Irony At Its Best

The Trump tax cuts made life a little easier for most Americans. They made life a little more difficult for some middle class and wealthy people in states with high taxes. Oddly enough, many of these states with high taxes are blue states with large populations and huge state budgets. Some of the most affected states were California, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, all reliably blue states. Those states control 116 Electoral College votes and send 106 Representatives to the U.S. House of Representatives (out of 435 total Representatives). Now, after all the complaining that the Trump tax cuts were tax cuts for the rich (which they were not), Democrats want to give the wealthy in high-tax states their tax cuts.

Real Clear Politics posted an article today about the Democrats’ plan.

The article reports:

Democrats often complain that tax cuts primarily benefit “the rich,” but apparently they only think it’s a problem when rich conservatives get a tax break, because they’re outraged that President Trump’s tax cuts scaled back a generous subsidy enjoyed by well-off taxpayers in liberal states.

A key provision of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was a new cap on the so-called State and Local Tax (“SALT”) Deduction, which allows taxpayers to deduct state and local taxes on their federal tax return. This provision forces taxpayers in low-tax states such as Florida and Texas to effectively subsidize those in high-tax states such as New York and California.

For years, blue-state Democrats have been able to raise state income and property taxes far higher than voters might normally tolerate. That’s because the SALT deduction softened the impact for taxpayers in those states, particularly for the rich campaign-donor class. Since the SALT deduction only applies to taxpayers who itemize their returns, its benefits naturally accrue to those in the highest income bracket.

There was previously no limit to how much taxpayers could deduct through SALT, but even though the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act capped the deduction at $10,000, almost 93 percent of American taxpayers will be unaffected. It’s likely that fewer taxpayers will elect to take advantage of SALT, since the law also doubled the standard deduction, but about 11 million of the highest-earning Americans living in high-tax states are seeing their federal income tax liabilities increase.

It’s curious that liberals who criticized Trump so vociferously for “cutting taxes on the wealthy” are so upset by an element of the tax reform plan that merely takes away a tax break enjoyed disproportionately by the wealthy.

The problem here is simple. The Democrats believe that President Trump cut taxes for the rich (which he didn’t), but it was the wrong rich. However, just for the record, since most of the tax burden falls on Americans who are relatively successful, their tax cuts are going to seem larger than those who pay little or no taxes.

The following chart is from a Pew Research article. The figures are from 2015:

People who make over $100,000 (which in some areas of the country is not a lot of spending power) pay over 80% of all income taxes paid. I think we need to reopen the discussion of a flat tax. Everyone needs to have an equal stake in the game.

Charts Tell The Story

John Hinderaker posted an article at Power Line today about the impact the economic policies of President Trump have had on the State of Minnesota. The focus of the article is the economic impact of the tax cuts.

The article includes the two following graphs:

The article also includes the following news from the Labor Department:

American wages unexpectedly…

Unexpectedly!

…climbed in August by the most since the recession ended in 2009 and hiring rose by more than forecast, keeping the Federal Reserve on track to lift interest rates this month and making another hike in December more likely.
Average hourly earnings for private workers increased 2.9 percent from a year earlier, a Labor Department report showed Friday, exceeding all estimates in a Bloomberg survey and the median projection for 2.7 percent. Nonfarm payrolls rose 201,000 from the prior month, topping the median forecast for 190,000 jobs.

As I have previously stated, why is good economic news unexpected during a Republican administration and expected by the media during a Democrat administration?

The conclusion of the article reminds us what will happen in the Democrats take control of Congress:

A Democratic Congress never would have passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. In fact, not a single Democrat voted for it. And Hillary Clinton never would have signed it. The progress the U.S. economy has made since Donald Trump took the helm from the hapless Barack Obama is an ongoing rebuke to the Democrats’ anti-growth policies. This is one reason the Democrats are so anxious to regain control over the House in November. With the House in Democrat hands, they won’t be able to repeal the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, but they will be able to guarantee that no more pro-growth, pro-worker legislation will be enacted. They will focus on impeaching President Trump instead.

If you don’t like the current economic growth, vote Democrat and it will stop.

Why All Congressional Bills Need To Be Read Carefully

CBN News reported today on an unnoticed item in the tax cut bill passed by Congress this year.

The article reports:

Churches and non-profit organizations are calling for the repeal of a provision in the GOP’s tax cuts law that would force ministries to file federal tax returns, and in some cases pay taxes.

Last winter, as lawmakers touted the tax savings in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Acts, no one mentioned this new federal tax on local churches. But for non-profits like Christian ministries, that little-known provision in the legislation has become a big cause for concern.

…Under the new tax plan, churches, hospitals, colleges and other historically tax-exempt groups must pay a 21 percent tax on some benefits they provide their employees, such as parking, transportation and other related benefits.

Dan Busby is president of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability. He says churches weren’t expecting to get hit with – of all things – an income tax bill, and this one could be a huge burden on groups that have historically enjoyed tax-exempt status.
 
“There are nearly 15 million employees that work in the United States for nonprofits – nearly 10 percent of the workforce – so that’s 15 million parking places. And conservatively, it’s going to cost the non-profit community as a whole up to a billion dollars,” Busby said.

That’s a lot of money for ministries that rely on donations. In response to the news, the ECFA put out a petition that churches and nonprofits can sign to protest the employee parking tax. 

“Tax practitioners who have evaluated Section 512(a) (7) generally believe that the result of this new provision is that tax‐exempt organizations that provide parking to their employees will be subject to unrelated business income tax on the cost of the parking provided. A nonprofit organization that simply allows its employees to park in a parking lot or garage that is part of the organization’s facilities will be subject to a tax on the cost of the parking provided,” the ECFA explained in a position statement available for download on its website.

This is the link to sign the petition against the new tax  –  https://www.ecfa.org/DocSig.aspx

Taxing churches on their staff parking places has to be one of the dumbest ideas I have ever encountered.

Pro-growth Or No-growth

Guy Benson posted an article at Townhall today about the impact of the Trump Tax Cuts on the American economy. As has been pointed out by anyone with a brain, any deficits in Washington are caused by a spending problem–not by a lack of tax revenue.

The article includes a chart showing revised economic growth estimates based on the growth that has already occurred because of the tax cuts:

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) now projects 156.8 million jobs in America by year-end 2027—2.6 million more jobs than in its June 2017 Budget and Economic Outlook. CBO attributes an average of 1.1 million additional jobs over the next 10 years to the recently enacted Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

On April 10, I posted an article detailing the Democrats plan to roll back the tax cuts and increase both personal and corporate taxes. That will bring us back to the slow economic growth we experienced under President Obama. The Republicans need to make sure that the American voters understand that–a vote for a Democratic Congressman is a vote for economic slowdown.

Economic policies do have consequences. That has become very obvious in the past year or so.