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channonc

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channonc last won the day on November 14 2009

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About channonc

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  1. channonc

    How AOC Is Changing The Game

    I wouldn't go quite this far YET, but I definitely see your point and agree with it in the larger sense. I think the difference between her and Trump is she seems to have well intentions, but I don't think that can be used as an excuse to misstate facts or even get issues out right wrong. She would do better to think before tweeting.
  2. channonc

    2018 Tax Return

    Very true! Thank you for noting that. Let's be very clear about this bill. It was a corporate tax cut. In fact, if you look back on early conversations as this bill was coming together, Speaker Ryan and W&M Chair Brady were actually pushing for two separate bills: one corporate-- which would go first, and a second to address individuals. Republicans in swing districts pushed hard for individual tax reform to be included because they couldn't go home and campaign on just cutting corporate taxes. Individual taxes were really only thrown in there as a way to win over the votes of the Republican caucus as the corporate package alone didn't have enough votes. Ironically, it looks like it didn't matter as many of those moderate swing Republicans either retired or lost re-election.
  3. channonc

    2018 Tax Return

    They are temporary based on the definition of the word. They expire, the corporate breaks do not. As to whether Congress will do anything else, it's hard to say. It took nearly a decade for anything new, and in terms of major tax reform, nothing had really happened since the late 80s. I see what you are saying, but frankly our system is a progressive one, and is designed to tax those at the top the most. I'm taking your statistics as true, and if anything, that should show you how much of wealth gap there is in this country. Unfortunately, this bill had the opportunity to do that and instead only contributes more to that divide. Additionally, the elimination of SALT did not just affect upper income folks. In some areas, property taxes alone are much more than $10,000/year on even a modest home. That doesn't take into account local and state income taxes either. And frankly, I think taxing taxes is ridiculous, which is essentially what capping that deduction does. Straight from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, who look at policies based on it's affect on working and lower income people (emphasis mine): Law Does Relatively Little for Working- and Middle-Class Americans Working families seemed largely an afterthought in congressional deliberations over the new tax law. Key tax parameters that affect these families change significantly under the law, but often in offsetting ways. Proponents of the law frequently highlight its rate cuts, increase in the standard deduction, and doubling of the Child Tax Credit (CTC) for some families (see below). Yet other provisions raise taxes on families, such as the elimination of personal exemptions and the new inflation adjustment for key tax parameters, which will push more taxpayers into higher tax brackets over time. The end result is only modest tax cuts overall for working- and middle-class families, which pale in comparison to the large net tax cuts for wealthy households and profitable corporations. In addition, TPC analysis finds that an estimated 21 percent of households making under $200,000 will see no tax cut or even tax increases in 2018 under the new law.[14] Last-minute decisions typified the bill’s skewed priorities. Negotiators lowered the top individual tax rate in the final bill to 37 percent — down from the Senate bill’s 38.5 percent and the House’s 39.6 percent — but rejected the effort by Senators Marco Rubio and Mike Lee to provide more than a token CTC increase for children in low-income working families. While Rubio and Lee secured a more adequate CTC increase for moderate-income families, 10 million children under age 17 in low-income working families will receive no CTC increase or a token increase of $75 or less.