More opinions on tax overhaul

by admin on December 1, 2017

One statement sums it up

Re: “Tax plan’s 4 big problems —Bill falls short for the middle class, yet GOP is trying to muscle it through, Carl Leubsdorf says,” Wednesday Viewpoints.

“My donors are basically saying, ‘Get it done, or don’t ever call me again,'” Rep. Chris Collins, an upstate New York Republican, said shortly before the House vote. Of all Leubsdorf’s statements, this quote is the one that knocked me off my chair. The Republican’s smiley-face mask dropped just long enough for this lollapalooza of a Freudian slip to escape from his mouth. He might as well have said “Constituents? Who cares about them? Show me the money!” That Collins represents a district in New York, a state that would suffer mightily under the House tax plan, makes his boo-boo even more egregious.

I bet Collins’ boss, Paul Ryan, took him to the woodshed for revealing the real driving mechanism of their feckless party. They may be trained to keep shouting “middle class” to the cameras, but they talk “donors” when they get into those smoke-filled rooms.

In his criticism of the terrible Republican tax plan, Leubsdorf made some excellent points. But frankly, all he had to do was publish Collins’s statement. It says it all.

Tom Heines, Far North Dallas

Does this look like a tax cut?

Here is a real example, my own personal one. Presently my wife and I take the standard $12,700 deduction and get personal exemptions of $16,200 since we are both over 65. New plan would eliminate the exemptions and make the deduction $24,000. We lose $4,900. At even 15 percent, that’s an increase of $735 in taxes. Does this sound like a middle class tax cut to you?

Jack Milanese, Frisco

Pathetic and cruel

Now let me be sure I understand. The U.S. Congress is still refusing to re-authorize and fund the Children’s Health Insurance Program, intended to provide health care for America’s children who, through no fault of their own, live in low-income families. That will effect 9 million children across America, more than 400,000 in Texas, and 50,000 in Dallas County.

Meanwhile, our House of Representatives has passed a tax cut bill — and our Senate is about to do the same — which will provide massive tax cuts for the wealthy, who already have more more money than they know how to spend. And of course our president approves of all this.

What kind of country are we living in? Looks to me like one whose leaders’ attitudes are pathetic and whose actions are cruel.

Roger T. Quillin, Dallas/Lake Highlands

It’s about reshoring businesses

Amid all the Trump criticism in your letters and columns, President Donald Trump’s purpose of returning U.S. manufacturing from overseas is ignored. This is Trump’s primary objective in promoting improvement of the lives of the working class.

A quote from the Nov. 17 issue of the Kiplinger Letter says it all:

“Here’s a switch for U.S. manufacturing: Production is returning to American shops after a long period in which firms offshored jobs and assembly lines to cheaper areas such as China.

“What’s driving the new ‘reshoring’ trend? Advanced manufacturing technology that make it more cost-effective or more convenient to operate stateside than in far-flung places overseas.

“Automation is boosting U.S. productivity allowing firms to do more with fewer employees.”

Trump’s deregulation drive encourages reshoring. President Barack Obama’s regulatory crusade drove business away from America.

If Trump’s tax reform is enacted, a 20 percent corporate tax rate will encourage business to remain here and foreign business to invest here.

Frederick W. Fraley III, North Dallas

Expect greater income inequality

The Republicans say this upcoming tax bill is targeted to the middle class. If that is true, then why:

1. Repeal the estate tax? This tax affects only a very small number of wealthy Americans, none of which are classified as middle class.

2. Repeal the alternative minimum tax? This tax was designed to ensure that wealthy taxpayers should pay at least some income tax. In fact, President Donald Trump’s 2005 tax return disclosed that he had to pay several million dollars due to this tax, otherwise no tax liability for him. Probably no one classified as middle class has to deal with this tax.

3. Reduce the tax on pass-through income? Trump would greatly benefit from this gift, since his many enterprises are organized to take advantage of this tax reduction. Most middle-class taxpayers are not organized as pass-through entities.

