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Thread: GOP tax cuts & young families on the endangered species list

  1. #1

    GOP tax cuts & young families on the endangered species list

    The GOP tax cut plan in the Senate ran into the Senate rules, requiring fiscal responsibility vis-à-vis the deficit, and the GOP sided with the corporations / wealthy getting the permanent tax cut, and workers being temporary beneficiaries.

    Dem Ron Wyden tried to enter an amendment that the corporate cuts should expire as well, if wages don't rise - as the Republicans claim they will under their plan - and Dem Sherrod Brown followed up the offense, suggesting the cuts are really about giving protect to the wealthy, leading to Orrin's widely covered tantrum where he claims he's been a champion of the poor his whole life, having started there, himself, etc.

    For those inclined / able to follow Hatch's invitation to look deeper, the tax cut plan looks worse and worse: https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs...=.21f54f1abd05

    Meanwhile, back in Utah, a bankruptcy watchdog report shows more than half of Utah workers have less than $1000 in savings, with 4-5 times that amount in credit card debt. https://www.deseretnews.com/article/...ls-around.html

    Combining this with the D-News / LDS Church regularly exhorting young adults to form families and have children, we're seeing what economists and the CIA (through their GINI index) have been saying for quite some time: widening economic inequalities lead to a whole host of problems, within nations. (The GINI index was created to assess instability in other countries.)

    It's not hard to see where the tax cuts - coming toward the end of an extended bull run in the economy - might lead to, when the expansion fizzles and we go into recession: ballooning deficits, which will pressure tax increases on the working and middle classes, with Social Security and Medicare cuts, as corporations / the wealthy remain unscathed.

    Back to the problem of young adults and a new generation of families being economically threatened - along with the declining birthrate, etc - and you have a conservative-accelerated decline of the family, and a nation inching closer toward the social problems typically found in third world nations.

    (My son served a mission in Paraguay, where kids were being born... to parents who shack up & often break up, with very rough economic conditions leading most to conclude that marriage is an institution for the better off. In one letter home he was so happy to find potential converts who were "already married!!!!", ie, he didn't have to try and get them married first.)

    LDS conservatives here are pushing the notion that marriage itself leads to prosperity - which, like everything else, is probably partially true - but based on rapidly widening inequalities and a stunningly tough job market for the non-brilliant, and the LDS church may as well start preparing training programs for young LDS adults to be prepared to weather through raising a family like their great grandparents did... during the Great Depression.

    After all, Orrin Hatch achieved great wealth and power, though coming from poverty. Why can't everyone else do the same?

  2. #2
    The non brilliant should move to new York and work for the subway

    Ny times article about the subway system:
    Subway workers now make an average of $170,000 annually in salary, overtime and benefits, according to a Times analysis of data compiled by the federal Department of Transportation. That is far more than in any other American transit system; the average in cities like Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and Washington is about $100,000 in total compensation annually.

    The pay for managers is even more extraordinary. The nearly 2,500 people who work in New York subway administration make, on average, $280,000 in salary, overtime and benefits. The average elsewhere is $115,000.

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  3. #3
    $170k doesn't go very far in NYC, fwiw.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by NorthwestUteFan View Post
    $170k doesn't go very far in NYC, fwiw.
    And that’s certainly not $170,000 in pay. I imagine benefits and retirement are a good $40,000 of that at least.


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  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Diehard Ute View Post
    And that’s certainly not $170,000 in pay. I imagine benefits and retirement are a good $40,000 of that at least.


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    Yep. If you go to the state of Utah website, it includes retirement, health, vacation benefits,etc., in compensation. It may identify a teacher's compensation as $90K, when the salary is $50K.

    I would bet the benefits in NYC are very generous, and are more than 40% of the total.
    Last edited by concerned; 11-20-2017 at 08:05 AM.

