17 thoughts on “News/Politics 4-27-17

  1. Trump has been accused of wanting to start a trade war, but this isn’t his idea. So who’s behind the border tax adjustment idea?

    Paul Ryan.


    “Border Tax Adjustment

    Mnuchin also made it clear that Trump will not support the border tax adjustment that the House GOP has included in its plan. WSJ reported:

    The provision attempts to raise revenue by taxing imports, but not exports. Mr. Mnuchin said the administration wasn’t opposed to the provision in concept and that he liked aspects of it. But he said, “We don’t think it works in its current form.”

    Mr. Ryan hasn’t backed down on the border-adjustment idea, but he said Wednesday that he knows the proposal needs modifications in response to criticism from retailers and others. “We don’t want to have severe disruptions,” Mr. Ryan said.

    Those others include Republicans in Congress. In February, I blogged about the pushback Ryan received when he showed a plan to his colleagues. From Politico:

    The next day, Sen. Tom Cotton took to the Senate floor to slam Ryan’s so-called border adjustment tax, saying “some ideas are so stupid only an intellectual could believe them.”

    “Many other senators share these concerns and we most certainly will not ‘keep our powder dry,’” Cotton went on, without naming the speaker in his speech.

    Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), sources said, has warned Trump and Ryan that border adjustment won’t likely have the support needed to clear the Senate.

    Hatch, in an interview after Ryan’s presentation, said the speaker “didn’t cover [the border adjustment proposal] as specifically as I would have liked.” And Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri, the fifth-ranking GOP senator, said the Finance Committee will likely go a “different way.”

    Others were more unequivocal.

    “It’s beyond a complication. It’s a bad economic proposition,” said Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.).”


  2. Well, I guess technically Mexico still pays for it….. Mexico’s govt won’t like it though, because then the cartel will have less money to bribe them with.

    And I can tell you now that police and prosecutors in the US won’t like others dipping into their forfeiture slush fund.


    “As the GOP and President Trump kick the border wall funding can down the road, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) has proposed the Ensuring Lawful Collection of Hidden Assets to Provide Order (EL CHAPO) Act. The proposal includes using the expected $14 billion to be seized from El Chapo should he be convicted to pay for the big, beautiful border wall.”

    “In a press release on Cruz’s Senate website, he lays out the proposal.

    U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) today introduced the Ensuring Lawful Collection of Hidden Assets to Provide Order (EL CHAPO) Act. The bill would reserve any amounts forfeited to the U.S. Government as a result of the criminal prosecution of “El Chapo” (formally named Joaquin Archivaldo Guzman Lorea) and other drug lords for border security assets and the completion of the wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

    The U.S. Government is currently seeking the criminal forfeiture of more than $14 billion in drug proceeds and illicit profits from El Chapo, the former leader of the Sinaloa drug cartel who was recently extradited to the U.S. to face criminal prosecution for numerous alleged drug-related crimes, including conspiracy to commit murder and money laundering.

    “Fourteen billion dollars will go a long way toward building a wall that will keep Americans safe and hinder the illegal flow of drugs, weapons, and individuals across our southern border,” said Sen. Cruz. “Ensuring the safety and security of Texans is one of my top priorities. We must also be mindful of the impact on the federal budget. By leveraging any criminally forfeited assets of El Chapo and his ilk, we can offset the wall’s cost and make meaningful progress toward achieving President Trump’s stated border security objectives.””


  3. God does work in mysterious ways. A former pastor of ours just returned from a 9 day mission trip to Germany. A fine evangelist, he spoke in churches around the country. The majority of the people who attended the services were refugees from the Middle East.

    Liked by 6 people

  4. HRW, Thanks for the video last night. I actually happened to see this commentary by Jake Tapper on CNN. Thanks to Evan McMullin for posting it. If Republicans do not stand up for facts and truth, young people will come to regard the Republican Party as the party of lies as well as the party of sexual assault and illiteracy.


  5. This idea is the fault of Trump and Ryan. It punishes the middle class by making them pay tax on money already paid in taxes.


    “Groups representing state and local governments said that they are “extremely concerned” about an aspect of President Trump’s tax plan.

    The president’s plan, released Wednesday, would eliminate the deduction for state and local taxes.

    Repealing the deduction is also a part of the House Republicans’ tax plan. Opponents of the deduction argue that it largely benefits the wealthy and subsidizes municipal spending that may be excessive. Also, repealing the deduction could raise revenue to help pay for lowering tax rates.

    But the state and local groups said in a statement that the deduction should be preserved because it gives municipalities the flexibility to provide services to their residents.

    “Any alterations to the deduction would upset the carefully balanced fiscal federalism that has existed since the permanent creation of the federal income tax over 100 years ago,” they said.

    The state and local groups also said that curbing the deduction would amount to double taxation.

    “We fundamentally believe that Americans’ income, property and purchases should not be taxed twice,” they said.”


