Letters to the Editor

Letter to the editor: Tax truths

January 10, 2018

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To the editor:

Democrats are making hyperbolic negative responses to the new tax law. Here are some facts.

Taxpayers who do not itemize will get a tax cut. This group, which represents over 70 percent of taxpayers, will benefit from a higher standard deduction, a lower tax rate and a doubled child tax credit. Moreover, the working poor with no tax liability will benefit because the maximum refundable portion of the child tax credit has increased. (For the most part, tax increases will be limited to wealthy people with expensive homes living in high tax states like New York and California.) Due to Senate rules, these tax cuts will expire in eight years. However, even if Democrats control the government in 2026, I believe that they will extend the tax cuts for the middle class and working poor.

Regarding business taxes, the economy has surged in anticipation of the new tax law. The Dow Jones is up 35 percent since Trump was elected, thereby boosting 401(k) plans and fortifying defined-benefit pension plans. Unemployment has dropped from 4.7 percent to 4.1 percent. GDP growth is over 3 percent, doubling the 2016 rate. Some Democrats actually argue that business tax cuts do not benefit average Americans. Political bias has not only affected the judgment of these Democrats, but has also affected the judgment of distinguished liberal economists. The day after Trump’s election and in response to Dow Jones futures dropping overnight, Professor Paul Krugman stated that markets are plunging and may “never” recover. “Never” lasted one day.

Comments

Glen Stovall 5 months, 1 week ago

Here is why we can't have nice things---a real live person who "believes" in trickle-down economics. Voodoo economics has never ever done what it is supposed to do but human beings continue to "believe" it will. Maybe those that espouse voodoo economics are really just shills for corporations and the oligarchy. Hmmm---???

Daniel Kennamore 5 months, 1 week ago

It's no coincidence that people that have a hard time separating beliefs from reality in several topics trend conservative.

From climate change & gun rights to trickle down economics and religion, the 'conservative' worldview is one fundamentally divorced from facts. All that matters to them is how the 'feel'.

Sure, liberals have their own anti-science nuts...but for the most part if basic logic is an issue for you then you most likely vote GOP.

P Allen Macfarlane 5 months, 1 week ago

We must remember that truth is relative, facts are not, unless of course they are alternative facts.

Bob Summers 5 months, 1 week ago

The Liberal will SAY and DO ANYTHING to take other peoples money.

It is no more complicated than that

Glen Stovall 5 months, 1 week ago

I will wait patiently your rant about this tax scam bill taking money specifically from blue states. I know you truly believe that taking money from others is wrong and this surely has angered you but just haven't had time to comment on it.

Gary Stussie 5 months, 1 week ago

Good letter. Don't let the comments you will inevitably get discourage you ... always the same group of ill-informed, butt-hurt Hillary fans echoing standard liberal talking points.

Calvin Anders 5 months, 1 week ago

Wow Ed, You certainly are enthusiastic about a plan that will grow our national debt by well over a trillion dollars. And the fact that the modest breaks for the middle class expire after 8 years but corporate tax breaks are permanent doesn't seem to bother you either. The Republican rationalization of this plan is to deny that any of the problems with it exist and also pretend that economic growth and spending will cover any shortfall and the wealthy will share their profits with those who have less. It's such a shamefully stupid and disingenuous lie that I can't see how politicians can repeat the lie without felling that they are losing a little piece of their souls each time they repeat it. This tax "reform" was crafted and implemented to appease wealthy donors. The vast majority of benefit from this change goes to the extremely wealthy. It's that simple. And, I hate to break it to you Ed, the wealthy have no plans to share the new wealth they will accumulate.

Gary Stussie 5 months, 1 week ago

"vast majority of benefit from this change goes to the extremely wealthy"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_philanthropists

Wonder around KU ... or Lawrence ... or (anytown USA) and you will see what the extremely wealth do.

Richard Aronoff 5 months, 1 week ago

Mr. Anders: while it's true that the tax plan might raise the debt by one trillion dollars over 10 years, where were you when Barack Obama doubled the debt from 10 trillion to 20 trillion in eight years?

