Tax Reform—-2017 Edition

Slowly but slowly some fresh air is filtering into DC as the Congress is on their Summer break.

The GOP attempt to ‘repeal and replace”, something they had been harping on for at least 7 years, fell on its face hard….and when they return after Labor Day will try move on to something new?

You guessed it!

It is that time again…..that time when the GOP jumps on the issue of tax reform.  That time ever session when the GOP talks a mean case for protecting jobs and helping hard working Americans.

You do realize that it is all BS, right?

Why?

The Congress has been cutting taxes for 40 years and in all that time the Middle Class has lost out and in all that time the voter falls for the BS every time it is proposed…even though I can see it with every paycheck that it is a LIE!

Oh there will be the usual….tax breaks, tax reform, the corporate tax rate and the ever popular going after that offshore cash and finally the slogan about helping hard working Americans….all have been said before…..every time their is a GOP tax package we hear the same lame promises and slogans.

For instance……the tax package in 2013 and the package that the GOP was championing….

Source: What About Those Pesky Corporate Tax Rates? – In Saner Thought

But do not take my well informed word for it……

This is the joint statement by Ryan and McConnell on the upcoming tax package….

Source: Joint Statement on Tax Reform | Speaker.gov

Let’s be honest, something that the GOP would never consider doing, the package today is the same package from 4 years ago…..the only ones to benefit from this deal will be the wealthy.

Unlike most people that bitch about taxes…..I have on several occasions offered my idea of how to handle taxes and such…….

Since taxation is our major source of income…then everyone who participates in this country should be paying their fair share….

First let’s be real…..anyone that believes the lie of tax cuts for corporations will somehow bring jobs and a better economy is just delusional fools.

Corporations…..a flat 15% corporate tax….no deductions or cuts or breaks…all pay the price.

Corporations should pay the same income tax as the individual or flatten it out to a 15% tax on all income…not on profit…income.  Deductions for employee health plans and buying new equipment only.

Individuals:

$0-50,000 no tax

$50,001-100,000 pays 15%

$100,001-250,00 pays 25%

$250,001-up pays 35%

Deductions to be worked out…but from my plan there will be very limited deductions.

I realize that this is an ambitious plan and will probably never see the light of day in my lifetime….but it is a fair plan and ALL Americans can participate in the prosperity of their country.

But even the Trump White House has those that see the wealthy should be pulling more weight when it comes to taxes….

ex-White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon has an unusual proposal for a Republican: He wants to raise income taxes on the richest Americans.

Specifically, a tax rate of 44 percent on all income over $5 million. Currently, the country’s highest rate is 39.6 percent.

Bannon’s economic views sit noticeably to the left of the GOP donor class. That means there’s scant chance Republicans will take Bannon up on the idea. But if they were smart, they would.

Source: Bannon’s bright idea

Although I do like the idea of them paying 90+% in taxes….but those days are long gone.

We need a truly equatable tax code….not one that hides corporate welfare behind a pile or volumes of legal-ese.

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Throw Momma In Jail

Since the erection of Trump and his AG the use of jail time is going to be the answer to everything negative in out society.

It appears that the answer to all our crime problems is more jail time and longer sentences.

You could go to prison for life for selling drugs…depends on your race the amount of jail time…..of course you could get a hardy sentence if you rob someone using a weapon of sorts….but of all the dumbest jail terms is the one for sexting.

Sexting?  Yep, that inappropriate form of communication of sending sexual explicit photos and such through the text on your phone……teens seem to be the big users of this art form…..

The United States House of Representatives has passed a bill to criminalize “sexting” among teenagers. But that’s not all. This ominous bill also punishes their parents by making them face a 15-year mandatory, minimum sentence.

H.R. 1761, the Protecting Against Child Exploitation Act of 2017, seeks to “criminalize the knowing consent of the visual depiction, or live transmission, of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct, and for other purposes.”

Any person who, in a circumstance described in subsection (f), knowingly—employs, uses, persuades, induces, entices, or coerces a minor to engage in any sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing any visual depiction of such conduct, or transmitting a live visual depiction of such conduct; produces or causes to be produced a visual depiction of a minor engaged in any sexually explicit conduct where the production of such visual depiction involves the use of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct and such visual depiction is of such conduct; or transmits or causes to be transmitted a live visual depiction of a minor engaged in any sexually explicit conduct.

I believe that something needs to be done….but throwing parents into prison for up to 15 years is a bit excessive.  But that is always a conservative’s answer to some crime…..more jail time….and we know how well that has worked for the War on Drugs.

Maybe get the parents more involved in their kids lives….instead of throwing them some electronics and ignoring them will help them in the long run.