  6. #6
    Administrator U-Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mormon Red Death View Post
    The non brilliant should move to new York and work for the subway

    Ny times article about the subway system:
    Subway workers now make an average of $170,000 annually in salary, overtime and benefits, according to a Times analysis of data compiled by the federal Department of Transportation. That is far more than in any other American transit system; the average in cities like Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and Washington is about $100,000 in total compensation annually.

    The pay for managers is even more extraordinary. The nearly 2,500 people who work in New York subway administration make, on average, $280,000 in salary, overtime and benefits. The average elsewhere is $115,000.

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    When I was looking for a job, a tech company in San Francisco offered to double my salary to move there. When I looked at the housing situation I realized they would need to triple it for me to offer my family the same level of accommodations we have in South Jordan.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Diehard Ute View Post
    And that’s certainly not $170,000 in pay. I imagine benefits and retirement are a good $40,000 of that at least.


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    you were right--it includes overtime as well as benefits. Only 42% is salary. this is a tweet from one of the NYT reporters who wrote the articles.



    For those asking: Yes, we included OT/benefits in compensation comparisons in our subway story. Why? Because they're huge cost drivers. 51% of subway labor costs go to benefits. 7% to OT. Only 42% to base salary. That is ... not normal (Cc @marcambinder, @joshtpm, @chayesmatthew)

    10:57 AM - 19 Nov 2017

  8. #8
    Though it is yet to be reconciled with the House bill and signed by Trump, the Senate's tax code provides a fascinating glimpse into... a lot of things.

    - A strong consensus of economists don't think tax cuts stimulate the economy enough to pay for themselves, but the Republican orthodoxy on tax cuts is based on faith, not clear headed analysis. (Or, it is a cynical charade to reward their donors in a big quid-pro-quo, which I think is possible, but I want to think is less likely.)

    - Whether its Democrats imitating Republicans, or vice versa, the hypocrisy from objecting to a lack of bipartisanship while later imitating your foe is striking. As McConnell candidly noted to complaints about lack of transparency and rushing to get this bill passed, "losers complain".

    - The tax cuts come after a very long economic recovery, with very low interest rates, low unemployment... but even with a pretty healthy economy, we're growing the deficit/debt higher. Will THIS be the recovery that signals the end of all recessions? Or will we be in for some much more serious fiscal carnage / Medicare-SS cuts, as those tax revenue streams will be needed to pay for defense and GOP sacred cows, and maintain low corporate rates when the economic weather gets bad?

    - I kind of wonder if Republicans know they're in for some very rough waters as Mueller closes in on Trump, and the whipsaw of electoral discontent sweeps them out of office, so they wrote the corporate rates into stone, daring future Democrats to raise taxes on individuals / cut SS & Medicare in tough times. "If we can't govern, we're going to make sure you have an even more fucked up country to try and govern. Hahaha. Joke's on you!"

  9. #9

    GOP tax cuts & young families on the endangered species list

    Republican like tax cuts and Democrats like benefits, either way it is the same thing to the bottom line, except one rewards productivity. I do enjoy watching the left suddenly becoming deficit hawks.


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  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Rocker Ute View Post
    Republican like tax cuts and Democrats like benefits, either way it is the same thing to the bottom line, except one rewards productivity. I do enjoy watching the left suddenly becoming deficit hawks.
    You're right about the traditional wants of the parties, and how they flip roles depending on who's in power. It's a major reason people check out of politics, especially Millennials. It's all a cynical game show, to them.

    But on the deficit / debt, remember that most of deficit spending under Obama was done in an economy that was (at least initially) in free fall, with a recovery that has been pretty anemic, especially on the jobs front (much like W's "jobless recovery" was before).

    Excluding all the political noise, we're going to be adding additional deficit / debt on top of the existing deficit / debt baseline... when the economy is at full employment, the stock market at record highs, etc. I've heard very few economists (outside Wall Street) who thinks this is a good idea, except Arthur Laffer (who blames what happened in Kansas on falling agricultural prices).

