Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston



Tuesday, December 5, 2017

The GOP Tax Bill

"We now know Trump is just a flamboyantly clownish and unconscionably mean version of an old-fashioned corporate conservative. 

There's not an authentically populist bone in his body. This tax farce outs him and the GOP as agents of plutocracy."

Dear GOP,

You know how you've claimed your tax bill will be good for small businesses?

Here's one of the agencies the Gooper tax bill will end. (The GOP likes to support small businesses, but not those businesses headed by THOSE, y'know, people:

  • Minority Business Development Agency

Also, in keeping with the GOP's war on education and anything that will inform the public, the Gooper tax bill will end this:

  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Grants and Education

And in the Goopers' ongoing war on people who are not billionaires, the tax bill ends this. (No heat for you this winter, you ne'er do wells who spend your money on booze, women, and movies!):

  • Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program

Next is a program the Goopers find wasteful -- one that could prevent housing development in flood zones, which would then save the feds billions of dollars in the next mega hurricane!

  • Flood Hazard Mapping and Risk Analysis Program 

#45 would like to build Trump Towers all over our National Parks because MAGA! So why does America need funds to keep her national treasures in great condition? The billionaire Trumper will make them all golden and earning $$$$$$$ for his billionaire kiddies! So the Gooper bill gets rid of this:

  • National Wildlife Refuge Fund

And last (but certainly not least) the Party of Pervs will embrace $1 trillion in deficits to pass this tax bill; so being good little deficit hawks, they'll have to make that up somewhere. Your Family Values Christianist Party will reduce funding for Medicare, Medicaid, and will plunder Social Security (which is self-funded). One of the things that will be affected by all of this is:

  • Cancer patients on Medicare and Medicaid.

That's right. The Grand Old Perv Party will reduce benefits for infants, children, women, and men fighting cancer.

But!  Billionaires DO get to deduct their private jets. MAGA!

We are now officially a Banana Republic!

Tired of so much winning? 


BB-Idaho said...

Ryan's Folly demonstrates the downside of how an entire Party led by a real estate shyster operates. The sucess of tax cuts for those who need them least is demonstrated by Kansas. The prescience of Thomas Frank of a decade ago is conclusive.

skudrunner said...

This tax overhaul is nothing but a cut for the rich. What is needed is a true overhaul and f=go to a Fair Tax system. Take the taxing power away from the elected elite and make it fair for all Americans. I do agree that the rich need cuts the least but they deserve them the most. If they cut one percent across the board the rich would get the most benefit.

Dave Miller said...

I know many are hanging their hats on the inability of the GOP to agree on the details...

But the reality is that the House could just agree to accept the Senate version, which kills the ACA mandate and call it good. For the most part America would end up much worse with that version than any negotiated settlement, but the GOP may know if they have to reconcile, they'll never get anything passed.

No doubt this is going to be a disaster.

Here's my thoughts...

Let the GOP have whatever they want. If it's as bad as we believe it will be, so be it. At least then they and their stupid trickle down economics will finally be once and for all discredited. Then we can get to the serious business of electing sensible Dems, raising taxes to cover the sure to grow deficit, and refunding health care.

i don't see any other way...

Shaw Kenawe said...

The problem with that, Dave is the thousands of people who will suffer and even die because of the GOP.

I verified these stories. They are true:

In February 2017, Shane Patrick Boyle started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for “a month of insulin.” A few weeks later, he died after developing diabetic ketoacidosis. Although several local outlets reported on Boyle’s death at the time, it wasn’t until November 2017 that Boyle’s story reached many readers, thanks in part to a Facebook post from United States Sen. Bernie Sanders linking to an article in The Nation about the rising cost of insulin:

We cannot call ourselves a great country as long our young people are literally dying because they cannot afford life-saving medication. This young man, Shane Patrick Boyle, died on March 18 after his GoFundMe campaign to pay for insulin came up $50 short. Something has got to change. Our job is to stand up to the greed of the pharmaceutical industry and enact policies that make prescription drugs affordable for everyone—not ones that make the CEOs of the pharmaceutical industry rich.

