Reality Check: The Tax Reform Shuffle

—by , December 6, 2017

The congressional Joint Committee on Taxation found that the tax cuts would not pay for themselves by generating enough revenue through economic growth to offset the tax cuts, as Republicans have claimed, but would instead add $1 trillion to budget deficits over the next 10 years. Projections estimate that the bill would lead to additional economic growth of 0.8 percent over a decade, well short of the acceleration needed for the tax cuts to pay for themselves over that time. The analysis said the tax cuts would generate about $458 billion in revenue over a decade, but would also require about $51 billion in additional interest costs. That would leave the bill with a $1 trillion price tag.
                –  The New York Times 11/29/17

 

Yeah, this ain’t good.

Senate Republicans, because Senate Democrats are now playing the Mitch McConnell/Ted Cruz two-step of not being involved in anything the opposition party proposes, are sending to the floor, or are trying to send to the floor. As of this writing, it has stalled due to concerns by some about the above analysis that projects a massive increase in the national debt, a tax reform bill that sucks ass. Remember when bloated deficits used to be an anathema to most Republicans, unless of course there is a Republican in the White House — Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, who both ballooned the debt with unpaid-for massive tax cuts. But a budget deficit and the national debt is only part of the problem with this gigantic boondoggle.

Firstly, this type of massive legislation overhaul happens maybe once a generation, but because Donald Trump has appeared to have now gone completely off the rails — which is a step or two above the rails he careened off of long before he became president — with his: picking name-calling fights with a lunatic in North Korea, retweeting three messages from what amounts to the British KKK, supporting a senate candidate from Alabama who has been accused at least eight times of weird illegal sexual shit with children, telling staffers that it was not his voice on the infamous Access Hollywood tape, despite admitting to it and apologizing for it in October 2016, and his incessant ranting about how he is the greatest president of all time and all of the press except some brainless wind-fart called FOX & Friends, the font of American journalism, is not representing the country well abroad, they are rushing to get something done before either he ends up in a fetal position sucking his thumb and asking for daddy, gets impeached for the mounting evidence of obstruction of justice, or 2017 ends with zero legislation.

The last time the government reformed the tax code was 27 years ago. Two parties held power and there were ten months filled with committee presentations and debates and caucuses and compromise. This time a single party, in relative secret, whipped together a baked fiasco in month on the whim of fantasy numbers about job growth and higher wages and middle-class blah, blah, blah. In contrast, the humongous Affordable Care Act was debated in three House committees and two Senate committees, and subject to hours of bipartisan debate that allowed for the introduction of amendments. Interestingly enough — if you find the height of hypocrisy of interest, which I most certainly do — the architect of this shit-show, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell rightfully fought against the construction of the 2010 bill that no one seemed to know its contents, and now he makes an even more egregious maneuver for the same reason — do something…anything…NOW!

McConnell and the Republicans keep rolling out this myth that because they run things and Trump was elected that this is the will of the American people. Turns out only 29 percent of people polled approve this bill — not tax cuts, everyone loves those, just this particular bill, which we have established sucks ass — and although the president has zero mandate, having lost the popular vote by three-million and nearly all the Republicans are really in congress to halt the ACA, which they have spectacularly failed to do, they forge ahead.

And why do people overwhelming hate this thing?

Well, despite not knowing all the details of the current tax reform bill, both the House and the Senate versions, which kicks the mandate for the ACA off of the rule book, completely eliminates the valuable tax break, which allows taxpayers to deduct state and local income, sales and property taxes, and strikes down a 1954 law that keeps freeloading religious groups, who pay zero taxes while they dumb down the human collective spreading hate and voodoo nonsense, from spending their windfall on political lobbying, what we know of the suck-ass bill is that by 2027, according to the aforementioned Joint Committee on Taxation and the Congressional Budget Office, people making $40,000 to $50,000 would pay a combined $5.3 billion more in taxes, while the group earning $1 million or more would get a $5.8 billion cut.

Wha…?

Now, authors of and voters for this monstrosity will tell you (AGAIN — these assholes never learn) that these numbers are needlessly dire, because, well, all these tax breaks on the rich and corporations, such as a 20 percent corporate tax rate, down from 34 percent, will provide funds for businesses to re-invest in America and American workers, the flag, Jesus and apple pie, Babe Ruth and the rotting skull of George Washington. In other words, the oft discredited “Trickle Down Economics.”

This, as always, is a steaming pile of horseshit. Never mind this type of thinking failed in the 1920s, leading to the great depression, or the 1980s, leading to an exploding deficit that began the exodus of American businesses aboard, but as recent as 2004 when congress invited American corporations to bring home overseas earnings at a sharply reduced rate, pitching it as a means of bolstering investment. But according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis research, these corporations spent as much as 90 percent of their windfall buying back their shares and giving giant bonuses to their CEOs.

This just in: Corporations are not in the patriotism business. They rightfully answer to their shareholders and bow to profits. Period. Any thought other than that is so painfully naïve it begs to question the mental capacity of those believing otherwise.

The painfully naïve will also try and sell you that these are also dire numbers, like the painfully naive who tried to tell you that young people would buy into the ACA and well, didn’t. Projections to pay for government stuff are like things Trump blurts out daily; not true, ever. They are based on nothing and very silly and at times downright demented.

For instance, the administration’s Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has been on record since April stating that, “a hundred people in my staff have been working around the clock on running scenarios for us.” He said it again earlier this month, assuring congress and the American people that the suck-ass bill would “pay for itself.” Republican Senator from South Carolina Bob Corker now says there is no such analysis available or forthcoming, which is leading to an investigation. Seems then that this last-ditch, phony effort to refute the “dire numbers” was, as all things in this Trump Administration disaster of a first year, made-up. Totally. Doesn’t exist.

Yeah…this ain’t good.

Meanwhile Mnuchin’s boss keeps stating this farce is “the biggest tax cut in history.” But guess what? Trump is lying. It is not.

According to The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget it would be “the eight largest as a percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) since 1918 and the fourth largest in inflation-adjusted dollars.” The latest report shows that the “largest tax cut in history” designation would go to either President Ronald Reagan’s 1981 tax cut or President Barack Obama’s 2012 extension of most of the George W. Bush-era income tax cuts, depending on how the size of the tax cut is measured.

Now, all of this can be assuaged if the senate were to say, raise the proposed corporate tax rate to 22 percent. But then the rich donors would go away, as Senator Lindsey Graham admitted last week. This cannot happen. The senate works for them, not you.

So, we get the suck-ass bill.

Remember when Citizen Trump was going to “drain the swamp” and work for the “little guy” and go after Wall Street and big banks? Remember the populist that got 70,000 votes in the Rust Belt that allowed him to run things?

Yeah…this ain’t good.

 

 

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James Campion is the Managing Editor of The Reality Check News & Information Desk and the author of “Deep Tank Jersey, “Fear No Art, “Trailing Jesus, “Midnight For Cinderella” and “Y.” “Shout It Out Loud – The Story of KISS’s Destroyer and the Making of an American Icon” 

And coming in June 2018; “Accidently Like a Martyr, The Tortured Art of Warren Zevon”


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