    It seems like the Republicans are in such a frenzy to score a big win, nothing can penetrate their echo chamber... or, it's possible Senators like McCain / Collins / etc are counting on the afterglow to wear off when the bill goes to conference, and more light is shown on the analysis, with debt hawk conservatives in the House potentially threatening passage of the revised bill out of conference. (I give the 2nd scenario about 20% chance of being correct).

    When the cold weather rolls in, the corporate rate is written in stone, which will force sizable cuts in SS & Medicare, healthcare research, etc, and possible boosts to taxes on the middle class, all of which will be political poison, rushing us toward a legitimate monetary crisis. (Just because we haven't got there under W, then Obama, and after one year of Trump, doesn't mean it will never, ever happen... unless Trump decides to use a nuclear attack as a giant cover to exonerate his reign.)

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Ma'ake View Post
    .

    But on the deficit / debt, remember that most of deficit spending under Obama was done in an economy that was (at least initially) in free fall, with a recovery that has been pretty anemic, especially on the jobs front (much like W's "jobless recovery" was before).
    It is also important to note that nearly half of the Obama deficit was the result of putting the Iraq/Afghanistan wars and Medicare Part D 'on the books', where they were not counted against the deficit prior.

    Most of the rest came from bailing out the economy and staving off the crash that eliminated over $1T, and had the potential to destroy $64T worldwide in value due to leveraging.

    The effects of this bill will likely be slow to be felt, but will be very damaging over the long haul. Wages and jobs will not rise appreciably economic growth will stagnate everywhere except in the stock market (due to maneuvers like stock buybacks which will prop up stock prices), and Main Street is going to feel it badly.

    The next time reasonable adults get in charge they will be forced to greatly raise taxes just to keep the country afloat and to keep people off the streets like some modern form of a Grapes of Wrath world that F. Scott Fitzgerald would write.
    Last edited by NorthwestUteFan; 12-03-2017 at 09:54 AM.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by NorthwestUteFan View Post
    The effects of this bill will likely be slow to be felt, but will be very damaging over the long haul. Wages and jobs will not rise appreciably economic growth will stagnate everywhere except in the stock market (due to maneuvers like stock buybacks which will prop up stock prices), and Main Street is going to feel it badly.

    The next time reasonable adults get in charge they will be forced to greatly raise taxes just to keep the country afloat and to keep people off the streets like some modern form of a Grapes of Wrath world that F. Scott Fitzgerald would write.
    I think there could be a modest stimulative effect in the short term (hooray for my portfolio!), but the fundamental issues of growing inequality, technological displacement of good paying jobs, with the unaddressed issue of sovereign debt lurking in the background are unaddressed by or exacerbated by this bill, longer term.

    We've been in a very, very long expansion, and it's unclear what factor(s) will trip the next recession. Consumer debt? Student loan debt? "Irrational exuberance" in the stock market? Trade wars? Actual wars? Widening in the political / cultural divide between states, unrest based on Trump / Russia? There are a lot of different ways things could unravel, economically. But based purely on a history of business cycles, the clock is pretty close to midnight.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Ma'ake View Post
    You're right about the traditional wants of the parties, and how they flip roles depending on who's in power. It's a major reason people check out of politics, especially Millennials. It's all a cynical game show, to them.

    But on the deficit / debt, remember that most of deficit spending under Obama was done in an economy that was (at least initially) in free fall, with a recovery that has been pretty anemic, especially on the jobs front (much like W's "jobless recovery" was before).

    Excluding all the political noise, we're going to be adding additional deficit / debt on top of the existing deficit / debt baseline... when the economy is at full employment, the stock market at record highs, etc. I've heard very few economists (outside Wall Street) who thinks this is a good idea, except Arthur Laffer (who blames what happened in Kansas on falling agricultural prices).

    It seems like the Republicans are in such a frenzy to score a big win, nothing can penetrate their echo chamber... or, it's possible Senators like McCain / Collins / etc are counting on the afterglow to wear off when the bill goes to conference, and more light is shown on the analysis, with debt hawk conservatives in the House potentially threatening passage of the revised bill out of conference. (I give the 2nd scenario about 20% chance of being correct).

