Trump tax plan?

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Tyler
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Re: Trump tax plan?

Post by Tyler » Wed Apr 26, 2017 7:13 pm

The bill needs to be passed via reconciliation, which to qualify means it must be scored by the CBO as reducing deficits. So I'll be interested to see the final accounting -- it's a balancing act.

Sure, most people will be really happy with a higher standard deduction. But on the other side, eliminating the deduction for state taxes is a big deal and will generate lots of new federal income, and eliminating most itemized deductions will also help fight the most prolific tax dodgers. And as for corporate taxes, plan on the deal being structured in a way to plausibly increase overall government revenue by encouraging economic growth.
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Re: Trump tax plan?

Post by Xan » Wed Apr 26, 2017 7:57 pm

Why have a standard deduction at all? It seems that if the point is to raise the amount of income that's tax-free, the best way to do that is to make the "standard deduction" ADDITIVE with itemized deductions rather than instead of them.

Raising the standard deduction as it is just penalizes charitable people.
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Re: Trump tax plan?

Post by Desert » Wed Apr 26, 2017 8:46 pm

The standard deduction really is weird, isn't it. What a strange set of rules.

Tyler, I agree that the best defense is likely to be a story about increased economic activity driven by reduced corp taxes. It's not the worst tax idea, but corporations already avoid most corp taxes, paying about a third of the advertised rate. So it's mostly theater for the masses, I'm afraid.
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Re: Trump tax plan?

Post by moda0306 » Wed Apr 26, 2017 9:51 pm

Desert wrote:The standard deduction really is weird, isn't it. What a strange set of rules.

Tyler, I agree that the best defense is likely to be a story about increased economic activity driven by reduced corp taxes. It's not the worst tax idea, but corporations already avoid most corp taxes, paying about a third of the advertised rate. So it's mostly theater for the masses, I'm afraid.
I've come to find itemized deductions far "weirder" than the standard deduction. While we could probably debate the deductibility of charitable contributions for days, it's just a weird bunch of random ins and outs that give people an adjustment to their "taxable income," none of which seem to have much moral or economic legitimacy when compared to other expenses we incur (medical, other losses).

I find it extremely frustrating watching the tax policy proposals. I feel like the debate happens on a similar level to how a couple of 9 year old girls would reinact a tea party. Pardon the political quasi-pun.
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Re: Trump tax plan?

Post by Desert » Wed Apr 26, 2017 10:01 pm

moda0306 wrote:
Desert wrote:The standard deduction really is weird, isn't it. What a strange set of rules.

Tyler, I agree that the best defense is likely to be a story about increased economic activity driven by reduced corp taxes. It's not the worst tax idea, but corporations already avoid most corp taxes, paying about a third of the advertised rate. So it's mostly theater for the masses, I'm afraid.
I've come to find itemized deductions far "weirder" than the standard deduction. While we could probably debate the deductibility of charitable contributions for days, it's just a weird bunch of random ins and outs that give people an adjustment to their "taxable income," none of which seem to have much moral or economic legitimacy when compared to other expenses we incur (medical, other losses).

I find it extremely frustrating watching the tax policy proposals. I feel like the debate happens on a similar level to how a couple of 9 year old girls would reinact a tea party. Pardon the political quasi-pun.
But why have a standard deduction at all? The brackets could simply be adjusted upwards a bit and we could delete several lines from the 1040.

I agree that the itemized deductions are also quite weird. Maybe all "deductions" should be eliminated.
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Re: Trump tax plan?

Post by moda0306 » Wed Apr 26, 2017 10:11 pm

Desert wrote:
moda0306 wrote:
Desert wrote:The standard deduction really is weird, isn't it. What a strange set of rules.

Tyler, I agree that the best defense is likely to be a story about increased economic activity driven by reduced corp taxes. It's not the worst tax idea, but corporations already avoid most corp taxes, paying about a third of the advertised rate. So it's mostly theater for the masses, I'm afraid.
I've come to find itemized deductions far "weirder" than the standard deduction. While we could probably debate the deductibility of charitable contributions for days, it's just a weird bunch of random ins and outs that give people an adjustment to their "taxable income," none of which seem to have much moral or economic legitimacy when compared to other expenses we incur (medical, other losses).