In addition to highlighting the sad circumstances surrounding Boyle’s death, The Nation also pointed to Alec Raeshawn Smith, a 26-year-old who died in June after he lost his insurance and started to ration his insulin:

Alec Raeshawn Smith, age 26, was found dead in his apartment on June 27. He was rationing his insulin after he aged out of his parent’s insurance coverage. The sad fact is more people would be alive today if insulin was affordable for all Americans.

The richest nation on Earth does this to its own people while giving tax breaks to people who own luxurious private jets?

Shaw Kenawe said...

BB-Idaho, the tax cuts experiment in Kansas will now be implemented on the entire country so we can all experience the misery that the people in Kansas experienced.

When the federal government runs out of money to finance programs, they'll be eliminated. That's the whole idea behind these tax cuts. Remember what Grover Norquist's goal was and still is: to reduce government to the size where he can down it in a bath tub. The wealthy will never suffer; the rest of us always will.

Welcome to the United States of Bananas!

Shaw Kenawe said...

skud, the "fair" tax scheme hurts the poor and helps the rich.

Dave Miller said...

I agree Shaw... but what other options are there?

We know the GOP only believes that they get to enact their agenda when they win and not the Dems, but the fact remains, they have the House, the Senate and the White House.

There really is no way the Dems, absent help from a feckless GOP can stop what the majority of that party want to do.

We should just get ready to campaign against it and once and for all, discredit it.

skudrunner said...

Shaw, Have you read The Fair Tax book because you are not correct and just repeating liberal statements the same way you accuse me of doing that with conservative statements. The fair tax has provisions for the poor so it does not hurt the poor and help the rich.

I have yet to understand why eliminating the mandate is a bad thing other than it gives people a personal choice. The mandate is just another tax on people who do not want to sign up. I know no tax is a bad tax but this one makes no sense. There are reported 30 million people who didn't have insurance before obamacare. With ten million on obamacare that leaves the rest paying a fine and not having insurance. What a great system obama created. Have health insurance people can't afford unless there are significant incentives. Fine those who are healthy because they can't get a reasonable cost plan.

To your statement of the rich will never suffer you are correct in any country and in any society. Why do we have so many people try to enter this country. Because if they work hard they can prosper and that is not the same in all countries.

Les Carpenter said...

Does any tax help the poor? Just askin...

Shaw Kenawe said...

The poor always pay taxes -- sales tax, fuel tax, meal tax, etc. Do taxes help? I think so:

public schools for example, there are other examples.

Skud, my understanding of the Fair Tax is that it impacts the middle class and poor more than the wealthy, therefore, it's not "fair," it's regressive.

The mandate in the ACA is the only way for a universal health care to work. We are the 3rd most populous country on the planet, so we have enough people to be in the risk pool to make it work. But the GOP has ALWAYS, since FDR's time, been against ANY program that helps people -- unless people are in the top 1%. We are the ONLY advanced western democracy that allows people like Shane Patrick Boyle to drop dead because he lacked $50 for his insulin.

I don't know about anyone else, but that shows be that I live in a barbarous country -- let me correct that somewhat -- I live in a barbarous country when the GOP is in charge and hellbent on turning it into a Banana Republic. It is the goal of people like Norquist and Ryan to reverse everything Roosevelt, Johnson, and Obama did for everyone who is not a billionaire.

Shaw Kenawe said...

I've copied and pasted two comments from skudrunner and BB-Idaho from the thread below on "The GOP Tax Cuts for the Wealthy." because they are pertinent to this discussion:

skudrunner said...
BB, What you do not mention is the cost of supporting undocumented (a term the liberals can understand)immigrants. Madam Pelosi has predicted if this tax cut passes we will have Armageddon we will never be able to return from because of the one trillion in debt increase. What she failed to mention was the 6 trillion in eight the former president added but of course that was fine.

The top fifth, or 20%, of the population receive 66% of the tax-expenditure seems about right because they pay 70% of the taxes. Maybe the bottom 50% should only receive 3% of federal benefits and since 45% of households pay no federal income tax should they receive no help. The attack on success has resulted in the poor getting poorer and the rich getting richer. Would it not benefit everyone to not chastise success and applaud failure but to reward success and help failure succeed.