Let’s say that the parent are thrown into prison does the child become the ward of the state?  Who will pay those bills?

As usual the Congress does what it does best….NOTHING that solves a problem only to create new ones.

Somewhere I believe there is something written about “cruel and unusual punishment”….if not there should be.  (that is called “sarcasm”)

A Clean Sweep

Finally the president has swept away the last remaining influence of the RNC in his White House.

I am referring to the firing (resignation) of Reince Prebius as the Chief of Staff….the former head of the RNC…..Spicer was a good Repub, and a few others….but Prebius had to go…now the White House is truly the home of Trump and Trumpism.

The president did what a good reality star would do…he fomented chaos between the players vying for recognition. until the weak were located and identified and then used that to rid himself of the baggage he never wanted.

He, Trump, brought in “The Mooch” as the new communications director and almost immediately the tension between Reince and Mooch was ignited… and in about 48 hours Reince was out on his butt and a new Chief of Staff was picked….Gen. John Kelly…..as usual for Trump he announced his choice via Twitter….

Reince Priebus is out as White House chief of staff, the AP reports, as President Trump announced in a tweet Friday: “I am pleased to inform you that I have just named General/Secretary John F Kelly as White House Chief of Staff. He is a Great American….” Trump continued, “…and a Great Leader. John has also done a spectacular job at Homeland Security. He has been a true star of my Administration.”

Kelly, a retired general and the current Homeland Security secretary, was named in a New York Times report last night as Trump’s preferred replacement for Priebus, and CNN reports that Priebus resigned privately Thursday.

Now with a new Chief of Staff in place can the chaos in the Oval Office come to an end?

Not a chance.

The CoS is known as the “Gatekeeper” to the president…..everything goes through him before the president sees it…..does anyone see that working?

Kelly is a general and knows full well the necessity for a chain of command…Trump has no idea what that means.  That also means that through a chain of command the Mooch is subordinate to Kelly and since Mooch is a sycophant how do you see that working out?

The CoS is also the lead man from the White House on the legislative agenda….Kelly has some experience with this but the Mooch has nothing going for him but a filthy mouth…..so how will this work out with the Trump legislative agenda?

All we have is to wait and see if Kelly has retained is military training and protocol

As it appears today there looks like little will change and the chaos will prevail.

Why?

According to The Hill, Mac Stipanovich, a veteran GOP operative in Florida with ties to the Bush family, noted Jeb Bush’s comment during last year’s presidential primary that Trump would be “the chaos president.”

“I think that is absolutely the case. It’s not even a matter of interpretation,” Stipanovich told The Hill. “We don’t have any effective government, we don’t have any effective leadership and the White House is a snake-pit.”

This show is far from over….the chaos is far from quelled.

Turn The Page!

Future Of Casinos

Back in the day when casinos were coming to the Mississippi Coast I wrote a piece about the Law of Diminishing Returns to argue against an unlimited amount of casinos….it seems that they were building casinos to have something to do……..

Law of Diminishing Returns simply put is if there is a finite amount of casino revenue, say $10 million, then the more casinos there are the more diluted the revenue will be…..now with the slowdown of the economy the casinos have suffered the same fate……when the bill passed the state legislature the deal was that the tax revenue would be used to sure up the sagging education system……well we stilkl have one of the worse systems around and the funds found there way into the “general fund”…….

But could the casino become a burden on the state?  Under normal conditions they should not……but there is nothing usual about the Mississippi gaming system……what could be a possible result of a casino failure?

Well, let’s look at Delaware, shall we………

Lawmakers appear ready to support Gov. Jack Markell’s plan to use $8 million from higher-than-expected state tax collections to bail out the state’s casino industry. But it’s not clear if the state aid will forestall layoffs threatened by casinos that have seen revenues plummet from intense regional competition.Sen. Robert Venables, who chairs the General Assembly’s join Bond Bill committee, said Tuesday $8 million is “better than nothing” for the industry, which has pleaded with lawmakers and the governor in recent weeks for help to reduce its tax burden.

If the proposal makes it into the final draft of the Bond Bill, tied in with hundreds of millions in school and infrastructure spending, it’s likely to pass the General Assembly without debate.

Now how is that?  An industry that makes obscene profits could get a government bailout…….could this be the future of the failing casinos of the Gulf Coast?

New Ideas Of State Reps

I got this email recently from the Progressive States Network and thought I would pass it along to the readers….some of the ideas are pretty good and innovative and some are just dumb….

