard, actually.

But the bill kills the individual mandate beginning in 2019, which is going to wreak havoc in the health insurance markets.  Premiums were going way up in 2018 anyway, thanks mostly to Trump, in ways that could impact everyone’s insurance. The couple of bucks taken off each paycheck is likely to be offset by a big increase in insurance premiums.

Here’s something fishy — “The bill would move from the current worldwide tax system, in which income earned abroad is taxed in the United States, to a territorial system in which only domestic profits would be taxed.” What the bleep?

One of the guest talking heads on MSNBC said that people don’t resent the rich doing well as long as the rich have earned it, which is kind of the catch. I don’t think people are seeing the rich earning it. They are seeing the rich rigging the system for it. And people do tend to resent that.

 

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Dan  •  Dec 19, 2017 @5:58 pm

    "Lower Payroll Taxes" may just mean the deduction from the paycheck might go down based on some formula, while the taxes owed might go up based on the tax filing at year end.  How would anyone know until firmly in 2019 tax season???

  2. Doug  •  Dec 19, 2017 @7:07 pm

    What could go wrong? The Dow will go through the roof – but it's already nearly twice what it was 10 years ago – before the recession. The current profits will spike, temporarily, from the perceived benefits of tax cuts but I don't think the inflated stock value is reflected in real productivity  nor can it be sustained by economic growth that isn't going to happen.

    We have the next bubble, cresting now. The tax cuts are going to blow it up to greater heights. Just like the real estate bubble that burst in 2008, the effect will be huge.  You can ride the bubble for a few months into 2017, but if you have a 401K, move to the safest options by the 2nd quarter of next year.

    I think there's an article by Warren Buffet on Fortune – I haven't read more than a summary and he doesn't predict when, but he suggests the current levels won't be sustainable.

  3. c u n d gulag  •  Dec 19, 2017 @7:38 pm

    The Republicans think they're smart by putting off a lot of the worst economic hits until after the 2018 elections, when "We the People" – remember  us, you stupid, ignorant, bigoted, greedy, asslickers of the rich and powerful? – sit down to do our 2018 taxes in 2019, and realize how much more they're getting screwed thanks to tRUMP and the greedy loons in the GOP.   

    But one thing will tell us before 2019 – and that is there any economic growth, and where and how the economy is going/growing, and how people are perceiving the changes.

    If poor and middle class people have even less money to spend, they'll obviously be buying less of what the corporations are selling.

    If those same groups have a lot less money, we may be looking at a coming recessionary period – maybe even a deep recession in the long run.

    And yet, the Republicans have either convinced themselves that 2 + 2 = 5, and believe their own bullshit, or think they are immune from any consequences.

    If they believe that 2 + 2 = 5, then they are in for a rude awakening.

    If they feel immune, either the Republican politicians feel confident that there won't be any honest election in 2018 and/or 2020 – due to ongoing and increasing voter suppression efforts – and have no fear of leaving their "phony-balogna jobs", or they're gilding the featherbeds they hope to land on after they quit, don't run, or lose the next election(s).

    The only things we can set in concrete, is that corporations will NOT be hiring more people and/or increasing pay for the workers. 

    What can be carved in granite, is that upper management types will be getting a huge raise, and so, even more ready and able to fire-up $200 cigars with $100 bills, while sipping hyper-expensive wine, brandy, cognac, or other spirits, in exclusive country clubs.  Or, roll-up $100 bills and snort the best cocaine off the buttocks of exclusive sex-workers.

     

  4. LongHairedWeirdo  •  Dec 19, 2017 @7:39 pm

    If I were a Democratic congresscritter, I'd gather some colleagues to write up a solid outline of a *good* bill that would reduce corporate tax rates in a revenue neutral way (which is seen as a good move by economists), and make "repeal and replace" the unending chant.

    "The Republican tax cuts rewards millionaires and billionaires and penalizes working stiffs who can't make all their money from investments! It kills jobs, increases offshoring, reduces wages, and has been accused of causing chlamydia. We want to repeal it and replace it with a bill that works for all Americans."

    Huh? Chlamydia? Well… the Republicans can say any old BS they want to, and it's reported faithfully as if it were a reasonable opinion. It's about as accurate as saying net neutrality was harming investment and innovation, for example!

    But I do suppose we shouldn't *quite* go to that length; let's come up with something that's at least scientifically *possible*.

  5. Billikin  •  Dec 20, 2017 @11:48 am

    Years ago I learned that, because large economies do not as a rule turn on a dime, the economy during the first year of a presidential term is largely the result of the policies of the previous term. OC, politicians and the press never say that, but the Obama economy is coming to a close, anyway. Next year we get to blame Trump and the Republicans. Tax cuts generally goose the economy, and this one is mainly structured so that many of the bites come later. We cannot count on voters being unhappy with the economy next fall.

    As for corporate tax cuts, the word is “To tax is to destroy”. We are already a corporatocracy. We need to fight back.

  6. aj  •  Dec 20, 2017 @12:43 pm

    A lot of people in blue states will get hammered  by the 'salt' cap. People who work, like the surgeon, will get punished for earning income.  The idle rich, the GOP donors, are the recipients of this Maries Antoinette Tax bill.

    Funny to see McConnell  say afterwe've been forced  to borrow to buy his garbage that GOP needs to sell it.

  7. Doug  •  Dec 20, 2017 @4:47 pm

    I like the second picture in the post of the guillotine – perhaps someone can organize a how-to page to make mock versions of the ultimate indicator of how dissatisfied we are at this sellout to the donor class – do it on a trailer so it can be brought to any site where any member of Congress dares to have a rally or Town Hall.

    Notice to whom it may concern: I did describe a "mock version".