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Thread: Senate tax bill

  1. #1
    SEÑOR Member Aimless's Avatar
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    Default Senate tax bill

    Discuss this bullshit. Someone must be willing to play devil's advocate.
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
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  2. #2
    All Worship Ragnarök Loki's Avatar
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    But Obama.
    Hope is the denial of reality

  3. #3
    Senior Member RandBlade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    But Obama.
    I thought it was "Thanks Obama" or "But her emails."
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    Being upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  4. #4
    Stingy DM Veldan Rath's Avatar
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    I’m so done with the Republican Party.

    How can anyone not see how long term this is just dumb. Wasted opportunities.
    Brevior saltare cum deformibus viris est vita

  5. #5
    SEÑOR Member Aimless's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RandBlade View Post
    I thought it was "Thanks Obama" or "But her emails."
    No, "but Obama" is also a thing, it's brought out when Republicans do or endorse doing things they basically crucified Obama for being involved with.

    Quote Originally Posted by Veldan Rath View Post
    I’m so done with the Republican Party.

    How can anyone not see how long term this is just dumb. Wasted opportunities.
    Well to be fair they also took a lot of opportunities:

    http://thehill.com/business-a-lobbyi...have-worked-on
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
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  6. #6
    All Worship Ragnarök Loki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Veldan Rath View Post
    I’m so done with the Republican Party.

    How can anyone not see how long term this is just dumb. Wasted opportunities.
    Join the club.
    Hope is the denial of reality

  7. #7
    Administrator Dreadnaught's Avatar
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    The bill is decent, what's your beef? Who can argue with a rare gift of minor legislative sanity. Lower rates. Fewer deductions.

    We should stop trusting forecasters who predict either massive growth or massive deficits because of this bill, but there will be some marginal impact Inshallah it finally passes.

  8. #8
    All Worship Ragnarök Loki's Avatar
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    Did you not see how it was passed?
    Hope is the denial of reality

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadnaught View Post
    The bill is decent, what's your beef? Who can argue with a rare gift of minor legislative sanity. Lower rates. Fewer deductions.

    We should stop trusting forecasters who predict either massive growth or massive deficits because of this bill, but there will be some marginal impact Inshallah it finally passes.
    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    Did you not see how it was passed?
    Dread, while I agree with you that the apocalyptic tone being used by many is inappropriate for a bill that is only of middling awfulness, Loki is right that the way the Senate passed it was a farce, with all sorts of ridiculous carve-outs for special interests and constituencies. Don't you find that incredibly frustrating given that the bill is being sold as a simplification of the tax code?

    Look, I like some of the underlying logic - yes, scrap itemized deductions and other write-offs for the rich and replace it with a higher standard deduction and modestly lower rates all around. Absolutely cut the corporate tax rate and switch to a territorial system. But it should be done intelligently - the total tax burden on corporations, for example, should probably stay similar by scrapping much of the deductions and workarounds they currently have available - it's the marginal rate that matters, along with allowing for painless repatriation of money. And the overall impact on individuals should probably be designed to be relatively neutral, albeit with reduced marginal rates and fewer distorting incentives. More importantly, it's adding enough to the deficit that it's probably not going to pay for itself even with a bit of a growth boost.

    We know of course, that the bills as they currently stand are far from this scenario - they do little to simplify the tax code, leave in too many deductions for both corporations and individuals, and are structured to - in the long run - benefit the wealthy far more than anyone else. The Senate bill is in many ways worse because of the truly embarrassing number of carve-outs they had to add in order to get to 51, and it's likely to be the basis of any negotiations in conference since the margin in the Senate is so much smaller.

    I think the hyperbole on the left is politicking - this is hardly a disaster for the country. But it sure as hell isn't 'decent'. It's at best mediocre and might be better described as disappointing. If this is the best the Republicans can come up with when they control every branch of government, I'm sorely unimpressed.
    "When I meet God, I am going to ask him two questions: Why relativity? And why turbulence? I really believe he will have an answer for the first." - Werner Heisenberg (maybe)

  10. #10
    All Worship Ragnarök Loki's Avatar
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    Republicans are systematically seeking to destroy any institution that can call out their lies, including organizations they themselves championed in the recent past.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/04/u...-estimate.html
    Hope is the denial of reality

  11. #11
    Administrator Dreadnaught's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wiggin View Post
    Dread, while I agree with you that the apocalyptic tone being used by many is inappropriate for a bill that is only of middling awfulness, Loki is right that the way the Senate passed it was a farce, with all sorts of ridiculous carve-outs for special interests and constituencies. Don't you find that incredibly frustrating given that the bill is being sold as a simplification of the tax code?