Income inequality in this country will be enhanced by the passage of this tax scam. The middle class will end up paying for these tax breaks that favor the wealthy and further contribute to income inequality. Tax relief for the middle class is scheduled to expire within the next 10 years while tax breaks for the wealthy and large corporations are permanent.

Bobby Marek, McKinney

Go back to the drawing board

I support comprehensive tax reform. It has been more than 30 years since Congress overhauled the federal tax code. Since then, the tax code has once again become a complicated thicket of special carve outs and exemptions.

Unfortunately, I do not support the tax cut bills Congress has produced so far.

The House version, Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, is an irresponsible bill that adds at least $1.4 trillion to the deficit and could add as much as $1.7 trillion. The development of the bill completely left out rank-and-file Republicans and all Democrats.

The Senate bill not only wrecks the budget, it uses gimmicks to make it look like the changes in law cost less down the road just so it can be passed with a simple majority. In 1986, the last time Congress did comprehensive tax reform, it was an inclusive, bipartisan process, and the Senate finally passed it by a vote of 97-3.

Both tax proposals rely on magical thinking about economic growth in order to pretend there won’t be massive increases to the deficit and debt.

Congress is taking us in the wrong direction with these tax bills, and it is playing tricks in order to get it done. They need to go back to the drawing board.

Doug Walter, The Colony

Cuts likely will be extended

The argument against the tax plan that half of all taxpayers would end up with higher taxes in the mid-2020’s is specious. The odds are slim that the individual cuts will not be extended then. However, if the tax plan is not passed now, then those same taxpayers will definitely pay higher taxes next year.

Allen Breard, Allen

Tax bill’s goals will be met

Whether the tax bill is passed and corporate tax cuts occur, stimulate the economy and pay for themselves is immaterial. The tax bill’s goals will be attained either way.

1. Corporations will get tax cuts, period. The money will either go to stockholders as dividends or to buy back stock thereby increasing stock price — this is a “quarterly economy” remember? But will they stimulate the economy? CEOs have already said a cut won’t lead to increased capital spending (based on a meeting with Gary Cohn, director of National Economic Council). Nor will it lead to increases in employee pay. But corporations will get their cuts.

2. If corporations ante up, increase capital spending and economic growth is stimulated, great. If not, the deficit will dramatically increase. Then guess what? Lo and behold! Republicans will begin focusing on the deficit again. This is where the other benefit of the tax bill will kick in. Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid will be slashed. Which is what Republicans want anyway. Heads I win, tails you lose!

Sigh, I wish I were wealthy enough to say, “Let them eat cake.”

Jacquelyn Vilet, Richardson

No spend, no tax

Re: “Plan could hit grad students — GOP’s House bill includes taxing tuition break many get for teaching, research,” Monday news story.

This is exactly what is wrong with our current income tax system: all of these special situations and carve-outs with sheer political motivations that reek with unfairness.

Let’s focus on a compensation situation of $62,000. The student gets a stipend and paid tuition worth $62,000. Why is the tuition part tax free? You win a car in a church raffle, worth $62,000, you pay income tax on it. You operate a storage building and live there “rent free” but you pay tax on the equivalent amount. You work at a 9-5 job and pay taxes. What is the difference?

Money received is just that in cash or its equivalent, by work or luck. Go to a “fair tax,” a national sales tax, and all of this goes away. No one cares how you received the money, just when you spend. No spend, no tax. Texas does just fine using a sales tax and no postcard needed.

Roy Underwood, Dallas

GOP and fiscal responsibility

I’m old enough to remember Richard Nixon saying his wife didn’t have a mink coat, but had “a respectable Republican cloth coat.” Once upon a time, Republicans laid claim to fiscal responsibility, support of the middle-class and providing opportunity to climb the economic ladder. Republican leaders now distract party members by generating fear of various enemies of “traditional values” while catering to the desires big corporations, big financial institutions and big stock market investors.

The proposed tax “reform” exposes the current Republican party leadership to now be run by “Rockefeller Republicans” — of the wealthy, by the wealthy and for the wealthy.

James C. Francis, Carrollton

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