    When the cold weather rolls in, the corporate rate is written in stone, which will force sizable cuts in SS & Medicare, healthcare research, etc, and possible boosts to taxes on the middle class, all of which will be political poison, rushing us toward a legitimate monetary crisis. (Just because we haven't got there under W, then Obama, and after one year of Trump, doesn't mean it will never, ever happen... unless Trump decides to use a nuclear attack as a giant cover to exonerate his reign.)
    And Obama's policies lead to the extremely protracted recovery, years long damaged housing market and a falsely propped up employment scenario. Do you realize how many people are underemployed today?

    I'm not defending this tax cut, but I do find it interesting what people chose to key in on and what they chose to forget.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Rocker Ute View Post
    And Obama's policies lead to the extremely protracted recovery, years long damaged housing market and a falsely propped up employment scenario. Do you realize how many people are underemployed today?
    What policies are you referring to specifically?

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Rocker Ute View Post
    And Obama's policies lead to the extremely protracted recovery, years long damaged housing market and a falsely propped up employment scenario. Do you realize how many people are underemployed today?

    I'm not defending this tax cut, but I do find it interesting what people chose to key in on and what they chose to forget.
    Recovering from the Great Recession was going to be a decade-long dig out. It was like getting an emergency 2nd mortgage, but dad got to keep his job. Not the best of times, but better than what could have been.

    I'm sure some things Obama did added to the slow growth, but he got very little of what he was asking for, if you'll remember, and the deficit and debt were constant excuses for how he was a horrible president. Underemployment is mostly a structural problem, epidemic in western economies, and based on economists with expertise on disruption from technology, it's going to be with us for quite awhile, maybe pseudo-permanently.

    Here, it's not just me warning about the tax cuts, at the end of a long expansion: https://www.investors.com/politics/c...economic-boom/

    Summary - Robert Samuelson warns about longer expansions leading to more acute, more painful "corrections" (recessions), particularly for employees.

    Further: "This history cautions prudence. We don't know whether the economic recovery that began in mid-2009 will end in some sort of crack-up. But we should minimize the odds of this happening by avoiding policies that overstimulate the economy when it doesn't need more "stimulus."

    In the present context, there are two implications. First, the Federal Reserve should continue raising short-term interest rates, which are still low. And second, the Republican tax legislation now being considered by Congress should not increase budget deficits by a penny."


  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by concerned View Post
    What policies are you referring to specifically?
    I’ve spoken about it a lot in times past but a few include zero interest loans to banks and corporations with no requirements of investment or lending, banking regulations that didn’t address the problems that caused the recession and made it difficult if not impossible for small businesses to get loans, Obamacare and its unintended harm on businesses and employment... I could go on. It is simply incredibly difficult to be a small business these days, and new business start-ups remain historically low.

    Since it seems to be a popular thing to say, economists also agree that many of those policies protracted the recovery. We are technically still in recovery. Your house value likely just reach its pre-recession value last year, and with what should have been a modest 2% increase in value based off inflation you are likely still about 10% behind where it should be valued. Just wait until all of these REITs start unloading the homes they have been sitting on.

    I vehemently disagree that it was always going to be a decade long recovery, but I also know it is incredibly unpopular to not adore everything Obama. He was light years ahead of what we’ve got now, but he was a poor president, and did his share of pompous childishness, inciting and taunting his opponents and more. I also think his policies gave rise to a significant part of the Trump base, which is a lot of the working class in middle America. A lot of the tone in Washington today I think can be attributed to him, Trump is just lighter fluid on that flame. History will view him favorably however simply because of who he was sandwiched between.


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  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Rocker Ute View Post
    I’ve spoken about it a lot in times past...
    I need to do some research on this topic, but I admit an aversion to much of the criticism of Obama while he was president, based on what was very clear racial animus toward him from people like Jim DeMint, Mitch McConnell, etc. From my own experience, and knowing how racial views are/were in Kentucky / South Carolina (and a lot of places outside Utah), it would have been impossible for them to be objective, or give him any kind of chance. (It would be like convincing Mormons that maybe Joseph Smith created a lot of the problems that led to his martyrdom in Nauvoo. "Good luck with that.")

