Author Topic: Republican Tax Plan  (Read 2196 times)

yossarian22c

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Republican Tax Plan
« on: October 10, 2017, 10:23:43 PM »
So analysis of the initial framework shows huge tax cuts for the wealthy, likely slightly higher tax bills for the upper middle class, and pretty much no change for the middle class. Yet Trump claims "I won't benefit". Anyone buying this sack of trickle down BS being good for the middle class?

http://www.npr.org/2017/10/04/555433641/who-will-benefit-most-from-gop-tax-plan-early-report-suggests-the-wealthy

Crunch

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Re: Republican Tax Plan
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2017, 09:27:25 AM »
I get he demagoguery and that we’re supposed to be angry about this but when it comes to federal income taxes whose taxes can you cut? The upper middle class and up carry roughly 80% of the federal tax burden with the rest of the middle class carrying about 15%. If you’re going to cut taxes at all, it almost by definition will predominantly affect wealthy taxpayers as they’re very nearly paying all the taxes. The middle class is paying at a rate that a tax cut there will not really have much effect on them or the economy so if you support tax cuts then you support the cuts at higher earnings. I just don’t see any other way to go.

I should add, I don’t support or reject the proposed plan, I haven’t really looked at it yet.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2017, 09:33:03 AM by Crunch »

D.W.

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Re: Republican Tax Plan
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2017, 10:43:04 AM »
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If you’re going to cut taxes at all
Indeed.  So don't.  I'm cool with changing priorities depending on which party is at the wheel.  But there's a lot of *censored* we need done and a lot we don't yet do well enough.  I don't think we need to cut taxes on those who can manage just fine at current rates.

I don't know if it's a partisan thing, but hypocrisy and BS allergies are a big deal when it comes to this issue.  If you believe cutting taxes leads to job creation, make the case.  Don't sugar coat it, or worse, lie about it.  Don't promote one plan and enact another.  If your plan can't stand on its own, maybe it's a bad plan!

DonaldD

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Re: Republican Tax Plan
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2017, 11:04:13 AM »
What D.W. said - if your argument is trickle-down, make that argument.  I know it has become normalized to treat everything the president says as a-factual, and I know we could all waste years debating his lies instead of the substance of the proposals, but shouldn't the substance actually be debated at least a little?

Seriati

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Re: Republican Tax Plan
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2017, 11:50:08 AM »
It seems to me that most arguments on tax cuts have little to nothing to do with the actual economics involved and far more to do with the political team we happen to support.  US tax culture is already very heavy for the level of benefits we actually receive.  It's a virtual certainty that it's slowing our rate of economic growth, which itself is directly tied to the actual income that everyone receives. 

It is - in no way - a reasonable argument to whine about whether a rich person benefits, without considering, in any real way, who else benefits and by how much.

You also need to consider that most of the "penalty" on the upper middle class comes from one, single source.  Excessive state taxes for certain states where high income individuals reside.  If the states followed suit and actually cut expenses allowing them to lower taxes that effect would disappear entirely, and we'd all be massively better off.  Instead, we have states with incredibly wealthy citizens with repressive levels of taxes spending themselves into bankruptcy.

TheDrake

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Re: Republican Tax Plan
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2017, 12:07:16 PM »
So, you couldn't cut taxes by increasing the EITC, or by raising the standard deduction?

Of course you could. The proposal does the latter. Standard deductions are being doubled and would help anyone who does not itemize, which usually includes renters. Particularly, the people who live in states with no income tax will benefit, because the proposal drops itemized state and local tax deductions. Which would be a real thumb in the eye to Californians, but I honestly never understood that deduction anyway.

It also increases the child tax credit, but we don't yet know how much.

Repealing the AMT does indeed benefit wealthier people, but is long overdue.

Dropping the corporate tax rate as much as proposed is probably the most dramatic, going from 35% to 20%. I can't imagine how they hope to make up the 150 billion dollars.

Seriati

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Re: Republican Tax Plan
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2017, 01:07:37 PM »
So, you couldn't cut taxes by increasing the EITC, or by raising the standard deduction?

No by the EITC, that's not a tax cut so much as a welfare program.  Nor would it have any of the economic benefits that accrue specifically from cutting an individual or entities taxes, only the benefits of increased consumer spending.

As you noted the standardized deduction change is a real benefit to the middle class (most of whom do not itemize, other than those living in high tax states).

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Repealing the AMT does indeed benefit wealthier people, but is long overdue.

AMT was a garbage solution to Congress having granted poorly considered deductions, that increasingly penalized middle class people.  By the way the "big" difference for the middle class on the AMT?  No deduction for state taxes on the AMT!  Sounds familiar doesn't it.

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Dropping the corporate tax rate as much as proposed is probably the most dramatic, going from 35% to 20%. I can't imagine how they hope to make up the 150 billion dollars.

It won't hurt as much as you think, cutting the rate is very likely to increase the use of corporations, which use has suffered because of the tax burden compared to other legal structures.

https://taxfoundation.org/us-corporate-tax-revenue-low-because-high-taxes-have-shrunk-corporate-sector/

It's not in that link, but I think its also been shown that lowering the corporate tax rate is directly linked to increases in middle class incomes.

D.W.

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Re: Republican Tax Plan
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2017, 01:11:25 PM »
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Excessive state taxes for certain states where high income individuals reside.  If the states followed suit and actually cut expenses allowing them to lower taxes that effect would disappear entirely, and we'd all be massively better off.
This seems a little muddy to me.  The places where these high income people reside, often have higher infrastructure demands.  You simply put, NEED more money to keep say NYC running compared to smaller or more rural areas.

The question, and it's likely a city planing policy lost cause at this point, would be how do revenue requirements shift as population density increases?  Do a million people spread out over small rural towns actually require less money to operate than a million people densely populated into one urban setting?  Maybe they require more not less?  Do we benefit from economies of scale? 

I personally feel that we subsidize a lot of areas in this country where we'd be much better served encouraging people to relocate.  Then again, that is more gut feeling than data driven.  Is it easier to move people to where the economic opportunities are, or bring those opportunities to them? 

Seriati

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Re: Republican Tax Plan
« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2017, 01:49:59 PM »
This seems a little muddy to me.  The places where these high income people reside, often have higher infrastructure demands.  You simply put, NEED more money to keep say NYC running compared to smaller or more rural areas.