Job Creation Opportunities During a Recession

Kauffman Foundation – The Economic Future Just Happened
Information Technology and Innovation Foundation – 2008 State New Economy Index
Kauffman Foundation – Better, Faster, Cheaper: The New Bootstrap Job Creator”

State Venture Capital Funds

National Governors Association – State Strategies to Promote Angel Investment for Economic Growth
NASVF – U.S. State-Supported Venture Capital Funds

Encourage Technology Transfer and Commercialization

Pennsylvania Economy League – A Continuing Record of Achievement: The Economic Impact of Ben Franklin Technology Partners 2002-2006
U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration – Construction Grants Program Impact Assessment Report
Information Technology and Innovation Foundation – 2008 State New Economy Index
Batelle and the Association of University Research Parks – Characteristics and Trends in North American Research Parks

Strengthen Industry Partnerships & Clusters

Keystone Research Center – Pennsylvania’s Industry Partnership Strategy
Steel Valley Authority (SVA) – Early Warning and Layoff Aversio
Seattle Foundation and SkillUp Washington –  Creating Stronger Workforce Partnerships In Manufacturing
National Fund for Workforce Solutions – The Principles of the National Fund for Workforce Solutions and Their Implications for Public Policy
National Governors Association – Cluster-Based Strategies for Growing State Economies

State government needs all the help it can get….but unfortunately politics is NOT always the best for the state…just the individuals that play the game……

SB 2288–Speculator’s Dream

There are times when the state legislature does something that is a blatant disregard of the people it represents and SB2288 is such bill….which states:

AN ACT TO AUTHORIZE THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS OF A COUNTY AND/OR THE GOVERNING AUTHORITIES OF A MUNICIPALITY TO GRANT A PARTIAL AD VALOREM TAX EXEMPTION FOR AGRICULTURAL PROPERTY THAT IS BEING CONVERTED TO A RESIDENTIAL USE IN AN AMOUNT EQUAL TO THE DIFFERENCE IN THE ASSESSED VALUE OF THE PROPERTY FOR AGRICULTURAL USE AND THE ASSESSED VALUE OF THE PROPERTY FOR RESIDENTIAL USE; TO PROVIDE THAT THE EXEMPTION SHALL END WHEN THE PROPERTY IS OCCUPIED BY A HOMEOWNER; TO PROVIDE THE MANNER IN WHICH A REQUEST FOR SUCH EXEMPTION MUST BE MADE; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.

This appears to be a boon for the purpose of land speculation….

A case could be made that land speculation is the cause of almost every major recession/depression that has occurred whether nationwide or statewide…..The 19th century economist Henry George describes it:

That land speculation is the true cause of industrial depression is, in the United States, clearly evident. In each period of industrial activity land values have steadily risen, culminating in speculation which carried them up in great jumps. This has been invariably followed by a partial cessation of production, and its correlative, a cessation of effective demand (dull trade), generally accompanied by a commercial crash; and then has succeeded a period of comparative stagnation, during which the equilibrium has been again slowly established, and the same round been run again. This relation is observable throughout the civilized world. Periods of industrial activity always culminate in a speculative advance of land values, followed by symptoms of checked production, generally shown at first by cessation of demand from the newer countries, where the advance in land values has been greatest.

This bill is just another attempt to help the land speculators while depriving the state of much needed tax revenue…in these days any reduction in revenue can only lead to a cut in needed services….

Once again, the state legislation is dealing the people of the state a bad hand, just as they do every session…the people need to stop sleeping through the day and wake up politically…they are paying these people to do nothing but screw them at every session….

Communities Of Color

I will bet that you are about to read me the riot act over the title, right?

I am referring to a bill before the state legislature, HB 148—which states:

AN ACT TO CREATE THE “MISSISSIPPI COMPREHENSIVE COMMUNITIES OF COLOR TEEN PREGNANCY PREVENTION ACT OF 2010”; TO REQUIRE THE DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES AND THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH TO DEVELOP CERTAIN PROGRAMS AND STRATEGIES PROMOTING PREGNANCY PREVENTION AND PROVIDING INFORMATION ON THE CONSEQUENCES OF UNPROTECTED, UNINFORMED AND UNDERAGE SEXUAL ACTIVITY; TO AMEND SECTION 41-79-5, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, IN CONFORMITY WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.

Don’t you just love these guys and gals?

It seems that the state is worried about teen pregnancies in the “Communities of Color”….not this is a total racist thing…they seem to be implying that only teens of color are getting pregnant….why do we not go visit a trailer park and count for ourselves…..

You know a lot of this BS could be solved by actually teaching sex ed in the classroom….but that collapses every session and every session they try it again…it has turned into this perverted little game…..

But to put the term, “communities of color” is just plain and outright moronic….if this is truly non-racial then I suggest a better title for this Act…..