Everybody hates the Trump tax plan, for good reason

first_imgA few days ago Gary Cohn, Donald Trump’s chief economic adviser, met with a group of top executives.They were asked to raise their hands if lower taxes would lead them to raise capital expenditures; only a handful did.“Why aren’t the other hands up?” asked Cohn, plaintively.The answer is that CEOs, living in the real world of business, not the imaginary world of right-wing ideologues, know that tax rates aren’t that important a factor in investment decisions.So they realize that even a huge tax cut wouldn’t lead to much more spending.And with that realization, the rationale for this tax plan, such as it is, falls apart, leaving nothing but a scheme to make the rich — especially those who rake in investment income rather than working for a living — richer at everyone else’s expense.For what it’s worth, here’s the story the Trump administration and its allies are telling. The only significant winners would be those making more than $1 million a year. Populism!Oh, and this doesn’t even take account of the health care sabotage that’s an integral part of the Senate plan.By repealing the mandate — the requirement that people purchase insurance — the plan would, as I said, cause 13 million to lose coverage; that loss of coverage, and the associated government subsidies, is why mandate repeal saves money that can be given to corporations.But the move would also drive up premiums for those who keep their insurance, because the dropouts would tend to be those with lower health costs.So that’s an additional, hidden indirect tax on the middle class.Nor does it take account of what would inevitably come next: tax-cut-induced deficits would, by law, trigger cuts in Medicare, and this would just be the start of a GOP assault on programs like disability insurance that provide a crucial safety net for millions of working-class Americans.All of which raises the question, why are Republicans even trying to do this? Their claim is that cutting taxes on corporate profits would lead to an explosion in private investment and faster economic growth.Furthermore, the fruits of this growth would trickle down to American workers in the form of higher wages — and rising incomes would raise tax receipts, so the tax cuts would end up paying for themselves.Even if some part of this story were true, there would be side consequences they’re carefully not discussing.After all, if we’re talking about a big increase in capital expenditure, where does the money for that expenditure come from?Nothing in the bill would make Americans consume less and save more.So the money would have to come from abroad — from selling stocks, bonds and other assets to foreigners, on a massive scale.And this inflow of foreign money would drive up the value of the dollar and lead to huge trade deficits: according to my analysis of the most optimistic forecast out there, more than $6 trillion in deficits over the next decade. These trade deficits would have a devastating effect on manufacturing — remember those jobs Trump promised to bring back? — to the likely tune of more than 2 million jobs lost.Oh, and about that economic growth: Foreign investors would be earning profits and taking them home.So much — probably most — of any growth we would get from cutting corporate taxes would accrue to the benefit of foreigners, not Americans.But don’t worry too much about this stuff. Most serious economic analyses agree with those CEOs who disappointed Gary Cohn: Corporate tax cuts wouldn’t actually do much to raise investment.They would, however, explode the budget deficit.So in an attempt to limit that deficit blowout, Senate Republicans are proposing significant tax increases on working families.In fact, according to Congress’ own Joint Committee on Taxation, taxes would rise on average for every group with incomes under $75,000 a year, and would surely rise for many families even in higher-income groups.center_img Categories: Editorial, OpinionLooking at the reactions to Republican tax plans, I found myself remembering what people used to say about former Sen. Phil Gramm, whose presidential ambitions never went anywhere but who did help cause the 2008 financial crisis:“Even his friends don’t like him.”So it is with GOP tax “reform,” especially the Senate version, which would raise taxes on most individuals, especially in the middle and working classes, and add around 13 million Americans to the ranks of the uninsured, all to pay for big cuts in corporate taxes.The general public strongly disapproves — by a 2-1 majority, according to Quinnipiac, although the majority would be even bigger if people really understood what’s going on.But surely at least CEOs like the plan, right?Actually, not so much. It’s bad policy and bad politics, and the politics will get worse as voters learn more about the facts.Well, last week one GOP congressman, Chris Collins of New York, gave the game away: “My donors are basically saying get it done or don’t ever call me again.”So we’re talking about government of the people, not by the people, but by wealthy donors, for wealthy donors.Everyone else hates this plan — and they should.Paul Krugman is a Nobel Prize-winning economist and a columnist for The New York Times.More from The Daily Gazette:Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censuslast_img read more