December 5, 2017 at 1:34 PM

Blogger BB-Idaho said...
"Would it not benefit everyone to not chastise success and applaud failure but to reward success and help failure succeed." So the theory goes, Skud. Having been employed at various levels in the private sector, my concern is that business has a single goal - profit. That is never passed on to the employee (other than some lucrative bonuses at the top level). Nor is it plowed back into plant. It is
used to pay shareholders (raising the stock price) or to buy back stock (raising
the stock price, or often stashed in some Caribbean island bank. It has never, nor will it ever, 'trickle down' as Laffer (what a Laff) still promotes. Perhaps, Skud,
consider our health care: about the same, outcome wise, as most European countries.
But at twice the cost. Why? For profit hospitals, clinics, pharma and health insurance: each taking a slice. Banking likewise: you may prefer to be screwed
by Wells Fargo, but local credit unions offer the same for far less. I would agree,
Skud, if business, especially BigBizz, had a modicum of social responsibility. But
most don't: there is no place on the all important bottom line for that. My experience in the private sector has also led to the rebellious notion that a strong economy 'trickles up'. People cannot buy what they cannot afford; it behooves business and economists to understand that a robust financially secure
middle class is the secret to economic success (see Switzerland, for example).
Is that Skud, "applauding failure"?

December 5, 2017 at 3:47 PM

Shaw Kenawe said...

Why Economists Are Warning That The Trump Tax Plan Will Be An Epic Disaster

As Republicans in the House and Senate hash out their tax bill differences in a conference committee behind closed doors, with the goal of producing a final bill before the holiday break, conservative economists tell TPM that the policies likely to become law will wreak havoc on the country for many years to come. Though Republicans insisted repeatedly over the past few weeks that the $1.4 trillion in tax cuts, most of them geared toward wealthy individuals and corporations, would pay for themselves by stimulating economic growth, they presented no evidence to support their claims.

Anonymous said...

Trickle down has been discredited and proven wrong multiple times since 1980.

This tax bill will kill many Americans.

skudrunner said...

BB, what you stated was true. Publicly traded business have an obligation to make a profit and most return some of the income back to the owners, shareholders. The majority of working people have a stake in the stock market so they share in it's profit and the stocks increase. There is no indentured servitude so employees can negotiate a better income or change jobs.
On the healthcare side I agree that we do a poor job of managing healthcare expenses and for profit medical institutions are a part of the problem. Why a hospital needs to have an award winning architectural building to dispense healthcare is beyond me but a lot of that comes from an endowment that specifically states what the money can be used for. Insurance is one of the biggest culprits in increasing healthcare costs because if you have good insurance you do not have to take responsibility for your decisions be it competitive shopping to wellness. Cut a finger and go to the ER for a $2000 bandage.
Obamacare was founded on a false premise and that is that thirty million would sign up and there would be shared risk. The one size fits all was a disaster and was a major reason for it's failure. Well ten million signed and they were the sickest and costliest to maintain so the costs skyrocketed. It was truly a poorly thought out plan because it was though out by a group who are clueless and corrupt and had to get something passed before their time ran out. I fear that the tax plan is headed down the same road, poorly thought out by inept crooks who feel they must pass something even if it is bad.

The comparison of Switzerland to the US in anything is a true apples and oranges comparison. We have more people in NYC then they have in an entire country. They have a clean history of low polluting industry and don't want to be a world power so their defense spending is minimal and the population part fit therefor has a lower cost per capita for healthcare.

Shaw Kenawe said...

From the Chicago Tribune 8/2017:

The Dow has soared 20 percent since Election Day, a stunning rise that has been dubbed a "Trump bump."

But most of gains are going to the wealthy.

Nearly half of country has $0 invested in the market, according to the Federal Reserve and numerous surveys by groups such as Gallup and Bankrate. That means people have no money in pension funds, 401(k) retirement plans, IRAs, mutual funds or ETFs. They certainly don't own individual stocks such as Facebook or Apple.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Oops! This is what happens when you rush things and fail to have open discussion with your colleagues across the aisle.

"Corporate accountants started freaking out about this over the weekend, but the situation reached high farce when a group of lawyers from Davis Polk pointed out that, by leaving the AMT intact, Republicans had essentially undermined their bill’s most important changes to the international tax code."

