Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Ryan-Trump Tax Bill Reorders America's National Priorities-- National Suicide

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Most discussion of the Ryan/Trump tax bill is about how it will, overt time, raise taxes on the middle class to transfer immense wealth to the very wealthy. But there's a lot more in the details, scores of details that need to be addressed. Education is one. This is an incredibly anti-education document. And education is, after all, our country's future-- something Trump and Ryan have ever evidenced any interest in whatsoever. Higher education takes it in the neck from the bill... and all to make the very rich very much richer. Ryan's bill slashes university resources , reduces financial aid for poorer students and is likely to devastate American research. Ryan's bill is far worse than the Senate's but both are absolutely anti-education.

Ryan and Trump are eager to abolish the estate tax and both think it's fabulous to pay for that by putting new taxes on the endowments of private colleges and tuition waivers for graduate, while eliminating the deduction for interest on student loans. This is how today's Republican Party orders its priorities. It's not just disgraceful; it's mind-boggling. The House Ways and Means Committee's own analysis estimates that Ryan and Trump are increasing the cost to students attending college by more than $65 billion over the next decade. Is that the direction this country wants to move-- making it harder and harder for kids from poor and middle class homes to use education for traditional American social and economic mobility? And all to make their campaign contributors wealthier? This is insane and very dangerous for the country's future.

The National Association of Graduate-Professional Students promoted a mass phone call event Nov. 8 to call elected officials to oppose the plan.
“Under current tax law, graduate students who work for a university as research and teaching assistants do not have to consider any tuition benefits they receive as income,” Sarah Poggione, associate professor and chair for the department of political science, said in an email. “Under the new plan, these tuition benefits would be taxable income.”

...Nationally, about 55 percent of graduate students had adjusted gross incomes of $20,000 or less. Master's students received waivers for about $11,000, and doctoral students received waivers for about $13,600, according to 2011-12 Department of Education data.

On Nov. 9, U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Texas, introduced an amendment to the tax plan that would “restore critical education reductions” the original plan would eliminate, according to Doggett’s website. The amendment was voted down.

Since then, the National Association for Graduate-Professional Students has called on all who participated in the mass call event to tweet using the hashtag #ReworkTheReform at those who voted against the amendment.
As for the tax bill encouraging a better economy through job creation... pure bunk, the kind of lies we've come to expect from both Trump and Ryan. Sarah Anderson is the the director of the Global Economy Project at the Institute for Policy Studies. Let's go back to her NY Times OpEd from the end of August, It’s a Myth That Corporate Tax Cuts Mean More Jobs.
“The arithmetic for us is simple,” AT&T’s chief executive, Randall Stephenson, said on CNBC in May. If Congress were to cut the 35 percent tax on corporate profits to 20 percent, he declared, “I know exactly what AT&T would do-- we’d invest more” in the United States.

Every $1 billion in tax savings would create 7,000 well-paying jobs, Mr. Stephenson went on to say. The correlation between lower corporate taxes and more jobs, he assured viewers, runs “very, very tight.”

As Congress prepares to take up tax legislation this fall, including an effort to reduce the corporate tax rate, this bold jobs claim merits examination. Notably, it comes from the chief executive of a company that’s already paying comparatively little in federal taxes.

According to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, AT&T enjoyed an effective tax rate of just 8 percent between 2008 and 2015, despite recording a profit in the United States each year, by exploiting tax breaks and loopholes. (The company argues that it pays significant taxes, at a rate close to 34 percent in recent years, but that includes deferred taxes and state and local levies.)

Despite the enormous savings AT&T has realized, the company has been downsizing. Although it hires thousands of people a year, the company, by our analysis at the Institute for Policy Studies, reduced its total work force by nearly 80,000 jobs between 2008 and 2016, accounting for acquisitions and spinoffs each involving more than 2,000 workers.

The company has also spent $34 billion repurchasing its own stock since 2008, according to our institute report, a maneuver that artificially inflates the value of a company’s shares. This is money that could have gone toward research and development or hiring.

Companies buy back their stock for various reasons-- to take advantage of undervaluation, to reward stockholders by increasing the value of their shares or to make the company look more attractive to investors. And there is another reason. Because most executive compensation these days is based on stock value, higher share prices can raise the compensation of chief executives and other top company officials.

Since 2008, Mr. Stephenson has cashed in $124 million in stock options and grants.

Many other large American corporations have also been playing the tax break and loophole game. Their huge tax savings have enriched executives but not created significant numbers of new jobs.

Our report analyzes the 92 publicly held American corporations that reported a profit in the United States every year from 2008 through 2015 and paid less than 20 percent of their earnings in federal income tax.

We chose this particular tax threshold because, as Mr. Stephenson mentioned, House Republicans are proposing to reduce the federal statutory corporate tax rate to 20 percent, down from the current 35 percent. President Trump wants an even deeper cut, down to 15 percent.