You'd be depressed at the comparatively small portion of the budget that goes to what you'd actually consider infrastructure.  NYC benefits from the economy of scale over smaller communities on a number of things.  Small communities have to "oversupply" themselves with things that can't be done at a smaller scale. Not sure its entirely one side, with some services being required in a place like NYC and not realistically required in smaller communities.

NYC's budget has many practical things, and many many things where political favors have resulted in gross over payments.  Whether you'd prefer that waste not be taken in the first place, or used to fund better infrastructure is a matter of some debate, but having an inflated tax rate specifically to allow for political payola does no one favors (other than the politicians).

I'd love a constitutional amendment that required a politician to fund long term pension commitments from their current budget.  Not promise that 40 years from now the town will pay you x, only promise that today they'd put in escrow x to pay you in 40 years.

yossarian22c

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Re: Republican Tax Plan
« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2017, 05:53:11 PM »
If they actually cared about the poor and middle class they would lower the Medicare/Medicaid and SS tax rates and raise the income cap on those taxes to keep the change revenue neutral.

Wayward Son

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Re: Republican Tax Plan
« Reply #10 on: October 12, 2017, 03:04:15 PM »
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NYC's budget has many practical things, and many many things where political favors have resulted in gross over payments.  Whether you'd prefer that waste not be taken in the first place, or used to fund better infrastructure is a matter of some debate, but having an inflated tax rate specifically to allow for political payola does no one favors (other than the politicians).

The problem with cutting out the entire state tax deduction is that it throws out the baby with the bath water.  Sure, it eliminates Federal subsidy of the waste, but it also eliminates funding for the infrastructure paid by the state.  Which means the states will have to fund their necessary work some other way.

IOW, it doesn't solve the problem.

Seriati

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Re: Republican Tax Plan
« Reply #11 on: October 12, 2017, 05:25:29 PM »
The problem with cutting out the entire state tax deduction is that it throws out the baby with the bath water.  Sure, it eliminates Federal subsidy of the waste, but it also eliminates funding for the infrastructure paid by the state.  Which means the states will have to fund their necessary work some other way.

It doesn't do any such thing.  Throwing out the deduction and changing the federal rates does nothing but redistribute the burden.  Effectively high state taxes are a wealth transfer mechanism from poorer rural areas to wealthy high income areas.  This tax eliminates the federal policy in favor of that wealth transfer.

For most of the country the standard deduction exceeds the state tax deduction, and this will be even more true after it's doubled.  You can't be on the left and claim that your state taxes are too high, as your entire argument is premised on the good of government spending versus retaining the amounts in individual's hands.  If the infrastructure is a good investment, then state taxes can still fund it, if on the other hand you live in a state where the taxes are so high as to penalize you it's time to consider if you're really getting the full benefit from the state taxes that you pay.

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IOW, it doesn't solve the problem.

I think you need to be clearer about the "problem".

Seriati

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Re: Republican Tax Plan
« Reply #12 on: October 12, 2017, 07:04:38 PM »
Given, the criticisms of the Republican plan being a tax cut for the wealthy, and the Dems general attempt to claim the absolute moral high ground on this, I found this fact - from the Wall Street Journal - about who benefits from the State and Local tax deduction (which is pretty much the Dem's number one issue) fascinating:

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The deduction for income and sales taxes is even more concentrated among high-income households, with 71% of the benefit going to those above $200,000 in income.

It's totally understandable given the cost of living in the blue areas of the country, still amusing to throw down on something that is so beneficial to those who earn $200k plus.

Wayward Son

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Re: Republican Tax Plan
« Reply #13 on: October 13, 2017, 01:48:03 PM »
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For most of the country the standard deduction exceeds the state tax deduction, and this will be even more true after it's doubled.

True, but you are not accounting the fact that the state taxes are added to other deductions, such as mortgage interest and fees, charitable gifts, and auto licensing fees.  Removing this deduction could actually annul these other deductions in many people's taxes.

Although doubling the standard deduction may do the same thing.

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You can't be on the left and claim that your state taxes are too high, as your entire argument is premised on the good of government spending versus retaining the amounts in individual's hands.  If the infrastructure is a good investment, then state taxes can still fund it, if on the other hand you live in a state where the taxes are so high as to penalize you it's time to consider if you're really getting the full benefit from the state taxes that you pay.

You seem to be equating high state income taxes with waste (which is "the problem" :) ).  But not all taxes go to waste, even in a high-tax state.  And the cuts are not based on whether the monies are being wasted or not, but simply eliminating Federal subsidies (by eliminating the deduction) of all taxes to state governments.

This shifts the burden of those taxes from the Federal government to the state taxpayer, in the form of higher taxes.  This will induce the states to lower their taxes (to ease the tax burden on their citizens), and require them (assuming that at least some of the taxes were providing "full benefit) to seek the monies from the Federal government to make up the difference.  IOW, it won't address any problem of waste, but transfer more power to the Federal government (to fund the beneficial programs).

Greg Davidson

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Re: Republican Tax Plan
« Reply #14 on: October 15, 2017, 08:49:41 PM »
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It seems to me that most arguments on tax cuts have little to nothing to do with the actual economics involved and far more to do with the political team we happen to support.  US tax culture is already very heavy for the level of benefits we actually receive.  It's a virtual certainty that it's slowing our rate of economic growth, which itself is directly tied to the actual income that everyone receives. 

That "virtually certainty" is the exact opposite of what has been demonstrated in the US economy over the past 25 years. When the Democrats raised taxes in 1993, Republicans had that same "virtual certainty" that the economic impacts would be catastrophic - but instead growth increased.  When Bush, who inherited the budget surplus primarily created by those tax increase, cut taxes in 2002 to spur growth, the net result was economic growth slower than under Clinton, just huge windfalls to the 1%. The Obama stimulus did create one of the largest tax cuts in US history, targeted at payroll taxes (social security/medicare) that actually did get most of the tax relief to the majority of the population - and that did have a positive net effect (during a recession it stimulated expenditures by those who needed to spend whatever they had), but later the Democrats imposed another round of tax increases that were once again met by Republican assertions that they would result in a halt to economic growth, and that did not occur (but once again the deficit shrunk significantly).

So Seriati, where exactly is the evidence upon which your virtual certainty is based?

TheDrake

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Re: Republican Tax Plan
« Reply #15 on: October 16, 2017, 10:00:57 AM »
The virtual certainty, as I see it, is that the byzantine tax code is a drag on the economy. Money is spent on tax lawyers and accountants that is simply a burden. That tax code is a result of our system of government, and how campaigns get funded. This is a center issue that both sides could agree on ideologically, but practically it is a non-starter.