[15] Another 14 million children will get a CTC increase of more than $75 but less than the full $1,000-per-child increase that families with higher incomes will receive. Moreover, the law raises the income level at which the CTC begins phasing out from $110,000 to $400,000; as a result, a married couple with two children family making $400,000 will newly qualify for a $4,000 credit, while a single mother of two working full-time at the minimum wage will receive a $75 increase in her CTC. (See Figure 2.) Figure 2 The new tax law not only shortchanges many working-class families but actually harms a number of them. Its repeal of the ACA’s individual mandate is expected to add millions to the ranks of the uninsured and raise premiums in the individual insurance market by about 10 percent, according to CBO.[16] This could also generate further instability in the individual health insurance market, especially in the near term, as falling enrollment, increased uncertainty, and growing confusion make it harder for insurers to forecast their costs. The new tax law will also generate pressure to cut programs that millions of working- and middle-class families rely on. The $1-$2 trillion ten-year cost of the tax cuts adds to deficits initially but will have to be paid for at some point, through some combination of tax increases and spending cuts. In the end, it is likely that for millions of lower- and middle-income families, the budget cuts that the tax law will engender will reduce their incomes more than the tax cuts will increase them. New Tax Law Ignores Critical Tool for Boosting Working-Class Incomes Lawmakers drafting the new tax law appear not to have considered strengthening the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Stagnant working-class wages call for a strong policy response, and the EITC is well-designed to be at the forefront of addressing this challenge. It already lifts millions out of poverty and supplements the wages of people who do needed jobs but receive relatively low pay, from truck drivers to cooks to home health aides. It is well placed to do more. Ambitious EITC proposals are on the table. Senator Sherrod Brown and Rep. Ro Khanna, along with 55 House co-sponsors, have introduced a bill to substantially increase the EITC for childless workers and double it for workers with children, raising the incomes of 47 million households and lifting 8 million people out of poverty.a A median working-class family of three, which now makes $48,700, would receive a $2,800 EITC boost in 2018.b Such a proposal could have been paid for with progressive base-broadening measures. Those designing the new tax law also declined to make improvements to the small EITC for workers not raising minor children in their homes, thereby perpetrating features of the tax code under which more than 5 million such workers are literally taxed into — or deeper into — poverty by federal income and payroll taxes.c This chart, which compares the effects of the new tax law and the Brown-Khanna proposal, underscores the law’s missed opportunity to address stagnant wages and growing inequality through such means as strengthening the EITC. Doing so should be part of future tax reform efforts to address the many problems that the new tax law creates. a Chuck Marr, Emily Horton, and Brendan Duke, “Brown-Khanna Proposal to Expand EITC Would Raise Incomes of 47 Million Working Households,” CBPP, October 10, 2017, https://www.cbpp.org/research/federal-tax/brown-khanna-proposal-to-expand-eitc-would-raise-incomes-of-47-million-working. b An alternative approach would have been a more ambitious CTC proposal. A bill introduced by Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Brown would increase the maximum CTC to $3,000 per child ($3,600 per child under age 6), make the credit fully refundable, and pay it out on a monthly basis. Christopher Wimer and Sophie Collyer of Columbia University estimate that it would cut the child poverty rate nearly in half. See Christopher Wimer and Sophie Collyer, “Expanding the Child Tax Credit would Cut Child Poverty Nearly in Half,” Poverty and Social Brief 1 (3) (2017): https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5743308460b5e922a25a6dc7/t/59f0dab890bccea6185a078d/1508956859468/Poverty+and+Social+Policy+Brief_CTC__1_3.pdf. c CBPP analysis of March 2017 Current Population Survey data. We estimate that the new law’s $400 tax cut for the bottom 60 percent of households would turn into a $1,200 (2.8 percent) reduction in their after-tax incomes if each household ultimately pays an equal dollar amount each year in program cuts to pay for the tax cuts.[17] The actual impact could be worse: recent congressional Republican budgets have included large budget cuts that would fall harder, in dollar terms, on low- and moderate-income households than on more affluent ones. For example, those budgets have consistently featured large cuts in Medicaid, which provides health and nursing home care to millions of these families.
  4. channonc

