14 thoughts on “News/Politics 10-11-17

  1. Since I stopped watching prime-time network TV in 1974, I have never watched a “Reality Show”. Then again, maybe I have … over the last several months:

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  2. Ricky, I hate reality shows and I don’t think I’ve ever watched one either. 🙂 Guess I’ve heard enough about them or seen enough snippets in ads that I have been entirely turned off by the genre. I really don’t get it, it seems like the latest version of the more bizarre circus (or county fair) side shows.

    No thanks. Enough of that going on in real life, sadly, these days.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Hopefully this will help many in Cali. and they’re gonna need it.

    https://legalinsurrection.com/2017/10/trump-approves-major-disaster-declaration-for-california-wildfires/

    “How bad are California’s 2017 wildfires?

    The devastation is so bad that President Donald Trump and state politicians seemed to have called a temporary truce on their legal battling.

    President Donald Trump says the federal government will be there for the people of California as devastating wildfires sweep across the state’s famed wine country.

    Trump says he spoke Monday night with California Gov. Jerry Brown to “let him know that the federal government will stand with the people of California.

    And we will be there for you in this time of terrible tragedy and need.”

    In fact, President Trump has approved a “major disaster declaration” for California to assist with the response to the fires that have scorched the state famous wine county. It’s being reported that 17 have died in the blazes and nearly 200 people are still missing.

    The 17 large wildfires that have burned more than 115,000 acres in California since Sunday have now been blamed for at least 17 deaths. The fast-moving blazes have destroyed at least 2,000 buildings, many of them in the wine country region of Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino counties.

    At least nine people were killed in Sonoma County in fire-related incidents, and fire officials indicate the official death toll will likely climb. Cal Fire also confirmed that three people had been killed in Mendocino County, two people in Napa County, and one perished in Yuba County.”

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  4. I think you’re right, Ricky, that the Republican party needs to hammer out some ideas and come to a better consensus, and hopefully Bannon can at least move that process forward a little. Ideally, as I see it, that would begin a shift away from what I think Dreher calls ‘liquid modernity’.

    I am not sanguine that those people and entities who have been enjoying unreasonable tax cuts for 40 years (in which corporate tax rates went from well over 70% to 35%–and still they are not happy) are going to be easily persuaded to release the stranglehold they currently have on the economy and the money supply. I’m not even sure how that all unwinds without a crash.

    And on the other side, I think it will be hard on working people and many professionals. People who have allowed themselves to be brainwashed into viewing themselves and each other through the lens of consumerism, will likewise experience pain and discombobulation as those identities are withdrawn, along with the easy credit and student loans that helped support that damaging illusion.

    I don’t see the process as being pleasant, but it could be ultimately positive and hopeful.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Debra, A few thoughts:

    1. The highest individual tax rate was at 91% as late as the 50s and was at 70% as late as 1981.
    2. The corporate tax rate was once over 50%, but was never as high as 70%.
    3. The corporate tax results in double taxation. Profits are taxed once when the corporation earns the profit and again when the profits are distributed to shareholders.
    4. Most rich people don’t operate their closely held businesses as Subchapter C corps that are subject to corporate income taxes. They operate as limited partnerships, LLCs or S corps that avoid the double taxation and are taxed only at individual rates.
    5. This means that corporate income taxes are passed on to shareholders and/or consumers. (Economists disagree.)
    6. Most shareholders are widows who own mutual funds.

    I agree with you that our addiction to debt and consumer goods is not healthy. It would be good if we worked more, spent less, gave more and saved more. However, I think that is really a spiritual issue.

    Douthat told Bannon to look for a leader, but I think you and I are in agreement that the Rs must first determine what they believe. It is a long way from Pat Buchanan to Rand Paul. The primaries will hopefully sort out a dominant philosophy. Then the Rs can seek a leader.

    You know I am partial to Sasse, but Tom Cotton is that “sane Donald Trump” that Peggy Noonan was searching for last year.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I was going to leave this alone, but since Trump wants to keep attacking NBC, let’s examine why he is so mad. NBC did what good journalists do; they interviewed people who were at that Pentagon meeting in order to try to determine what brilliant utterances from Trump caused Tillerson to label him a “moron”. Here is what they discovered:

    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/all/trump-wanted-dramatic-increase-nuclear-arsenal-meeting-military-leaders-n809701

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  7. This is an interesting piece on Corporate Tax Avoidance by Fortune 500 Companies, 2008-2015. It’s a study that details how 258 of the top US companies have been paying little to no income tax.

    Profitable corporations are subject to a 35 percent federal income tax rate on their U.S. profits. But many corporations pay far less, or nothing at all, because of the many tax loopholes and special breaks they enjoy. This report documents just how successful many Fortune 500 corporations have been at using loopholes and special breaks over the past eight years. As lawmakers look to reform the corporate tax code, this report shows that the focus of any overhaul should be on closing loopholes rather than on cutting tax rates.

    It’s important to note a key piece of this report’s methodology. The report only includes corporations that were consistently profitable over the eight-year period from 2008 to 2015. In other words, if a firm had a loss in even one year, it is excluded from this report. By leaving out corporations that had losses (which means they wouldn’t pay any tax), this report provides a straightforward picture of average effective tax rates paid by our nation’s biggest and consistently profitable companies. Two hundred and fifty-eight Fortune 500 companies were consistently profitable in each of the eight years between 2008 and 2015. Most of these companies were included in our February 2014 report, The Sorry State of Corporate Taxes, which looked at the years 2008 through 2012. There are new companies in the report, including Netflix, which entered the Fortune 500 after 2013. In addition, some companies were excluded from the study because they lost money in 2013, 2014 or 2015.

    Some Key Findings:

    As a group, the 258 corporations paid an effective federal income tax rate of 21.2 percent over the eight-year period, slightly over half the statutory 35 percent tax rate.

    Eighteen of the corporations, including General Electric, International Paper, Priceline.com and PG&E, paid no federal income tax at all over the eight-year period. A fifth of the corporations (48) paid an effective tax rate of less than 10 percent over that period.

    Of those corporations in our sample with significant offshore profits, more than half paid higher corporate tax rates to foreign governments where they operate than they paid in the United States on their U.S. profits.

    These findings refute the prevailing view inside the Beltway that America’s corporate income tax is more burdensome than the corporate income taxes levied by other countries, and that this purported (but false) excess burden somehow makes the U.S. “uncompetitive.”

    https://itep.org/the-35-percent-corporate-tax-myth/#whospaying

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