My long-time friend T. Paine, at Saving Common Sense, makes the case for the Republican Christmas gift to Trump and friends:
First, despite our friends on the left’s predictable whining on the topic, the return of some of our tax dollars is a good thing. After all, this is NOT the government’s money. It is ours. If the tax reform stays pretty close to its current iteration, it will help spur the economy via corporate tax cuts that finally make the U.S. competitive on the global stage. (And it is not corporations that pay taxes anyway, but rather the consumers that do.) Further, the increase in deductions for children and in improved tax rates will help a vast majority of middle class Americans. No, my Leftist friends, the poorest half of Americans do not get a tax cut per se, as they do not currently PAY any income taxes.
And readers respond:
(And it is not corporations that pay taxes anyway, but rather the consumers that do.)
Well, then. Why tax corporations at all? Why not let the public pay for their use of roads, water, electricity, raw materials, and infrastructure? Even if we never buy their products. After all, like the politicians they bought, we serve them, don’t we?
We “leftists” know the poor don’t pay income tax. We also know when the elites get massive tax cuts while hoarding more wealth than ever, services for the poor are cut. Millions will lose health care and it will become more expensive for the rest of us. All so Ivanka and her precious siblings won’t have to pay a dime in taxes on their hard-earned inherited wealth.
But ours is not to reason why, just coddle and serve the rich. And we should shut up and drink their “trickle down” voodoo economics koolade, as we wait for their corporate ruled utopia to bring great jobs and more freedom…to work for a frozen minimum wage.
Cut their taxes and the greedy elites will deliver a wonderful Greater America. If we just believe…
Their false beliefs are amazing and horrifying.
Here’s a decent article on the first subject:
Probably most people assume that the corporate income tax is largely paid by consumers of its products or services. That is, they assume that although the tax is nominally levied on the corporation as a whole, in fact the burden of the tax is shifted onto customers in the form of higher prices.
All economists reject that idea. They point out that prices are set by market forces and the suppliers of goods and services aren’t only C-corporations, which pay taxes on the corporate tax schedule, but also sole proprietorships, partnerships and S-corporations that are taxed under the individual income tax. Other suppliers include foreign corporations and nonprofits.
But I suppose that Mr. Paine has it all figured out.
“Why tax corporations at all?”
Indeed! If one believes that corporate tax cuts pretty much pay for themselves even in good economic times or that labor or consumers ultimately pay the entirety of the corporate tax, why not just eliminate it entirely for the good of everyone? And if it’s all about competition, why not lower it to 12% to beat Ireland’s 12.5% or to 7% to compete with economic powerhouse Uzbekistan’s 7.5%? Consistency is definitely not one of the GOP’s virtues.
I also always wonder about the “race to the bottom.” If the corporate tax rate–even just the nominal rather than the effective–is such a key component of our global competitiveness, then it must be for other countries too. If other countries come to see the Republican light, why wouldn’t they further lower their rates to compete with us, forcing us to do the same under the next Republican administration? Will we eventually hit 0%? Where will we go after that? Will we begin to pay corporations to stay with us?
Actually, I’m not sure why we need to compete at all. To hear many conservatives tell it, the rest of the world–from Canada to Europe to Mexico to Japan–is a socialist economic hellscape. I suppose that China might be doing all right, but to compete with them, we’ll have to eliminate the minimum wage, health and safety regulations, and–oh. Republicans have been telling us that all along, haven’t they?
2018 and 2020 cannot come soon enough.
If the tax reform stays pretty close to its current iteration, it will help spur the economy via corporate tax cuts that finally make the U.S. competitive on the global stage.
Just because politicians and their media mouthpieces keep repeating this, does not make it true.
No, my Leftist friends, the poorest half of Americans do not get a tax cut per se, as they do not currently PAY any income taxes.
Of course not. You can’t tax what isn’t there. Know what you can tax? The folks that do have money. Still kinda pondering the use of the leftist adjective. Doesn’t really add to the point.
What good will this tax bill do for employment when the current rate is 4.1%, U6 is 8%, and U5 is at 5%? Those are all very low numbers already, resulting from a plunge that began under Obama–not Trump. The labor force participation rate, which of course we don’t hear about anymore from Republicans now that they are in power, hasn’t changed much, but the causes aren’t and probably can’t be addressed by this bill. Wages could improve, but that’s hardly a given. Even if they did, it could just as easily be a result of the already low unemployment rate forcing employers to offer more money to attract workers.
What about the deficit and debt? Remember when that was the definitive issue for Republicans under Obama? Just about everyone projects that this bill’s tax reductions won’t pay for themselves–because of course they can’t. (And where it tries to make up for this, it must take money from people in some other way, like taxing tuition waivers for graduate students.) But Republicans don’t care about any opinion or analysis that doesn’t totally affirm what they want to believe or tell the public. They even try to block or work around unflattering studies–including ones performed by their own. If the goal here is to set up a scenario where spending cuts are necessary, the bill is only even more irresponsible. If spending must be cut, then it should be cut *before* experimenting with taxes and risking additional revenue during good economic times.
Finally, this bill, which Republicans themselves insist is of utmost importance, was rushed for no good reason, without a chance for *anyone* to understand its ramifications. Trump, of course, will sign whatever Republicans put in front of him and parrot their talking points. Despite their continued criticism of the process behind devising and passing the ACA, Republicans did far worse in this case.
To sum up: this is a fiscally irresponsible bill, thought up behind closed doors and in a hurry without a chance for even its supporters to fully understand it, with no clear path to improving an economy that is already doing well. But of course T. Paine defends it. He’s just so independent, that not-a-Republican!
What to think? What to think?
Why bother, it’s already been done for us. Could it be perhaps “Common Sense” has been replaced by the slogans and simple answers of far Right cult beliefs?
If only someone would start a list of all those half-baked ideas and crazy beliefs…