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Economy

The GOP tax reform framework is garbage

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It is garbage for one simple reason.  It ain’t reform.

You can slap lipstick on a pig, but you know what?  It’s still going to be a pig, no matter how hard you squint and imagine that pig as something else entirely.  When your framework for “tax reform” fundamentally leaves the current progressive tax system in place, regardless of the deductions and rate reductions, it’s still not reform.

It’s Time for Clarity

If reform is our aim, what we are actually striving for and working towards, then we have to get our definitions straight.  Tax reform is the fundamental restructuring and replacement of the current tax system into a system that is completely different in every way from the current mess.  Tax relief is tinkering and manipulations of the current system in hopes of getting a better economic outcome, but nothing fundamentally changes.

The politicians and the “tax experts” will tell you “tax reform,” and by that, they mean “tax relief,” is about economic growth and job creation.  They may throw in a simplicity and a fairness, but growth and jobs are their primary focus.  This view is based on a philosophically flawed premise.  It is an assumption that the government can create or cause growth in the economy to create jobs by simply tweaking and tinkering with the tax code here and there.

The Left and the Right vs. the Austrians

The political Left frames this premise in terms their socialist base understands.  They advocate for a “middle-class tax relief” of a more progressive tax code that creates a more shared, collective economy.  The political Right focuses more on the supply-side and frames the premise around private sector job growth, small businesses, and growing the economy out of debt.  Ask Presidents Reagan and Bush 43 how their robust periods of economic growth raised our nation out of debt.  Oh wait, we didn’t, our debt has steadily climbed, irrespective of our economic growth rate.

But the premise remains constant, no matter which political direction.

Hayekians pursued fundamental tax reform, a complete overhaul of the system and replaced it with something else entirely (preferably something with a smaller government footprint).  We view the economy as a living organism of everyday people, regardless of class, making decisions that govern their economic lives and activities.  Austrian economics rejects the notion that economies are essentially machines that can be manipulated by a central planner to spur growth and create jobs.

In Pursuit of Real Reform

Tax reform isn’t about economic growth and job creation.  It’s about the size and scope of the government the people desire, and the political nature of funding that government.  The fundamental principles of real tax reform should be constitutional governance, simplicity, and a minimal tax burden on the people and businesses.

Fundamental tax reform must recognize that taxes are the legal confiscation of property to fund the necessary, limited functions of government.  Therefore, the less the people pay in taxes, is not the government giving the people more to spend, it’s the people keeping more of their property.  Taxation that funds functions of government beyond its constitutional, legal limits is called theft and is against God’s Law.  A low tax system that is simple, universal, and flat is a government taking less of the people’s property.


Perspectives

Republicans’ Tax Reform — Pro Growth & Pro Family Opportunity | The Editors, National Review

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/451921/republicans-tax-reform-pro-growth-pro-family-opportunityRepublicans’ framework for tax reform is chock-full of good ideas about modernizing the taxation of business. Its provisions for the individual tax code are more of a work in progress. The corporate tax rate, now higher than those of other advanced countries, would drop to below the average.

Four things we still don’t know about the GOP tax bill | Donald Trump | Dallas News

https://www.dallasnews.com/news/donald-trump-1/2017/09/28/taxing-questions-four-things-still-know-gops-plan-overhaul-tax-codeAmong the biggest unresolved issues is how exactly to pay for a tax cut plan that could mean $2 trillion less in revenue over a decade, even when accounting for base broadening efforts. And another crucial detail is where lawmakers will set the break points for a new set of tax rates.

But that’s just the beginning. Here are four other things that we don’t yet know:

Winners and losers from the GOP tax plan – Axios

https://www.axios.com/winners-and-losers-from-the-gop-tax-plan-2490681406.htmlWhite House financial advisor Gary Cohn dodged reporters’ questions Thursday about whether the new GOP tax cuts would benefit Trump and his family, instead saying “I think what the American people are concerned about their own financial position.”


Final Thoughts: A Tiny Improvement for Immediate Relief

However, we have to govern and provide temporary freedom and relief from government taxation for working families, single-parent homes, and small businesses.  First, we should promote marriage, so there aren’t single-parent homes.  But regarding short-term “tax relief,” the immediate next step are the principles: simplicity, lower rates, and lower tax burden, within the current progressive income tax system.  The government is still stealing your property, but at least they are stealing less until real “tax reform” happens.

This is why the GOP-Trump tax relief framework is merely garbage, not a raging dumpster fire of the Democrat proposals for more taxes and more spending.  It’s a tiny step towards providing the right kind of relief, while we patiently (or impatiently) wait for politicians never to fundamentally reform the tax system.  Let’s wait and see how much the GOP and Trump turn this small step forward into yet another raging dumpster fire giving the Democrats everything they want and more.

Theocratic conservative blogger and columnist, independent speechwriter, and political provocateur Trey Mays is a Christian Reformist — because culture needs fundamental reform, not revolutionary change. He is a fighter for a multi-party, decentralized Constitutional Confederacy of small Christian republics based on the standards of God's Law of Liberty. You can read his columns here at the NOQ Report, but if you want to read his more informal "news" letter, stop by TruthDispatch.com.

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Economy

Will GOP stop Trump’s trade war as the Constitution requires?

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When Donald Trump announced YUGE tariffs on imported solar panels and residential washing machines back in January, he launched a trade war reminiscent of 1800’s protectionism and laid the foundation for higher prices for American consumers, along with the loss of thousands upon thousands of jobs.