Seriati

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Re: Republican Tax Plan
« Reply #16 on: October 16, 2017, 12:48:18 PM »
You seem to be equating high state income taxes with waste (which is "the problem" :) ).  But not all taxes go to waste, even in a high-tax state.  And the cuts are not based on whether the monies are being wasted or not, but simply eliminating Federal subsidies (by eliminating the deduction) of all taxes to state governments.

I never said all taxes were waste.  Only that politicians are incentivized to use public funds to garner support for themselves.  It's no mistake that both blue and red politicians choose to reward those who bring them votes and campaign funds, the mistake is that we let them do it.

Unless your point is that there is NO waste, we'd be better off without the waste.  Like I said, it's politics whether you think the saved government resources would be better in the hands of the tax payers or other government programs.

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This shifts the burden of those taxes from the Federal government to the state taxpayer, in the form of higher taxes.

It doesn't.  It removes the shift of the burden of those state taxes from the tax payers of the other states and puts them back on the people who are choosing to have high state taxes. 

Why on earth should your local choice exempt you, even in part, from sharing in the national burden?  I don't accept, as an explanation, that you've supported the federal government extending it's own mandate to overlap that of the states.  You can't cause a problem and then demand a solution to the problem.

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This will induce the states to lower their taxes (to ease the tax burden on their citizens), and require them (assuming that at least some of the taxes were providing "full benefit) to seek the monies from the Federal government to make up the difference.

Which should be denied.  A state is responsible for balancing the services it wants to provide against the utility of having its citizens pay for them.  There is no "blank check" right where states spend whatever the heck they want and force the citizens of other states to make up the difference.

If you're going to "quote" statistics about states that pay more federal revenues out than they get back, all you're really arguing is that federal taxes are far too high, and that state taxes should be the bigger component.  I agree.  Then we could pick what state it made sense to live in.

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IOW, it won't address any problem of waste, but transfer more power to the Federal government (to fund the beneficial programs).

It's not the federal government's job to "fund beneficial programs."  Quit spending other people's money.

Seriati

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Re: Republican Tax Plan
« Reply #17 on: October 16, 2017, 02:11:45 PM »
That "virtually certainty" is the exact opposite of what has been demonstrated in the US economy over the past 25 years. When the Democrats raised taxes in 1993, Republicans had that same "virtual certainty" that the economic impacts would be catastrophic - but instead growth increased.  When Bush, who inherited the budget surplus primarily created by those tax increase, cut taxes in 2002 to spur growth, the net result was economic growth slower than under Clinton, just huge windfalls to the 1%.

It's an odd response.  You can cherry pick all you want, that barely qualifies as an analysis when you ignore actual facts.  What's key now?  Under Obama businesses were hoarding capital rather than investing it because of rational fear of regulatory and tax overreach.  Tax inversions and offshore strategies have become a far more significant part of the big picture, specifically because of anti-corporate US tax rules - our taxes are both higher than anyone else's and grossly more expansive (taxing world wide).  The policies you seem to be endorsing have deliberately starved the US of capital, leaving no one but the government to fill in the gaps.

What was key then?  Well you had two bubbles the dot com and sub-prime that both began under Clinton and pushed the economy up (and despite what you said real gains in the top 5% under Clinton where far bigger inflation-adusted than under Bush or Obama), the first popped right before Bush took office (dot com) and the second before he left office (sub-prime).  Those two events end up with a bigger impact on GDP (not to mention 9/11) than general tax policy. 

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The Obama stimulus did create one of the largest tax cuts in US history, targeted at payroll taxes (social security/medicare) that actually did get most of the tax relief to the majority of the population - and that did have a positive net effect (during a recession it stimulated expenditures by those who needed to spend whatever they had), but later the Democrats imposed another round of tax increases that were once again met by Republican assertions that they would result in a halt to economic growth, and that did not occur (but once again the deficit shrunk significantly).

That's so bizarre an interpretation I almost feel like its not in good faith.  I mean lets unpack it a bit.

You keep citing (and have been for years) this idea that Obama shrunk the deficit.  It's literal nonsense.  Of the 9 years with the largest individual deficits in US history, Obama was the President for 8 of them.  Whether on an inflation adjusted or absolute value all eight years of highest federal expenditures on record - Obama.  I grant you, he didn't get to increase his spending at the rate he wanted, cause revenues were not on pace during his "recovery." 

Meanwhile, he had 8 solid years of the fed funds rate effectively at zero.  Keep in mind, it had never even been at zero before, let alone been pegged to that rate for such a period of time.  What did that free capital buy us?  Below average GDP growth.  That means even with the ability to borrow for free, the regulatory and tax burden he imposed was so great that economy historically under-performed.  This paragraph alone, should be causing a little humility on your part.  If you economics are right, we combined free money with record government spending and got historically below average returns.  Telling how immediately after he left office, economic indicators started spiking dramatically upwards.

Meanwhile, real wage growth?  Plumetted under Obama and stayed historically low until virtually the end of his Presidency.  Why?  Again abusive tax and regulatory regime that encouraged anyone with capital to invest somewhere else or horde it, only letting up when the light showed at the end of the tunnel.  Short story, if you like raises, Obama's policies (and Greg's) are really against your interests. 

Payroll tax break?  Economic impact of that was front loaded, yet the real gains for Obama didn't show up until it became clear he wasn't going to be President and Clinton wouldn't be able to keep his policies in place.

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So Seriati, where exactly is the evidence upon which your virtual certainty is based?

All over the place.  I'm not aware that there is any evidence that supports a high coporate tax rate as being beneficial to an economy.  Maybe you can show where you got that idea?  We have reached the point of corporate tax where tax avoidance has become the norm, that's well past the point of diminishing returns in any rational tax model.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2017, 02:14:53 PM by Seriati »

yossarian22c

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Re: Republican Tax Plan
« Reply #18 on: October 16, 2017, 09:04:37 PM »
The virtual certainty, as I see it, is that the byzantine tax code is a drag on the economy. Money is spent on tax lawyers and accountants that is simply a burden. That tax code is a result of our system of government, and how campaigns get funded. This is a center issue that both sides could agree on ideologically, but practically it is a non-starter.

I've often wondered what the impact of dramatically simplifying the tax code would be. Short term you would have a lot of CPAs and tax software companies without customers but long term those workers could be used in a more productive way. However the 45+ year old senior tax CPA is unlikely to be able to find a comparable paying job in their lifetime. Long term there is no doubt this is wasted productivity but reallocating all of that talent productively in the short term is a real challenge.

