Tag: Tax

84 Arrested At Capitol Hill Protest Against GOP Tax Bill
Social Security Disability

84 Arrested At Capitol Hill Protest Against GOP Tax Bill

Fresh off an inspiring Democratic win in Alabama’s Senate race, hundreds of progressive activists, many of whom had physical disabilities, converged on Capitol Hill on Wednesday to protest the Republican tax bill.
Dozens of brave Americans got arrested in Senate offices today to make it clear that we fight back and we never give up.” ALEX EDELMAN/Getty Images The demonstrators on Wednesday, which included activists affiliated with Social Security Works, the Center for Popular Democracy, Housing Works, the Women’s March, the Strong Economy for All Coalition and Hedge Clippers, focused on the anticipated reductions to social programs that would result from the tax legislation.
The tax bill is due to add $1 trillion to the debt, which would trigger so-called “paygo” rules resulting in across-the-board spending cuts that would affect programs like Medicare.
Republican leaders in Congress have committed to waiving paygo, but activists are not satisfied that they will follow through once the tax bill passes.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and other GOP lawmakers have already announced that cutting so-called entitlements for seniors and people with disabilities ― Social Security and Medicare ― as well as means-tested programs like food stamps are next on their agenda.
Flake did not agree to his request for a second meeting; neither did McCain or Murkowski.
In a meeting with Collins that was broadcast on Facebook live, Barkan and his comrades pushed Collins on why she would agree to vote for the tax bill without insisting on a provision precluding across-the-board paygo cuts beforehand.
Rather than lock in the waiving of paygo before committing to support the tax bill, Collins said, “I have to have it be passed into law by the end of the year is the agreement.” Barkan and the other activists argued that Republican leaders could break their promise, much as they did the promises to hold the middle class harmless in the tax cut bill and not add to budget deficits.
Collins refused to argue that agreeing to vote for the bill before her condition is met amounted to giving up her leverage.
Last Tuesday, Barkan was one of 133 demonstrators arrested outside House offices, and the day before that there were 23 arrests.

Under New Tax Plan, the Cost of Aging Could Rise

Under New Tax Plan, the Cost of Aging Could Rise

The Senate bill would keep a deduction for medical expenses intact.
The more money that people had to spend this year, the more they would lose next year if the House prevails and the deduction disappears.
The Solon, Ohio, couple have about $130,000 in expenses for Mr. Godbole’s round-the-clock, in-home care.
Meet Kae Yates, who had to spend over $75,000 this year.
But it stands to reason that people who need long-term care will spend some of the highest amounts, given the high cost of nursing homes and similar care.
Cutting deductions for medical expenses does make the year-end chore easier.
Now imagine that one gets a deduction for medical expenses and one does not.
Take the income down to $75,000 (where the extra $25,000 for the medical costs to pay the $100,000 in bills would come from sources or savings that are not subject to income tax) and the household with the ability to take the deduction would end the year with $6,826 more.
After all, the quicker that sick, older people run out of money because of higher tax bills, the sooner they will need Medicaid to pay for their long-term care.
The very same federal government that would no longer permit people to deduct high medical expenses.

Tax Plan Aims to Slay a Reagan Target: The Government Beast

Tax Plan Aims to Slay a Reagan Target: The Government Beast

Bruce Bartlett, then a conservative tax expert who would go on to serve under Reagan and his successor, George Bush, estimated that without federal deductibility, state and local spending would fall 14 percent.
And it “would become more difficult for states to finance programs of doubtful benefit to their taxpayers by ‘hiding’ the full cost within the federal tax system.” Reagan ultimately failed to kill the deduction.
This time around it might succeed where Reagan failed: Barring taxpayers from deducting state and local income taxes and limiting the property taxes they can deduct on their federal returns, the Republican bills could, for the first time, force high-tax states run by Democrats to capitulate.
That is a difference worth some $170 billion a year, in today’s money.
If the Republican bills become law, states and municipalities are going to need the money.
“This is one of the more strategic efforts in the starve-the-beast mode,” said Lawrence F. Katz, a professor of economics at Harvard.
This is not to say that the state and local tax deduction is the ideal mechanism to bolster the finances of state and local governments.
Eliminating the deduction for state and local income taxes raises their “price” for taxpayers: Those paying a top federal rate of 35 percent get 35 percent off their state and local contributions.
They also pare back the alternative minimum tax, which prevented some taxpayers from benefiting from the state and local deduction.
As Professor Goldin noted, it looks a bit the way it did in the early years of the 20th century, when the government had little money to pay for social policy.