Bob Smith 5 months, 1 week ago

Funny how the national debt was a non-issue from 2008 thru 2016.

Daniel Kennamore 5 months, 1 week ago

Obama cut the national deficit by nearly 2/3rds during his time in office.

The very first piece of significant legislation the GOP passes once they hold both chambers and the white house increases the deficit by $1.5 Trillion.

So yeah, it was an issue until the GOP got full control and suddenly are pro-deficits when a white guy is signing the budget.

Gary Stussie 5 months, 1 week ago

Nice spin ... sounds so impressive!

The country’s annual deficit is the difference between what the government collects in revenues and spends in one year. The national debt, which exceeds $19.95 trillion, is the net of annual deficits minus any annual surpluses.

Obama's claim was in 2014 ... The deficit fell from $1.4 trillion in the 2009 fiscal year to $486 billion in the 2014 fiscal year -- a drop of about 66 percent. Obama's math may be correct, it's missing some important caveats.

First, it's important to note that the deficit swelled in 2009 (hence the steady drop). In 2008, the deficit was $458 billion, or 3.1 percent of GDP. Those deficits are smaller than the ones the country is facing today. The 2009 fiscal year represented a huge jump in the deficit, partly because of the massive stimulus program to jumpstart the cratering economy.

And there's another issue. Princeton University economics professor Harvey Rosen said the more important question is if Obama has put the government on a path that will keep deficits stable. "And the answer is no," Rosen said, because entitlement programs, such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, have not had substantial reform.

Reasonably fair assessment of Obama Presidency impact on economy

https://www.thebalance.com/national-debt-under-obama-3306293

Daniel Kennamore 5 months, 1 week ago

So your response is 'yes, that's correct but let me add my spin.'

If you expected Obama to be able to wave a magic wand and fix the deficit FOREVER, you have unrealistic expectations. He did his part, made a lot of progress and handed it off to the next guy.

It's not his fault the next guy turned out to have no idea what he's doing or care about the deficit.

Gary Stussie 5 months, 1 week ago

You attribute the recovery to President Obama's $9T investment to "stimulate" the economy ... yet seem so concerned about President Trump's $1.5M investment to "stimulate" corporate investment. My belief is that Trump know how to rev up the economy much better then President Obama ... I'm willing to give him a chance just like I did Obama.

Ken Lassman 5 months, 1 week ago

Thanks, Gary, for the Balance link, which I think does a good job identifying all the spins people have been putting both ways on the Obama era deficits. I don't think given the nature of the Great Recession anyone could have done a better job of stabilizing the economy and keeping interest rates down in the process than the path that Obama took.

Regarding the subsequent deficit that was left after all of that, yes, it appears that the CBO indicated that there were long term deficit issues that were not addressed by either the executive or legislative branches that would lead to deficit creep: https://www.cbo.gov/publication/52801

However the early indicators of the Trump budget shows that the CBO thinks the Administration projections are overly optimistic in terms of increased revenues coming from overly rosy economic activity levels. It also says that the reduced budget deficits projected out when compared to the Obama set of policies is largely due to the dismantling of the Affordable Care Act, i.e. by kicking millions of people back into the Emergency Room model of health care: https://www.cbo.gov/publication/52846

So with a dysfunctional congress that can't work together, coupled with a pro-business but no coherent set of policies Administration, there is not much cause for optimism either in addressing the economic challenges that face our country or providing world leadership in the economic issues of the day. If I were to characterize the Trump Administration in terms of its economic policies, it would be: every man for himself. Furthermore the US has largely abandoned creating any path forward for other countries to join us in going down.