But from what I see they aren't getting rid of any of the byzantine tax code in anything they've put out so far. The framework is just to lower rates for corporations and for the very wealthy. The only tax deductions I've seen targeted are the one for state and local taxes and for personal exemptions. Basically a big tax cut for the super-wealthy and corporations, a small tax hike on upper middle class families, and pretty much no change for the middle and lower class. If they actually put out a plan were corporations have a 20% tax rate with very few deductions and loopholes I would be surprised. The one change I'm ambivalent about is switching to a territorial system of taxation so that it would be easier to repatriate profits earned overseas. This is the one change that I can see a rational economic argument for positive economic growth in the US. As for the other cuts I see very little economic benefit for the average worker. Most economic studies show cutting corporate tax rates have 70%+ of the gain go to investors, with smaller amounts divided up between higher wages and increased investment. The last two are pretty low on that list because they are generally tax deducible expenses, so if there are opportunities to grow your business through investment or higher wages a high tax rate actually encourages making those investments.

yossarian22c

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Re: Republican Tax Plan
« Reply #19 on: October 16, 2017, 09:14:21 PM »
That's so bizarre an interpretation I almost feel like its not in good faith.  I mean lets unpack it a bit.
You keep citing (and have been for years) this idea that Obama shrunk the deficit.  It's literal nonsense.  Of the 9 years with the largest individual deficits in US history, Obama was the President for 8 of them.  Whether on an inflation adjusted or absolute value all eight years of highest federal expenditures on record - Obama.  I grant you, he didn't get to increase his spending at the rate he wanted, cause revenues were not on pace during his "recovery." 

It isn't nonsense it is the literal data for the years he was in office. The 2009 budget was already set by the Bush admin, the only thing Obama added to that was the stimulus which was 700 billion stretchered out over 3 or 4+ years. So he inherited a deficit of 1 trillion (800-900 billion if you don't count the stimulus) and then had the deficit go down each year after that. Bush had also artificially decreased the size of his official deficits by excluding all the funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan from the official budget. Since those expenses were largely predictable Obama moved them into the budget, which coupled with the economic crash that took place over the 3 months before he took office and the 3-6 months after he was in office drastically reduced tax revenues and automatically increased government assistance spending. From that point forward the deficit did decrease every year he was in office. It never got back down to the pre-Iraq war level but it ended up about half of what it was when he took office.

yossarian22c

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Re: Republican Tax Plan
« Reply #20 on: October 16, 2017, 09:36:09 PM »
Meanwhile, he had 8 solid years of the fed funds rate effectively at zero.  Keep in mind, it had never even been at zero before, let alone been pegged to that rate for such a period of time.  What did that free capital buy us?  Below average GDP growth.  That means even with the ability to borrow for free, the regulatory and tax burden he imposed was so great that economy historically under-performed.  This paragraph alone, should be causing a little humility on your part.  If you economics are right, we combined free money with record government spending and got historically below average returns.  Telling how immediately after he left office, economic indicators started spiking dramatically upwards.

GDP growth is actually a horrible measure for how well an economy is doing for the people of the country. GDP/capita growth would be a much more consistent and meaningful measure. We aren't going to return to 3%+ growth because the size of our workforce has  stopped growing. Looking at this measure it becomes rather obvious that Japan's economic growth was destined to stall in the late 80's/early 90's when in essence their population had plateaued. This is really the challenge for the economic future of the country and the world is how to have a healthy economy that isn't predicated on continual exponential population growth.

So the fact that the economy recovered slowly (which it always does after a financial crash) and continued to grow slowly which is somewhat expected based on the size of the labor force and the type of economic recession. Our demographics basically mean 3%+ growth is history unless we want to throw open the borders then we may get more than 3%+ GDP growth but actually have a shrinking GDP/capita. The fact remains that what we should hope for is for economic growth to slightly outpace population growth and for the job market to tighten enough that employers actually have to start raising wages again.

Seriati

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Re: Republican Tax Plan
« Reply #21 on: October 17, 2017, 11:09:14 AM »
That's so bizarre an interpretation I almost feel like its not in good faith.  I mean lets unpack it a bit.
You keep citing (and have been for years) this idea that Obama shrunk the deficit.  It's literal nonsense.  Of the 9 years with the largest individual deficits in US history, Obama was the President for 8 of them.  Whether on an inflation adjusted or absolute value all eight years of highest federal expenditures on record - Obama.  I grant you, he didn't get to increase his spending at the rate he wanted, cause revenues were not on pace during his "recovery." 

It isn't nonsense it is the literal data for the years he was in office. The 2009 budget was already set by the Bush admin, the only thing Obama added to that was the stimulus which was 700 billion stretchered out over 3 or 4+ years. So he inherited a deficit of 1 trillion (800-900 billion if you don't count the stimulus) and then had the deficit go down each year after that.

Which is why I pointed out you are Cherry Picking.  The 2009 budget includes the "one-time" quantatative easing payments.  Obama locked them in and continued to spend on an emergency basis in future years.  As I pointed out, 8 out of 8 for highest government expenditure years, and 8 out 9 for highest deficit years (the "other" one was 2009 - which as you pointed out is on Bush and comes in either at number 7 or 8).

The claim you guys are making is as true as when Kenobi told Luke that Vader betrayed and murdered your father, you know only true from a certain point of view and entirely misleading.

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Bush had also artificially decreased the size of his official deficits by excluding all the funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan from the official budget.

Which were separately budgeted (and appear in the records on government expenditures and revenues).

Besides which, Bush was an overspending tool, he just didn't hold a candle to Obama.

Seriati

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Re: Republican Tax Plan
« Reply #22 on: October 17, 2017, 05:00:08 PM »
I always enjoy Walter Williams's essays:

https://www.creators.com/read/walter-williams

This one just happens to be, as many are, on topic for this tax question.  Not of course high level as it's meant for mass consumption but based on solid points.

Wayward Son

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Re: Republican Tax Plan
« Reply #23 on: October 17, 2017, 06:06:06 PM »
I don't think Walter realizes how ironic his first two sentences are.

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Politicians exploit public ignorance.  Few areas of public ignorance provide as many opportunities for political demagoguery as taxation.

He then goes on to demonstrate some political demagoguery. :D

He talks about the top 1 percent paying 39 percent of all taxes, and the top 10 percent pay about 70.6 percent of all taxes.  He rhetorically asks if that seems fair.