    Look, I like some of the underlying logic - yes, scrap itemized deductions and other write-offs for the rich and replace it with a higher standard deduction and modestly lower rates all around. Absolutely cut the corporate tax rate and switch to a territorial system. But it should be done intelligently - the total tax burden on corporations, for example, should probably stay similar by scrapping much of the deductions and workarounds they currently have available - it's the marginal rate that matters, along with allowing for painless repatriation of money. And the overall impact on individuals should probably be designed to be relatively neutral, albeit with reduced marginal rates and fewer distorting incentives. More importantly, it's adding enough to the deficit that it's probably not going to pay for itself even with a bit of a growth boost.

    We know of course, that the bills as they currently stand are far from this scenario - they do little to simplify the tax code, leave in too many deductions for both corporations and individuals, and are structured to - in the long run - benefit the wealthy far more than anyone else. The Senate bill is in many ways worse because of the truly embarrassing number of carve-outs they had to add in order to get to 51, and it's likely to be the basis of any negotiations in conference since the margin in the Senate is so much smaller.

    I think the hyperbole on the left is politicking - this is hardly a disaster for the country. But it sure as hell isn't 'decent'. It's at best mediocre and might be better described as disappointing. If this is the best the Republicans can come up with when they control every branch of government, I'm sorely unimpressed.
    The pre-conference amendments are unfortunate but somewhat inevitable, and a bit of seeing the trees but not the forest. The centerpiece is reduced corporate rates, shifting to a semi-territorial system, eliminating distortions like SALT and curtailing dubious things like mortgage interest and estate taxes. It's not perfect, but it's decent and all our political system will bear. So be it. We'll see what happens in the future.

    But I don't believe in the "adding to the deficit" nonsense any more than I believe in the "pay for itself" line. Part of what made this bill hard to pass has been crazy Congressional budget rules that require impossible levels of forecasting precision when setting tax rates, but do nothing to impose sane ideas such as zero baseline budgeting. But if we take these numbers at face value (and I don't), $1 trillion in a decade for a government that will spend maybe $50 trillion in that same decade? Give me a break.

    Like Citizens United, this will probably go down as a positive stepping stone that is nonetheless wildly misunderstood and vilified by the left.

  12. #12
    Senior Member GGT's Avatar
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    The Republican Party is now officially the home of hypocrites and scam artists, with POTUS as their leader.

  13. #13
    Local talking head LittleFuzzy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    Republicans are systematically seeking to destroy any institution that can call out their lies, including organizations they themselves championed in the recent past.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/04/u...-estimate.html
    I am shocked. Shocked. It's almost like they're the party which controls all three sources of federal policy right now (only almost, though, because they still effectively failed to bring the bill they really wanted out of conference to a successful vote)
    Last night as I lay in bed, looking up at the stars, I thought, “Where the hell is my ceiling?"

  14. #14
    Senior Member GGT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadnaught View Post
    The pre-conference amendments are unfortunate but somewhat inevitable, and a bit of seeing the trees but not the forest. The centerpiece is reduced corporate rates, shifting to a semi-territorial system, eliminating distortions like SALT and curtailing dubious things like mortgage interest and estate taxes. It's not perfect, but it's decent and all our political system will bear. So be it. We'll see what happens in the future.
    Ah, but no one was marching in the streets yelling, "reduce corporate tax rates!" No, the campaign that won the election made promises for the working class and middle class. Instead we have plans from house and senate that favor corporations that are already doing just fine, thank you very much, giving them permanent tax cuts, while individual tax cuts expire in ten years.

    But I don't believe in the "adding to the deficit" nonsense any more than I believe in the "pay for itself" line. Part of what made this bill hard to pass has been crazy Congressional budget rules that require impossible levels of forecasting precision when setting tax rates, but do nothing to impose sane ideas such as zero baseline budgeting. But if we take these numbers at face value (and I don't), $1 trillion in a decade for a government that will spend maybe $50 trillion in that same decade? Give me a break.
    So if deficits don't matter...why has the GOP been campaigning on just that? And if conservatives don't think tax cuts can 'pay for themselves'...then how the hell can they explain this Trickle Down voo doo economics?