Greg Cooper 5 months, 1 week ago

Richard and Bob Smith: the burgeoning deficit you guys attribute to Obama was a direct, I say DIRECT, result of Regressive policies resulting in huge economic downturns that put us in harm's way. Obama was not a magician, but the deficit rise in his administration, you forget, or ignore, was, a result of his administration's successful effort to get more dollars into the economy. (Clinton and the Democrats left the nation with a huge budget surplus, did not require raiding social programs to fund it, and paved the way for your guys to ruin the whole thing by judicial use of ideological skulduggery.) That effort resulted in a shortening of what could have become a disastrous, full depression, and resulted in the rescue of your favorite entities: big business. Banks, auto manufacturers and the like reaped the benefits of money infusion and regulations that resulted in shortstopping that depression. There was no magic solution then, and none now. What is needed is a tax plan that recognizes that both business and individuals have to contribute to the overall governmental income that makes possible the life styles that we Americans demand. And, remember, the cash infusions to big business resulted in more American workers regaining their jobs and the income that enabled them to pay those taxes and maintain both individual and business viability.

Steve Jacob 5 months, 1 week ago

It makes me mad that everyone blames either Bush or Obama for the debt, when both are just as guilty. Nobody will ever cut spending, neither party. I know Paul Ryan wants to cut entitlements, and I promise you that will go nowhere, you don't want to lose EVERY election in 2018.

Sure the tax cut will have short term positive effects, but we will soon have yearly trillion dollar deficits just from a passed budget, then things come up like weather events and wars, even the infrastructure bill coming. Credit downgrades are coming, dollar is weakening, the 10 year note is rising rapidly, with interest rates following. And don't get me started if Bitcoin goes to zero.

Brock Masters 5 months, 1 week ago

Bush was horrible. Not only did he increase spending, he hid the cost of his wars and spied on Americans. One of worst presidents of all times

Steve Jacob 5 months, 1 week ago

NSA was much more powerful under Obama than Bush.

Brock Masters 5 months, 1 week ago

Perhaps, but it originated under Bush so he owns the blame too.

Brandon Devlin 5 months, 1 week ago

The NSA originated under Bush? It originated under Truman in the 50s.

P Allen Macfarlane 5 months, 1 week ago

We shouldn't forget the wonderful legacy of the Reagan years that left us with a ballooned national debt that Clinton eventually erased.

Calvin Anders 5 months, 1 week ago

There is a "magic" solution Greg. The solution is to take money out of politics. We need real campaign finance reform. With publicly funded elections and politicians who actually represent constituents instead of donors, we can have tax policy that doesn't carve out huge revenue opportunities to favor the super rich. We can have corporate taxes that both force industries to pay their fair share and incentivize behavior beneficial to workers and our country. We can have single payer health care and reasonable limits on drug pricing. We need to stop scrambling around arguing about wedge issues and address the obscene power grab of the oligarchy.

Greg Cooper 5 months, 1 week ago

I would agree that donation reform would go a long way toward fixing the partisanship that now dominates our political landscape.

But you'd better be careful, Calvin: you will be denounced as a Democrat, or perhaps (gasp!) a LIBERAL when you start talking reformed health care and drug pricing. Just a thought ;)0

Steve Jacob 5 months, 1 week ago

Taking money out of politics would help other smaller parties, so the why would the Republicans OR Democrats want that?

Ken Lassman 5 months, 1 week ago

Thanks for giving us yet another reason to support taking money out of politics!

Greg Cooper 5 months, 1 week ago

My opinion is that that would be a good result. Maybe people would be forced to actually think about different ideas.

Richard Heckler 5 months, 1 week ago

Obama was stuck with the aftermath of the BUSHCO financial disaster that seems to surface when ALEC Libertarians and Fundamentalist occupy the majority control. People lose homes, jobs, medical insurance, retirement plans etc etc which should present a realization that Social Security Insurance and Medicare and Medicaid are in fact sound investments paid for by workers throughout the nation.

So what could Obama do to bring back the economy? Supply Side Wreckanomics destroyed the economy therefore it would do no good to follow that unsound choice. Supply Side Economics is a version of Austerity in that it pulls money FROM the economy which is stupid.

== Former President Bush and Congress racked up an average $793 billion deficit each year Bush was in office.

Social Security privatization would raise the size of the government’s deficit by another $300 billion per year for the next 20 years. This does not seem to bother ALEC trained conservatives, as long as they are in power.

In fact, by the time the second Bush left office, the national debt had grown to $12.1 trillion. Over half of that amount had been created by Bush’s tax cuts for the very wealthy.

