Tag Archives: Congressional clowns

“Tax cut” could taste like a Nothingburger for many middle-class taxpayers

Several clients asked me this past week what the Paul Ryan tax proposal announced by House Republicans would mean.

To use a phrase the White House might find familiar: For many taxpayers, it might be just a big Nothingburger.

Ryan says a typical middle-class family could save around $1,200 in taxes. What he doesn’t say is that a family with four children could wind up with a larger tax bill instead of a tax cut. If you have significant deductions for state and local taxes (which would no longer be allowed), property taxes (which would cap out at $10,000), and medical expenses and charitable contributions, your taxes might be higher instead of lower.

Who will definitely benefit: Corporations, which could see their top tax rate slashed from 35% down to 20%, and the wealthiest families, as the estate tax (which now applies to fewer than 6,000 estates annually, or only two out of every 1,000 or so estates) is eliminated entirely–good news if you have a relative who is worth more than about $6 million. Nothingburger for everyone else.

John Cassidy of The New Yorker does a nice job of summarizing the current state of play here, and Jim Tankersley of The New York Times shows how 13 million taxpayers earning under $100,000 would get hit with a tax hike under the Republican proposal.

Stay tuned.

How Trumpcare cuts taxes for the wealthiest, in one simple chart

The Senate Republican health care bill is a massive tax cut bill for the wealthiest citizens  masquerading as health care reform.  It would eliminate the Net Investment Income Tax, which applies only to income from investments and only on taxpayers making more than $200,000 or $250,000, depending on filing status.  That’s the main reason almost… Continue Reading

Multinationals seek tax heavens, er, havens . . . oh, what’s the diff?

More and more U.S.-based corporations are growing wings and flying away from their U.S. tax obligations. Bloomberg puts it as simply as possible: “U.S. companies looking for lower tax bills are heading for the exits, and Congress is doing nothing to stop them.” The immediate impetus for the story was Pfizer’s proposed purchase of AstraZeneca,… Continue Reading

Food stamp cut passes House; why should “the takers” eat?

The House of Representatives in September passed, on an almost party-line vote, a bill slashing $40 billion from the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, more commonly known as food stamps, Read about it in the New York Times. The vote may have marked a new high, or low, in mean-spirited political gamesmanship. If this bill survives… Continue Reading

World’s teeniest tax bracket

With the new tax bill passed by Congress in January 2013, there are now seven marginal tax brackets–10%, 15%, 25%, 28%, 33%, 35%, and 39.6%. OK, no big problem there. Here’s the stupid thing: The only single filers who fall into the 35% marginal bracket will be those with taxable income of $398,350 to $400,000.… Continue Reading

Congress’s “2% Solution” creates another mess for taxpayers

After some pathetic grandstanding by House Republicans, Congress passed an extension of the current Social Security tax break in December. Sounds good, right? Get into the details and see how Congress can make the tax rules more complicated than ever — even when doing something as simple as this. First off, the extension — reducing… Continue Reading

Lies, damned lies, and unemployment statistics

     The latest word from the federal number-crunchers says the November unemployment rate dropped to 8.6% from 9% the previous month.  So why doesn’t it feel like the job market is getting better?      Simple reason:  The government does not include people whose unemployment benefits have run out in the official unemployment figures.  So while… Continue Reading

Rep. Paul Ryan: The millionaire’s friend

Rep. Paul Ryan–the author of the Republican plan to end Social Security and Medicare as you know it–on Sunday called President Obama’s proposal to raise taxes on people who have more than $1 million in earnings, “class warfare.” Take a moment to absorb that. Here’s a leading speaker for the Republican Party, the chair of… Continue Reading