Senate Republicans Appear to Have Made a $289 Billion Mistake in Their Tax Bill

Dave Miller said...

Skud... regarding Obamacare.

Obamacare was founded, much to the dismay of the GOP, on the idea that all Americans, not just those of means, have a right to affordable access to quality healthcare, regardless of ability to pay.

That was the central premise, and one in which the GOP and many conservatives do not believe.

That was the starting point and that is the question every politician should be asked.

Once the Dems went all in on that, a platform had to be built to achieve that goal. Thinking they could count on GOP votes if they went with a plan the GOP and conservative think tanks like the heritage Foundation had earlier championed, the Dems modeled their system on what Republican Governor Mitt Romney had passed in Democratic MA.

Then they set about to the hard work of winning votes. They held hearings and used the committee process. In the Senate, the drafting of a health-care bill in the Health, Education, Labor and Pension Committee took from June 17 to July 14, during which 500 amendments were made. In the Finance Committee, which drafted its version between Sept. 22 and Oct. 2, there were 564 proposed amendments. Sen. Olympia J. Snowe even voted for the Senate Finance version.

After more than a year of hearings, amendments, votes and public input, the ACA, or as it is known, Obamacare, was passed on March 23, 2010, ending a process that began in July 2009. That means there were more than 6 months for politicians, leaders and people to weigh in, participate, help shape and influence the legislation.

I will tell you from personal experience, that the ACA saved my life. For years my wife and i were unable to get insurance because of some preexisting conditions. As such, a catastrophic illness would have wiped me out forever, if i could have gotten care. The ability to pay would surely have impacted medical care.

But when the ACA became law, we could finally get coverage, coverage that was needed within a year when I was hospitalized for 11 days in serious condition.

The ACA was not perfect, but understand this... it took that law being crammed down the throats of the insurance companies and the GOP for people who had preexisting conditions to be able to buy insurance. That's not even a debatable statement.

I will not argue that there are not problems with the ACA. Anyone with a half a brain can see that. But again I ask, as I have many times, why has the GOP simply decided to not even work with Dems to fix some of those issues, even the most minute ones?

We can only conclude it is because they accept the premise at the top... that all Americans, not just those of means, have a right to affordable access to quality healthcare, regardless of ability to pay.

Skud, there was no "one size fits all." The ACA said everyone needs to have insurance because few people can self insure. they just don't have the means. And our laws require us to treat people at a very basic, but yes, expensive level even if they do not have insurance. And yes, break them financially if need be. So we needed a system that would fix that... thus, a law that mandated coverage, much like auto insurance. More people in the system, the lower the prices.

If the GOP, and people like you do not like the system, fine! I'm good with that. But come up with a system that gets to the goal of the Dems, or just say, you don't believe everyone should have access.

At least be honest.

Dave Miller said...

Shaw... regarding the big oops...

And now the GOP will want the Dems to work with them on fixing a law they had no part in drafting. Why should they?

skudrunner said...

Shaw if you have a 401K, IRA, pension you are invested in the market so you would benefit from rising stock prices. If you have no IRA, Pension, 401K, Roth or investment account is it not your fault or is it the Rich who kept you from taking care of your future. I believe that is called taking personal responsibility for your life.

As to the impending tax code revision, like I said it is being put together by inept crooks so they can say they passed something much the same as obamacare. How much reaching across the aisle happened with the you have to vote for it to see it. The mandates did not work when 2/3 of those eligible would rather pay the fine. Maybe the 27 year old male didn't feel like paying for coverage in case he became pregnant. We have the most inept lawmakers that money can buy.

On another subject. If you read The Fair Tax you would see there are provisions for the middle class and the poor. One thing it does is take away all deductions which will punish the rich and remove the punitive taxing power of our elected elite. We could continue to hate the successful is we chose since that is a very popular movement.

Les Carpenter said...

The poor always pay taxes -- sales tax, fuel tax, meal tax, etc. Do taxes help? I think so:

public schools for example, there are other examples.

Should have worded the question this way, Does any tax on the poor help the poor? The obvious answer of course is no.

Which I think cuts to the core of the issue. An issue that has had societies chasing their tails for many many years. Or, should I say centuries?