Another 30% of the national debt had been created by the tax cuts for the wealthy under Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush. Fully 81% of the national debt was created by just these three Republican Presidents.

== What impact would the conversion of Social Security Insurance to private accounts have on the national debt?

The government would have to borrow an additional $4 trillion over the next 20 years to make up the money that would be drained out of the system by private accounts.

== How would the rest of the U.S. economy be affected if the private accounts replaced the current system? Put simply, moving to a system of private accounts would not only put retirement income at risk—it would likely put the entire economy at risk.

it could also create a sweet windfall for the wealthiest of Wall Street investors ...... annually. imagine that. Could this be why some billionaires are pushing to privatize Social Security Insurance and Medicare and Medicaid?

Richard Heckler 5 months, 1 week ago

Cases in point seem to reflect an unwritten section of the ALEC Trained Conservative Platform which surface during ALEC COORDINATED conservative mismanagement of our economy ...... like clock work.

  1. The Reagan/Bush Home Loan Heist(/Fraud Costing taxpayers $1.4 trillion and millions of jobs http://rationalrevolution0.tripod.com/war/bush_family_and_the_s.htm

  2. Wall Street Bank Home Loan Scam/ Fraud under Bush/Cheney costing taxpayers $$ trillions and 11 million jobs http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2009/0709macewan.html

  3. Bush and Henry Paulson blew the $700 billion of bail out money. Only 3 insitutions were at risk instead of many. The people were lied to one more time. http://www.democracynow.org/2009/9/10/good_billions_after_bad_one_year

  4. The Conservative ENTITLEMENT Package for the wealtiest 1% which is still producing a dysfunctional economy. http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2001/0301miller.html

  5. The next wave of financial disaster is underway being conducted by Donald Trump and the ALEC trained trained conservatives. Looking at taxpayers for another bailout which apparently produces gigantic profits for some. Otherwise why would taxpayer bailouts be popular? Among the few.

Brownback, Greitens,and a few other ALEC Trained governors/legislators have been orchestrating these fiascos at state levels. GRAB YOUR WALLETS.

Richard Heckler 5 months, 1 week ago

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) was founded in 1973 by Henry Hyde, Lou Barnett, and Paul Weyrich, who helped build a nationwide right-wing political infrastructure following the reelection of Richard Nixon.

In the same year, Weyrich helped establish the Heritage Foundation, now one of the most prominent right-wing policy institutes in the country.

One year later, he founded the Committee for the Survival of a Free Congress, the predecessor of the Free Congress Foundation. In 1979, he co-founded and coined the Moral Majority with Jerry Falwell, and in 1981 he helped establish the ultraconservative Council on National Policy.

ALEC’s major funders include Exxon Mobil, the Scaife family (Allegheny Foundation and the Scaife Family Foundation), the Coors family (Castle Rock Foundation), Charles Koch (Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation and the Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation), the Bradley family (The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation) and the Olin family (John M. Olin Foundation).2 These organizations consistently finance right-wing think tanks and political groups.

Members of ALEC’s board represent major corporations such as Altria, AT&T, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Koch Industries, PhRMA, Peabody Energy, and State Farm. Such corporations represent just a fraction of ALEC’s approximately three hundred corporate partners.

According to the Center For Media and Democracy, over 98% of ALEC’s funding comes from corporations, special interests, and sources other than legislative dues (which run $50 per year for legislators).

Richard Heckler 5 months, 1 week ago

When state legislators across the nation introduce similar or identical bills designed to boost corporate power and profits, reduce workers rights, limit corporate accountability for pollution, or restrict voting, odds are good that the legislation was not written by a state lawmaker but by corporate lobbyists working through the American Legislative Exchange Council.

ALEC is a one-stop shop for corporations looking to identify friendly state legislators and work with them to get special-interest legislation introduced. It’s a win-win for corporations, their lobbyists, and right-wing legislators. But the big losers are citizens whose rights and interests are sold off to the highest bidder.

Bob Smith 5 months, 1 week ago

Richard's trotting out the ancient history again this morning. A 17 year old link? In case you've not noticed, a lot has changed since 2001.

