Saturday, November 11, 2017

A few, simple questions by @BloggersRUs

A few, simple questions

by Tom Sullivan

What's wrong with this picture? wasn't one of them. But with a few, simple questions this week, Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-Wa.) demonstrated how corporations have successfully reconfigured government of, by, and for the people to prioritize the need and wants of business over those of the living and breathing. DelBene questioned Thomas Barthold, chief of staff for Congress’ Joint Committee on Taxation on the proposed GOP tax overhaul:

Will a teacher in my district who buys pens, pencils paper, for his students be able to deduct these costs from his tax return under this plan?
Simple answer: No.

Will a corporation that buys pens, pencils, and papers for its workers be able to deduct those costs from its tax returns under this plan?
Simple answer: Yes.

Will a firefighter from my district be able to deduct the state and local sales taxes that she pays from her tax returns under this plan?
Simple answer: No.

And will a corporation be able to deduct sales taxes on business purchases under this plan?
Simple answer: Yes.

Will a homeowner in my district be able to deduct more than $10,000 in property taxes under this plan?
Simple answer: No.

Will a corporation be able to deduct more than $10,000 in property taxes under the plan?
Simple answer: Yes.

And if a worker in my district had to move because his employer is forcing him to relocate his family or potentially lose his job, can he deduct his moving expenses under this plan?
Simple answer: No.

But if a company, a corporation, decides to close its facilities in my district, fire its workers, and move its operation to China, say, can it deduct associated moving expenses under this plan? Or stated another way: Can a corporation under this plan deduct outsourcing expenses incurred relocating a U.S. business outside of the United States?
Simple answer: Yes.

Matthew 6:21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

The Associated Press presents additional evidence:

Nearly the entire net tax cut for individuals would come from two changes that would do nothing for most of the middle class: The government would repeal the alternative minimum tax, a provision that has long prevented many wealthy taxpayers from using loopholes to avoid paying taxes. The loss of the AMT would cause a revenue shortfall of nearly $700 billion over 10 years.

Also gone under the Republican bill: The inheritance tax on estates worth at least $5.5 million. That would let wealthy heirs keep an extra $172 billion over the next decade.

The plan would also allow business owners whose profits double as their personal income to pay, in part, at a discounted rate of 25 percent. This would cause the loss of an additional $448 billion over 10 years.

Given how these business owners are classified, the plan would let them deduct their state and local taxes from the equivalent of their personal income. By contrast, the employees of those business owners could not do so.
For more on eliminating state and local tax deduction, we turn to Jessie Hellmann at The Hill:
Red states are using blue states as their new piggy bank in the GOP Congress.

On big legislative issues such as tax reform and ObamaCare repeal, Republicans in the Senate have sought to redistribute federal funds from New York, New Jersey and other blue states dominated by Democrats to the red states in the South, Midwest and Great Plains that are mostly represented by the GOP.
Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.), one of a handful of GOP House members opposed to the plan, concurs with that assessment.

That's not to say some red states won't also feel some pain from the proposed tax changes. Red states that expanded Medicaid would suffer as well from loss of federal funds. It's just that the biggest losers would be blue states. A cynic might say Republicans are simply playing the percentages again, figuring more of their opponents will get hurt than their supporters.

Rand Paul, noted cynic:
“It just looks like the Republicans are taking the money from the Democrat states and giving it to the Republican states,” GOP Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.) said in September, adding that it’s a “game of Republicans sticking it to Democrats.”
That's pretty much how it works out here in the provinces, yeah.

Matthew 7:20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

(h/t M.C.)

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