I find it extremely frustrating watching the tax policy proposals. I feel like the debate happens on a similar level to how a couple of 9 year old girls would reinact a tea party. Pardon the political quasi-pun.
But why have a standard deduction at all? The brackets could simply be adjusted upwards a bit and we could delete several lines from the 1040.

I agree that the itemized deductions are also quite weird. Maybe all "deductions" should be eliminated.
Standard deduction essentially exists as a "contributor to a 0% tax bracket," as does the exemptions and itemized deduction.

I don't consider that "weird." Almost every tax plan I've seen has an income level of what some sort of 0% tax bracket would be.
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Re: Trump tax plan?

Post by Marlb10 » Thu Apr 27, 2017 7:28 am

Don't you think keeping forums out of politics is a good idea?

I hate Trump though. Just saying.
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Re: Trump tax plan?

Post by Xan » Thu Apr 27, 2017 7:34 am

moda0306 wrote:Standard deduction essentially exists as a "contributor to a 0% tax bracket," as does the exemptions and itemized deduction.

I don't consider that "weird." Almost every tax plan I've seen has an income level of what some sort of 0% tax bracket would be.
Moda, I'm afraid I don't know what you mean by "contributor to a 0% tax bracket". Can you elaborate?
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Re: Trump tax plan?

Post by moda0306 » Thu Apr 27, 2017 8:36 am

Xan wrote:
moda0306 wrote:Standard deduction essentially exists as a "contributor to a 0% tax bracket," as does the exemptions and itemized deduction.

I don't consider that "weird." Almost every tax plan I've seen has an income level of what some sort of 0% tax bracket would be.
Moda, I'm afraid I don't know what you mean by "contributor to a 0% tax bracket". Can you elaborate?
Theoretically, one could design a tax code with a 0% tax bracket, which would perhaps calculate on the first, say, $20,000 of income.

But it's just semantics.

If I have no "0% tax bracket," and instead have one that starts at 10% or 15%, but instead have a "standard deduction" of $15k and an "exemption deduction" of $5k, I've essentially accomplished the same thing.

So essentially both create a floor of income that must be reached before one owes any income tax. Call it a "Make America Great Again Deduction" if you want. :)
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Re: Trump tax plan?

Post by Maddy » Thu Apr 27, 2017 8:51 am

The repeated reference to a 15 percent tax rate for "businesses" is puzzling. I assume this applies only to corporations?

What about deductions for businesses? The most essential function of a deduction, when it comes to businesses, is to ferret out what truly is "income." If somebody sells a widget for $100 but pays $60 for it and incurs another $35 in expenses to get it out the door (an increasingly troubling reality in today's economy), the gain is only $5. The long-established principle that only gains are taxable makes simplification a challenge, if not an impossibility.
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Re: Trump tax plan?

Post by Xan » Thu Apr 27, 2017 10:10 am

moda0306 wrote:
Xan wrote:
moda0306 wrote:Standard deduction essentially exists as a "contributor to a 0% tax bracket," as does the exemptions and itemized deduction.

I don't consider that "weird." Almost every tax plan I've seen has an income level of what some sort of 0% tax bracket would be.
Moda, I'm afraid I don't know what you mean by "contributor to a 0% tax bracket". Can you elaborate?
Theoretically, one could design a tax code with a 0% tax bracket, which would perhaps calculate on the first, say, $20,000 of income.

But it's just semantics.

If I have no "0% tax bracket," and instead have one that starts at 10% or 15%, but instead have a "standard deduction" of $15k and an "exemption deduction" of $5k, I've essentially accomplished the same thing.

So essentially both create a floor of income that must be reached before one owes any income tax. Call it a "Make America Great Again Deduction" if you want. :)
Oh okay. I agree with and understand that. But: why should that standard deduction be instead of, as opposed to in addition to, my itemized deductions?
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Re: Trump tax plan?

Post by bedraggled » Thu Apr 27, 2017 10:19 am

1) Do we still get a personal exemptio on Form 1040?

2) Have the taxable income ranges been announced, so we know to which amounts the new brackets apply? I could not find anything.
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Re: Trump tax plan?

Post by D1984 » Thu Apr 27, 2017 4:37 pm

bedraggled wrote:1) Do we still get a personal exemption on Form 1040?