    A lot of the racial sentiment nationally also laid the foundation for Trump, in the form of tribalism, stoked by economic shifts that would occur regardless of who is president. This tribalism and economic anxiety are not unique to the US, and form the basis of right-wing nationalism in developed countries.

    I remember economists like Paul Krugman loudly complaining that Obama's prescriptions didn't go nearly far enough to address the underlying structural problems of the economy, and Obama was fortunate to get partial measures through Congress.

    It's a balancing act. Back in 1973, for small businesses it would have been anathema to ban leaded gasoline during a recession, but the lead levels in children decreased 93% after the heavy-handed feds forced everyone to use unleaded.

    To your point about Obama's policies being a drag on the recovery, Samuelson makes the case that tempering economic recoveries may make the subsequent recession / correction less painful, ie, takes some intensity out of the oscillations of the boom & bust business cycle... which Karl Marx predicted would lay the seeds for the destruction of capitalism.

    I read some recent research by some economists that indicates the current economy is at full potential. (This excludes many people who are "underemployed" today, as their skills are no longer in demand from companies that are prospering without them.) The stock market is up 24% this year. Has this resulted in commensurate salary increases and high paying jobs? Not so much, because it's not the purpose of companies to employ people or pay them lots of money. Companies exist to make money, the self interest described by Adam Smith that fuels the engine of capitalism.

    So, if we're at full potential, the stock market is being inflated beyond rationality, and while the tax cuts elevate economic activity a bit (through an initial stimulating effect), the coming hangover could be pretty severe.

  18. #18
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ma'ake View Post
    I need to do some research on this topic, but I admit an aversion to much of the criticism of Obama while he was president, based on what was very clear racial animus toward him from people like Jim DeMint, Mitch McConnell, etc.
    Surely this was true in some quarters, but I reject adamantly the notion that for the overwhelming majority of Americans who disapproved of President Obama's administration, racial animus had anything to do with it. My problem, for example, was his arrogance and condescension towards those who saw the world differently than he did, and his approach to governing, which was a lot more like something we'd expect to see in Chicago. But reasonable people can disagree about that. (There's irony in that last sentence, because Obama almost never saw or described his opponents as reasonable people.)

    As for the tax bill, here's a view that is critical of the bill without descending into the hyperbolic nonsense we are seeing from the leading liberal opponents (e.g., "America died today"):

    Winners And Losers Of The Senate Tax Bill


    https://www.forbes.com/sites/anthony.../#29e87d26254d

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  19. #19

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Ma'ake View Post
    I need to do some research on this topic, but I admit an aversion to much of the criticism of Obama while he was president, based on what was very clear racial animus toward him from people like Jim DeMint, Mitch McConnell, etc. From my own experience, and knowing how racial views are/were in Kentucky / South Carolina (and a lot of places outside Utah), it would have been impossible for them to be objective, or give him any kind of chance. (It would be like convincing Mormons that maybe Joseph Smith created a lot of the problems that led to his martyrdom in Nauvoo. "Good luck with that.")

    A lot of the racial sentiment nationally also laid the foundation for Trump, in the form of tribalism, stoked by economic shifts that would occur regardless of who is president. This tribalism and economic anxiety are not unique to the US, and form the basis of right-wing nationalism in developed countries.

    I remember economists like Paul Krugman loudly complaining that Obama's prescriptions didn't go nearly far enough to address the underlying structural problems of the economy, and Obama was fortunate to get partial measures through Congress.

    It's a balancing act. Back in 1973, for small businesses it would have been anathema to ban leaded gasoline during a recession, but the lead levels in children decreased 93% after the heavy-handed feds forced everyone to use unleaded.