Greg Cooper 5 months, 1 week ago

Yeah, Regressives have become less able to read history.

Steve King 5 months, 1 week ago

I guess you guys are just too excited now that you don't have to worry about paying your "death" tax now. Raise your hand if this helped you out...

Bob Summers 5 months, 1 week ago

Angry, hateful, bitter clingers, aka congenital Liberals. are mad you get to keep more of your hard earned money.

I guess this fact is what their leaders will run on in future elections.

The government needs your money because we know what to do with it better than you do!

List: Companies Giving Bonuses, Wage Hikes Due to Trump Tax Cuts

Except where noted, companies listed below (as of Jan. 4, 2018 – 2:25 p.m. ET) have announced either bonuses or wage increase, or both:

AT&T_ AAON&_ AccuWeather_ Aflac_ American Airlines_ American Bank_ American Savings Bank_ Americacollect_ Aquesta Financial Holdings_ Associated Bank_ Ball Ventures - T.B.A._ Bank of America_ Bank of Hawaii- Bank of the Ozarks_ BB&T_ Boeing – Charitable Donations, Workforce Development, Infrastructure/Facilities- Canary LLC – Increased hiring_ Central Pacific Bank_ Citizens Financial Group_ Colling Pest Solutions – T.B.A._ Comcast_ Comerica Bank_ Commerce Bank_ Community Trust Bancorp_ Copperleaf Assisted Living- Cornerstone Holdings – T.B.A._ Dayton T. Brown Inc._ Delaware Supermarkets Inc._ DePatco, Inc. – T.B.A._ Eagle Ridge Ranch – T.B.A._ East Idaho News – T.B.A._ Elite Roofing Systems – T.B.A._ Elite Clinical Trials – T.B.A._ Emkay, Inc._ Ennis, Inc._ Express Employment Professionals_ Fifth Third Bancorp_ First Farmers Bank & Trust_ First Hawaiian Bank_ First Horizon National Corp._

Frank L. VanderSloot Foundation – T.B.A._ Fort Ranch – T.B.A._ Gardner Company – T.B.A._ Gate City Bank_ Get Found First – T.B.A.- IAT Insurance Group- INB Bank- InUnison Inc. – T.B.A.- Kansas City Southern- Kauai Cattle LLC – T.B.A.- Melaleuca- Move It Or Lose It Moving LLC – T.B.A.- National Bank Holdings Corporation- Nationwide Insurance- Natural Guardian – T.B.A.- Navient- Nelnet- OceanFirst Financial Corp.- Ohnward Bancshares- Old Dominion Freight Line Inc.- Pinnacle Bank- PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.- Regions Financial Corporation- Resident Construction LLC – T.B.A.- Riverbend Communications – T.B.A.- Riverbend Management, Inc. – T.B.A.- Riverbend Ranch – T.B.A.- Riverbend Services – T.B.A.- Rush Enterprises- Sheffer Corporation- Sinclair Broadcast Group- Smith Chevrolet – T.B.A.-- Smith RV – T.B.A.- Southwest Airlines- Steel Design LLC – T.B.A.- Stifel Financial Corporation- TCF Financial Corporation- The Flood Insurance Agency- Territorial Savings Bank- Tokio Marine HCC – T.B.A.- Total System Services- Turning Point Brands, Inc.- Unity Bank- U.S. Bancorp- Washington Federal- Wells Fargo- Western Alliance – T.B.A.- Willow Creek Woodworks – T.B.A.- Windsor Federal Savings-

https://www.cnsnews.com/blog/craig-bannister/list-companies-giving-bonuses-wage-hikes-due-trump-tax-cuts

https://www.atr.org/list

Oh. And Walmart is giving it's couple million employees ~$2 raises and ~$1000 bonuses. because of Liberal hated tax cuts by Trump.

Glen Stovall 5 months, 1 week ago

Hey---you "forgot" to comment on the tax-scam bill deliberately taking/targeting money from human beings from blue states. I know you are really upset by this but seemed to have overlooked commenting on it. I'll wait-----still.

