Tax Cuts

Cartoon of the day

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 25/11/2017 - 1:00am in

Cartoon of the day

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 23/11/2017 - 12:00am in

Chart of the day

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 22/11/2017 - 3:37am in

Estate

This one is for my students—and everyone else who is unaware of exactly how the current estate tax works and who is affected.

As it is now, the estate tax affects a tiny group of very wealthy Americans, applying only when someone leaves assets worth more than $5.49 million to their heirs. Together, parents can leave $11 million to their children without paying a penny in estate taxes. Thus, according to 2016 data from the Internal Revenue Service, only 5,219—or 0.2 percent of the total—left estates large enough to qualify for the tax.

The total assets in those estates (the left column of the chart above) amounted to $107.8 billion, consisting mostly of stock, bonds, and other business assets. (The rest was cash, real estate, and art.) Of that total, only $2.7 billion—or 2.5 percent—consisted of “farm assets,” that is farm land and other assets used in conjunction with a farm or agricultural business.

After all the adjustments were made (including debts and fees), the taxable estates (the center column) were reduced to $65 billion.

And the taxes on those estates (the right-hand column) amounted to only $18.3 billion.

So, we’re talking about a gross tax rate of only 17 percent on the estates of only 5,219 people, which represents only 0.2 percent of the Americans who died in 2016.

The heirs of the very small group of wealthy people like them are the only ones who in future years will benefit from current Republican plans to repeal the estate tax. The rest of us will pay the bill.

Tagged: chart, estate tax, farming, Republicans, tax cuts

Cartoon of the day

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 22/11/2017 - 12:00am in

Letter to the Editor: My State Cut Taxes and We’ve Never Recovered

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 21/11/2017 - 6:23am in

Following the release of the Republican tax plan, Travis Rakes, a resident of Oklahoma, wrote in with his thoughts. In Oklahoma wealthy industries have profited from a draconian tax cut that has led to large cuts to necessary public services, such as public schools. His letter to the editor has been lightly edited.

 
As a citizen of the state of Oklahoma, I can offer very little hope in the promises of the national GOP tax plan based on the current results of the statewide tax cuts in Oklahoma four years ago.

We were offered many of the same promises of job growth, wage growth and better opportunities.

We were offered many of the same promises of job growth, wage growth and better opportunities. The results have been quite depressing.

We have near the lowest teacher pay and educational success grades and the current legislature is faced with cutting nearly all services for regular Oklahomans. In spite of this there is no talk of correcting the budget problems with thoughtful and practical revenue solutions.

I fear the long game nationally will follow the template set by states like mine. That is, cut revenue to benefit top earners, which is then compensated by cutting vital services to health care, environmental safety, education and social safety nets.

What is so perplexing to me is that people facing such hardship elected the current national and state representatives as well as Donald Trump. They are all actively planning and implementing legislation and policy that will only further their hardship.

I seem to differ from the current GOP political movement in that I believe government serves as a responsible partner and mediator in many aspects of public life — such as education, health care, worker protections, environmental protection and public safety — in order to ensure freedom, justice and equal opportunity for the most vulnerable in society.

The GOP seems to operate on the belief that if more freedom is given to the entities with power, corporations and those with wealth, justice and opportunity will result. I’m certainly not convinced.

— Travis Rakes, Bartlesville, OK

 
 
If you’re a serious reader of our website and have something you would like to say, Bill would like to hear from you. We’ll choose letters on an occasional basis as they seem relevant to an issue we have been following. Please keep your letter to a reasonable length. Email us at yourturn [at] billmoyers [dot] com.

The post Letter to the Editor: My State Cut Taxes and We’ve Never Recovered appeared first on BillMoyers.com.

Cartoon of the day

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 20/11/2017 - 1:00am in

Cartoon of the day

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 18/11/2017 - 11:41pm in

202726

Special mention

202730

Tagged: cartoon, middle-class, tax cuts, time, Trump, workers

Cartoon of the day

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 18/11/2017 - 12:00am in

110917PatBagley_Cagle

Special mention

ZinkeFlag_1000 download (3)

Tagged: 1 percent, cartoon, corporations, Interior, KKK, NRA, rich, tax cuts, Trump, Zinke

Raise your hands

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 17/11/2017 - 1:00am in

 

There was a bit of an awkward moment on Tuesday when, during the Wall Street Journal’s interview with Gary Cohn, Director of the National Economic Council and chief economic advisor to Donald Trump, John Bussey asked the assembled CEOs if they plan to increase their company’s capital investments if the GOP’s tax bill passes.

“Why aren’t the other hands up?” Gary Cohn asks.

Well, let me see if I can answer that.

profits-investment

First, corporate profits (the blue line in the chart above) are already at record highs. Second, credit is very cheap and readily available.* Thus, corporate investment (the red line) is greater than profits and also at record highs.

In other words, if the people who run those corporations believed that investing in new factories or equipment that might create more jobs would result in higher profits, they would already be doing it.

That’s why most of the CEOs didn’t raise their hands. They know full well that most of the gains from the proposed corporate tax cuts will just be distributed in the form of higher CEO salaries, increased dividends to stockowners, and more mergers and acquisitions.**

And that certainly won’t create new jobs—which is why most people, when they figure out the real nature of the proposed tax cuts, will be raising their hands in unison with a very different kind of gesture.

 

*As Laurence D. Fink, the founder of BlackRock, the largest money manager in the world overseeing some $6 trillion, said at The New York Times DealBook conference last week,

If you’d asked me a year ago how would you feel, I would’ve told you I’ve got concerns in this region and that region. . .A year-and-a-half ago we were worried about China. A year ago I would’ve said I’m very worried about the eurozone stability. . .And then the other surprise is how robust the U.S. economy is—how strong corporate profits are. I would say that’s my biggest surprise, how robust corporate profitability is, even with a quite dysfunctional Washington.

**Chris Dillow, for his part, gives the lie to the idea that higher inequality leads to higher investment. Thus, in his view, “defenders of inequality must come up with something better.” Cohn and the other Republicans who are peddling the benefits for workers of the current tax plan are going to have to come up with something better, too.

Tagged: CEOs, corporations, Gary Cohn, GOP, investment, jobs, profits, Republicans, tax cuts, Trump, United States, Wall Street Journal 640×360

Cartoon of the day

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 17/11/2017 - 12:00am in

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