Then he goes on about the bottom 50 percent, who pay only 2.83 percent of the taxes.  The horrors!

But did you notice he didn't mention something relevant about those groups?  What percentage of total taxable income they made.

Back in 2005, it was somewhat similar.  The top 1 percent paid 39.4 percent of the total taxes, the top 10 percent paid 70.3 percent, and the bottom 50 percent paid only 3.1 percent.

But the top 1 percent had 21.2 percent of the total AGI, the top 10 percent had 46.4 percent, and the bottom 50 percent had only 12.8 percent.

In other words, half the earners in this country split about 13 percent of the total income.  The top 10 percent split 46 percent.  And top 1 percent split 21.2 percent--a greater percentage than what the bottom 50 percent got.

Once you've taken out expenses for food, housing, clothing and transportation--you know, the necessities--how much disposable income do you think the bottom 50 percent has left over for taxes?  Conversely, how much disposable income does the top 1 percent have (who made on average about 83 times what the bottom 50 percent made) for taxes? ;)

In reality, there are only two groups that paid a disproportionate share of federal income taxes.  The bottom 50 percent, who got 13 percent of the income but pay only 3 percent of the taxes--10 percent less than their "fair share."  ("Fair share" being defined as the proportion of taxes of that bracket equaling the proportion of income for that bracket.)  And the top 1 percent who made 20.8 percent of the AGI but paid 37.4 percent of the taxes--16.6 percent more than their "fair share."  Every other group was within 10 percent of their "fair share."

I won't even go into how most of those who pay no taxes are retirees, children and students.  Which, of course, Walter didn't bother to go into, either. :P

So I really don't care to hear someone whining about how the rich are being unfairly taxed.  Somebody has to pay the taxes.  The bottom 50 percent can't afford to pay more.  You can't squeeze blood from a turnip.  But the top 1 percent can afford to, and do. 

And, seriously, when you are making 82 times what half the country makes, is it really that bad? ;)

yossarian22c

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Re: Republican Tax Plan
« Reply #24 on: October 17, 2017, 08:21:58 PM »
Which is why I pointed out you are Cherry Picking.  The 2009 budget includes the "one-time" quantatative easing payments.  Obama locked them in and continued to spend on an emergency basis in future years.  As I pointed out, 8 out of 8 for highest government expenditure years, and 8 out 9 for highest deficit years (the "other" one was 2009 - which as you pointed out is on Bush and comes in either at number 7 or 8).

How is the first year he was in office cherry picking, it's literally the baseline he inherited?

As to the highest government spending since has increased every year 1948-2009 you could make that claim about every 2 term president since the second world war. And every one term president was a solid 4 for 4 on that metric.

2001  1,862,846
2002  2,010,894
2003  2,159,899
2004  2,292,841
2005  2,471,957
2006  2,655,050
2007  2,728,686
2008  2,982,544
2009  3,517,677
2010  3,457,079
2011  3,603,065
2012  3,536,945
2013  3,454,647
2014  3,506,091
2015  3,688,383
2016  3,852,612

So there was a big jump in 2009 but government spending actually leveled off after that and we had the first years of decreased spending since '48. In the end the government basically grew at or below its long term tend for the Obama term.

Greg Davidson

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Re: Republican Tax Plan
« Reply #25 on: October 18, 2017, 02:06:21 AM »
Quote
You keep citing (and have been for years) this idea that Obama shrunk the deficit.  It's literal nonsense.

Seriati, Obama inherited a $1.4T deficit in his first day in office. In the subsequent years it got smaller. Much smaller. That seems to be the literal definition of literal.


TheDrake

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Re: Republican Tax Plan
« Reply #26 on: October 18, 2017, 08:20:57 AM »
No president can shrink the deficit. Appropriations controls the spending side residing in the House and Senate. Mostly the deficit is increased or decreased according to global macro-economic forces like energy cost and emergency funding bills (like wars or natural disasters). Occasionally, a President intercepts a boom or bubble (housing, internet) that temporarily increases revenues by a significant amount.

Strategic initiatives taken by the President can take years to fully be felt and realized. Like Kennedy's space program that was enormous in cost, but launched technologies and companies that helped fuel the economy for decades.

Picking which year to start a ham-handed analysis of President good for economy, President bad by lining up a single metric like GDP or Deficit is just a ridiculous partisan exercise.

Seriati

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Re: Republican Tax Plan
« Reply #27 on: October 18, 2017, 10:33:16 AM »
Quote
You keep citing (and have been for years) this idea that Obama shrunk the deficit.  It's literal nonsense.

Seriati, Obama inherited a $1.4T deficit in his first day in office. In the subsequent years it got smaller. Much smaller. That seems to be the literal definition of literal.

He inherited an emergency spending measure that caused that $1.4T.  I never blamed him for that.  I blame him for locking it as the new default and working from there.  Given that revenues had taken a massive hit, the decision not to return to historical spending norms but instead to spend as if the emergency measure was the new norm is 100% on him.

In any event, why are you complaining?  It's literally your philosophy that excess government spending should have given a power surge to the economy.  As walked through above, there's next to no evidence that it did so, which is a fundamental, immediate and direct attack on your policies.

yossarian22c, if you want to play this game have the intellectual honesty to look at the trend line and acknowledge how fundamental and atypical that spending line is.  Obama was way off historical trend, and got not to nothing to show for it, all at a time when revenues had taken a hit.

Greg Davidson

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Re: Republican Tax Plan
« Reply #28 on: October 18, 2017, 10:19:59 PM »
Seriati,

The US stimulated its economy more than all of the other developed nations, and the US economy recovered to a greater degree than all of the other developed economies. The conservative economic theory that austerity is the appropriate response to economic collapse was tested and, once again, proven wrong.

Fenring

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Re: Republican Tax Plan
« Reply #29 on: October 19, 2017, 01:29:08 AM »
The US stimulated its economy more than all of the other developed nations, and the US economy recovered to a greater degree than all of the other developed economies. The conservative economic theory that austerity is the appropriate response to economic collapse was tested and, once again, proven wrong.

I don't think that's quite right. The conservative theory isn't to engage in austerity suddenly when standard monetary policy causes a recession. Their theory (insofar as 'they' have one single theory) is to not engage in manipulations of the money supply in the first place and to have a solid currency based on production. Or at least, that's the theory behind there theory, since as we know in practice both parties in fact enjoy the system as it is so long as it benefits them. But in abstract terms the reason why conservative monetary policy cannot work at present is because the entire system leans the other way, and one can't engage in hybrid tactics. One is either manipulating the money supply all the way, or not at all. Declining to do so after having (for example) massively inflated it) is a non-starter.