If claims about the job-creation benefits of lower tax rates had any validity, these 92 consistently profitable firms would be among the nation’s strongest job creators. Instead, we found just the opposite.

The companies we reviewed had a median job-growth rate over the past nine years of nearly negative 1 percent, compared with 6 percent for the private sector as a whole. Of those 92 companies, 48 got rid of a combined total of 483,000 jobs.

At the companies that cut jobs, chief executives’ pay last year averaged nearly $15 million, compared with the $13 million average for S&P 500 companies.

Instead of tax-rate cuts for these big corporations, the coming tax debate in Congress should focus on making wealthy individuals and big corporations pay their fair share.

American multinationals hold $2.6 trillion in profits “offshore,” on which they would owe $750 billion in federal taxes if the money was repatriated. In most cases, these foreign profit stashes are merely an accounting fiction. Companies retain full access to these funds for use in the United States and could, if their executives so chose, use them to create jobs here.

Ordinary Americans have to pay all the taxes they owe each and every year. Offshore corporations should be required to do the same.

Beyond closing loopholes, we need to explore new ways to raise revenue fairly, including a tax on Wall Street speculation.

Most of us already pay a sales tax on gasoline, clothes and other basics. Why should hedge fund investors and other Wall Street traders pay no tax at all when they engage in short-term buying and selling of millions of dollars’ worth of stocks and derivatives? A fee of just a small fraction of 1 percent on each Wall Street trade would encourage longer-term investment while generating huge revenue for real job creation.

At a town hall this month at AT&T headquarters in Dallas, Mr. Stephenson urged his employees to call Congress and demand a corporate tax cut.

The message policy makers really need to hear? Stop peddling the myth that “tax relief” for big companies will be good for the rest of us.

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4 Comments:

At 6:26 AM, Anonymous ap215 said...

It's so sad to see the GOP using those sign slogans in their conferences for money & their own BS & yes there is a wave coming so glub glub to Paul & the GOP.

 
At 6:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lies. These same lies have been proved EVERY TIME taxes are cut. Yet americans remain so stupid as to fall for them time and again.

I swear to roy moore's god that we should let them cut these taxes and just wait for the next 99.9% depression just to see if ANYONE gets a clue... ever.

Jobs are created when some company can sell more shit to consumers. If ANY company thought there were buyers, they'd be making more shit to sell RIGHT FUCKING NOW! Since they are not, there are no buyers for more of their shit so there will be no more jobs creating more of that shit.

Consumers cannot and will not be buying more shit unless and until they have money with which to buy that shit. And since wages have been in slow decline since 1980 (in adjusted dollars) and debt has exploded (student loans, mortgages, credit cards...), they cannot buy more and more shit.

As was proved between 1932 and 1980, if you want to create jobs, raise wages. As was proved between 1980 and now, if you don't give a shit about jobs, cut taxes on the rich and corporations.

The correct approach would begin with raising taxes on the rich, taxing wall street transactions, taxing WEALTH and raising the minimum wage to $25. Half of the country would immediately have double their current disposable income and would SPEND IT on shit they can't get today. Making all that extra shit would create millions of jobs that pay >= $25, which would put even more dynamics into the economy which would result in MORE jobs... Ah, but most of those jobs would be in asia wouldn't they?

Maybe just let the collapse happen and pray to roy moore's god that we all don't die horrible deaths after... It would do as much good as the tax cuts.

 
At 9:00 AM, Blogger Skeptical Partisan said...

-Leverage buyout 'investment' (see Mitt Romney a la Bain Capital).
-Agriculture caused desertification (Dust Bowl, expanding deserts in Africa, desertification in Latin America).
-Surface mining (includes strip mining, open pit mining and mountain top removal).

All forms of looting with specialized knowledge. They are characterized by (1) speed - victims don't have time to realize danger and mount defenses; (2) dirty - function of speed; (3) crude - function of speed; (4) cheap operating costs - minimum investment in workers, capital, safety, etc. The goal is to strip a resource of everything that can be sold for money as quickly and cheaply as possible. The result is rich looters and no resources - businesses without capital to produce; land without water for farming; land without clean water, soil capable of supporting life and contaminated with introduced toxins and mine tailings.

The Ryan-Trump Tax Bill loots the public commons by tax policy. Taxes are the resources of a nation; they pay for the public commons of education, healthcare, infrastructure, public services, defense, etc. By reducing the tax payments of the wealthy, this tax plan is effectively looting the public commons. The danger is the destruction will be so deep and thorough, recoveru will be nigh impossible.

 
At 1:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The GOP's entire purpose is to reverse the "horrible mistake" they made in 1860. They should have instead been EXPANDING slavery instead of ending it. They promise to rectify that egregious sin against the plutocracy as soon as possible.

 

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