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GOP tweaks tax bill, wins over 2 senators

Yet, 3 in party remain undecided; 2 ailing

By Compiled by Democrat-Gazette staff from wire reports

This article was published December 16, 2017 at 4:30 a.m.

kevin-brady-chairman-of-the-house-ways-and-means-committee-said-friday-he-was-confident-the-senate-would-back-the-compromise-tax-bill

Kevin Brady, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, said Friday he was “confident” the Senate would back the compromise tax bill.

Michael Evans, chief counsel for the Senate Democratic tax conferees, waits outside the office of House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady ...

Tax plan details

Republican lawmakers Friday said they had secured the votes of two high-profile holdouts for their tax overhaul plan, putting them closer to their first significant legislative victory this year.

Michael Evans, chief counsel for the Senate Democratic tax conferees, waits outside the office of House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady ...

Tax plan details

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RBear says... December 16, 2017 at 8:08 a.m.

The bill has softened quite a bit through the reconciliation process, but I think we're still waiting to see how it's scored to make sure it comes in under the $1.5 trillion cap under the rules of reconciliation. Preliminary scoring shows it barely comes in under the wire. However, adding that much to the debt is pure hypocrisy for Republicans.
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For all those who believe that the Laffer Curve will solve the problem, you're smoking funny stuff. I did some research to validate some claims about Laffer effect. Yes, it was used during the Kennedy and Reagan era but those days are gone. Under those two presidencies, the top marginal tax rate was out of this world. Under Kennedy the rate was 91% and under Reagan it was 70%. Currently, it's at 39.6% and will drop by about 2% under this bill.
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But the thing to remember is that the Laffer Curve is just that, a bell curve that has a lower side equitable to the upper side. Many economists feel we are in the lower side of the curve where cuts in rates result in declining tax revenues instead of increasing revenues. In other words, we've passed the optimal point of the curve. That means these cuts will not pay for themselves and instead would actually deepen the debt.
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Furthermore, looking at the current economy unless these cuts are passed along in the form of increased wages there is no way to expect the cuts will grow the economy. It is going to take increased consumer spending to grow this economy and with wages stagnant as they have been that's not going to happen. In other words, this is snake oil being sold to pay back campaign contribution favors to big donors.

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BoudinMan says... December 16, 2017 at 8:37 a.m.

Job creation is not a function of taxes. It is a function of the demand for goods and services. Stop this farce of a reason for doing this. As for adding resources for corporations to hire more people, the corporations in this country are sitting on an estimated 2 trillion dollars. And that's a low ball estimate. They have all the capital they need now to hire more workers. So here come the republicans, the so-called fiscal responsibility party, digging in with at least 1.5 trillion in debt, but we really don't know how high that figure will grow, in order to satisfy the hunger of the donor class. And wait until they discover, to their horror, that the debt is way out of hand, and they decide to start chipping away at popular programs. There will have to be some sort of reckoning to account for all this. Hopefully, it will be sooner rather than later.

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notbot says... December 16, 2017 at 10:28 a.m.

I’m glad our elite’s representatives, Crawford, Hill, Womack and Western signed their name in the Guest Writer column today. The donors are laughing all the way to the banks and real estate companies they own..

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GeneralMac says... December 16, 2017 at 10:33 a.m.

RBear............how many people were making over $400,000 during the Kennedy years?

I guess we could impose a 91% tax rate on incomes over $1BILLION today and slap ourselves on the back for sticking it to the rich.

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GeneralMac says... December 16, 2017 at 10:48 a.m.

Will this tax cut be like the Bush tax cuts?

Every Democrat denounced the Bush tax cuts as favoring only the wealthy but no Democrat favored repealing it and reverting back to tax rates under Clinton ( D )

Even President Barack HUSSEIN Obama refused to get rid of the Bush tax cuts saying doing so would HURT low income people.

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RBear says... December 16, 2017 at 12:12 p.m.

GM, sometimes I wonder if you even understand what you write. What does the $400K figure mean? What I was stating that many economists have pointed out is that during the Kennedy and Reagan eras the top marginal tax rate was in the prohibitive range of the Laffer Curve. After the Reagan and Bush cuts, the rate moved into the normative range. But if you look at the curve, you see that continually cutting taxes does NOT create enough growth to compensate for the cuts.
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That is what happened with the Bush cuts which were estimated to add $1.5 trillion to the debt over their time. When they were extended under the Obama era, it was at a time when our economy was in deep recession and the need for stimulus was greater. Those cuts are estimated to add $3.3 trillion to the debt. So, for all the gripes about Obama raising the debt it was really the cuts that added the most to the debt. As we all know, those cuts and other economic stimulus plans helped move our economy from the tank to the robust one that Trump inherited.
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Now, when we look at these cuts they are designed to dig even deeper into the marginal rates at a time when they are not needed. These cuts will not stimulate economic growth due to the state the economy is in now. We have close to full employment and any cuts will haven minute effect on the economy. Corporations are shifting their emphasis to greater automation in both the manufacturing and service sectors due to innovations in AI.
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What does this all mean? We have a bunch of tax cuts that will not impact the economy and help the average American, but will put our country into deeper debt just to give money to the wealthy who have benefited from the prior growth. If this was truly trickle down, we would have seen a raise in the federal minimum wage attached to the corporate cuts to help those who need it the most.
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A lot for you to digest, but I'm not expecting a rational thoughtful response.

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PopMom says... December 16, 2017 at 1:17 p.m.

Rbear,

Many, many people are getting a tax increase. If you are in the top bracket and have all of your state and local income tax deductions (over $10,000), you are getting a nice big tax increase while the extreme wealthy who can qualify as "corporations" get lower taxes. Of course, the poor are going to get hit in January with the cuts to services. The economy will probably go haywire over the out of control deficit. Many Republicans are going to be on the chopping block in November.

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Packman says... December 16, 2017 at 1:43 p.m.

YEEEEHAAAAAA! Thank you President Trump!
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Will never truly understand why bed wetting libs so viciously oppose letting good people keep more of their hard earned money
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For all you bed wetters (RBear, Pop, etc.) here's a novel idea. Figure your taxes (assuming you pay federal income taxes) and donate the savings from these tax cuts to the Treasury. Hell, show some leadership and double the amount. Otherwise you're just a typical lib f'ing hypocrite.

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RBear says... December 16, 2017 at 3:19 p.m.

Pack, did you oppose deficits and increases in the debt when Obama was president? Answer honestly now. If you're one of the right wing "bed wetters" as you like to call others, then you are a big lying hypocrite now. Idiot.
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I know my explanation required some brain cells to read, but you could have at least figured out the stupidity of your response against it.

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RBear says... December 16, 2017 at 3:47 p.m.

Since the D-G hasn't picked the story up, here's more stupidity coming from the Trump administration. a directive from HHS now bans the following words, "diversity," "fetus," "transgender," "vulnerable," "entitlement," "science-based" and "evidence-based", from budget documents in 2018. It shows how idiotic this administration is and how it can't seem to deal with reality. Trump's "best and brightest" folks are more moronic than anything.

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