Seriati

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Re: Republican Tax Plan
« Reply #30 on: October 19, 2017, 09:48:00 AM »
The US stimulated its economy more than all of the other developed nations, and the US economy recovered to a greater degree than all of the other developed economies. The conservative economic theory that austerity is the appropriate response to economic collapse was tested and, once again, proven wrong.

As Fenring mentioned, there's quite a gap between "austerity" (great liberal buzz/scare word, intended to try to make people believe that spending within their means is inherently stingy) and the reckless and unsustainable over "stimulation" (another great buzz word, intended again to get people to ignore what it really is - borrowing money with no intent of ever being able to pay it back to trade a short term boost for a long time loss). 

But your basic premise is flawed.  Obama's policies tanked our recovery because of over regulation and anti-business tax and regulatory policies.  Most of the developed world (ie Europe) has an even bigger love of excessive regulation, which is what really tanked their growth.  The EU is bad for business and getting worse.

If stimulation worked the way you believe, Obama's economy would have been record setting in a good way.  Why is it though, when the result you predict isn't what occurs it doesn't cause you to relook at your premise?  Instead you find some way to claim it still worked.

DonaldD

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Re: Republican Tax Plan
« Reply #31 on: October 19, 2017, 10:24:50 AM »
By what metric did the economic recovery of the USA "tank"?  It wasn't the unemployment rate or GDP per capita, which both showed strong positive trends over the period in question. Given that those two metrics show strong growth over the period, characterizing the effects of whatever actions Obama took as having tanked the economy requires a bunch of other metrics having strong and unambiguous negative responses over that same period.  What are they?

DonaldD

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Re: Republican Tax Plan
« Reply #32 on: October 19, 2017, 12:06:09 PM »
Oh, and "austerity" is not exactly a liberal buzzword. In economics, it is a long-standing and essentially value-neutral term. Heck, David Cameron, at the time British Conservative Party leader, embraced the term "age of austerity" while proposing to reduce government overspending in the future.

Crunch

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Re: Republican Tax Plan
« Reply #33 on: October 27, 2017, 09:40:09 AM »
If you’re going to cut taxes at all, it almost by definition will predominantly affect wealthy taxpayers as they’re very nearly paying all the taxes. The middle class is paying at a rate that a tax cut there will not really have much effect on them or the economy so if you support tax cuts then you support the cuts at higher earnings.

Update to that:
Quote
Any tax cut for middle income earners will also provide a benefit for those further up the income scale, including the top 20 percent who pay 95 percent of all income taxes, according to the director of the Office of Management and Budget [Mick Mulvaney].

So yeah, the top 20% pay very nearly all federal taxes - 95% of them. You can’t cut taxes at all without cutting taxes on that top 20%, here’s why:
Quote
People always ask all the time, ‘Why do you want to give a tax cut to the rich?' Here's the math. We have a progressive tax system, which means that if you make $1 million and I make $50,000, we both pay the exact same rate on the first, let's say, $20,000. And then, from the next $20,000 up to my $50,000, and her next $20,000 to her next $50,000, we pay the same, I think it's 12 percent of 15 percent, I can't remember where the brackets are right now. And then she goes on to pay her higher rate on the stuff that she makes and I stop.

Well, if you want to give me, the middle class, a cut, take my 15 percent rate down to say 10 percent, and that gives the middle class a cut. Guess who else benefits from that, she does. She pays that same rate on the way up the brackets.

So the way the taxing scheme is structured guarantees that any cut affects all taxpayers, that’s just the way it is. It’s not about any job creation or trickle down or however else you want to muddy the waters, it’s just a fact of the federal tax structure.

Going down to the lower quintiles:
Quote
If you break the income tax universe into what we call quintiles, so equal sized 20 percent columns, the first two columns, the first quintile and the lower quintile, don't pay any taxes at all. In fact they net positive. We pay them when they file a tax return.

So 40% of people not only don’t pay federal income taxes, they actually are profiting from filing in a classic wealth transfer scheme. You can’t cut their taxes, there’s nothing to cut.

The next 2 quintiles only pay 5% of the federal tax burden. It’s hard to cut their taxes and have much impact and, as shown, it rolls up to cut the taxes of the top 20% as well. 

TheDrake

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Re: Republican Tax Plan
« Reply #34 on: October 27, 2017, 03:21:08 PM »
Quote
People always ask all the time, ‘Why do you want to give a tax cut to the rich?' Here's the math. We have a progressive tax system, which means that if you make $1 million and I make $50,000, we both pay the exact same rate on the first, let's say, $20,000. And then, from the next $20,000 up to my $50,000, and her next $20,000 to her next $50,000, we pay the same, I think it's 12 percent of 15 percent, I can't remember where the brackets are right now. And then she goes on to pay her higher rate on the stuff that she makes and I stop.

You can clearly adjust the rates to be revenue neutral to the rich while cutting the lower bracket. You lower the lowest rate and raise the middle rate. This is just sophistry, as this isn't even what people are referring to when they discuss cutting the taxes of the rich. They are talking about AMT reform and estate tax repeal- which benefits no one in the lower brackets. Regardless of how beneficial they might be, they are unequivocal tax cuts for the rich. Others, like capital gains, are de-facto cuts for the rich because people in the lower quintile usually have debt - not savings, and certainly not investment.

So the scheme very much doesn't have to affect everyone. It is very possible to cut taxes to the rich with no benefit to people in lower quintiles.

As to the merits, I'll step aside for that discussion.

Wayward Son

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Re: Republican Tax Plan
« Reply #35 on: October 30, 2017, 12:24:28 PM »
I always love it when someone talks about how much the upper X% pay of the share of taxes without mentioning what is their share of the total income in this country.  :)

Quote
Any tax cut for middle income earners will also provide a benefit for those further up the income scale, including the top 20 percent who pay 95 percent of all income taxes, according to the director of the Office of Management and Budget [Mick Mulvaney].

In order to get that high a percent, he must be including everyone who doesn't make any income at all--mostly children, students and retirees.  It certainly is not just those who file taxes.  Does anyone know the breakdown of his numbers?

