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The Art of No Deal 
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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
Anyone worried that the ratio of Social Security Covered Workers to Beneficiaries is 2.8 to 1 as of 2013?

https://www.ssa.gov/history/ratios.html


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Last edited by Litwitlou on Sun Dec 10, 2017 12:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
Anyone worried about Social Security? Yeah, of course.

It needs a serious process to get it sorted. Both parties have, in my opinion, been operating in bad faith. They each want to blame the other side for being willing to sacrifice some priority of their own base, without taking any responsibility for getting a compromise put together.

The Republicans seem to be ready to launch big cuts in "entitlements". They seem to be gambling that their opportunity is clear enough to grab while they are in power, in the same way that Dems passed Obamacare with their majority from the 2008 wave election. I doubt if they will really attack Medicare and Social Security head on, but rather will make budget cuts in programs aimed directly at the poor, such as Medicaid (they are already cutting CHIPS) and let states deal with the fallout. Is it a formula for suicide, in the old "third rail" terms? I don't think so. But if they do try to make cuts in Medicare or Social Security, it could prove disastrous for them, in the manner of the Kansas budget cuts.



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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
If Mr. Trump and the rest of the Republican party don't get their s**t together REALLY quick and get this tax reform bill passed and signed by year end,they are going to get hosed at the polls in November, 2018. I'm a lifelong Republican and I can't believe the ineptitude I've been seeing in Washington since January.

We have a Republican president with a majority in Congress and they can't get anything done-it's unbelievable! All I've heard is a lot of hot air and no action and I'm really tired of it.

My wife and I both voted for Trump in November, mainly because the only other choice would have been Hillary and we couldn't stand the thought of her running the country. In the Texas Republican primary, we both supported John Kasich, the governor of Ohio.

If President Trump hopes to get reelected in 2020, he'd better show his base some results or he will be a one-termer and the Republican party may join the Federalists and Whigs as a footnote in U.S. history.



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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
Tax reform was a very rushed affair, though, don't you think? Getting something passed may be in the Republicans' short-term interest and protect them somewhat in 2018, because if the plan goes south it won't be noticeable that soon. I'm no tax expert, but the plan seems not to be the middle-class rescue that Trump promised, and there is certainly no rational reason (only wishfulness) to think this plan won't pile on more debt.



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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
Trump has put himself in a Catch 22: he pushed too hard, too fast on health care repeal when he could have and should taken more time. It failed spectacularly and now he has to push tax reform through fast or face voters' wrath at the midterms. But most of the public in polls don't like this tax plan because everybody knows it's a tax cut for the rich that will raise the debt and bleed much of our infrastructure dry when that revenue stream dries up. Schools will be the first to suffer.

This has been a strange year. One of the reddest states in the union where Trump polled very well has rebuffed him twice--first by electing a man Trump didn't back and then, when Trump decided to back him, elected someone else. When the president backs you publicly, it's supposed to be political gold. Now, it looks like the worst thing you could have is Trump's backing. Meanwhile, the Russian investigation clock keeps ticking louder and louder.



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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
Rep. Adam Schiff warns the GOP may be attempting to end the House Intelligence Committee committee’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election by the end of this year.
Quote:
Schiff’s warning mirrors a report from The New York Times published Friday suggesting that the House Intelligence Committee is rushing to finish the investigation before Congress breaks for the holidays. According to the Times report, some of the panel’s most important witnesses will be interviewed in New York next week, potentially forcing some House Democrats to choose between voting on the GOP’s controversial tax bill and attending depositions for the Russian investigation. Schiff said the witnesses were willing to travel to the capital.

...Asked about the push to end the investigation, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), who is leading the House probe on Russia, told The New York Times, “I feel no need to apologize for concluding an investigation.”

12/15/17
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/re ... mg00000009

It would be delicious if the tax bill failed because several Republicans decided to attend the depositions in NY! If the investigation is closed early, major leaks may occur in retaliation. :muahaha:



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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
Harry Marks wrote:
DB Roy wrote:
Authorities in govt accountability say that Ross had to choose between his job as secretary or the shipping company--that to keep both is unethical.

Supposedly the law on this does not apply to the President. That could be due to the emoluments clause? But either way, his lack of interest in ethics is wearing on the public and dragging down the Republican image. All contributing to the talk of a wave election in 2018.

Yes, laws on conflict of interest specifically do not apply to the President or VP. These exceptions are based on the policy rationale that any prohibition against conflicts of interests might impede their ability to carry out their Constitutional duties. However that is not due to the emoluments clause. That clause from the Constitution essentially prohibits bribes from foreign officials. Trump receives rent money from a state-controlled Chinese bank as well as hotel revenue from visits from foreign dignitaries. Here's a discussion of how the emoluments clause applies to Trump.



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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
Old Reb wrote:
If Mr. Trump and the rest of the Republican party don't get their s**t together REALLY quick and get this tax reform bill passed and signed by year end,they are going to get hosed at the polls in November, 2018.

This is a strange metric with which to view legislation that will have long-reaching consequences for Americans. But that does seem to be the goal: to score a quick political victory so that Republicans can stay in power (and continue with a majority in Congress). The goal is not to put forth the best tax reform possible.

I heard an economist on NPR say on Friday that this tax legislation is designed to reduce the tax burden of corporations in order to keep America competitive in the global marketplace. The fact that Trump has touted this tax reform as a boon to the middle class is simply not supported by the facts. As Bush used weapons of mass destruction to justify the war in Iraq, Trump seems to be selling something to the American people that will be shown in time to be just more false promises from a politician.

