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Saturday, December 23, 2017

An excellent look at the recent tax bill...

I often describe my politics as conservative with some libertarian tendencies. I read National Review and The American Specator regularly. I also read Reason, a libertarian magazine. While I often disagree with them on some serious issues (Reason is very supportive of open borders), I find the writing insightful and well researched.

From this morning, a good look at how the leftist (i.e. "mainstream") media is distorting the recent tax cut.

Democrats Are Fooling Themselves About Tax Reform's Unpopularity
There will always be arguments about the efficacy of tax cuts for corporations and the rich, but at some point people find out that they get one, too.

According to political analysts, 2018 Democrats will use the just-passed tax reform as a way to argue that the Republican Party is the party of the plutocracy, which is another way of saying that Democrats are going to use the same argument they've been using for the past three decades with varying degrees of success. A number of liberals have claimed that the passage of "unpopular" tax reform is historically analogous to the passage of Obamacare, which triggered the loss of hundreds of Democrat seats and, perhaps, control of the presidency.

This is wishful thinking for a number of reasons.

Yes, the tax bill is unpopular. Then again, I'm not sure you've noticed that everything Washington, D.C., tries to do is unpopular. Nothing polls well. Not the president. Not Congress. Not Democrats. Not legislation. Not even erstwhile popular vote-winning candidates. Certainly, a bill being bombarded with hysterical end-of-the-world claims that are rarely debunked by the political media is not going to be popular. Republicans won't pass anything if they wait around for things to be popular...

I think a legitimate criticism of the Trump administration on this matter is they were not out making the case for it, as much as they could have. During the fight for the Reagan tax bills in 1981 and 1986, Rawhide and his crew was out daily, engaging the opposition. Granted, Trump knows how to work social media. Damned, if Reagan had Twitter or Facebook.

...Why do so many Americans believe that the middle class is getting a tax hike? Because outlets they trust are constantly lying to them. Both in framing and content, the coverage of the tax cuts has been impressively dishonest. "One-Third of Middle Class Families Could End up Paying More Under the GOP Tax Plan" writes Time Money (they won't). An Associated Press headline reads, "House Passes First Rewrite of Nation's Tax Laws in Three Decades, Providing Steep Tax Cuts for Businesses, the Wealthy." And so on...
You mean reporters lie...I am shocked.

...There will always be ideological arguments regarding the efficacy of tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy, but at some point people are going to find out that they've gotten one, too. The nonpartisan liberals at the Tax Policy Center concede that 80 percent of Americans will see a tax cut in 2018, and that the average cut will be $2,140—which might be something to scoff at in D.C., but I imagine a bunch of voters surprised by these savings will be less cynical. Only 4.8 percent of Americans will see a tax increase....
Not to mention the lies about not being able to deduct business expenses or teachers not being able to deduct their expenses. Discussing this with some friends, with the change of the standard deduction, I may not need to itemize. My mortgage only has a few years left and I spend less for interest on that than my car note. That would be a lot of paperwork I won't have to do. Should be able to figure that out in 2019.

Like Obamacare, people don't know what's in the bill. But unlike Obamacare, the repeal of the individual insurance mandate gives millions a choice...
And starts to rid us of a constitutional abomination. I've read that Speaker Paul Ryan wants to tackle entitlement reform next year. Hopefully that includes real healh insurance reform, such as allowing people to purchase accross state lines, something the congress can do, without question.

...The passage of Obamacare, after all, upended lives. The Affordable Care Act became synonymous with "health care insurance," and voters attributed everything that went wrong with that insurance to the bill. And since Democrats offered a litany of fantastical promises about the future of health care, the disapproval was well-deserved. Millions began seeing their insurance plans discontinued as soon as Obamacare was implemented, despite assurances from the president and pliant Democrats that no such thing would happen. For many, premiums in the individual markets doubled over four years of Obamacare. Voters dealt with these tangible, real-life consequences...

Well. that was the purpose, to destroy private health insurance, and leave us all with a "private option," not a public one. We're not out of the woods yet (hell, we haven't started walking to the light yet) but this at least slowing our march to single payer.
...As an ideological matter, every time a Democrat claims that keeping more of your own money is tantamount to "stealing"—which happens often—voters should remember this is fundamentally a debate between people who believe the state should have first dibs on your property and people who don't. The only way to frame the bill as a tax hike is by using the 2025 expiration of individual rate cuts. And the only way they won't be extended is if Democrats decide to raise taxes again. These are debates Republicans should embrace....

And an excellent way to attack the regressives move to control more of your life.

That's not to say tax reform is a panacea for Republicans. It's far from it. Historically speaking, the party in power will likely lose a bunch of seats in the 2018 midterms. But the claim, as Democrats are sure to make, that those losses are unique or tied to the toxicity of an agenda item—particularly a tax cut, which is generally popular among Americans (when they know it exists)—is far-fetched.

The party is power doesn't always loose. The GOP gained seats in 2002, likely do to the rally behind the troops sentiment after 9/11. And I think circumstances have a lot to do with the losses. In 1982, the country was going through the second half of the double dip recession (1980, 1982), and in 2010 the country revolted against Obamacare and the general poor condition of the nation.

Plus, one thing may be changing. As I told a friend recently (the man is a Republican, not what I would call a conservative, did not vote for Trump, and despises the man), one thing the GOP base is tried of? Good losers. We're tired of the Doles, McCain's and Romney's, men who get the nomination because "it's their time...they've served the party over the years..." And these men can't make a cognizant argument of what they want to do (normally is a form of "I suck slightly less than the Dem.") and why they should be president. Has Trump done everything he said he would, no. But he can show an effort to repeal Obamacare, his judges have been excellent, he's pulled back layers of regulation, and it looks like the bureaucracy is starting to fear for it's existence. So the SOP may be very motivated come next November to insure Nancy Pelosi is sitting on the sideline.

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