Quote
People always ask all the time, ‘Why do you want to give a tax cut to the rich?' Here's the math. We have a progressive tax system, which means that if you make $1 million and I make $50,000, we both pay the exact same rate on the first, let's say, $20,000. And then, from the next $20,000 up to my $50,000, and her next $20,000 to her next $50,000, we pay the same, I think it's 12 percent of 15 percent, I can't remember where the brackets are right now. And then she goes on to pay her higher rate on the stuff that she makes and I stop.

Well, if you want to give me, the middle class, a cut, take my 15 percent rate down to say 10 percent, and that gives the middle class a cut. Guess who else benefits from that, she does. She pays that same rate on the way up the brackets.

Mnuchin is being disingenuous here.  While everything he says is true, if that was the only source of the tax breaks, the percentage should go down for higher-income people.

Let's say that people pay 10% on their first $20,000 in income.  (I don't recall the exact percentage--someone can correct me with the correct numbers if they'd like.)  So someone making $50,000/yr would currently pay $2000 for their first $20,000 and $4500 for their next $50,000, for a total of $6500.  If the tax on the middle bracket was reduced to 12%, they would only pay $3600 for that bracket, reducing their total tax to $5600.  A 13% decrease.

Now let's say someone making $130,000/yr pays 25% for their income between $50,000 - $130,000.  (Again, a guess.  Please feel free to find the precise percentage.)  That means the person pays $26,500 in taxes.  But if the percentage is cut in the aforementioned bracket, his total taxes would now be $26,600--a whopping 3% tax decrease.

Is the percentage of tax decrease to the highest percentage lower than to the middle class?

Furthermore, since it is a fixed number of dollars less for each person, the top 20% of taxpayers would have the same total tax decrease as 20% in the middle class.  IOW, the top 20% would have the same total tax decrease as the next 20% of taxpayers.  Are the numbers showing that?

So while it is true that a tax break to the middle class would also cut taxes to the upper class, it would not show a higher percent of tax cuts to the upper class, and the total tax break by dollars would be the same for the same percentages of taxpayers in the different groups.  Instead, we are seeing higher total tax decreases to the top percentage earners, which means the decreases are not coming from the middle-class tax bracket.

DonaldD

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Re: Republican Tax Plan
« Reply #36 on: October 30, 2017, 01:16:04 PM »
Quote
So someone making $50,000/yr would currently pay $2000 for their first $20,000 and $4500 for their next $50,000, for a total of $6500.
Did you mean $70,000 the first time you mentioned $50,000, or $30,000 the second time? ;)

Wayward Son

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Re: Republican Tax Plan
« Reply #37 on: October 30, 2017, 04:27:23 PM »
Quote
So someone making $50,000/yr would currently pay $2000 for their first $20,000 and $4500 for their next $50,000, for a total of $6500.
Did you mean $70,000 the first time you mentioned $50,000, or $30,000 the second time? ;)

I mean $4500 for the income between $20,000 and $50,000.  :-[

Man, I could use an editor!  :(

yossarian22c

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Re: Republican Tax Plan
« Reply #38 on: October 31, 2017, 10:33:02 PM »
If we really cared about honesty in talking about federal income taxes and the percent different groups pay we would include the taxes paid for Medicare and SS.

TheDrake

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Re: Republican Tax Plan
« Reply #39 on: November 01, 2017, 10:05:51 AM »
If we really cared about honesty in talking about federal income taxes and the percent different groups pay we would include the taxes paid for Medicare and SS.

I agree. We should be talking about effective rates, but that gets awfully complicated because it starts including deduction impacts for everything from having children to renewable energy. Those effective rates should also include gasoline taxes and other consumable taxes. The problem is that the system is too byzantine to even define who pays what.

Seriati

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Re: Republican Tax Plan
« Reply #40 on: November 01, 2017, 12:57:34 PM »
Now obviously I don't agree with everything in this article, it's more written from Greg's side of the fence, but I think it's interesting in the detail it provides and it's discussion on why the corporate rate needs to go down.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/gop-goes-with-the-global-flow-tax-people-not-companies-1509554364

Seriati

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Re: Republican Tax Plan
« Reply #41 on: November 01, 2017, 12:59:51 PM »
Oh, and "austerity" is not exactly a liberal buzzword. In economics, it is a long-standing and essentially value-neutral term.

I agree, if liberals used "austerity" correctly I would not have called it a liberal buzz word.  Austerity requires a commit to controlling the public debt which neither party has shown, nor will tax relief do anything really to control public spending.  Cutting revenues /= to austerity.

Seriati

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Re: Republican Tax Plan
« Reply #42 on: November 01, 2017, 01:43:32 PM »
Quote
People always ask all the time, ‘Why do you want to give a tax cut to the rich?' Here's the math. We have a progressive tax system, which means that if you make $1 million and I make $50,000, we both pay the exact same rate on the first, let's say, $20,000. And then, from the next $20,000 up to my $50,000, and her next $20,000 to her next $50,000, we pay the same, I think it's 12 percent of 15 percent, I can't remember where the brackets are right now. And then she goes on to pay her higher rate on the stuff that she makes and I stop.

Well, if you want to give me, the middle class, a cut, take my 15 percent rate down to say 10 percent, and that gives the middle class a cut. Guess who else benefits from that, she does. She pays that same rate on the way up the brackets.

Mnuchin is being disingenuous here.  While everything he says is true, if that was the only source of the tax breaks, the percentage should go down for higher-income people.

His point is silly, but your math is worse.  It's silly because the incremental bracket point is true, it's just not why the "rich" are benefiting (by the way we're not talking about the rich, we're talking about high income earners, which is not necessarily the same group).

Quote
Let's say that people pay 10% on their first $20,000 in income.

Let's not, cause it's not true.  Everyone gets the standard deduction, which means the first dollars you earn are effectively tax free.  Why is that relevant, when rich people get the same thing (or even better itemized deductions)?  Because it impacts the effective tax rate paid.  I think we currently have over forty percent with an effective rate of zero or less.  They can't get a tax cut. 

Doubling the standard deduction is going to increase that group of people, and extend the group of people for whom their effective tax rate is below even the tax rate of the bottom of the bracket.

So your $20k earner, had a standard deduction of $9,300 leaving a taxable income of $10,700, with a simple tax liability of about $1,140 (which honestly, would almost never be the case because they'd be entitled to other credits, including refundable ones and deductions).  An effective tax rate of 5.7%.