    To your point about Obama's policies being a drag on the recovery, Samuelson makes the case that tempering economic recoveries may make the subsequent recession / correction less painful, ie, takes some intensity out of the oscillations of the boom & bust business cycle... which Karl Marx predicted would lay the seeds for the destruction of capitalism.

    I read some recent research by some economists that indicates the current economy is at full potential. (This excludes many people who are "underemployed" today, as their skills are no longer in demand from companies that are prospering without them.) The stock market is up 24% this year. Has this resulted in commensurate salary increases and high paying jobs? Not so much, because it's not the purpose of companies to employ people or pay them lots of money. Companies exist to make money, the self interest described by Adam Smith that fuels the engine of capitalism.

    So, if we're at full potential, the stock market is being inflated beyond rationality, and while the tax cuts elevate economic activity a bit (through an initial stimulating effect), the coming hangover could be pretty severe.
    I did vote for Obama the first term. I also tried to start a business during that time and the common refrain in the various small business circles I was in was it was hell. It really was.

    Imagine watching the news of the big banks getting zero interest loans and not being required to lend it. They had zero motivation to lend and it showed. Meanwhile I had a contract with a company that was a big deal, I needed a small bridge loan to hire people to complete the project, I had for collateral a CD that was double the amount I was seeking for a loan. I couldn’t get a bank to talk to me at the time, we had to forfeit the contract. That sucked. Today I get a call about every day with a loan offer.

    So good news! We bailed out the banks and gave them the appearance of profitability yet didn’t fix any of the policies that got us in trouble (no doc loans are available today, collateralized debt obligations are now called bespoke debt obligations) and they did nothing to help the people who actually power the economy.

    Meanwhile, as I am self-employed I watched my premiums triple and my coverage get worse. Smaller network, higher out of pocket, but good news! my preventative care visits were ‘free’ (well really an additional $3000 a year, but who is counting right?)

    After being a victim of his policies and hearing from him about daily how I was an evil employer who didn’t care about my employees so he had to do it for me, like LA Ute I grew very tired of his arrogance and his rhetoric. His poor governance lead to a lot of his executive orders now being undone by the current narcissist simply because he refused to work through the legislature. Yes the republicans were being obstructionists and I think that is largely true but he did NOTHING to reach across the aisle ever, and routinely mocked and taunted them. Bill Clinton could reach across the aisle, even GWB could do it.

    My personal favorite is hearing him talk out of both sides of his mouth about the middle class, while enriching the upper-class and corporations better than any republican ever could. Wall Street rallied with him, Main Street still hasn’t.

    You also mention that the under employment is due to people whose skills are no longer needed in the economy. Not completely true. The majority of people I know who are currently underemployed fall into categories where their employers would rather have two part-time employees than one full that they have to provide benefits to under Obamacare. A very close friend, she is a hardcore Obama fan and an LCSW, admitted that she’d rather just have full-time employment instead of two part-time jobs. I also see a ton of ageism. Employers would rather hire a young guy on the cheap than an experienced person in their mid 40s... that is really true in the tech arena (is my observation).

    If I ever do speak about this though people will almost always imply if not outright say that my distaste for Obama is rooted in racism as if it isn’t possible for him to have any bad policies or missteps.

    Of course they didn’t see me gather my kids around when he was sworn in with tears in my eyes explaining how historic it was to have a black president given our history as a nation and how hopefully it was a sign of the end of that chapter (it wasn’t as we’ve sadly found out). I still think his election was historic and a wonderful thing with what we knew. But I’ll be honest, it pisses me off that you can’t criticize the man without racism accusations being leveled at you 100% of the time though.


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  21. #21
    Why didn't the GOP reduce the charitable giving deduction from 50% of adjusted taxable income to something like 20%? IMO, the charitable giving deduction is the deduction most abused by the ultra wealthy. Little guys who give 10% to their Church or to the Red Cross are fine. It's the big guys who find ways to give to one another's foundation or closer to home give to a University only to get a contract back, are the ones who really benefit from this deduction.