The Tax Scam: Naming The Culprits
Social Security Disability

The Tax Scam: Naming The Culprits

Some of the conspirators merit special attention: Gary Cohn.
Cohn racked up quite a record of interesting statements: “The wealthy are not getting a tax cut” (Sept. 28).
Unlike others on this list, Rubio offered a dose of honesty about the tax cut.
The House bill would eliminate the alternative minimum tax – under which Trump paid $31 million in 2005.
Dear Senator Flake, we admire some of your recent criticisms of Donald Trump, but – and this is probably the first and last time we suggest looking to Donald Trump for advice – he wrote this book called The Art of the Deal that maybe you should check out.
The self-styled tax policy wonk continues to insist that the tax cuts will pay for themselves.
He insists that they will promote economic growth to such an extent that the government’s overall tax revenue will remain consistent.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin helped lead the chorus around the lie that the tax cut would pay for itself.
Mnuchin’s Treasury Department had earlier removed from its website a 2012 study that refuted Mnuchin’s claim that corporations would pass on most of the savings from tax cuts to their workers.
There have been few votes more disgraceful than the recent House and Senate passage of massive tax cuts for corporations and the superrich.

Here Are 6 Of The Most Radical Provisions In The GOP Tax Bill
Social Security Disability

Here Are 6 Of The Most Radical Provisions In The GOP Tax Bill

Creating a big new tax deduction for private school tuition.
Although the tax benefit is sure to save some families money, the ballooning cost of private elementary and secondary school makes it unlikely that it will increase access to private school for middle- and low-income kids.
Kevin Lamarque / Reuters Encouraging corporations to automate ― without any help for displaced workers.
But the increase in the deduction comes at a time when corporations are investing in automation of their production facilities through the use of robots and artificial intelligence technology, noted Robert Kovacev, a corporate tax attorney for the Steptoe & Johnson law firm in Washington, D.C. “It’s going to accelerate spending, basically, on robots that could displace workers,” Kovacev told HuffPost.
Many progressive economists believe the national debt is not a major challenge at this juncture.
And not discretionary spending.
“The driver of our debt is the structure of Social Security and Medicare for future beneficiaries.” Rejecting a proposal to expand a tax credit for families with children in order to reduce the corporate tax rate even more.
To pay for the roughly $87 billion price of expanding the tax credit, Rubio and Lee proposed reducing the top corporate tax rate to just under 21 percent, rather than the 20 percent threshold that President Donald Trump and GOP leaders were seeking.
While the top statutory estate tax rate is 40 percent, the average effective rate paid by families subject to the tax is about 17 percent, according to the Tax Policy Center.
The Senate bill would double the estate tax exemption to $22 million for couples, eliminating the tax entirely for half the estates that currently pay it, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

How The Federal Reserve Could Rain On Trump’s Tax Cut Parade

How The Federal Reserve Could Rain On Trump’s Tax Cut Parade

WASHINGTON ― Republicans say their tax overhaul bill will juice the economy, and most economists agree that cutting corporate taxes could boost growth, at least in the short term.
Mark Zandi, chief economist with Moody’s economy.com, said that if massive tax cuts aren’t offset with correspondingly large tax increases or reductions in government spending, the Fed’s response could even cause the economy to contract.
With the national unemployment rate at or beneath 5 percent for the past two years, many economists consider the economy at or approaching “full employment” ― the lowest amount of unemployment possible without spurring higher-than-ideal inflation.
The Joint Committee on Taxation, a panel that analyzes tax legislation for Congress, said in a report Thursday that the Senate version of the bill would increase growth by just 0.8 percent, an estimate roughly in line with other analyses.
“Interest rates are projected to rise in the short run because the legislation would boost aggregate demand and output, leading the Federal Reserve to increase interest rates to avoid a surge in inflation,” the TPC said.
But others are far from certain that the tax cuts will even prompt enough growth to elicit a response from the Fed.
For example, the Fed’s Federal Open Market Committee, the panel responsible for adjusting interest rates, could decide to raise the federal funds rate four times between now and the end of 2018 instead of the currently expected three times, Gagnon said.
For Levin and other like-minded economists, this is evidence that the jobs market continues to hold back inflation despite the historically low official unemployment rate of 4.1 percent as of October.
The slow wage growth is one of the factors that stems inflation, since employers raise prices to compensate for the added cost of salaries, Levin said.
“That would give the Fed breathing room to make a few more modest hikes next year, but keep rates relatively low compared to historical norms.” He added that Powell “has shown no signs thus far of being eager to raise rates ― and that’s probably one of the reasons he was chosen” for the Fed chairmanship by Trump.

A vote for this tax plan is a vote against women and families

A vote for this tax plan is a vote against women and families

(CNN)Tax plans can be hard to decipher, but with each passing day, women and moms across the country understand more clearly how the GOP tax plans — both the US Senate and the House versions — will affect their families and our economy.
The GOP tax plans are the opposite of what women and our economy need.
For instance, women are now breadwinners in more than half of all families — and are the primary breadwinner in 42% of families, according to Pew; and over the past 30 years, childcare costs for working families have increased by 70%, according to Census Bureau data.
Economic inequality for women is a huge weakness for our nation, and the GOP proposed tax plans in the US House and Senate could turn that disaster into a national calamity.
Simply put, women and middle-class families would be further buried by this tax plan.
Here’s a reality check for the GOP: Our country is now the third worst nation in terms of income inequality — after Chile and Mexico — among the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development countries.
One example of how the House and Senate tax plans bolster income inequality is their treatment of “pass through” business income.
In fact, it’s the top 1% who gain the vast majority of the benefit from “pass-throughs.”
By doubling down on wealth inequality, the GOP tax plan would jeopardize the health, financial stability, and future of millions of women and families across our country while growing our national debt over the next decade by over $1.3 trillion in the House version; estimates on the Senate bill range from $1.4 to $1.6 trillion, according to the Penn-Wharton Budget Model.
The women of America know that it’s not OK to raise taxes for millions of people while gutting essential provisions that boost our access to health care, education and housing, and that fuel our economy.

