Guns of Infinity



No, it isn’t.

While many of the trickle-down Laffer(*sp) curve economics reach back to the 1980’s today’s adherents don’t even understand what they are trying to implement.

It is telling when at a business round-table conference one of this bill’s main architects was stunned by the answer he received from business people when asked a question of: How many of you will use the tax cut benefits to create jobs and raise wages …

No - everyone who would have shook her hand last week and shown their support for her are disappointed in human nature once again.

The only hope is that she and perhaps a couple others voted purposefully for it to go through reconciliation just to say they couldn’t support whatever Frankenstein makes it out of committee. Although personally, I think she was sold a false bill of goods by leadership and will end up regretting making the deal to support this in the first place.


If by insanity we are talking about doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result I’d agree, but objectively this isn’t much different than the Bush era tax cut, or the Reagan one…

In any case I think fundamentally you’ll find plenty of knowledgeable and nonpartisan economists who’d advocate for doubling the standard deduction and lowering the corporate tax rate to something on par with other developed countries. There’s no doubt it’s a barrier to foreign investment in particular. The hoops you have to jump through to get a special interest tax deduction are more or less a form of regulatory compliance.


Part of the problem is that there isn’t really a reset in expectations or context in between doing the same thing over and over again. The Reagan tax cuts led to a decay in public services, an increase of wealth inequality, and an increasing disenchantment with the idea of the American Dream, so did the Bush tax cuts, to the point where people were beginning to desert the “acceptable” political spectrum either to the left or the right, to the point where neither side is really capable of reconciling with the other.

Even if this new tax bill only does the same thing, it’s another step towards political and cultural instability, with no appreciable steps back since the last one.

“This isn’t much different from the last time” isn’t much comfort in that sense.


I’m not sure you can give either tax cut quite that much credit. Much of the income inequality isn’t because of the tax structure but because the drivers of economic growth have been fundamentally two tiered with more wealth concentrated in the hands of skilled labor. Automation/lack of scarcity in the labor market has been a bigger driver of income inequality than low taxes for the wealthy.

I think reasonable people can disagree on how to solve that, but economic growth not the tax structure will be what solves it in the long run. The various tax incentives are honestly window dressing on an otherwise fundamentally disrupted market. Look at coal for instance. It doesn’t matter how much the Trump Administration tried to put their thumb on the scale it’s not going to change the face that LNG is a 5th of the cost and renewables are now a competitive price point that comes with consumer insentive.


I think you’re half right.

Economic growth through simply offering lower fiscal barriers to investment isn’t going to be sustainable, least of all when you’re trying to maintain a first-world standard of living. To attract economic growth, employing the American workforce has to have something to recommend it besides a low corporate tax rate, either in the sense of technical competence and education, better infrastructure, or permanent other incentives that can compete with the fact that no amount of corporate tax cuts are going to make employing American workers cheaper than Mexican, Chinese, or East Indian ones for the foreseeable future. Those incentives are created, or at least enhanced, by a level of public services which far surpass what is available to the average American right now, mostly as a result of the fiscal belt-tightening which has come with three decades of Republican tax cuts.

And that’s not getting into all the other stuff in this bill. While a tax exemption for private jet owners isn’t going to hit the government’s bottom line much, it is going to make a lot of people who don’t own private jets extremely angry, especially when they see their tax bills go up over the course of the next few years. Given the current crisis of legitimacy the US government seems to be having (as a steadily escalating issue over the past two decades or so), that is not a good thing.


For one the “tax cut for private jet owners” is primarily restricted to the elimination of the alternative minimum tax and the estate tax. The former is good policy and it is unfortunate that it will be cut but at the same time it means the people who qualify for it are legitimately filing reams of itemized deductions (probably for property taxes).

The estate tax is unpopular bottom line even though it only effects very few wealthy filers. I think fundamentally people don’t like the idea of people’s money being taxed twice. We would probably be better off if it was taxed as regular income to the heir (I believe that would exclude real property).

Depending on the version of the bill they will probably lower the marginal tax brackets for everyone and obviously if you have more money that change in percentage benefits you more.

I guess my point is if people really don’t like Republican tax policy they should really stop voting for Republicans since they do pretty much the same thing every time they are in power. They are in power now so this is exactly what I expected would happen. If it doesn’t work as planned, and is as unpopular as it is polling now it will likely lead to their loss of Congressional control next year.