Bob Smith 5 months, 1 week ago

Do you mean the existing dodge that let Californians and other high tax states deduct their incredibly high state and local taxes from their federal taxes? If they keep electing politicians that raise their state and local taxes, the rest of the country shouldn't be giving them a free ride on that.

P Allen Macfarlane 5 months, 1 week ago

You are right. The only free ride that should be given out is to the rich and corporations. Trickle-down economics worked really well during the Reagan years.

Bob Summers 5 months, 1 week ago

It IS amazing how the congenital Liberal blames other people or entities for their lot in life.

Everyone has a chance to be rich in America. This is why people storm the southern border for the opportunity at that chance.

Have a good day

Bob Smith 5 months, 1 week ago

If you choose to live in a high-tax state, you should pay high taxes. It's that simple. No ancient history required.

Bob Summers 5 months, 1 week ago

Walmart to raise its starting wage to $11, give some employees bonuses following tax bill passage

Walmart is increasing its starting wage rate for hourly employees in the U.S. to $11, following the passage of new tax legislation.

The company said it will also expand maternity and parental leave benefits, and provide a one-time cash bonus for eligible employees of as much as $1,000.

Walmart said it's still accessing other "potential additional investments" that could come after the new tax laws.

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/01/11/walmart-to-boost-starting-wage-give-employees-bonus-after-tax-bill.html

Daniel Kennamore 5 months, 1 week ago

Let's see if they pull an At&t and announce huge layoffs in a couple weeks after taking a victory lap for giving their workings a raise they could easily have afforded before the tax cuts.

Ken Lassman 5 months ago

Don't you find it interesting that economies around the world are improving and are doing so without any Trump/Republican moves resulting in reduced regulations? And of course this international business climate has nothing to do with our own stock market surges.... https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/info/files/bci_2017_11_en.pdf

Marc Wilborn 5 months ago

Or, it may have more to do with a long overdue recovery and the idea of Brexit. Emerging markets are booming which reflects a growing demand for goods globally, but especially the US. Small business optimism is at almost record levels. Longest wining streak in the US market without a 5% correction. Nay, nothing to do with Trump at all!

Steve Hicks 5 months, 1 week ago

I'm sure Mr. White sincerely believes the details of the Trump budget he highlights are the key factors in how it will work. Maybe he even offers honest figures...CBO numbers, for example, rather than Trump administration numbers...to support his rosy prediction. Certainly it's true that the economic indicators of the last few weeks show Big Business believes the 2018 budget will be a good one for them.

It may even be that the "trickle-down," or "supply-side," or "Reaganomics" economic theory (rooted in Ayn Rand's "objectivist" philosophy) can be made to work for the country's good. Bill Clinton was able to work with the "Republican Revolution" Congresses of his second term to bring in a budget-surplus all four years.

The theory did not work for Reagan, however, under whom the budget-deficit doubled: or Bush I (who kept the Reagan theory he inherited, and increased the deficit further, even though he'd derided it as "voodoo economics"); or Bush II, when the economy almost went over the edge.

Alan Greenspan, who guided the Federal Reserve by that theory for most of those years (and had been a personal disciple of Ayn Rand), admitted to a Congressional investigation in 2008 that he had "found a flaw" in the theory, and was "in a state of shocked disbelief" about its failure in 2007 (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/24/business/economy/24panel.html).

I'll let Mr. White argue with Mr. Greenspan whether the theory will work in its 2018 budget incarnation. But surely Mr. White is aware of how it worked in reality for Kansas in Sam Brownback's version ?

There are valid reasons to question whether he Trump version of the theory will be good for America's economy or not. Adding over a trillion dollars to the existing deficit would be one reason to question. (Didn't REDUCING the deficit used to be a big principle for Republicans and "conservatives" ?)

Another good reason to question the Trump budget is a consideration of whether or not its operative theory has worked in the past. That's simple commonsense.

Mr. White seems to believe, however, that any questioning of his and the administration's rosy predictions only come from "hyperbolic negative " Democrats. Maybe Mr. White tips his hand there that his cheer-leading for the Trump budget is based on his own partisan mindset, more than the details he wants us to believe PROVE it will work.

