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Post 15 Jan 2019, 6:13 pm

Many people got sick of the Left/Right mindless division on both sides...

I still read and hope for the glory days.
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Post 10 Feb 2019, 2:19 pm

So its been a year... How has the Trump tax plan actually worked?
- Most of the corporate tax cuts went to stock buy backs. Increasing the value of the stock but not doing anything regarding investment in the US or increased employment or employees' wages...
https://observer.com/2018/08/trump-tax- ... -buybacks/

Tax refunds are down 8.4% from last year for most middle class people..

https://www.rawstory.com/2019/02/irs-ta ... py-people/

The deficit is sky rocketing.This week, the U.S. Treasury Department released the nation’s monthly bank statement, revealing a deficit of $779 billion – a six-year high and a nearly 17 percent increase year-over-year from $666 billion in 2017. According to Stan Collender, one of the leading experts on federal spending, the Trump administration may be responsible

source
https://www.foxbusiness.com/economy/the ... o-779b-why

The rich got richer... ..
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Post 10 Feb 2019, 3:44 pm

rickyp wrote:So its been a year... How has the Trump tax plan actually worked?
- Most of the corporate tax cuts went to stock buy backs. Increasing the value of the stock but not doing anything regarding investment in the US or increased employment or employees' wages...
https://observer.com/2018/08/trump-tax- ... -buybacks/

Tax refunds are down 8.4% from last year for most middle class people..

https://www.rawstory.com/2019/02/irs-ta ... py-people/

The deficit is sky rocketing.This week, the U.S. Treasury Department released the nation’s monthly bank statement, revealing a deficit of $779 billion – a six-year high and a nearly 17 percent increase year-over-year from $666 billion in 2017. According to Stan Collender, one of the leading experts on federal spending, the Trump administration may be responsible

source
https://www.foxbusiness.com/economy/the ... o-779b-why

The rich got richer... ..


Unemployment is at record lows ... economic growth is solid notwithstanding the fact that most of the developed world is not growing materially ... median wages are up ... tax refunds are a meaningless statistic since it is just a function of how much you are having withheld from your paycheck.
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Post 10 Feb 2019, 6:07 pm

According to Department of Labor stats median weekly wages have gone up 4.5% ($857 to $897)from the first quarter of 2017 to the fourth quarter of 2018. In constant 1982-1984 dollars weekly median wages have gone up from $351-$355 (1.1%) during that time. The Dow was 19,927.11 at the end of 2016 and 25,046.87 at the end of 2018, a 20.5% growth in the index. The Dow grew at a rate 4.5 times that of median wages.
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Post 11 Feb 2019, 6:05 am

freeman3 wrote:According to Department of Labor stats median weekly wages have gone up 4.5% ($857 to $897)from the first quarter of 2017 to the fourth quarter of 2018. In constant 1982-1984 dollars weekly median wages have gone up from $351-$355 (1.1%) during that time. The Dow was 19,927.11 at the end of 2016 and 25,046.87 at the end of 2018, a 20.5% growth in the index. The Dow grew at a rate 4.5 times that of median wages.


Having median wages increase AND having the number of people employed increase is success. Multiply the 2 factors together and you get a substantial improvement in peoples' lives.

Comparing that result to the stock market is a big part of our ideological divide. Helping low and medium wage individuals is more important to them then their relative income. You can buy groceries and gas (the price of which is going down partly because of deregulation) with absolute increases in your income. Comparing those increases to ownership of equity is a politician's product.

It will be interesting to see the total corporate income tax collection in 2018. If the absolute amount collected is similar to the prior year, then the corporate tax cut is doing its job.
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Post 11 Feb 2019, 9:59 am

Rayjay
. Helping low and medium wage individuals is more important to them then their relative income. You can buy groceries and gas (the price of which is going down partly because of deregulation) with absolute increases in your income

Fair enough. But the anger that elected Trump had a lot to do with being left behind economically. About not being able to get ahead. Just getting by isn't really enough...
When the cost of health care (insurance and copays..) and education are advancing quicker then wage gains ... the ability to get ahead has been eroded. Not improved.
It may be that tax refund sizes are a great symbol for a lot of people. Maybe they did have a few more buck net in each pay packet ... but the large change in the refund size will have a greater emotional impact.
If the next election is fought on Medicare for all, and cheaper education and taxing the rich their fair share - the legacy of the Trump years will be on offer as: much larger deficits, fewer services, and no significant improvement on standard of living or financial security.....
Especially if Stephen Gandel is right about the turn in the economy ...

President Donald Trump and the Republicans’ tax cut is proving to be vastly more generous for corporate America, and vastly more expensive for taxpayers, than expected. Worse, the Trump Slump is erasing the bump the stock market received from the tax cuts. And evidence is mounting that the promised economic boost isn’t materializing. The administration’s signature political achievement is being eclipsed by disarray over trade, immigration and a government shutdown.
First, the headline number: $600 billion, at least. That’s how much more than expected I estimate the companies in the S&P 500 are on pace to save. It is also how much more the tax cut is likely to add to the national debt if it runs as planned for 10 years. The total savings for all of corporate America will be well into the 13 figures.