Shaw Kenawe said...

skud: " it not your fault or is it the Rich who kept you from taking care of your future."

This is risable and a perfect example of tone-deaf Goopers who think everyone who's poor is poor because they're lazy and because they didn't save enough for their retirement.

What you fail to understand is that one of the things that wipes out people's lifetime saving is HEALTH CARE COSTS for a catastrophic illness or accident. That's the leading cause of bankruptcy and poverty. Then there's the inane idea that a breadwinner can support a family on $7.50 minimum wage. Remember it is the Goopers who are against increasing the minimum wage, and who just the other day proposed making it lawful for wait staff in restaurants to have their bosses take possession of their tips that augment their minimum wage jobs.

Paying for college is another burden. The Goopers undid Mr. Obama's executive order that prevented debt collectors from charging high interest rates on overdue student loans. My son and his wife have 4 degrees between them and it took them 20 years to pay them all off. My daughter-in-law is just now working part-time as an OT while the children are in school. And THEY'RE the fortunate ones who were able to buy a home in a beautiful neighborhood on ONE salary!

Like most GOPers, you blame the working people who cannot get ahead because of the 1%'s greed and enacting laws that keep them poor and unable to afford health care. The ACA wasn't perfect, but it was a beginning. The GOP should have worked with Mr. Obama to fix what was bad and to adjust other problems in it. Instead their only goal is to throw millions and millions of people off of the little insurance they have. So there will be more people dying because they cannot afford their medicine or the care they need.

That is ALL on the deadly Republican Party and its Idiot-in-Chief.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand this. Is the rank and file GOP now back to their usual feelings that the poor are poor because they are lazy, stupid, or (according to Grassley) spend all their money on booze and women? What happened since the past election when all the red neck knuckle dragger GOP'ers were whining about how the country has left them behind and they can't get ahead and need someone like the Dotard to lift them back up? Seriously? What happened?


BB-Idaho said...

"..if you have a 401K, IRA, pension you are invested in the market so you would benefit from rising stock prices." I guess you and me are lucky in that aspect,
Skud. Presumably, like me you are cautious and use a non-profit investment service:
and smart enough to be aware of the investment secret that even Forbes admits of. Many, if not most of
my coworkers lost big during Reagan's Black Friday and the Bush whopper recession,
I retired early because I saw those coming. They worked until they were 75. We
are no doubt looking at the next 4 years under President Caligula, right?

Shaw Kenawe said...

Possomlady, wait until Trump's feels the pain of his and the GOP's policies that enrich the already rich and screw the middle class and the poor. They actually believed that a guy who lives in a golden tower cared about them.

The Prophet Dervish Z Sanders said...

Charles Grassley: "I think not having the estate tax recognizes the people that are investing. As opposed to those that are just spending every darn penny they have, whether it's on booze or women or movies".

The Republican mantra is that, if you're poor it's your own fault. Therefore there is no need to feel any guilt over slashing the social safety net.

Infidel753 said...

Dave Miller: Let the GOP have whatever they want. If it's as bad as we believe it will be, so be it. At least then they and their stupid trickle down economics will finally be once and for all discredited.

The problem with that, Dave is the thousands of people who will suffer and even die because of the GOP.

I feel I have some standing to comment on this issue. Besides wrecking the ACA, the Republican tax "reform" would do a lot of damage to the economy and could cause a recession with substantial job losses, according to some economists. I am looking for a job right now and am at some risk of becoming homeless in February if I can't find one by then. I've always hated the concept of letting the enemy have their way so everyone can see just how bad the results would be, because it means throwing a certain number of people to the wolves in order to, basically, show everyone else that the wolves are genuinely dangerous (it is a bit ironic, too, to see a self-declared Christian take such a position). This is all the more immediate when I might end up being one of the people sacrificed.

Remember that the tax "reform" is not a done deal yet. The House and Senate versions will need to be reconciled, and there are places available where pressure can be applied by people whose Congressmen or Senators are Republican. Remember, if we keep on fighting this, we might lose -- but if we don't fight it, we'll definitely lose.

Grey One talks sass said...

For republicans to tell me I'm lazy and that I am where I am because of poor life choices offends me to my core. A person can do everything correctly and still have the result turn to ash. Bad things happen and control is not always in your hands. For someone not to know this truth means they've never had rocks thrown at them by the Universe. They believe their good fortune is because of their superior morality, not luck.