Unfazed by historic evidence that such trade wars inevitably lead to economic disaster, Trump proceeded with a second round of attacks on the free market in March by imposing across-the-board tariffs on steel and aluminum, complete with his personal assurance that “trade wars are good, and easy to win.”

While Trump initially suspended steel and aluminum tariffs against the EU, Mexico, and Canada–providers of roughly fifty percent of steel imports to the US–he announced this past Friday that the tariffs are back on. And for good measure, he issued an additional threat to Germany that he would completely ban the import of luxury cars if they chose to retaliate with tariffs of their own against US goods.

As was the case in March, members of the GOP are threatening to prove they actually have a spine, and there are indications that they might do something this time around to stop Trump before it’s too late.

Sen. Pat Toomey (PA)–for the record, that’s a steel state–will be co-sponsoring Sen. Mike Lee’s bill S.177 to end Trump’s abusive practice of using “national security” to impose tariffs and to return tariff authority back to Congress where it Constitutionally belongs.

Other Republicans joining with Toomey and Lee are Sens. Jeff Flake (AZ), Corey Gardner (CO), and Ben Sasse (NE).

Besides the fact that tariffs are simply terrible economic and foreign policy, Trump has used the threat of tariffs against China as leverage for his personal financial gain; essentially extorting money from the Chinese government to finance Trump golf courses and hotels in Indonesia and securing a boatload of trademarks for his and Ivanka’s business interests in China.

If passed, S.177 will give the power to approve or disapprove Trump’s tariffs back to Congress, not to mention that it would save the American people from an economic catastrophe.

The only question is, will Republicans do what required to fulfill their Constitutional duty or will they cave to Trumpism in hopes that it will help them in November? The clock is ticking . . .

Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.

 


David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.

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Economy

Obamanomics damaged the economy, and Trumponomics isn’t fixing it

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While Trump and the GOP want you and me to believe that Trumponomics has singlehandedly saved the US economy by reducing taxes and creating jobs, the reality for those of us living in the real world is quite different.

It was Mark Twain who once said, “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” When it comes to politicians in an election year, Mr. Twain could have been describing the Washington establishment owned and operated by the Republicans and Democrats.

No doubt you’ve heard the much-ballyhooed news that unemployment has dropped to its lowest level since 2000, coming in at 3.9%. But just as it was when Obama manipulated unemployment numbers to cover his pathetic economic policies, this recent jobs report has been manipulated to hide the truth about our very unhealthy economy.

Unemployment numbers can change for any number of reasons:

  1. People move from the unemployed category into the employed category
  2. The number of employed grows faster than the number of unemployed
  3. You simply add people to the employed category without changing anyone’s status
  4. You simply stop counting people in the unemployed category, making them magically disappear

When we consider that the number of jobs added in April was 164,000 while the number of unemployed dropped by 239,000, we can conclude that reason #4 is how the latest unemployment rate was manipulated to make things look better than they really are. Unemployment went down because the labor-participation rate fell to 62.8 percent after being 63 percent in February and 62.9 percent in March. Three consecutive months of declines.

Quite simply, when you are no longer working or looking for work, the government no longer includes you as a part of the equation to calculate the unemployment report.

Meanwhile, Trumponomics is also creating a slower growth rate than Trump is claiming while his tax cuts and record government spendingdespite the recent rescission cuts—is creating another threat to the US economy, an apocalyptic debt spiral adding trillions to the already unsustainable national debt.

Obamanomics caused a great deal of damage to the US economy, but Trumponomics isn’t doing anything to repair it; in fact, Trump’s plan will likely destroy what’s left of it.


Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.

 

David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.

Follow the Strident Conservative on Twitter and Facebook. Subscribe to receive podcasts of radio commentaries: iTunes | Stitcher | Tune In | RSS

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Democrats

Forget lowering unemployment, Bernie Sanders will eliminate it!

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During his 2016 Democrat primary campaign, Bernie Sanders was “absolutely sympathetic” to the idea of a universal basic income; however, he felt that his plans for a $15/hr. minimum wage, expanding Social Security to pay for guaranteed healthcare, and providing free college would do more than creating just another government handout.

But now Bernie has apparently found a way to accomplish his goals as well as the goals of the universal basic income crowd.
Yesterday, we learned that the self-proclaimed Democratic-Socialist is ready to announce a plan that will guarantee every American “who wants or needs one” a lifetime government job paying at least $15/hr. and proving paid family and medical leave plus retirement, health, and vacation benefits.

While the details are still being worked on, Bernie has admitted that he currently has no idea exactly how much his plan will cost or where the money to pay for it will come from. However, if his 2016 campaign is any indication, the cost will be irrelevant, and the money to pay for it will come from “the billionaires and oligarchs” he refers to as the “top one percent of income earners.”

While it would be tempting to shrug off Bernie’s plan as the rantings of a socialist loon living to the left of the left-wing, we should remember how his Marxist beliefs concerning income inequality caught fire with a generation of Constitutionally ignorant voters raised on the socialist ideology taught in today’s public schools indoctrination centers.

And a poll conducted during the 2016 primary season showed that a majority of millennials rejected capitalism.

Democrats would see a huge voter advantage by creating a new state-run workforce dependent upon them for their jobs. And politicians from both parties would have a new voter-bloc to advance their ideological and political agendas.

Bernie’s plan is being called a guaranteed-jobs program, but the only guarantee it gives us is the destruction of capitalism and Constitutional America.


Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.

 

David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.

Follow the Strident Conservative on Twitter and Facebook. Subscribe to receive podcasts of radio commentaries: iTunes | Stitcher | Tune In | RSS

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