2) Have the taxable income ranges been announced, so we know to which amounts the new brackets apply? I could not find anything.
1. AFAIK, yes; personal exemptions will remain for taxpayers themselves....but NOT for dependents. The increased standard deduction is supposed to make up for this. However, for taxpayers with a stay-at-home spouse and several dependents, it will not fully make up for it and these taxpayers (many of whom are lower middle to upper middle class) will actually pay slightly higher taxes overall due to this; Lily Batchelder reports up to 25 million Americans could pay higher taxes due to this (and due to the elimination of deductions for state and local taxes).

2. Not yet.
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Re: Trump tax plan?

Post by D1984 » Thu Apr 27, 2017 4:44 pm

https://twitter.com/johnjharwood/status ... 9067079680

If this is true (and it may well not be...could just be the Administration's left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing, or Trump agreeing with whoever spoke to him last like he's been known to do), then I think his tax reform plan may have just stepped on a landmine, legislatively speaking.

There are certain tax/spending changes that could sweeten the pot enough to make elimination of 401K and Roth 401K deductions (and presumably to start taxing these account's earnings every year as well) palatable; maybe something like Trump's original plan ($20K standard deduction for singles and $40K for couples), or using the savings from removing qualified plan tax exemptions to fund a quasi-UBI refundable universal tax credit for everyone. Using said elimination of these qualified requirement plan deductions to fund giant tax cuts for hedge fund managers, CEOs, multimillionaires, and (last but not least) Mr. Trump himself would NOT qualify as "sweetening the pot" to the average middle class or working class American.

The optics on this are beyond ugly. Look to see this dropped from the tax plan or else the whole plan is in jeopardy of not passing.
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Re: Trump tax plan?

Post by sophie » Fri Apr 28, 2017 7:41 am

Fear not. In yet another shining example of the quality of American journalism, the 401K rumor was inferred from an unfortunately not too reliable source (i.e. Sean Spicer):
Spicer was asked at the White House Thursday for clarification about whether Trump would consider eliminating benefits in the tax system for those saving for retirement, such as owners of 401(k) accounts.

"The secretary of the treasury and and director Cohn yesterday both talked about that. The current plan right now both protects charitable giving and mortgage interest, and that's it," Spicer said.

Many interpreted that statement to mean the benefits of 401(k)s and other savings accounts were on the chopping block.
...
The White House, however, later clarified that getting rid of the benefits for 401(k)s and other accounts was not under consideration.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/won ... hat-it-is/

Also, not surprisingly Republican congress members in New York, New Jersey, and California won't go for eliminating the state/local tax deduction, and there are enough of them to scuttle the tax bill assuming that it will get zero Democratic votes:

https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/arti ... epublicans

Sounds like this bill is headed for the same fate as the Obamacare replacement.
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Re: Trump tax plan?

Post by Desert » Fri Apr 28, 2017 9:27 am

I'm getting tired of winning. O0

I know, snark. But I agree, this bill is headed to the scrap heap where the healthcare bill went. And this is a GOP administration and congress. The GOP needs a reset of some sort.
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Re: Trump tax plan?

Post by Cortopassi » Fri Apr 28, 2017 12:17 pm

Can someone please explain to me why anyone runs for office? Is it really power? For someone like Trump?

Trump is the head of a mutibillion dollar empire. Why would someone like that want to be president, with its 24 hour a day needs, scrutiny, stress, etc?

Same if Clinton won? What's the drive? They also have enough money to live comfortably for generations.

If it isn't power, then what? Wanting to change things? Then why am I getting the sense Trump is flip flopping on everything? He is such an aggressive guy on twitter, then he gets in office, and oh, ok, maybe we shouldn't shut the government down, oh, ok, I can put off building the wall, oh, ok, China is not a currency manipulator, oh, ok, maybe we do need to go into Syria, N Korea, etc.

Dammit!

I wonder if Bernie would have been the biggest potential for change.
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Re: Trump tax plan?

Post by Mountaineer » Fri Apr 28, 2017 1:16 pm

TennPaGa wrote: And, well, crap. Note to self: DON'T PAY ATTENTION TO STUFF JOURNALISTS WRITE ON TWITTER.
How about:
And, well, crap. Note to self: DON'T PAY ATTENTION (I.E. SAVE TWISTED KNICKERS FOR THE STUFF I HAVE INFLUENCE OVER) TO STUFF JUST ABOUT ANYONE WRITES ON ANY JUST ABOUT ANY "NEWS, FAKE OR OTHERWISE " OUTLET. ;)
The darkness will always war against the light. And the light must always war against the darkness. You either let the darkness overcome you, or you overcome the darkness. The mission: Whatever darkness, compromise, or ungodly thing still exists in your life, no matter how small, today, root it out. There is no middle ground.
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Re: Trump tax plan?