    2018 Tax Return

    Based on my direct experience and knowledge of the bill, regardless of whether you like the new tax plan or not, there are some things you should be aware of. First, the revenue needed to pay for the corporate tax breaks largely came from the individual side, illustrated perfectly by the fact that the individual "tax breaks" are temporary and not permanent. Most of the cuts on the individual side really were for the top brackets. So if you fall into a top bracket, you were likely to see a cut compared to last year's numbers. As a way to disguise this, and to make it appear as though individuals got an instant break, the IRS was instructed to readjust the withholding tables (they were going to have to anyway due to the new law) as close as possible. Meaning, not as much was going to be withheld. This was a way to politically help shore up some support-- as you recall, the tax bill is still underwater when you look at broad-based polling on the subject. While this was public knowledge, it wasn't widely reported unless you were following this issue closely. Additionally, the law eliminated personal exemptions which means that the w4 was completely reworked. The regulations accompanying H.R. 1, eliminated the requirement for companies to issue the w4 to all employees at the beginning of the year (except to new hires). So unless you went to payroll or HR and specifically requested the forms last year, most companies didn't walk around and hand out the new forms/worksheets. So whatever you had opted for as far as additional withholding, etc. was generally just rolled over from 2017 to 2018. Again, I think had people seen that personal exemptions disappeared, several would have begun to dive more deeply into their tax liability for 2018 and found that they would not be faring quite as well as what they were being told. This of course, does not mean no one benefited, it just means, not as many people benefited as I think many assumed. As I stated before, I knew my tax liabilities under this new bill would grow despite my income not growing to the same amount. I made sure to be extra conservative in trying to avoid any payments this year to the IRS and took out even more than I usually do to try to buffer that change. But when I compare what I paid the IRS in 2017 and what I paid in 2018, I paid more-- much more-- even though because of my careful planning I ended up with a bigger refund than in 2017.
  5. channonc

    2018 Tax Return

    For me personally, the answer is a little more complicated. I lobbied on the tax law and did the math as the bill passed. I knew I was going to end up paying more, much more. So I went back and adjusted my withholding last February and made some drastic changes withholding much more than usual. I ended up with a higher refund this year, but only because of the drastic adjustments I made. When I compared my income and tax liabilities from 2017 vs. 2018, I owed considerable more in 2018 without a comparable income increase. Other things to note, the IRS was instructed to tighten the withholding tables so that people weren't taking out as much. This was supposed to have the effect of instant gratification, but again, the tightened tables resulted in more people owing than usual. Additionally, W4s weren't mandatory last year if you were at the same job. So most people just took the IRS withholdings and didn't bother going through the new W4 worksheet themselves. The biggest changes that caused people to owe this year rather than last: elimination of personal exemptions, mortgage deduction cap, student loan deduction cap, SALT cap. Add all those things together, and for some families, the doubling of the standard deduction doesn't help.
  6. I'll add, I'm not sure why any politician--Republican or Democrat-- would choose to go on his show. If I were a staff advisor, I would be urging my boss to not participate in his show for the above reasons.
  7. I've never been a fan of Maher because of these types of comments that he has sprinkled throughout his career. Commenters above are correct, if he were a conservative, there would be massive calls to boycott HBO until he was fired.
  8. channonc

    Your Favorite Politician to Dislike

    We have term limits now. It's called the voting booth.
  9. channonc

    Your Favorite Politician to Dislike

    This. Unfortunately, I think social media has not helped our ability (meaning our nation's) to have a robust, fruitful conversation about the real issues facing our country. Compromise needs to stop being a bad word.
  10. I'll add and say I don't think we are being strategic about where defense spending should increase. We are not spending enough on cyber defense for example. I think that is the frontier we are completely missing. We need intel agency spending in this department as well as defense spending. But agree with all of your points upthread, we need to cut overall defense spending.
  11. Not surprising in the least. I hope federal contractors take note.
  12. Especially when he owns a steakhouse down the street!
  13. channonc

    Your Favorite Politician to Dislike

    Apology accepted. 😉
  14. channonc

    Your Favorite Politician to Dislike

    My post was a bit tongue in cheek but I do think that the tan suit is a good example of the things that some conservatives and conservative media nitpicked through the Obama years, but yet, these same people and media sources largely ignore some egregious things done by Trump. In fact, Josh Ernest had to actually respond at a daily press briefing (remember those back in the day) about the tan suit controversy because it had received so much (largely negative) coverage. Video of Rep. King mad about Obama's tan suit Josh Ernest responds at daily press briefing
  15. channonc

    Your Favorite Politician to Dislike

    I'm still waiting for Trump to do something as terrible as wear a tan suit.