I’m not sure either thing gets us back to negotiating in good faith, but I know considering Republicans literal sociopaths is not helping.


As someone who fills “reams of itemized deductions” every year, it’s my impression that this is going to hurt a lot of self-employed people, who might rely on those deductions to stay afloat. I can assure you the vast majority of us don’t own private jets or multi-million dollar estates.

In the best case scenario, a crushing electoral defeat will lead the GOP to have a good hard look at themselves and reinvent themselves (Maybe we’ll see a progressive wing again! One can hope). In the worst case scenario this sort of anger boils over and people who are furious at both a Republican party who only seem to rob them for the benefit of their donors and a Democratic party which seems to be able to nothing to stop them are going to metaphorically flip the table, and open the door to the discrediting of the American style of democracy altogether.


If Roy Moore is elected to the Senate I would expect and ask my representatives, both Senate and Congresswoman to never negotiate nor compromise nor even talk to the Republicans … until they are disavowed of that man, there is nothing to discuss.


Honestly, considering the Republicans to be literal sociopaths would be the easy way out. It’s certainly less bewildering and discomforting than the idea that mentally healthy individuals can consistently pull this shit and maintain a worldview in which that course of action is a rational one.


The alternative minimum tax imposes a tax to ensure people pay a minimum of federal taxes even if they can deduct to zero, graduated based on income. Mostly it effects wealthy landowners due to the mortgage interest deduction and state property tax deduction. Honestly a lot of these filers will be probably caught by the new cap on deductions for state taxes (if it remains in the final law that is). I’m not sure anyone would be hurt directly by repealing it.


Right, I think I might have misunderstood you there.


Please do not die sometime in the next year or two.


Ugh, that homophobe. Of course allegations of pedophilia finally brought down that Milo boy some, but then he was gay to begin with and it seems like it might not matter for Moore.

Or it could create a splinter party that espouses genuine economic populism while doubling down on the Republican social positions. :fearful:

Well the Dems are financed and owned by their donors too, just slightly different ones to the Republicans. Say hello to Facebook running the US through president Zuckerberg or something. :unamused:


Sorry to hear that. I hope that, whatever’s going on, you get better.


Let’s face it: Mark Zuckerberg is going to have a hell of a time winning over the Democratic base after this past year.


Never underestimate a man whose business and the platform said business runs practically controls news distribution for a lot of voters. If he wanted to he could probably be “saint Zuckerberg” by 2020. :unamused:
He might even be viable as an “independent” candidate.


That’s exactly why, actually.
To control the news is one thing, but that doesn’t necessarily mean people don’t get soured on the faults of the platform. When that platform is embodied in a single man, that makes it extremely difficult for people who have major issues with that platform (see: the Democratic base, especially the large portion of it which is African-American) to support that man.


Yeah, but what are they gonna do in the face a monopoly, move to the non-existent competition, abandon what has for many of them become an essential part of their lives?
I mean for me it’s easy I don’t do Facebook or any other “social” media at the moment, a tiny minority might quit the platform and get motivated to seek their news elsewhere (even though that may just drive them to other fake news fronts just as easily these days), but the majority will grumble and don’t change a thing, which means they continue to get exposed the the Facebook controlled news distribution.
Of course if he’s smart and in this case I have no reason to assume he isn’t he’d simply build-up a carefully selected candidate of his own, without even needing to run himself.

Crucially since his platform controls (fake) news distribution to both current Dem and Rep voters, he may not need the “unaccommodating” portions of the Dem base since with the right carefully tailored message he or his candidate probably could run “bipartisan” to a larger degree then any other possible candidate.


You’re underestimating how much US politics is driven by spite at the moment. It won’t be that people will vote for someone else, they’ll just vote for anyonebut him.


Ah, but if you control news distribution to a majority of eligible voters it also enables you to play political “good cop” and “bad cop”. During the 1930’s our mostly Conservative controlled mainstream media used to demonize the left while praising far-right conservatives, while only tersely and briefly covering the conservative Christian candidates, guess which one they really wanted to win (though of course they could have made do with the other conservative as well), thus tipping the scales heavily in favour of a win win situation for their owners.
Of course the media landscape is far more splintered today, but Facebook and possibly only Facebook is in the coveted position of always being the essential middle-man.

So, they could have had a president Sanders (or possibly Biden) instead? Ugh, the Dems really shit the bed on this one then.