Post by Jack Jones » Fri Apr 28, 2017 3:16 pm

Cortopassi wrote:Can someone please explain to me why anyone runs for office? Is it really power? For someone like Trump?
I think it's a desire to stay relevant. People who have everything except for the realization that they will soon return to dust and be forgotten:
Lucilla saw Verus die, and then Lucilla died. Secunda saw Maximus die, and then Secunda died. Epitynchanus saw Diotimus die, and Epitynchanus died. Antoninus saw Faustina die, and then Antoninus died. Such is everything. Celer saw Hadrian die, and then Celer died. And those sharp-witted men, either seers or men inflated with pride, where are they? For instance the sharp-witted men, Charax and Demetrius the Platonist and Eudaemon, and any one else like them. All ephemeral, dead long ago. Some indeed have not been remembered even for a short time, and others have become the heroes of fables, and again others have disappeared even from fables. Remember this then, that this little compound, thyself, must either be dissolved, or thy poor breath must be extinguished, or be removed and placed elsewhere.
http://classics.mit.edu/Antoninus/medit ... eight.html
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Re: Trump tax plan?

Post by Cortopassi » Fri Apr 28, 2017 3:24 pm

OK, I understand the staying relevant. But the guy has billions and currently seems to be waffling on a lot by some unseen forces.

Maybe they are negotiating tactics, but he seems to be pulling back from most of his campaign issues/promises in some form or another.

If I had billions, I would want to do great things with whatever time I had left, and not waste my time on twitter moaning about the latest thing.

I know it hasn't been long, and I still wouldn't have voted for Clinton, but damn, any hopes I had are dropping fast.
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Re: Trump tax plan?

Post by Kriegsspiel » Sun Apr 30, 2017 7:22 am

Cortopassi wrote:Can someone please explain to me why anyone runs for office? Is it really power? For someone like Trump?

Trump is the head of a mutibillion dollar empire. Why would someone like that want to be president, with its 24 hour a day needs, scrutiny, stress, etc?

Same if Clinton won? What's the drive? They also have enough money to live comfortably for generations.

If it isn't power, then what? Wanting to change things? Then why am I getting the sense Trump is flip flopping on everything? He is such an aggressive guy on twitter, then he gets in office, and oh, ok, maybe we shouldn't shut the government down, oh, ok, I can put off building the wall, oh, ok, China is not a currency manipulator, oh, ok, maybe we do need to go into Syria, N Korea, etc.

Dammit!

I wonder if Bernie would have been the biggest potential for change.
Let's say Trump just didn't really know fuckall about anything. So he figured he would go in and show all the dumbasses in government how to do things. Now that he's learning how the world works from people who've been dealing with it for a bit, he kinda acts like every other president has acted. You could call it the George Friedman factor: geopolitics is all that matters.
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Re: Trump tax plan?

Post by Xan » Thu May 04, 2017 12:00 pm

Kriegsspiel wrote:Let's say Trump just didn't really know fuckall about anything. So he figured he would go in and show all the dumbasses in government how to do things. Now that he's learning how the world works from people who've been dealing with it for a bit, he kinda acts like every other president has acted. You could call it the George Friedman factor: geopolitics is all that matters.
I think this is likely to be the truth.

And, it means that either a) this kind of foreign policy is, in fact, the best possible foreign policy, or b) even if it isn't, we won't ever really be able to change.

I'm not sure which is more depressing!
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Re: Trump tax plan?

Post by Kriegsspiel » Sun May 07, 2017 7:36 am

Xan wrote:
Kriegsspiel wrote:Let's say Trump just didn't really know fuckall about anything. So he figured he would go in and show all the dumbasses in government how to do things. Now that he's learning how the world works from people who've been dealing with it for a bit, he kinda acts like every other president has acted. You could call it the George Friedman factor: geopolitics is all that matters.
I think this is likely to be the truth.

And, it means that either a) this kind of foreign policy is, in fact, the best possible foreign policy, or b) even if it isn't, we won't ever really be able to change.

I'm not sure which is more depressing!
On the other hand, America's changed directions before, it just takes a while for the old guard to die, and for events to alter our course.
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