It seems to me that a tax cut that increases our deficit by more than a trillion dollars is not a tax cut at all, but a burden on future Americans. All to increase short-term economic growth by a couple of percentage points (and when the economy is already robust). I'm very skeptical that what is good for Corporate America is good for most Americans. I guess we'll soon find out. But it may be that passing this tax legislation will not be a feather in the GOP's cap after all. As we've seen with Obama's health care that was passed with good intentions, but not with wide bipartisan support, the GOP tax bill will come to be seen as an example of what is wrong in Washington and why extreme partisanship only hurts Americans.


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Sat Dec 16, 2017 11:01 am
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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
Cutting the corporate tax removes an immense amount of revenue from govt coffers. If it's not replaced (and I don't see how it could be), programs have to be cut. As I said, school will be the first to feel the pinch but not the last. Yet Trump wants a trillion dollar infrastructure bill, a raise for the military, a 1200-mile long transparent wall, among other things. Who pays for this and how?? Then they also intend to gut Obamacare by getting rid of the penalty (why didn't they just do that in the first place instead all this repeal bullshit?) causing at least 13 million people to lose insurance.

Does anyone else wonder if the taxes will be cut and yet remain the same because Trump will use the cuts to finance his stupid wall?

I still have to believe it won't pass. I still think someone will get cold feet and pull out. To adequately study how these cuts will affect things, studies HAVE to be done!!! You just can't throw this out there and expect it to float and someone in Congress HAS to know this!! I have to believe it won't pass. I have to believe this!!



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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
DB Roy wrote:
I still have to believe it won't pass. I still think someone will get cold feet and pull out. . . .

It sounds like the GOP tax deal is pretty much a done deal. The House and Senate have a bill in the works and are expected to have the bill Trump for signing NEXT week. There's a real push to have it signed by Christmas.

But you hit the nail on the head. To cut taxes to the extent they are will force drastic cuts in public services. Far from helping the low and middle class, this bill is going to hurt many Americans. These politicians don't care because they're corporate bitches now. They could care less about the American people.


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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
DB Roy wrote:
Then they also intend to gut Obamacare by getting rid of the penalty (why didn't they just do that in the first place instead all this repeal bullshit?) causing at least 13 million people to lose insurance.

Why do you use the term "Obamacare"? It must be called something else, as Trump stated exactly two months ago:
Quote:
Obamacare is finished. It’s dead. It’s gone. You shouldn’t even mention it. It’s gone. There is no such thing as Obamacare any more.

- President Trump
10/16/17
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/201 ... e-care-act



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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
Al Jazeera interview with Art Laffer.

"On economics this guy is very good" Laffer on Trump

Quote:
In a speech on Wednesday, US President Donald Trump outlined the principles of a tax plan that would amount to the most sweeping changes to the US tax code in decades.

The plan would cut taxes for the rich and businesses, although Trump insisted that his tax plan would primarily help the working class, who would reap the benefits from the resulting economic growth.

This idea - that tax cuts for the wealthy fuel growth - was popularised by conservative economist Arthur Laffer. The "Laffer curve" goes so far as to suggest that tax cuts can actually increase a government's revenues. Laffer's curve and his advocacy of tax cuts have been the driving philosophy of Republican tax policy for decades.

But a 2012 survey of 40 top economists found that most of the profession disagrees with Laffer - and historically tax cuts and hikes haven't closely correlated with economic expansion and recession.

Laffer has advised President Trump on his tax policies and said his plan would be "phenomenal" for the United States and the world.

For this week's Headliner, we speak with Laffer about whether Trump's plan will make the US economy grow, or simply widen the gap between the rich and the poor.

Full interview: http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/upf ... 52209.html


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Last edited by Robert Tulip on Sat Dec 16, 2017 7:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
Even if this cut in some magical way put more money in govt coffers, how long would that take? Years. By then, who knows how many departments will close and how many will lose their jobs and how many schools will be forced to shut down and how many will lose their health care?



Sat Dec 16, 2017 8:49 pm
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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
from Mr. Tulip's link wrote:
This idea - that tax cuts for the wealthy fuel growth - was popularised by conservative economist Arthur Laffer. The "Laffer curve" goes so far as to suggest that tax cuts can actually increase a government's revenues. Laffer's curve and his advocacy of tax cuts have been the driving philosophy of Republican tax policy for decades.

I think the Laffer curve has been discredited. It was tried with the Reagan tax cuts, but his Budget Director David Stockman famously warned of "$100 billion deficits as far as the eye can see" and that's what we got. In the current bill, reducing corporate tax rates from 35% to 21% won't do anything. As Laffer admits in that interview, the effective corporate tax rate (after loopholes, tax attorneys etc.) is already lower than 20%, so all that appears to be just for show. For one example, GE has mastered the tax code, earning a tax rebate on record profits.

Laffer was associated with Kansas Governor Brownback's radical tax cuts. I haven't heard any good effects from that and Republican state legislators even reversed his cuts in the face of huge deficits and other problems.
Quote:
But a 2012 survey of 40 top economists found that most of the profession disagrees with Laffer - and historically tax cuts and hikes haven't closely correlated with economic expansion and recession.

Well there ya go...



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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
.
.
.
Nobel economics winner says Trump tax plans spur inequality, tax avoidance
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-nobe ... SKBN1E11WK


STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - The U.S. tax overhaul supported by President Donald Trump and the Republican party will increase inequality and opportunities for tax avoidance, Nobel economics prize-winner Richard Thaler said on Thursday.


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