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/artic ... -and-worse

Gandel is also pessimistic about how large investors are perceiving the long term effect of the tax break...
The US is a middle class economy. Giving all the breaks to corporations and the rich, hasn't benefited the middle class. So the economy gets a bump and then starts downhill...
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Post 11 Feb 2019, 10:20 am

Every since Laffer that's been the dream-- cut taxes and we'll recoup them due to increased growth. It just has never happened and when it doesnt (and it won't), those on the Right will shrug and say oh well...

The actual numbers aren't bad for wages for 2018. But that is likely a temporary jolt due to the tax cut and also due to low unemployment. But that is causing fears about inflation and the Fed is making money less cheap so it won't last.

The game is being rigged so that the lion share of increased wealth goes to investors while labor costs are held more or less constant. That's why 80% of the country is living paycheck to paycheck. Those small wage increases are offset by the fact that most people have to pay far more for their education that they used to, they get zapped by monopolistic banks with fees and exorrbitant credit card fees, and monopolistic cable companies, and monopolistic cell phone providers, etc. Without these economic policies faviring the few there is no Trump.

And the large deficits are fine with conservative theorists because they "starve the beast." There is no money for infrastructure and social spending. With businesses also not investing because there is no increased consumer demand...where is there a mechanism for increased labor productivity that might give a solid foundation for increased wages? Clearly, Labor does not have the power to wrest a fair share of the wealth it produces as can be seen by the miniscule growth in wages over the past 35 years while stocks have grown enornously. But it least when there are large increases in productivity (like in the 1990s) wages will go up some.. Tax cuts for corporations that result in stock buybacks are not going to change things. The reason there is an ideological divide is that the bottom 80% of the country are just getting by due to economic policies first espoused by conservative think tanks in the 1970s and now have become mainstream because essentially the Democratic Party has become coopted. This is Robber Barron economics and threatens the social fabric. We need economic policies that benefit more of the people. In a democracy it should not be that 80% of the country does not benefit from the country's economic policies while at best 20% do (and mostly 5%).
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Post 11 Feb 2019, 12:01 pm

I just saw this article about insect decline, which is just shocking if it's accurate. I post this here because I think our overall values need changing. Less greed, more sharing, more coming together, less harming the environment, more co-existence with the rest of Earth's species, more sustainabilty, cleaner water, cleaner air, less pollution. We spend our time fighting about social issues...when the Earth is starting to die due to Human activity.

https://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/us_5c61 ... e1b17f097d
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Post 11 Feb 2019, 12:26 pm

Ray Jay wrote:tax refunds are a meaningless statistic since it is just a function of how much you are having withheld from your paycheck.


I agree, tax refunds, or lack thereof, are completely meaningless, even misleading.

The issue is how much tax are you paying, and how much tax are you paying in comparison to prior years. I've learned that most Americans have no idea how much tax they're paying, which is astounding, as it may be your single biggest expense.

As someone who benefited from a lot of deductions, I expect to get completely hosed this year. I would not be surprised if my taxes literally doubled. I'll be sure to check back and let you all know. If anyone has completed their return, I hope you can compare it to your 2017 return and let us know how you fared.
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Post 13 Feb 2019, 10:07 am

I agree, Geo. The article on CNN was basically meaningless without the total paid for taxes.

https://www.cnn.com/2019/02/09/politics/tax-code-early-returns-data/index.html

Personally, I try to have my refund be less than $200 and not owe anything. I usually come close. I will let everyone know the amount of tax burden from last year. and a comparative to previous years.
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Post 13 Feb 2019, 2:06 pm

geojanes
I agree, tax refunds, or lack thereof, are completely meaningless, even misleading
.

You're dealing with Trump voters here... You think they did a lot of analysis over the year or are they going to just react to a surprise?
They may not notice that their net take home was higher, what with health care premiums up and deductibles up and etc ...
The single biggest check they may have seen every year, would have been their tax refund. And they notice when the difference is large..

https://www.wtsp.com/article/news/milli ... 6f00baee43
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Post 13 Feb 2019, 2:10 pm

Your denigration of "Trump voters" belies your bias. That is neither here nor there, however. Many of the ones that I speak with are happy about the increased paychecks.

What do the "Trump voters" you speak with have to say, RickyP?
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Post 14 Feb 2019, 6:19 am

bbauska wrote:Your denigration of "Trump voters" belies your bias. That is neither here nor there, however. Many of the ones that I speak with are happy about the increased paychecks.

What do the "Trump voters" you speak with have to say, RickyP?

It displays more than his bias. It displays his rudeness, arrogance, immaturity...

Brad was being kind, which is noted
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Post 14 Feb 2019, 9:35 am

Thank you for the noticing. I do try.
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Post 16 Feb 2019, 9:11 am

bbauska
What do the "Trump voters" you speak with have to say, RickyP
?

They are pissed because they aren't getting refunds...
Just the same as the people the Christian Science Monitor talked to for this story ....

But it stems mostly from a misperception. H&R Block had noticed the confusion as early as this past November, when its survey showed that nearly half (47 percent) of Americans expected that tax cuts would mean they would get a bigger refund, says Ms. Ebel. But that’s not how it has worked out.

https://www.csmonitor.com/Business/2019 ... ke-a-boost

People, mostly Trump voters, supported the tax cut. And most assumed that meant a larger refund on their way... Many are now experiencing buyers remorse as they discover their assumptions were wrong.
Is it denigrating people to say they made misguided assumptions?
(And not just about the tax cut.)