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View Full Version : The American Hunger Games (GOP candidate tax plans)



Norman Bernstein
11-30-2015, 10:34 AM
Truly Bizarre. The full article is at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nomi-prins/the-american-hunger-games_b_8678478.html


Ben Carson

Regarding taxes, Carson considers the 74,000-page tax code “an abomination.” And who would argue otherwise? But like his various opponents, he's not about to point out that it was largely crafted by the representatives of mega-corporations, not Wal-Mart workers at meet-ups with senators. He’s for a flat tax of 10% with no exemptions for the poor, based on biblical economics 101. Maybe people who don’t produce bumper crops should just pray for a better lot.


He would conveniently cut the official corporate tax rate from 35% (the average effective tax rate is 27.9% but the biggest, brightest companies don’t even approach that amount) to between 15% and 20%, the definition of corporate manna from heaven. He would also allow companies to bring their foreign profits back to the U.S. completely tax-free if they would even... pretty, pretty please... consider allocating 10% of them to “finance enterprise zones” in major cities. And so it goes in Carsonland.


Donald Trump


When it comes to tax reform, Trump’s “populist” program would remove 75 million households from the income tax rolls and provide them, so he claims, with a simple one-page form to send the IRS, saying “I win.” Though he would cut the current seven tax brackets to four -- 0%, 10%, 20%, and 25% -- it’s his 15% corporate tax rate that trumps the field. Rubio would only chop it to 25%, Bush to 20%, Cruz to 16%, and Carson... who knows? Various estimates suggest that Trump’s plan would lead to a staggering federal revenue loss (so lucky for us that, in a Trump presidency, the rich would undoubtedly be so grateful that their generosity would soar beyond imagining). The nonpartisan Citizens for Tax Justice computed the cost of his plan at $12 trillion over 10 years. So don’t expect any Eisenhower-esque national building campaigns (other than that “beautiful” wall on the Mexican border).


Marco Rubio


Rubio’s tax plan, the “cornerstone” of his economic policy, would -- you won’t be surprised to learn -- reduce the number of tax brackets from seven to three and eliminate taxes in ways particularly beneficial to the billionaire (especially hedge-fund billionaire) class, including the estate tax and taxes on capital gains and dividends. For the broad population, Rubio includes family tax cuts. According to an analysis by the Tax Policy Center, his plan would be a bargain compared to Trump’s, costing federal government coffers a mere $2.4 trillion or more in receipts over the next decade. As a byproduct, his program is essentially guaranteed to spark a new round of financial speculation, but don’t for a second let the 2007-2008 meltdown cross your mind since, as every Republican knows, with a Marco Rubio, Donald Trump, or Ben Carson in the Oval Office that can’t happen.


Ted Cruz


The Cruz campaign website offers a hodge-podge of semi-incoherent economic salesmanship. His tax plan, or what he likes to call (without the slightest justification) the “next American revolution,” promises to “reignite growth in our economy.” His “simple flat tax” (yep, another of those!) would abolish the Internal Revenue Service as well. Personal income tax brackets would go from seven to... count ‘em!... one at a 10% rate across the board and the corporate income tax would be replaced by a flat tax of 16%. And it should be taken for granted that the American economy would soar into the stratosphere!


Cruz’s tax code would be so “simple with a capital-S” that it would make Donald Trump’s look complicated. A postcard or phone app would suffice for individual and family filings. There would be no tax on profits earned abroad and it almost goes without saying that Obamacare taxes would die a strangulated death. Loopholes for businesses would apparently go, too.


Cruz claims his simple flat tax will elevate the gross domestic product, increase wages by 12.2%, create nearly five million new jobs, and undoubtedly fill the world with unicorns. It would also wipe out between $768 billion and $3.6 trillion in federal tax receipts over 10 years.

S.V. Airlie
11-30-2015, 11:23 AM
If only their plans actually taxed their minds.

Norman Bernstein
11-30-2015, 11:34 AM
Just in case people don't understand the truth about corporate taxation:


How Corporations Really Pay Taxes

Despite the prominence of tax cuts in the policies of the top six Republican candidates, even the venerable Brookings Institution found (http://www.brookings.edu/research/papers/2014/09/09-effects-income-tax-changes-economic-growth-gale-samwick) that they have a minimal effect on economic growth. In addition, when you consider all the promised corporate cuts, you should know that corporations already don’t contribute much.

