Why this tax bill is not reform

Dec 20, 2017 at 10:13 am
tax reform bill

Not all lies are created equal. For instance, Donald Trump lying about his inaugural crowd size is not the same as his lies about having no business with Russia. Or when he claims that tax reform doesn’t benefit him, or his family.

So regarding the so-called tax reform bill, arguing over statistics or economics won’t get us anywhere... because there is no truth in Trumperica. Among the biggest lies about the bill is why the Republicans say we need reform in the first place.

America needs to make its tax code more competitive.

Really? Last time I checked, America is the world’s largest economy and has been since the late 1800s. I’d say we’re pretty damn competitive.

Does that mean we can’t do better? Of course we can. Are there things that need to be done to solidify our position and improve our economic future? Absolutely. And some industries and sectors of the economy absolutely need help. But to claim that this tax bill makes the U.S. more competitive is misleading, hollow rhetoric that is, frankly, a lie.

This tax bill is going to put America back to work!

America is already working its ass off. The unemployment rate is 4.1 percent. America has been at full employment since October 2015. And companies who benefit the most from this Republican giveaway have already indicated that they won’t hire more as a result.

But, again, debating facts in Trumperica is like playing chess by yourself... you might seem smart, but you’re only impressing yourself.

The reality is that unemployment is not nearly as big of a problem as income inequality. Yes, America always needs more jobs, but what America really needs more of are raises!

Bill Stone, former LEO columnist and local conservative political pundit, recently said on WAVE3 that this tax bill pays for itself by raising employment and adding more taxpayers to payrolls. Not at 4-percent unemployment, Bill. What would really raise revenues would be to give the middle class a raise and ensure the lower-working class earns a livable wage. But that won’t happen because this Republican tax cut incentivizes wealth as savings, not growing.

Speaking of incentives, that’s what the tax code is. Just as a budget is a reflection of your priorities, a tax code is a reflection of your goals... in which direction do you want to incentivize the economy to go.

Cutting taxes incentivizes hard work, innovation and entrepreneurship.

No.

For years, Republicans have argued that millionaires and corporations should have their taxes cut to incentivize them to hire more people and invest in innovation. This is trickle-down economics, the biggest Republican lie of this generation.

Trickle-down economics — rewarding the wealthy for their successes — betrays logic and basic human nature. Whether the primary motivator to work is survival or achieving a socioeconomic status, lowering taxes eases that motivating force.

Think about it this way: What would motivate someone making $10 million a year to continue to work harder… taking home $9 million after taxes, or $5 million?

I know I wouldn’t work as hard next year if I got to keep $4 million more dollars. And that’s the level of wealth Republicans are rewarding with their tax policies.

If you want to encourage laziness, let millionaires sit back on more of their successes.

However, if you want to motivate them to grow the economy, then incentivize them to make more. That doesn’t always mean higher taxes, but it means real tax reform.

The bill is needed to create a simpler tax code.

Again, no.

Not only would the bill not make the tax code simpler, but, again, America is the largest economy in the world… we should expect a complicated tax code.

Yes, it needs to be cleaned up and modernized — there are numerous loopholes and special interests that need to be drained from this swamp. But collecting taxes from an $18 trillion economy is always going to be complicated.

There is no question that Congress will have to come back to re-reform the tax code in a few years. The numbers just don’t add up under this bill, and they will have to be fixed.

When we get there, we need to make sure a bipartisan effort is made, but without the GOP inserting the same, tired falsehoods that manipulated the last generation of conservatives.