Oofta - I honestly want the yahoos who spout judgement like they are a some kind of deity to suffer the rocks and arrows I've experienced. I'm a sadist that way.

skudrunner said...

For anyone to tell me SS and medicare are entitlements offends me to the core. We have chosen to allow our incompetent elected elite to control our lives and the outcome is not good for anyone.

The vast majority of people both conservative and liberal believe in social programs designed to help those who cannot help themselves and provide a hand up instead of a hand out. What is objectionable is to totally support those who choose not to support themselves. The welfare system is an all or nothing system instead of a graduated help up. We have "leaders" who are only interested if it affects them and that goes for both sides.

You did forget that the GOP wants to throw grannie's wheelchair off the cliff. Other than that you are in script.

Dave Miller said...

Infidel... Look, there's a reality here. The GOP has decided on a system that allows passage with just 51 votes. How can we oppose that? I agree we should try and get the best deal we can, but they are gonna pass a bill, it's going to suck, millions of people are going to get hurt and America will suffer.

But they did win an election.

Is the majority of America with them now? I don't believe so. But effectively, all we really can do is fiddle around the edges of whatever they decide on. That's why I think the Dems should be ready to use the reality of whatever disaster the GOP foists on the American people to make the case once and for all that their version of supply side economics is the ruse it always has been.

As for where my Christianity connects to this, certainly I believe government has a positive role to play in peoples lives. And as members of a participatory democracy, we have a role to play, a role that hopefully is informed by our faith. But in the end, and I submit that this will be hard for a non believer to understand, my citizenship is not fully here. It's in God's Kingdom. I'm going to work as hard as I can to help people, but in the end, the peace I have in my life comes from trying to live my life as I believe Jesus would want me to live, where ever I am.

That said, sometimes there is just not much in the political realm we can do to move the needle. This may be one of those times.

I face the same struggle with Trump in my work in Mexico. His presence has made my work much more difficult. Before I can even help people now I have to establish my credibility in a way that just a few months ago, I never had to do. Now I have to apologize for our president, disown him and accept the reality of Trump and what that means in Mexico. There is literally nothing I can do to change that. So I do the best I can in the situation I am in and then my faith calls me to trust in God for the rest. Cause I can only do so much and it ain't about me. Just like it wasn't about Jesus.

In the end, let me say thanks to you for bringing Christianity up. I am so struggling to understand better how to respond to Trump and the overwhelming support white evangelical Christianity gave him and even now gives him in the Moore debacle. You and your posts and comments continue to push me to think deeper.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Grey One talks sass

We are the only advanced western democracy where people can lose their life's savings because of illness or a catastrophic accident. At least the Democrats tried to tackle and right that wrong using a conseervative idea for universal health coverage. But anything Mr. Obamam proposed or did was shot down by the GOP. Remember Mitch McConnell's goal as a US Senator was not to serve the people but to make Mr. Obama a one-term president. Well, he failed at that, and the rest of his party failed at being Americans. They behave like 3rd world dictators do, imposing suffering on their citizens so they can enrich themselves and they're families.

The GOP is crooked and doesn't serve the citizens of this country.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Dervish Grassley is just another GOPer who is completely out of touch with American citizens.

Dave Miller said...

Skud... your comments belie the view many of your fellow conservatives take. They do not believe the feds have a role in helping even the poorest of the poor. For them, that is a role of state government. Medical care? States. Retirement? States. Because these programs are not specifically mentioned in the constitution, they should not be part of the feds.

I would argue, as would the facts, that Social Security has been the largest driver in eliminating elder poverty in our nation. If you work all your life in "just get by" jobs, for whatever reason, without social security, what would you have to live on in your old age?

What is wrong with saying that after years of working and being a productive member of society, maybe raising a family, that a man, or a woman, is entitled to stop working, rest, relax and still be able to eat and have a roof over their head? Is there no way, no system, no thought that we, as a country, should provide in that way for our citizenry?

I believe there is, and we should. And we should figure out how to pay for it.

After all, we really are all in this together, in spite of the American myth of Rugged Individualism.