Tag Archives: taxation

Trumped or stumped? The tax cut, the debt ceiling and riding the gravy train

Source: Cobden Centre
by Colin Lloyd

“The current US debt ceiling is set at $19.8trln. Debt levels are already close to that level and special accounting measures have already been implemented by the US Treasury. This year alone total federal expenditures will be $3.7trln — leaving a tax shortfall of $559bln. Meanwhile, last week, Treasury Secretary, Mnuchin announced the long awaited tax cut plan. It included a proposal to reduce the US corporate tax rate to 15% from the current level of 35%. This, it is estimated by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, will increase the government deficit by $5.5trln over the next decade. The Trump administrations other spending plans remain on the agenda, including $1trln for infrastructure, $54bln for the military and — assuming the Mexicans can’t pay and won’t pay — $10bln for the Southern Border Wall. How can this possibly add up? Through spending cuts, is the simple answer.” (05/11/17)


Interest groups and tax reform

Source: Independent Institute
by Randall Holcombe

“In a recent post in The Beacon, I said that President Trump’s tax reform proposal is a move in the right direction. But I find part of it very troubling: He wants to keep the mortgage interest deduction and the deduction for charitable contributions for individual taxpayers. Both of these deductions have reasonable justifications, but so do a host of other deductions; both those in the current tax code and some that various interest groups would like to see added. Arguing that these two should be kept rather than eliminating all deductions speaks to the power of the interest groups that support them. That tells us right away that any tax reform that does occur will be shaped by special interests, and that additional interests are likely to enter the tax reform conversation to modify the tax code for their own benefit.” (05/01/17)


The moral case for tax cuts

Source: Reason
by A Barton Hinkle

“Imagine a stranger walked up to you on the street and said, ‘Let’s talk about the best way to spend your paycheck, shall we?’ You would be entirely justified in replying, ‘Buddy, that’s none of your damn business. Now go away before I call the police.’ Most discussions of tax policy overlook a crucial initial condition: the ownership of the money before the government confiscates it. That is a moral consideration, or at least it ought to be. Pundits go on at great length debating whether the government can afford to let people keep a bit more of their own money. Very few ever ask whether the taxpayer can afford the high cost of government.” (05/01/17)


Death and …

Source: Common Sense
by Paul Jacob

“It’s a sure thing — that most folks will like President Trump’s tax cuts. Though we don’t yet know all the details. When it comes to taxes, less is more. That is, if you’re paying taxes. It is no great mystery that people like it when their own taxes are reduced. But what about reducing other people’s taxes?” (04/28/17)


Torturing the truth: The tax cut debate vs. the English language

Source: Garrison Center
by Thomas L Knapp

“On April 26, the Trump administration released a one-page summary of its tax reform proposals. The following morning, US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin appeared on CBS This Morning to discuss those proposals. Co-anchor Norah O’Donnell didn’t waste any time ham-handedly injecting the mainstream media’s dishonest narrative-shaping language into the conversation. ‘As you mentioned this would be historic tax cuts [sic],’ her first question began. ‘Estimated to cost the American taxpayer $7 trillion over a decade. So when will you tell us how you will pay for it?’ Unfortunately Mnuchin played along: ‘In regards to the pay for [sic], I don’t know how people can estimate the cost since we don’t haven’t released all the details, but this is going to be paid for by economic growth and by a reduction of many, many deductions in special interest.’ O’Donnell tried to put two ginormous lies over on her viewers. And Mnuchin let her get away with it.” (04/27/17)


Forget Reagan: Trump’s tax plan is more like George W. Bush

Source: Reason
by Matt Welch

“In the run-up to today’s big White House tax-reform announcement, the question among many analysts was: Would President Donald Trump’s ideas look more like Ronald Reagan in 1981 (when he and a bipartisan congressional majority cut rates) or 1986, when they simplified the code? While Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, flanked by National Economic Director Gary Cohn, bragged that the administration’s plan was both ‘the biggest tax cut’ and the ‘largest tax reform’ in U.S. history — 1981 and 1986 at the same time, only more! — the more apt and less comforting historical precedent might be the guy who Trump never tires of bashing: George W. Bush.” (04/27/17)


White House unveils dramatic plan to overhaul tax code in major test for Trump

Source: Washington Post

“President Trump on Wednesday proposed a dramatic overhaul of the tax code, calling for sharply lower rates for individuals and businesses but also eliminating key tax breaks. The proposal is a one-page outline — key details are left incomplete — but it presents an initial offer to begin negotiations with lawmakers, as White House officials think reworking the tax code is one of their biggest priorities to boost economic growth. … The central feature of the White House’s plan would be a big reduction in tax rates for virtually all Americans and businesses.” (04/26/17)


Mnuchin vows “biggest tax cut” in US history, confirms plan to slash corporate rate

Source: Fox News

“Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin confirmed Wednesday that the Trump administration aims to lower the corporate tax rate to 15 percent, saying a forthcoming proposal will constitute the ‘biggest tax cut’ for Americans in history. … Mnuchin, speaking at a Washington forum hosted by The Hill, would not reveal many specifics but confirmed that they want to lower the corporate rate to 15 percent, from 35 percent. ‘I will confirm that the business tax is going to be 15 percent,’ he said. ‘[Trump] thinks that’s absolutely critical to drive growth.’ He said small businesses would benefit from that. Mnuchin also said the administration wants to ‘do the whole thing,’ and not pursue tax reform piece by piece. Amid concerns that such sweeping tax cuts would significantly reduce revenue for the government, he suggested economic growth will help pay for [sic] the plan.” [editor’s note: Tax cuts don’t need to be “paid for” because they aren’t expenditures. They’re just not stealing as much – TLK] (04/26/17)


Americans work almost four months just to pay taxes

Source: Libertarian Institute
by Jared Labell

“Taxpayers won’t pay off this year’s local, state, and federal tax burden totaling $5.1 trillion until April 23, or as the Tax Foundation calls it, Tax Freedom Day. That day, calculated annually, represents how long Americans work to pay local, state, and federal taxes for the year. In 2017, it will take 113 days for taxpayers to pay the country’s tax burden, which includes $1.5 trillion in local and state taxes and $3.5 trillion in federal taxes, equaling 31 percent of America’s income. But that’s not all. If you include federal borrowing, which represents future taxes the government must collect to pay the bills, Tax Freedom Day would occur 14 days later this year on May 7.” (04/24/17)


CEO resigns after firm admits paying armed groups in Syria

Source: CNN Money

“The chief executive of the world’s largest cement maker will resign after the firm admitted to making payments to armed groups in Syria. Eric Olsen will step down as CEO of LafargeHolcim in July after an internal investigation found that managers at the company’s plant in Syria made indirect payments to armed groups in 2013 and 2014 in order to keep the facility open. … The Swiss-French firm opened its plant in Syria in May 2010, before political unrest and civil war consumed the country. LafargeHolcim suffered resource shortages and its staff were harassed by armed groups as the conflict intensified. It said the payments — made via middlemen — were initiated by plant managers who believed they were acting in the firm’s best interests.” [editor’s note: Nearly every company around the world does exactly the same thing, of course. It’s called “paying taxes” – TLK] (04/24/17)