    Like Citizens United, this will probably go down as a positive stepping stone that is nonetheless wildly misunderstood and vilified by the left.
    Riiight, it's only misunderstood and vilified by the left. If it weren't for *them* it would be the Tax Reform that Republicans have been promising for decades.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadnaught View Post
    The pre-conference amendments are unfortunate but somewhat inevitable, and a bit of seeing the trees but not the forest. The centerpiece is reduced corporate rates, shifting to a semi-territorial system, eliminating distortions like SALT and curtailing dubious things like mortgage interest and estate taxes. It's not perfect, but it's decent and all our political system will bear. So be it. We'll see what happens in the future.
    I think you're deluding yourself if you think the bill will get better in conference. Oh, they'll fix some obvious problems due to the bill being written and modified hastily - such as the embarassment with corporate AMT - but in order to get everyone in the Senate on board, they'll have to leave a lot of the mess in.

    I also find it interesting - I agree with only about half of the list of 'good' things you highlight in the bill. I'm fine in principle with the SALT and getting rid (entirely!) of the mortgage deduction, but I'm disgusted that they couldn't move to a completely territorial system when they control the entire government, I think the estate tax was fine as it was, and reduced corporate rates only work when you also strip out most of the available deductions.

    But I don't believe in the "adding to the deficit" nonsense any more than I believe in the "pay for itself" line. Part of what made this bill hard to pass has been crazy Congressional budget rules that require impossible levels of forecasting precision when setting tax rates, but do nothing to impose sane ideas such as zero baseline budgeting. But if we take these numbers at face value (and I don't), $1 trillion in a decade for a government that will spend maybe $50 trillion in that same decade? Give me a break.
    Your numbers are a bit off (the US government spends about $3.5 trillion annually), but I agree that in the grand scheme of things another ~$100 billion a year isn't going to mean the end of civilization. That's part of why I'm less than impressed at the hyperbole on the left. BUT - and this is a big one - I think it's time that Americans realized that they can't simultaneously get expensive government and cheap taxes. Somehow, through a combination of tax reform and spending/entitlement reform, the US is going to have the square the circle of our long term budget woes. Doing it sooner rather than later will limit the amount of pain involved, and the Republican answer for the first half of the solution - tax reform - seems to, at best, only leave the situation unchanged or slightly worse off.

    Let's say they had instead structured tax reform differently: They stripped out most of the offensive regressive tax breaks like mortgage interest deductions, 401(k)s, etc while reducing rates just a bit - enough to claim they're helping everyone but in reality raising some revenue. Then they did the same with corporations, stripping out the morass of complex deductions that picks winners and distorts investment while allowing for repatriation of funds overseas and reducing marginal rates - and say they made this largely revenue neutral. Then leave some low hanging budget fruit alone, like the ~$5.5 million estate exemption. You could probably structure this so that you'd get a bit of a budget boost without hurting more than the top quintile of earners, while simultaneously making life easier for the corporations that this top quintile owns/invests in. I'd call it a fair tradeoff, and it makes sound economic sense without putting our budget even more in the hole.

    This isn't impossible - or at least it shouldn't be. If structured well, I'd bet you could even get some Democrats to sign on to deal with some tax vigilantes in the GOP who are allergic to anything that even looks like increased revenue. Comprehensive tax reform is a rare beast in US politics, and it's best to seize the opportunity when it presents itself.
    "When I meet God, I am going to ask him two questions: Why relativity? And why turbulence? I really believe he will have an answer for the first." - Werner Heisenberg (maybe)

  16. #16
    Senate Republicans Made a $289 Billion Mistake in the Handwritten Tax Bill They Passed at 2 A.M. Go Figure.
    https://slate.com/business/2017/12/s...-tax-bill.html

    Ladies and gentleman, the party of stupid.
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  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    Senate Republicans Made a $289 Billion Mistake in the Handwritten Tax Bill They Passed at 2 A.M. Go Figure.
    https://slate.com/business/2017/12/s...-tax-bill.html

    Ladies and gentleman, the party of stupid.
    Mentioned this yesterday. Obviously an artifact of a bad process, but likely to be sorted out in conference. There are a lot more substantive criticisms to make.
    "When I meet God, I am going to ask him two questions: Why relativity? And why turbulence? I really believe he will have an answer for the first." - Werner Heisenberg (maybe)

  18. #18
    Senior Member GGT's Avatar
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    Sorted out in conference? hahaha

    Here's how this will play out: tax cuts will happen without real tax reform. It will increase debt and deficit. Then Republicans will cut spending for Medicare, Medicaid and SS.

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