  6. And thus we see the difficulty of Tax Reform. To lower and reduce the number of rates, it is necessary to remove deductions, exclusions and/or credits. Reform is good for simplicity, fairness and economic growth, but every deduction, exclusion or credit has its own constituency. Reagan overcame these special interests in 1986. This year I am betting on the special interests.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ricky @9:55, A bet for special interests in DC is like betting on the house. Every politician has special interest groups who influence their policies, and Ronald Reagan was no exception. Although I favored some of his special interests, tax cuts heavily favored those who could most afford to do without them. Here’s a blast from the past: a 1984 opinion piece by Juan Williams, a Democrat with admitted special interests on the other side of the aisle.

    …Another example: the Reagan tax program. The president has always sold it as benefiting all Americans, but the benefits have hardly been equal for all.

    In the year before Reagan took office, corporate taxes amounted to 12.5 percent of federal tax revenues. By 1983, the percentage had dropped to 6.2 percent, giving American companies one of the biggest tax cuts in history. In constant dollars, the $37 billion corporations paid the federal government in taxes in 1983 was the lowest amount since the fiscal year when Pearl Harbor was bombed. Instead of calling attention to that fact, the Reagan White House emphasized the value of the tax cuts to the average American.

    However, poor and working-class Americans got barely any benefit from the president’s three-year tax plan. According to a study on how the Reagan tax policies are affecting the American taxpayer by Dean C. Tipps and Robert S. McIntyre, director of the Center on Budget Policy, this year the total federal tax burden (including Social Security taxes) on the 34.2 percent of all Americans who earn less than $10,000 will have by 24 percent under the Reagan program. And the middle-class — those earning between $20,000 and $50,000, about 30 percent of the population — will get tax cuts of at most 4 percent.

    And how will the rich do? There will be a 14 percent tax cut for the .7 percent of taxpayers who earn between $100,000 and $200,000 or a 17 percent tax cut for the .2 percent of taxpayers earning over $200,000, according to the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation.



  8. Debra, It is true that liberals like Juan Williams did not like Reagan’s 1981 tax cut. The Tax Reform bill passed in 1986 – two years after the Williams article.

    The 1986 Act was essentially revenue neutral. Rates were simplified and lowered but deductions, exemptions and exclusions were eliminated. It was a Bi-partisan approach that Reagan undertook with Bill Bradley and Dick Gephardt. I had many friends in several industries who whined about special breaks that their industries lost in 1986. However, I believe that reform bill (along with free trade) is what led to the sustained boom that lasted for most of the following two decades.


  9. Debra, The 1981 tax cut that Williams complained about was a 25% across the board cut in income tax rates for everyone. So everyone got the same percentage benefit except the poor and lower middle class got a little extra help because of exemption increases.

    Williams is combining FICA taxes and income taxes.
    1. Did he really want to cut the funding for the Ponzi schemes of Social Security and Medicaid?
    2. His stats revealed that, even 30 years before Mitt Romney spilled the beans, the poor paid very little income tax.

    Reagan also raised FICA taxes on the upper middle class and wealthy to keep the Ponzi schemes solvent for a few more decades.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. rickyweaver | April 27, 2017 at 8:03 am
    “God does work in mysterious ways. A former pastor of ours just returned from a 9 day mission trip to Germany. A fine evangelist, he spoke in churches around the country. The majority of the people who attended the services were refugees from the Middle East.”

    Muslim converts or Christians from Syria,and Iraq?


  11. What are the right tax rates for everybody?
    What are the right deductions for everybody?

    I think God asked 10% for himself and for his Levites.
    No deductions.

    God did warn that a king would probably raise taxes but would also want young men for his army but also maidens to work for him,

    While I and others have used this to ask for a 10% federal tax, I find it a little hard to use this as a basis for tax rates.

    I also find a 25-39.5% federal tax rate plus a 9-13% state tax rate to be way too high. Then add various other taxes, a state sales tax of 9%, federal and state taxes on fuel, property taxes and other taxes. Serfdom!!!

    My thoughts? 20% tax rate, federal and 10% state. All government loans and borrowing to be paid off in 20 years amortization out of the 20% and 10% tax rates. No deductions! (Not even charitable.) Everyone pays, no one gets out of taxes.

    I would end up paying more, most likely. but the same tax rate would be fair. Every one would be treated the same.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Giving differing tax rates to different people smells of political corruption. Giving “deductions” to some but not to all also smells of political corruption. (Renters get no deduction for paying rent but homeowners DO get a deduction for interest!) (Oh, and Land Lords DO get that deduction for interest!)

    Liked by 1 person

  13. BB @4:44 A really good question. I don’t know the answer. The situation reminds me of Katrina. The German churches seem to be really trying to help the refugees. I believe the Southern Baptists of Texas are working with those German churches. I hope to get a chance to speak at length with Brother Danny soon.


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