Sunday, November 26, 2017

Bill Crawford: Pranks for taxpayers, Christmas gifts for corporations

Turkey time is not over, folks. Oh, you may be stuffed with Thanksgiving turkey, but you’ve still got a big Christmas turkey to swallow. That's the wonderful turkey Congressional Republicans hope to cook up for you in time for Christmas called the "Tax Cut and Jobs Act."

It's an act alright.

Why do you suppose Republicans in the House will start taxing grad students who get tuition waivers? Put a new 1.4% excise tax on large private college endowments? Or eliminate the tax exempt status of private activity municipal bonds used to finance hospitals, airports, and museums?

Why would House Republicans eliminate the deduction for medical expenses altogether? And deductions for state taxes and personal property taxes? And all personal and dependent exemptions?

You get a hint as to why when you look at the turkey getting basted by Senate Republicans. It’s a slightly different bird from the House bill. It blatantly makes its individual tax cuts temporary while making corporate cuts permanent.

Even this turkey can see what's happening. A gigantic, painstakingly wrapped, Christmas tax gift is coming for corporations and most businesses. Corporate tax rates will fall from 35% to 20% and the max rate on pass-through businesses (sole proprietorships, S corps, MLPs, LLPs, LLCs) will generally fall from 39.6% to a range between 25% and 35% depending on the type of income.

Prank tax cuts, offset with newly taxable income and reduced deductions, will stuff stockings for individual taxpayers.

The House bill even eliminates the $250 deduction for teachers to buy supplies for their students!

Such antics result from Republican leaders scrambling to lessen the wallop their gifts to businesses and corporations will have on the national debt. They gave themselves permission up the debt by $1.5 trillion. But that's not enough. They've got to zap struggling teachers, grad students, and ordinary taxpayers to make the numbers work.

Oh yeah, the $1.5 trillion debt cap they're working with is just for the first ten years. Projected additions to the national debt after that range from astronomical to stupendous, like in the $4 trillion range.

Guess what? If they cut the corporate tax rate to 25%, still internationally competitive, and put the top rate for pass-through businesses at 35%, the top proposed rate for most individuals, the hit to the national debt would go away, individual cuts could be permanent, and the zaps on teachers, grad students, and ordinary taxpayers could be eliminated.

Why are no Republicans fighting for this?

Well, there’s Trump's insistence. But many are scared or committed to pay the piper.

You see, corporate titans like the Koch brothers have invested millions to develop grassroots organizations (Freedom Partners, Americans for Prosperity, Americans for Tax Reform, etc.) geared up to go after any Republican who doesn't support their interests. Lots of Republicans are scared they will be primaried if they don't toe the line. Others owe their political success either directly or indirectly to corporate titans.

This is real, hardball politics at work.

Ole Abe had it wrong. What shall not perish from the earth is debt-ridden government on the people, by the politicians, and for the corporations.

PS - They recommend swallowing this turkey whole, not chewing it up.


Crawford is syndicated columnist from Meridian (crawfolk@gmail.com)

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

A school supplies deduction? Never knew such thing existed. Props to Congress for trying to get rid of it. Wish they had the courage to get rid of all the unneeded tax breaks without handing out a new set of unneeded tax breaks.

Anonymous said...

We've become a country of special interests and people pleasers. If your professions doesn't have a loophole, you just don't have the right lobbyist. This Congress will fold on tax reform just like it did the ACA. Get ready for another decade of Democrat control in a few years.

Remember when we used to look down on Canada? Sounds like a great place to live now.

Anonymous said...

Non of the stuff in the article matters to the people of Mississippi. The feds can put any kind of tax they want to on the people. We here in Mississippi will just get more money back from the feds.
It is very hard to tax people who do not pay any tax to begin with.

Pittpanther said...

You voted for these people. You gave them a mandate. Why are you complaining now?

Anonymous said...

One article estimated the average middle class family will end up paying about $6000 a year more in taxes (not including much higher healthcare premiums). Some of these changes will have a dramatic impact on the economy. People will have difficulty buying a house without the deductions. Real estate market will dry up and prices collapse like 2008. Families will have a hard time sending their kids to college. Why buy municipal bonds if they are no longer tax free? Bond lawyers may be looking into the Uber thing in the future when that business dries up. People are locked into lifetime decisions on businesses, houses, annuities, bonds, etc. and they will face an economic tsunami if this passes.

Anonymous said...

One article estimated the average middle class family will end up paying about $6000 a year more in taxes ...

Link?

Anonymous said...

@ 3:01pm

"Non of the stuff in the article matters to the people of Mississippi."

Actually, it does, because the state legislature has imposed the very same drastic tax cuts as well.

So we will feel it on the front end and the back end.

Anonymous said...

How many of you seeking higher taxes have been voluntarily paying more to the government?

Anonymous said...

8:09, you mean on the front end and IN the backend.

Anonymous said...

@ 8:36am

No one is "seeking" higher taxes. But as a Mississippian that makes about $40k a year, I don't want higher taxes on consumer goods, because Tate Reeves wants to cut some foreign entity a massive tax break. The tax cuts are simply a shift on who foots the bill. Because regardless we have schools, first responders, roads, bridges, elected officials to still pay for at the end of the day.

Kingfish said...

"Foreign entity"? Those damn foreigners, as you think of them, hire thousands of Mississippians. Maybe Nissan and Toyota should leave. Those motherfucking foreigners on the coast named Ingalls, kick them out too. Hell, double their taxes because they are not Mississippians.

Guess it didn't occur to you that these damn fur-inners invest billions of dollars in Mississippi, pay taxes, and hire thousands of Mississippians. Stick it to 'em, anyway.

You might want to look at the states we really compete against, not Alabama, Tennessee, or Louisiana but Florida and Texas and how they tax corporations.

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