According to (http://www.ctj.org/corporatetaxdodgers/sorrystateofcorptaxes.php#Whos%20Paying%20and%20Wh os%20Note) Citizens for Tax Justice, between 2008 and 2012, 26 of the 288 Fortune 500 firms (consistently profitable in those years) managed to pay nothing, nada, zero in federal income tax. The 288 firms collectively paid an effective federal income tax rate of 19.4%, and a third of them paid an effective rate of less than 10%. Five companies -- Wells Fargo, AT&T, IBM, General Electric, and Verizon -- also bagged over $77 billion of the $364 billion in tax breaks doled out in those years. Extra jobs didn't follow. Think of this crew as the real winners of the American Hunger Games in this period.

For 2014, for instance, Goldman Sachs avoided forking over federal income taxes on almost half of its $6.8 billion (http://www.taxjusticeblog.org/archive/2015/02/too_big_to_pay_its_fair_share.php#.VlZYM0vbK0s) in U.S. profits, paying an effective tax rate of 18.6%. Between 2010 and 2012, due to tax breaks associated with executive pay, Fortune 500 companies saved an extra $27 billion (http://ctj.org/ctjreports/2013/04/executive-pay_tax_break_saved_fortune_500_corporations_27_bi llion_over_the_past_three_years.php#.VlmWoXsSWHl) in federal and state taxes. That’s a lot of dosh to use for Super PAC support.

In 2012, the Democrats blasted candidate Mitt Romney’s tax plan as a giveaway to the rich. This time around, our six tributes-cum-candidates are taking no such chances. They’re making sure to throw crumbs to the middle and working classes, even as they offer more caviar to the wealthy and corporations. Depending on the candidate and plan, the overall loss of national revenue will range from an estimated $1.6 trillion (even factoring in growth that may never happen) to $12 trillion, but will be astunning amount (http://www.delcotimes.com/business/20150930/gop-field-tax-cuts-for-all-dont-worry-about-consequences).

Too Little Time
11-30-2015, 12:33 PM
and undoubtedly fill the world with unicorns

Perhaps you could explain the tax proposals of the Democrats. For the most part they are also filled with unicorns.

But as many have pointed out - the president cannot do these things alone.

Also as many have pointed out before - the rich do better with a Democratic administration.

Norman Bernstein
11-30-2015, 12:45 PM
Bernie Sanders' positions (and voting record) on taxes can be found at

http://www.ontheissues.org/2016/Bernie_Sanders_Tax_Reform.htm

I don't agree with all of his positions on this issue... but at the very least, it isn't utterly insane.

Hillar Clint's positions (and voting record) on taxes can be found at

http://www.ontheissues.org/2016/Hillary_Clinton_Tax_Reform.htm

Like Sanders, I don't agree with all of it... but it is also NOT insane.

I don't see any unicorns in either of their positions.

Too Little Time
11-30-2015, 01:19 PM
Bernie Sanders' positions (and voting record) on taxes can be found at

http://www.ontheissues.org/2016/Bernie_Sanders_Tax_Reform.htm

I don't agree with all of his positions on this issue... but at the very least, it isn't utterly insane.

Hillar Clint's positions (and voting record) on taxes can be found at

http://www.ontheissues.org/2016/Hillary_Clinton_Tax_Reform.htm

Like Sanders, I don't agree with all of it... but it is also NOT insane.

I don't see any unicorns in either of their positions.

We have a $18 trillion debt. Relative to that there are a lot of unicorns in those plans.

Under either plan the rich will continue to get richer compared tot he poor. Relative to that there are a lot of unicorns in those plans.

And as I said many people are saying the Democrats are better for the rich.

(Those links seem to reference old comments by the candidates. but ...)

The candidates seem to be out of touch with what "the rich" means. Bernie thinks over $400K in AGI. Hillary seems to think over $250K AGI.

Just for a touch of reality. Economists consider 2x the median to be rich - more like $100K of total income. (Our total income is about $230K. $170K AGI. $30K in taxes. We put $120K into savings. We live very well on the remainder - which is about $80K.

When candidates propose plans that pay down the debt - now not in the future, then I might agree there are few unicorns.

skuthorp
11-30-2015, 02:32 PM
Now now you lot, surely you can't expect either mob to tax their major party donors?