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by UTEopia View Post
    Why didn't the GOP reduce the charitable giving deduction from 50% of adjusted taxable income to something like 20%? IMO, the charitable giving deduction is the deduction most abused by the ultra wealthy. Little guys who give 10% to their Church or to the Red Cross are fine. It's the big guys who find ways to give to one another's foundation or closer to home give to a University only to get a contract back, are the ones who really benefit from this deduction.
    Its how Jared Kushner got into Harvard.

  23. #23
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    I don't know tax law but I have partners who do. Here is a breakdown of the new bill, in stupefying detail:

    Tax Reform’sProvisions Affecting Partnerships, Corporations, and Individuals

    https://gallery.mailchimp.com/31e15e...eid=f21c78063f


    And don't forget what's really happening here:

    “Probably one of the worst bills in the history of the United States of America. The debate on health care is like death. This is Armageddon.” — House minority leader Nancy Pelosi, describing the Republican tax cut bill, December 4.

    We're all doomed.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  24. #24
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Megan McArdle whacks the bill where it deserves to be whacked, and mildly praises some aspects of it:

    Tricks That Made a Terrible Tax Bill Look Palatable

    https://www.bloomberg.com/view/artic...look-palatable

    The piece is very critical of the bill but alas, the word "Armageddon" doesn't appear anywhere in it.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Rocker Ute View Post
    I did vote for Obama the first term. I also tried to start a business during that time and the common refrain in the various small business circles I was in was it was hell. It really was.

    Imagine watching the news of the big banks getting zero interest loans and not being required to lend it. They had zero motivation to lend and it showed. Meanwhile I had a contract with a company that was a big deal, I needed a small bridge loan to hire people to complete the project, I had for collateral a CD that was double the amount I was seeking for a loan. I couldn’t get a bank to talk to me at the time, we had to forfeit the contract. That sucked. Today I get a call about every day with a loan offer.

    So good news! We bailed out the banks and gave them the appearance of profitability yet didn’t fix any of the policies that got us in trouble (no doc loans are available today, collateralized debt obligations are now called bespoke debt obligations) and they did nothing to help the people who actually power the economy.

    Meanwhile, as I am self-employed I watched my premiums triple and my coverage get worse. Smaller network, higher out of pocket, but good news! my preventative care visits were ‘free’ (well really an additional $3000 a year, but who is counting right?)

    After being a victim of his policies and hearing from him about daily how I was an evil employer who didn’t care about my employees so he had to do it for me, like LA Ute I grew very tired of his arrogance and his rhetoric. His poor governance lead to a lot of his executive orders now being undone by the current narcissist simply because he refused to work through the legislature. Yes the republicans were being obstructionists and I think that is largely true but he did NOTHING to reach across the aisle ever, and routinely mocked and taunted them. Bill Clinton could reach across the aisle, even GWB could do it.

    My personal favorite is hearing him talk out of both sides of his mouth about the middle class, while enriching the upper-class and corporations better than any republican ever could. Wall Street rallied with him, Main Street still hasn’t.

    You also mention that the under employment is due to people whose skills are no longer needed in the economy. Not completely true. The majority of people I know who are currently underemployed fall into categories where their employers would rather have two part-time employees than one full that they have to provide benefits to under Obamacare. A very close friend, she is a hardcore Obama fan and an LCSW, admitted that she’d rather just have full-time employment instead of two part-time jobs. I also see a ton of ageism. Employers would rather hire a young guy on the cheap than an experienced person in their mid 40s... that is really true in the tech arena (is my observation).

    If I ever do speak about this though people will almost always imply if not outright say that my distaste for Obama is rooted in racism as if it isn’t possible for him to have any bad policies or missteps.

    Of course they didn’t see me gather my kids around when he was sworn in with tears in my eyes explaining how historic it was to have a black president given our history as a nation and how hopefully it was a sign of the end of that chapter (it wasn’t as we’ve sadly found out). I still think his election was historic and a wonderful thing with what we knew. But I’ll be honest, it pisses me off that you can’t criticize the man without racism accusations being leveled at you 100% of the time though.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Great post. Combine your statements with the fact that he was at least as active or more active in signing executive orders than Trump. He repeatedly sought to undermine local and state law enforcement (it is not a coincidence that we had so many riots in bigger cities due to race issues during his last term and now those riots have disappeared).