Your 50k earner, on the same assumptions (which are fairer in a 50k earner case on the credits as they'd be far less likely, but not on the deductions which would be far more likely). Would have a taxable income of $40,700 and a simple tax liability of $5,950.  An effective tax rate of 11.9%

That was based on the existing 10/15/25% brackets beginning at 0, 9275, 37560, respectively.  If we change those to 5/10/20, and begin them at 0, 15000, 47000, with a double personal exemption of 18,600 the results are as follows:

Your 20k earner, has $1400 taxable at 10% for $140 liability an effective rate of 0.7% (almost a 90% reduction).  They pay 1/10 of what they currently would.

Your 50k earner, has taxable income of 31,400.  15,000 at 10% and 16400 at 15% for a total of $3960 and an effective rate of 7.9% (which is 34% reduction).  They pay 2/3's of what they currently would.

The higher you go up the chain, the less the actual impact - by percentage - actually will be, until you get to the top of the chain where it will literally approach exactly the different between the two top brackets.  If the top bracket goes from 39% to 30% then the limit on this particular change will approach approximately a 25% reduction with the top earners paying 75% of what they would have. I note however, the current rumor is that the top bracket may stay in place, which means not much tax relief to the top earners.

Seriati

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Re: Republican Tax Plan
« Reply #43 on: November 01, 2017, 01:49:05 PM »
That was based on the existing 10/15/25% brackets beginning at 0, 9275, 37560, respectively.  If we change those to 5/10/20, and begin them at 0, 15000, 47000, with a double personal exemption of 18,600 the results are as follows:

Your 20k earner, has $1400 taxable at 10% for $140 liability an effective rate of 0.7% (almost a 90% reduction).  They pay 1/10 of what they currently would.

Your 50k earner, has taxable income of 31,400.  15,000 at 10% and 16400 at 15% for a total of $3960 and an effective rate of 7.9% (which is 34% reduction).  They pay 2/3's of what they currently would.

This math is wrong too.  I used the old bracket rates.  With the posited 5 and 10 applying it comes out like this:

Your 20k earner, has $1400 taxable at 5% for $70 liability an effective rate of 0.35% (almost a 95% reduction).  They pay 1/20 of what they currently would.

Your 50k earner, has taxable income of 31,400.  15,000 at 5% and 16400 at 10% for a total of $2390 and an effective rate of 4.8% (which is a 60% reduction).  They pay 2/5's of what they currently would.

Wayward Son

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Re: Republican Tax Plan
« Reply #44 on: November 01, 2017, 03:22:12 PM »
Quote
His point is silly, but your math is worse.

My math was a back-of-an-envelope quickie, so I'll accede to your critique.  But both our maths come to the same conclusion: Mnuchin implied that any tax cuts to the rich come from tax cuts to the middle class, and that is patently untrue.  The tax cuts to the wealthy would look significantly different if it were true.

Seriati

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Re: Republican Tax Plan
« Reply #45 on: November 01, 2017, 05:06:08 PM »
Which is why I said his point is silly.  The impact of larger deductions and reduced lower rates flows overwhelming to the middle class.  The impact of a reduction in the top rate is the only one that hits big income earners materially.

Again though top wage earners /= rich.  High wages correlate to jobs in Cities, not necessarily wealth.  People like Buffet have big wages but the vast majority of their income is not wages and is not often subject to these tax rates.

TheDrake

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Re: Republican Tax Plan
« Reply #46 on: November 16, 2017, 05:02:58 PM »
* Here's what I like about the house bill.

It seems pretty neutral for the lowest earners. While the 10% bracket moves up to 12%, the increase in standard deduction is nearly 6k.
Reduces the procreation subsidy by eliminating 4k personal exemption. It does raise some other credits, but they are capped for high income which the exemption was not.
It cuts the mortgage deduction if your debt is over $500k
Dumps a lot of deductions that I think are used to game the system
Gets rid of AMT

* There are things I don't like

Removing moving expense deduction for people willing to relocate to find work and/or move to lower cost areas.
Repealing the estate tax, mostly benefiting people who croak as multimillionaires.
corp tax rate to 20%. I think this is too huge of an experiment, I'd prefer it not so drastic.
Lowers tax rate on pass-through. I think this encourages more gaming of the system and tax avoidance.

* There are some things that just confuse me.

Why is the top bracket 39.6? I know that's no change from prior, but can't it just be 40%? Everything else is rounded to the nearest whole percent.
I really am not equipped to form an opinion on the whole overseas corp profit thing.

D.W.

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Re: Republican Tax Plan
« Reply #47 on: November 16, 2017, 05:11:17 PM »
I haven't compared the nitty gritty of each bill, but my biggest gripes, other than thinking the whole thing is unnecessary right now, are the little things that people glom onto it.  Repeal ACA mandate?  I get it, you hate this, and yes, the ACA did bring this on by the mechanics of the mandate, but can't we just save health care for later?  There's also changes to political contributions from religious institutions in one of them right? 

I don't think I'll ever get over my revulsion of horsetrading and trying to "sneak one past" the public by burying unrelated or somewhat unrelated things into bills.  Or worse, burying unpopular and otherwise unpassable items through "must pass" or otherwise popular bills.

Crunch

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Re: Republican Tax Plan
« Reply #48 on: November 17, 2017, 09:07:38 AM »
Repeal ACA mandate?  I get it, you hate this, and yes, the ACA did bring this on by the mechanics of the mandate, but can't we just save health care for later?  There's also changes to political contributions from religious institutions in one of them right? 

I don't think I'll ever get over my revulsion of horsetrading and trying to "sneak one past" the public by burying unrelated or somewhat unrelated things into bills.  Or worse, burying unpopular and otherwise unpassable items through "must pass" or otherwise popular bills.
It was ruled a tax. Addressing in a tax bill is perfectly legitimate, not a sneaky or unrelated thing in any way. Why do you object to addressing taxes in tax bills?

D.W.

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Re: Republican Tax Plan
« Reply #49 on: November 17, 2017, 09:32:17 AM »
Because removing just that, without addressing health care as a broader issue, is strait up sabotage that's going to cost people money in (more quickly) raising premiums leave more people uninsured.

Now maybe the theory (or excuse) is that this will shine a light on the problem with ACA and light a fire under all of congress to address healthcare overall... 

And it being ruled a tax, opened it up for this.  I don't contest that.  It's still a political move that does zero good, a lot of harm, and is part of a much more complicated discussion our country needs to have.

That's why I object to it.  It's also the part I was least comfortable with when it went through in the first place.  The goal was logical, the mechanic was always the Achilles heel of the plan.