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Clarissa's Blog

An academic's opinions on feminism, politics, literature, philosophy, teaching, academia, and a lot more.

Self-defeating

A fellow on MSNBC goes, “I don’t care about tax cuts! They don’t matter! All that matters right now is the Mueller investigation. Because it goes to the heart of what we are as a republic.”

And I’m sitting there, thinking, gosh, man, what if somebody hears you? I mean, you are on TV so somebody just might. How do you think it sounds to people in Missouri or Montana that you don’t care about their taxes? 

And no, it’s not just this one guy. It’s the whole agenda of making sure the next elections are lost, too. 

Since I am interested in tax cuts, I’d love to see a table or a breakdown of how the proposed bill will impact my income group. If anybody comes across a reliable, non-partisan breakdown, please share. 

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27 thoughts on “Self-defeating

  1. This was interesting, though I’m not sure entirely how informative it is (I haven’t looked in depth), but the data visualizations are good, and I think informative. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/11/28/upshot/what-the-tax-bill-would-look-like-for-25000-middle-class-families.html

    Maybe it’s because I’m a scientist, and I think science PhDs are significant and have a large role in the world outside of academia, but it scares me that higher education is being attacked so much in this tax bill. It will certainly serve to decimate the academy and reduce diversity of students.

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    • Graduate students will be fine. Universities will simply say that the waived tuition is $20, and nothing will change. This is all useless, meaningless hype.

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      • Do you think they’ll be able to make this change on a meaningful timescale to help people out in, say, the next 2-3 years? I can imagine this happening in a longer timescale, but in the immediate/short term, for the students currently in PhD programs, that’s my concern.

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        • I’m sure it will be fine for new students. For current ones, each university is busily preparing a plan. Nobody wants to lose good students, not even my University.

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      • We are not on this chart, unfortunately. I don’t get it at all. What are we, not middle class? What then? We drive two very used cars and I don’t ever see us affording the ones with a monthly payment. We go on vacations, yes, but they are modest. We eat out at the Indian buffet a couple of times a month and at an expensive restaurant once a year. And we live in a cheap area. I could never understand what middle class means in this country.

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  2. Shakti on said:

    Clarissa
    1)Do you pay state and local taxes?
    2) Do you own your home? Or are you still paying the mortgage off?

    In either the House or Senate version, they want to get rid of the < a href=”https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/10/30/16557554/the-state-and-local-tax-deduction-explained”>SALT deduction and the mortgage interest deduction.

    Also why is he framing it as “tax cuts?” He should be screaming it’s a tax increase for the vast majority of Americans.

    Non Partisan Analysis Shows It Would Raise Taxes on 50% of the US

    It quotes the Tax Policy Center extensively. The Tax Policy Center is a project of the Brookings Institute (which is conservative) and the Urban Institute (which is liberal).

    A handy chart comparison of the current law, and the House and Senate versions of the bill

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    • \ Also why is he framing it as “tax cuts?” He should be screaming it’s a tax increase for the vast majority of Americans.

      I have always thought Democrats were for higher taxes (to support social services and programs).

      If it’s a tax increase for the middle class, shouldn’t they be for this plan?

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      • Democrats want tax increases on the rich, not on the middle class. Supposedly. And the rich must mean me because I’m not falling under this definition of middle class income being between 40 and 90,000. I have no idea how a family can be middle class on 40,000, but as I said, I never understood this system. Even here in the Midwest, we live quite modestly on 4 times that. On 40,000 per year, it would be dire, abject poverty for us. Maybe there’s something I’m understanding but 40K is middle class like I’m Melanka Trump.

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        • \ Democrats want tax increases on the rich, not on the middle class.

          Isn’t it cheap populism of the sort “lets take all money from those 1% rich and everyone will become rich and happy”?

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          • Of course, it is. Republicans are trying to lure capital back in by cutting corporate taxes. I don’t think it will work. I just don’t. But at least they recognize there’s a problem and try to do something. I’m beyond eager to hear the alternative that Democrats are offering in the liquid economy. Beyond eager. Desperate, even. But all I hear is outlandishly dishonest fantasies about “let’s tax the billionaires like we did back in 1958.” As if they were unaware of the dramatic, tectonic, enormous change in the global economy that makes this fantasy utterly untenable. Drives me bananas, this does.

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            • \ Republicans are trying to lure capital back in by cutting corporate taxes. I don’t think it will work. I just don’t. But at least they recognize there’s a problem and try to do something. I’m beyond eager to hear the alternative that Democrats are offering in the liquid economy. … But all I hear is outlandishly dishonest fantasies

              If it’s true, it’s no wonder why Democrats are losing everywhere.

              It seems the only reasons to vote for Democrats are women rights, gay rights, illegal immigrants’ rights and so on. Of course, those rights are important, but something is lacking if 1 out of 2 parties makes itself all about those issues alone.

              If Republicans ditched their anti – women, anti – gay and so on efforts ( = pushing their religion on others similar to what I see in Israel), wouldn’t more people vote for them? On the one hand, the religious fanatics and general racists may become less motivated, but surely there are normal people who are pushed away by “I will force my religion on you” angle, but would be happy to vote for Republicans otherwise.