Maybe Mr. White should self-examine, as Mr. Greenspan did, for a "flaw" in his ideological worldview.

Bob Smith 5 months, 1 week ago

TLDR, you got any citations newer than 10 years old?

Steve Hicks 5 months, 1 week ago

Think about it, BS. Greenspan made those statements in 2008. The 2008 citation of his 2008 words ensures historical accuracy. When people cite the Constitution, is it your position that they should offer "citations newer than 230 years old" ?

Have you given up your "punctuation" "nit-picking" ? At least that "one" almost made "sense" as a "diversionary" tactic.

Bob Smith 5 months, 1 week ago

SH**, the pronouncements of Alan Greenspan are of historical interest. I would submit that the American economy is rather different than it was 10 years ago. The Constitution remains as relevant today as it has always "been".

Steve Hicks 5 months, 1 week ago

OK, BS, maybe Alan Greenspan's admission that "supply-side," "trickle-down," "Reaganomics" theory is is flawed is merely of historical interest, if its followers are offering a different economic theory today.

If so, I'm sure you'll be glad to supply us a (real-world) citation that shows Greenspan changed his mind, that the theory is NOT flawed, since his 2008 Congressional testimony ?

I'm sure you'll want to live up to your well-established reputation for honest, even-handed integrity: right, BS ?

Steve Hicks 5 months ago

BS, if Greenspan's comments are only of "historical interest," please tell us how the current "trickle-down" budget is not the same theory Greenspan said is flawed ? If Republicans are working from the same theory in their 2018 budget, his comment is still relevant today, don't you think ?

Or maybe you can give us a trustworthy citation that Greenspan changed his mind, and said the theory is not flawed now ?

Steve Hicks 5 months ago

BS, still waiting for your evidence the 2018 budget isn't the same "trickle-down" theory Alan Greenspan (a lifelong proponent of that theory) admitted doesn't work.

Or evidence Greenspan changed his mind, and believes the 2018 budget theory will work ?

Simple requests for a couple basic facts, BS. You still there ?

Bob Smith 5 months, 1 week ago

I'm still amazed that proud progressives in California aren't overjoyed at the chance to pay more federal tax because the exemption for this state and local taxes is going to be lower now.

Steve King 5 months ago

Yo Bob I'd be a bit less braggy about being a GOP Conservative as one examines the Conservative Condition we find:

95% of the poorest counties are Republican.

8 of 10 of the poorest states are Republican.

Red States take more from the Federal Government than they pay in.

Not so much winning, glad I'm a Liberal.

Bob Smith 5 months ago

You liked this text so much that you posted it twice? You'll wind up like Richard if you aren't careful.

Tom Weiss 5 months ago

I am a little late in getting to this story, but I think this is still a pertinent point.

I want to thank Gary Stussie for directing me to what he called a "Reasonably fair assessment of Obama Presidency impact on economy."
https://www.thebalance.com/national-debt-under-obama-3306293

So I checked it out. Gary seems to have skipped reading a critical part of the article which says, "The third method is the fairest but also the most complicated. It’s to add only the deficits created by the president's specific initiatives. " When this method is carried out, and it can be more easily than the "most complicated' description suggests because the CBO has to calculate the impact of every program. The result! " When all these are added up, Obama's debt contribution was $983 billion between 2009 and 2017. " Less than one trillion over 8 years. Trump's first budget will increase the debt by one trillion - and that is only if all of its optimistic assumptions work out as planned (just as they did for Brownback).

On a different point, the letter writer pointed out the increase in the standard deduction which would benefit those who do not itemize. He did not mention that the tax bill eliminated the personal exemption - for everyone - not just those who itemize. And he neglected to mention that the standard deduction for those over 65 will not increase as much as it will for everyone else; barely enough to compensate for the loss of the personal exemption (unless the Republicans slipped something into the bill in secret in the rush to vote).

Gary Stussie 5 months ago

The "expert" economic opinions expressed above seem to be at odds with American companies, bull markets around the world and the American workers. I know to some it feels better to stimulate the economy by sending government checks, handing out SNAP cards, increasing unemployment benefits. Personally, I still favor increasing opportunity to increasing dependency.