Many Republicans Don’t Like the Tax Bill. But They Keep Moving It Forward

Many Republicans Don’t Like the Tax Bill. But They Keep Moving It Forward

The Senate tax bill went through a familiar cycle on Tuesday.
In the morning, Republican lawmakers raised doubts about it that seemed irreconcilable.
In the afternoon, they voted for it.
The Senate Budget Committee voted 12-11 along party lines to move the bill forward, allowing it to hit the Senate floor later this week, with the support of two Republicans who had criticized it hours before: Sens.
It’s a cycle that, so far, has kept hope alive on a bill that has raised concerns among both deficit hawks and those who wish it cut taxes further, while attracting no Democratic support so far, all while facing broad skepticism among the public.
At least four Republican Senators — Corker, and also Sens.
The solution that some of them are calling for is simple: a so-called “trigger mechanism” that will reign in tax cuts if economic growth under the tax reform bill doesn’t meet forecasts.
“I wish you could have been inside that room,” Trump said later in the day.
“We can do tax reform in ways that will grow the economy but we can’t just ignore the debt and deficit,” he said.
She has called for a compromise: support for the so-called Alexander-Murray bipartisan bill, named for its sponsors, Sens.

I’m a Multi-Millionaire So Trump’s Tax Plan Is Great for Me. It’s a Disaster for Everyone Else

I’m a Multi-Millionaire So Trump’s Tax Plan Is Great for Me. It’s a Disaster for Everyone Else

Pearl, a former BlackRock executive, Chair of the Patriotic Millionaires On Sunday, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office released its report on the effects of the Senate GOP tax plan, and the results aren’t pretty.
The plan would also add an astounding $1.4 trillion to the national debt.
Senate Republicans claim their bill is intended to help the middle class, and that tax cuts for millionaires and wealthy corporations are necessary to boost economic growth and raise wages.
The idea that this tax plan is going to help anyone beside the ultra-rich is ludicrous.
Yes, some middle-class Americans are going to get a tax cut, but it will be temporary and will leave millions worse off in the long run.
If you make less than $75,000 a year, your taxes are going up so mine can go down.
What about those huge tax cuts for millionaires and wealthy corporations?
After years of talk about the danger of deficits and the importance of helping small businesses, this bill puts Senate Republicans’ priorities in the spotlight, and the American people (rightly) don’t like what they’re seeing.
Any tax bill will naturally have winners and losers as rates are changed and loopholes are closed, but it’s striking how clearly the lines in this bill have been drawn.
The effects of this tax bill are clear — I’ll get a tax cut, and the middle class gets screwed.

Will a Corporate Tax Cut Lift Worker Pay? A Union Wants It in Writing.

Will a Corporate Tax Cut Lift Worker Pay? A Union Wants It in Writing.

WASHINGTON — At the heart of the Republican tax plan hurtling through Congress is an implicit promise that cutting corporate taxes will lift the middle class through higher wages and more jobs.
The lack of pledges to create jobs has not been lost on President Trump’s top economic adviser, Gary D. Cohn, who seemed perplexed last week about the lack of corporate enthusiasm for a tax cut.
At a Wall Street Journal conference, Mr. Cohn asked his audience of chief executives how many of them would invest more if the tax cut were passed.
“We’re going straight to the people who know how corporations plan to spend the billions of dollars being handed over to them — the C.E.O.s — and asking them if they intend to keep the promises that Trump is making on their behalf.” Business leaders and their lobbying groups, including the Business Roundtable and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, say the tax bill will increase economic growth, profits and worker pay.
President Trump’s top economist, Kevin Hassett, the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, said last week that he expected corporations to invest heavily and raise workers’ wages if the tax bill became law.
When most developed nations have cut their corporate tax rate, he said, the resulting wage increases were “well north” of $4,000 per year for workers.
Critics note that wage growth has remained relatively sluggish over the past several years, even as corporate profits hover near all-time highs as a share of the economy, and the unemployment rate continues to fall to levels that economists normally associate with rapid increases in worker pay.
In a letter sent this week to the top executives of Verizon, AT&T and six other companies, the communications union asked them to pledge a $4,000 annual pay increase for employees for every year that the corporate rate rests at 20 percent.
AT&T — which has promised to invest an additional $1 billion in the United States if the tax bill passes, a rare level of detail for a corporation — issued a statement that noted: “We’ve said that with the passage of a tax bill that includes a permanent corporate tax rate of 20 percent, we’ll increase our investment in the United States.
Administration officials appear to believe that individual companies are reluctant to describe how they would use the proceeds from a tax cut to invest and hire workers, despite their lobbying groups’ aggressive promotion of the job-creation benefits of the bill.