              What would need to happen for you to consider voting for Republicans?

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              • Good question. 🙂 Nothing. That’s the answer. Nothing. They are immoral. The worst case for me is I don’t vote at all because everybody stinks. But it will take Republicans several generations to wash off the stench of immorality. Trump said there were good people among Nazi marchers. Bush destroyed Iraq for no reason. The race-baiting that has been going on for decades, I can never get over that. Never. I won’t live long enough to forget it, even if they stop today. Rauner, Brownback in Kansas. I’m very very angry with these people.

                The worst part for me is that I by nature tend towards conservatism. I’m religious, I like the nation-state, I’m into American Dream, yes-I-can, perseverance conquers all, family values, etc. If there existed a sane conservative option in this country, I’ll be all over it. But I looked, and there’s nothing.

                Democrats stink in many ways, and I point it out on this blog daily. But they are not basically rotten and irredeemable. You either can see good in Nazi marchers or you can’t. And if you can, I won’t be on your side no matter what else. Democrats can be repaired. Republicans, the way they’ve been for decades, can’t.

                Sorry for the rant but this is a big issue for me.

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        • Demotrash on said:

          Median household income in the US is about $55,000 a year, and in Ohio it’s less than that. Over $90,000 is definitely well off. To me, living on $40,000 a year without children seems easy; raising kids on that might be another story. But I think that’s the kind of money my cousin is raising her kids on and she doesn’t seem to struggle, so who knows.

          There are neighborhoods in my city where median household income is under 20k a year. That’s what poverty looks like.

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      • Shakti on said:

        El:
        The tax increases don’t support social programs and services. They’re there so fuckheads can get exemptions for private jets and Charles Koch can fritter away millions of dollars buying expensive vinegar. (He’s affable enough, but even though I’m against cheaters I couldn’t help but think “You have too much money.”)
        Let’s give a bunch of assholes more millions so they can sit on it and park it in an overseas account somewhere!

        People only pay higher taxes if they’ll get something for it. Bernie’s tax plan was sky high but he promised it would go to fund social programs.

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    • We only got the mortgage 3 years ago, so of course we will be paying off for many years more.

      I would just like to see a comprehensive analysis that includes us.

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      • Also, it’s all about 2027. Somebody new will be elected by then and there will be a new bill by that time. I’m a lot more interested in today and tomorrow than 10 years from now.

        Of course, if the Democrats don’t get their shit together, nobody new will ever be elected.

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  3. Shakti on said:

    Talk to your accountant once the reconciled version is passed.

    With your income level you’ll get a tax break, I think.

    It will raise my taxes. No question.

    I heard lots of shrieking last night. The Senate version of the bill had all these random handwritten amendments jammed onto it. And no, that’s not normal for any bill in the slightest.

    Polling or what dumasses on the street think
    49% oppose it
    29% support it
    and 22% “don’t know”

    When asked “who stands to benefit most” from the plan, more than half of all American adults surveyed selected either the wealthy or large U.S. corporations. Fourteen percent chose “all Americans,” 6 percent picked the middle class and 2 percent chose lower-income Americans.


    The GOP Tax Cuts Are Even More Unpopular Than Past Tax Hikes

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    • Dreidel on said:

      “can anyone else read this?”

      Actually, that handwriting is easily legible for those of us old enough to have learned cursive writing in grade school! 🙂

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      • Shakti on said:

        Ok, what’s your stab at it?

        I cannot tell if it’s just the screenshot but the copy appears to cut off some words at the ends.

        It’s very sloppy considering it is major legislation and all these freaks have in house printing and Word. It’s not like they have to run down and ask people to type it out on mechanical typewriters. The garbage I’ve thrown together at 3 am in the morning did not have paragraphs added on in handwriting.

        The handwriting starts out ok and then degenerates.

        Next up:
        Kerning. Why is that font serif, you monsters!

        Later on:
        The bill is written in Comic Sans and Wingdings.

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        • Dreidel on said:

          “Ok, what’s your stab at it?”

          I won’t bore with the complete statement, but it starts out this way: “ADD (a) adjustments attributable to conversion from S corporations to C corporation — Section 481 is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection: (d) Adjustments attributable to conversion from A corporation into C corporation. (1) In general in the case of an eligible…”

          It’s actually quite legible, if you’re used to reading cursive script.

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      • Demotrash on said:

        I learned cursive in school, I still can’t read this shit (well, not the second half anyway.) I thought my handwriting was bad…

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  4. Shakti on said:

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  5. Dreidel on said:

    The Republicans HAD to get some kind of tax bill passed to have any kind of credibility with their voters going into the 2018 elections.

    So this bill, however its final version turns out, or how “unpopular” it’s supposed to be, is very good news for Republicans.

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    • The Russians are extremely unhappy about it, so that tells us something.

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      • Dreidel on said:

        “The Russians are extremely unhappy about it.”

        Really, Clarissa??? I can’t image how an American tax plan would directly concern them, and I can’t find any related Russian comments using Google, so would you tell us what their complaint is?

        (If the plan is bad for the U.S. in the long term, I’d think whoever is speaking for Putin would be happy.)

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