Greg Cooper 5 months ago

So, no thoughts about the deficit as pointed out by Tom? Just thought you might be driveling in horror that your pet theory just ate ground glass.

By the way, Gary, just what would you, as King of the United States, do to overcome the ills of those too sick to work, too old to take care of themselves, too young to fight their way up? What, in realistic terms, would you propose?

Tom Weiss 5 months ago

I think everyone favors increasing opportunity to increasing dependency. That is not the issue. A more interesting question might be - does increasing the debt increase opportunity or dependency? Or, does taking food stamps away from those who work for a minimum wage increase their opportunity or decrease it? does it increase or decrease their children's opportunities or decrease them?

Gary Stussie 5 months ago

Any civilized society has an obligation to take care of those that legitimately can not take care of themselves. You really think half of the population fits in to that category?

The 153,323,000 total benefit-takers at the end of 2012, said the Census Bureau, equaled 49.5 percent of the population. The 150,026,000 taking benefits other than veterans' benefits equaled about 48.5 percent of the population.

23 Shocking Statistics of Welfare in America https://www.creditdonkey.com/welfare-statistics.html

Steve Hicks 5 months ago

Gary, did you find that Census Bureau page you cite for your statistics yet ?

Please post a link so we can look at it.

Gary Stussie 5 months ago

All the references are listed on the above link

Steve Hicks 5 months ago

That link doesn't give the figures you give.

You also specify the Census Bureau as the source of your figures: but you couldn't have known that from the "donkeycredit" page you say contains "all the references." That page lists 8 sources for its figures, but no statement or figure on the page is credited to a specific source.

Or is there a Census Bureau page where you got your figures, that you can give us a link to ?

Steve Hicks 5 months ago

Gary, your "creditdonkey" link doesn't seem to show the figures you cite, so that's rather a red herring.

You say the figures come from the Census Bureau (which creditdonkey also cites, among other sources): but checking their site with various search-terms, I don't find the figures you quote.

Citing the Census Bureau is good sourcing, if we can verify your figures there. Wanna give us a link to the Census Bureau page where you found those figures ? I'd like to look at it.

For one thing, it would be important to know how the Census Bureau defines "benefits." Do they count Social Security as a "benefit" ? Or Workman's Comp, or etc. ? Those questions have a bearing on your claim that half of all Americans are government "dependents" (and, you imply, many of them mooches).

Steve Hicks 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Thanks, Gary.

"cnsnews.com" is obviously a "conservative" disinformation site.

"Lovetoknow.com" had some great information about all kinds of programs that help people (especially enjoyed reading about the Lutherans' "Good News Garage"), and some honest statistics, credited to actual government reports...though not ordered such that I could compare them with yours.

I'm not sure how to take "statisticbrain.com/welfare-statistics/" They show a federal Department of Commerce seal on their page, but don't actually credit any of their graphs or numbers to anyone except (bottom of the page) "Statistic Brain Research Institute."

Their statistics LOOK credible; and they break out nicely the different kinds of assistance. But as well-ordered as their site is, it doesn't seem a really verifiable source: and you'll note the "statisticbrain" figure for "Percent of the US population on welfare programs" is 21.2%, rather than the "half the population" you alleged.

I appreciate that you didn't just blow off my request for sources, and that you made an honest effort to find some: but I don't think we're gonna get there. Nonetheless, thanks.

Bob Smith 5 months ago

In other tax-related news: "....Apple announces plans to repatriate billions in overseas cash, says it will contribute $350 billion to the US economy over the next 5 years Apple says the new tax law will help it will contribute $350 billion to the U.S. economy over the next five years. It says it will create 20,000 new jobs and open a new campus. Apple expects to pay about $38 billion in taxes for the horde of cash it plans to bring back to the United States...." https://www.cnbc.com/2018/01/17/apple-announces-350-billion-investment-20k-jobs-over-5-years.html

Bob Smith 4 months, 3 weeks ago

I got a nice bump in my paycheck this week due the new tax cuts.

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