    The justice department and the department of education totally changed how investigations were required to be undertaken on college campuses when any allegation of sexual assault occurred. The standard became a preponderance of the evidence and department of education agents unbelievably "trained" university employees on interviewing alleged victims. As part of that training, college employees were directed to find more credibility in an alleged victim's statement if it was inconsistent because the inconsistencies proved trauma which should be used as corroboration that the alleged victim was telling the truth (I'm not shitting you, this practice is detailed in an article in the Atlantic--that conservative rag--that I posted on this board a few months ago.)

    The biggest reason Trump is so aggressive in his executive orders is because of the extensive use of them by the Obama administration. But the media rarely discusses this stuff.

  26. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    I don't know tax law but I have partners who do. Here is a breakdown of the new bill, in stupefying detail:

    Tax Reform’sProvisions Affecting Partnerships, Corporations, and Individuals


    https://gallery.mailchimp.com/31e15e...eid=f21c78063f


    And don't forget what's really happening here:

    “Probably one of the worst bills in the history of the United States of America. The debate on health care is like death. This is Armageddon.” — House minority leader Nancy Pelosi, describing the Republican tax cut bill, December 4.

    We're all doomed.
    Sort of as a follow-on to what you were saying yesterday, I think the tax code is stacked against people who earn w-2 income, from ditch diggers to brain surgeons, because they dont have the business deductions and expenses. This act just accentuates that.

    As I mentioned a while ago, i have a client who is a managing member of a series of LLC's that owns a bunch of Wendy's restaurants, makes a lot of money, and hasn't paid income tax in at least a decade because of the net operating losses.

  27. #27
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by concerned View Post
    As I mentioned a while ago, i have a client who is a managing member of a series of LLC's that owns a bunch of Wendy's restaurants, makes a lot of money, and hasn't paid income tax in at least a decade because of the net operating losses.


    I knew I should have gone to MBA school.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by concerned View Post
    Sort of as a follow-on to what you were saying yesterday, I think the tax code is stacked against people who earn w-2 income, from ditch diggers to brain surgeons, because they dont have the business deductions and expenses. This act just accentuates that.

    As I mentioned a while ago, i have a client who is a managing member of a series of LLC's that owns a bunch of Wendy's restaurants, makes a lot of money, and hasn't paid income tax in at least a decade because of the net operating losses.
    I tried to do an analysis for me and it is likely it doesn't do anything for me one way or another. I'm a W-2 employee

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Two Utes View Post
    The biggest reason Trump is so aggressive in his executive orders is because of the extensive use of them by the Obama administration. But the media rarely discusses this stuff.
    Because it’s not true. Obama actually has the lowest average EO rate of any POTUS since Grover Cleveland’s second term


    http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/data/orders.php




    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  30. #30
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diehard Ute View Post
    Because it’s not true. Obama actually has the lowest average EO rate of any POTUS since Grover Cleveland’s second term


    http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/data/orders.php
    You're just looking at raw numbers of executive orders. I'm not going to do an analysis but I'll wager that measured qualitatively he's very high on the list. I.e., what was the scope of his order? How much money did they involve, how many people did they affect, how often did final judgments of a court overturn them? For example, it's hard to think of an EO more breathtaking than Obama's on immigration, which was plainly unconstitutional.

    Here's the NY Times' take, not just on executive orders, but regulation:



    Once Skeptical of Executive Power, Obama Has Come to Embrace It


    Mr. Obama will leave the White House as one of the most
    prolific authors of major regulations in presidential history.


    https://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/14/u...egulation.html
    Any Republican president after Obama was going to issue lots of EOs to counteract those regulations.
    Last edited by LA Ute; 12-21-2017 at 03:47 PM.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

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