The 2017 Tax Law- Deconstructed (Lite Version)

Your personal stuff:
- Doubles standard deduction, but no more personal exemptions (that’s the simplify part that happened, that they promised. That was it.) Big families screwed, everyone else wins.
- Doubled child tax credit, which I like- but rich people get it now, because why not?!, there’s so much money now in Merica.
- Personal tax rates all go down slightly.
So- your taxes are likely going down this year. You’re sitting there, and America’s upcoming wealth is trickling down all over you. Because we can afford it in advance like crazy; Trump is that great.
The rest of the story:
- Corporations are awesome now! Instead of paying high individual rates, you pay 21% in a corp, then you can get at the profits in the corporation a bunch of ways. Congrats.
-max mortgage interest deduction goes from $1 million to 750k; much ado about nothing.
- property tax max deduction $10k.
- estate tax was already awesome for the rich- only .2% of estates had to worry about it. Now it’s just .1%.
-eligible folks reduce their taxable business income by 20%. There is no particular logic to who’s eligible. Doctors and artists, no; engineers and real estaters and architects, congrats. So: a doctor will be going into favored businesses, making eligible corps, charging their doctor biz crazy rents to move money over, etc. Games increase massively; they don’t decrease with this law.
- Trump broke repeated promises to stop the vile tax loophole for hedge fund profits.
- Abused the system to get around a filibuster by shoving the Alaskan pipeline into a budget-related bill. Sold as making us “the world’s energy leader”, as China and others zoom ahead with sustainable energy investment and leadership. Conservation groups are preparing lawsuits.
- Abused the system to get around a filibuster to eliminate the health care individual signup requirement. Appears a done deal legally.
- Businesses get to write off 100% of purchases right off, even when buying old stuff. Mike drop.
- Encourages people to be independent contractors (corporations) instead of employees, allowing bosses to avoid giving them benefits…everybody wins! This is the part where we just get so sick of winning, winning, winning..
- The law starts in about a week. The IRS has been cut about 23% in 7 years, because they were supposedly so evil to conservatives- but hey, they finally have something to do for a living this winter, instead of stealing money from “we built this” people. Figure it out, government jackasses…so: IRS is in the fetal position right now.
-remember how everyone leased stuff instead of owing things, to get writeoffs? Yeah, no, now, owning stuff is awesome for taxes! (complicated pass-through shite). Massive instant various random market implications on all kinds of companies, especially leasing companies. Disruption, baby, Merica needs it, ’cause it’s like growing.
- And 20 other breaks for businesses, with all kinds of new work for lawyers interpreting and gaming stuff.
- To game things so that the tax cut only created the max $1.5 trillion of new debt ($5,000 per American, excluding everyone voting illegally), all individual tax cuts expire in 8 years. But they say not to worry, they’ll totally redo them then, because otherwise, it’d be dishonest.
- A recent survey of CEO’s revealed that they plan to use an average of 14% of the massive corporate income increase from all the above to do all the investment that will carry us so far beyond our record stock prices and record unemployment that we’ll just get sick of all the winning. We’ll say please. Money will be saved, turn into dividends for stockholders, or used to buy back their own stock, all of which rewards capital not labor. It’ll be like the difference between an orgasm and multiple orgasms, for a man.

OK- My opinions, without any confusing sarcasm. Since I believe in an overall strategic overlay on tax policy, and that my personal highest concerns financially are reducing inequality and minimizing public debt, here are the good changes: 1) standard deduction up (helps the lower middle class the most, stops a lot of deduction/complexity rqmts); 2) no personal deductions (stops incenting having kids), 3) lower corporate rate (just not that low- was causing competition problems. Should’ve gone to about 30%, like Europoe’s average– and personal rates should’ve gone up to compensate); 4) lower deductions for property tax, mortgage interest, state and local taxes (less incentive for the rich to buy and raise the price of real estate, less incentive for the rich and upper middle class to consume unnecessarily, makes no difference to the poor). Bad changes: just about everything else, like pass-throughs, the very low corporate rate, a lot of international crap, picking random business type winners and losers– but mostly, just the general idea of a tax decrease at a time when we are more prosperous than ever and we are spending $2.3k/American more than we are earning, using fantasy excuses that amount to groupthink (use of the transparency assumption). Hoover pulled this shit with “a chicken in every pot” as a bribe for the poor, that was also a huge rich-guy benefit; we ended up with a boom/crash, which looks highly likely again.

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