Cuomo fails test on the state education

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion For the past several years, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has unveiled a number of wrong-headed plans to evaluate public schools and school teachers. He had tried mightily to link teacher evaluation to student standardized test scores and has failed in every attempt. This was done at the exact same time that testing experts warned against using standardized tests in this manner and many colleges stopped using standardized tests as a measure for admission.In other words, Cuomo has wasted millions of taxpayer dollars to solve a problem that he created. From the moment he took office, Cuomo launched an all-out attack on the state’s schools and the teachers who work in them. He cut state aid by $1.2 billion in his first budget while pushing through a tax cap that resulted in school districts across the state cutting thousands of teaching positions while eliminating countless instructional and extracurricular positions. He demonized teachers, blaming them for students not attaining the preordained scores on standardized tests as part of his nonsensical teacher evaluation systems. He proclaimed that schools that didn’t live up to his expectations be given the “death penalty,” including the firing of all teachers and administrators assigned to these schools. At the same time, he extended the time teachers needed to serve in order to earn tenure, while threatening to withhold state aid (read tax dollars) from school districts that didn’t pass muster. His actions caused teachers to retire in record numbers over the past five years. At the same time, student applications to teacher preparation programs plummeted. Voila — teacher shortage. The state Legislature is considering a bill that will prevent the linking of teacher evaluation and student test scores as the basis of judging the effectiveness of teachers. This is the smartest move for education out of Albany in the past decade. John MetalloSlingerlandsThe author is a retired teacher and administrator, principal of Albany High School and adjunct instructor at the University at Albany and SUNY Plattsburgh.More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?Albany County warns of COVID increaseEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristslast_img read more

Keep out-of-town ‘junk’ out of paper

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion If it wasn’t for the local news and the obituaries, I would immediately cancel my subscription to The Daily Gazette. Your reliance on The New York Times, Washington Post and Bloomberg is ridiculous. While reading the May 11 newspaper, I noticed an article on page A6, “Man pleads guilty to promoting prostitution of 3 teens.”    The article was from The New York Times about a Brooklyn man. You have got to be out of your mind. We don’t need or want this junk in our local newspaper.Geraldine M. HavasyClifton Park More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesGame 7: Shenendehowa grad and Braves rookie Ian Anderson gets start with World Series spot on the li…EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsControversial solar project goes before Clifton Park Planning BoardEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censuslast_img read more

Letters to the Editor for Sunday, June 23

first_imgWrite in McCarthy on Working Families lineFellow Working Families Party members: please write-in Gary McCarthy in the primary for Mayor of Schenectady on Tuesday (June 25).In my lifetime, I’ve never seen as much progress in this city than under the McCarthy administration.Gary’s the best candidate for working families.He’s cut property taxes four years in a row, led the effort to rehab blighted properties in our neighborhoods, and his administration has overseen a 36 percent decrease in major crimes.As a union member, I’m glad that a vacant brownfield site on the river became the bustling Mohawk Harbor which has hundreds of good paying union jobs.When it comes to Gary’s opponent, I’m concerned about her past tweets supporting far-right Republicans like state Sen. George Amedore.Amedore has voted against marriage equality; banning conversion therapy for minors; gender discrimination protections in employment; taking guns away of convicted domestic abusers; and, banning bump stocks, which were used to kill 58 people in Las Vegas.I’m a progressive. Anyone who supports far-right candidates like Amedore is not one.Schenectady has made tremendous progress under Mayor McCarthy’s administration. While there’s much more work to do, there is no better executive to keep the progress going then Gary McCarthy.Patrick WeingartenSchenectadyHow can Trump benefit from honor?To all the Never Trumpers and conspiracy theorists, what, if any, benefit does the current president stand to receive from the nearly simultaneous naming of an area in Israel being named in honor of him to the announcement of his re-election campaign?Will it encourage any voters? Could this be another campaign law violation?Al PirigyiBurnt HillsPraying for president is not a profane actIn a recent column by Michael Gerson, Franklin Graham was accused of “ profaning the gospel”  in his request for church leaders to announce June 2 as a day to pray for the president.By definition, profane can mean taking a spiritual entity and making it secular or worldly. Thus, Mr. Gerson’s opinion that Mr. Graham’s request for prayer was profane.He added that such was asked to protect the president from the “spiritual darkness” of this current world of which he even thought himself a part. The legacy of the Billy Graham Evangelical Association from which Franklin Graham has emerged as its current leader is well known .It is simply wrong to believe Franklin Graham’s intent to be anything but solidly based on the gospel of Jesus Christ and simply promote a day of prayer for our country’s leader.To add a verse from Paul’s letter to those in Ephesus, Paul incidentally a believer in the true gospel message. “Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the most of your time because the days are evil.” (Ephesian 5:15)How could such a request for prayer be profane?Nancyjane BattenScotia Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionAct now to get guns off of our streetsThere are too many guns in the wrong hands.There are too many drive-by shootings and other shootings in the Capital District and other nearby areas. We read it in the newspapers and hear it on the TV news almost every day.This has to stop. Our laws are too easy. We should have tougher gun laws that if someone is caught with a gun they should not have, the penalty should be a few years in jail to start.We should also advertise that if anyone is caught with a gun, they will be put away for a long time or they can turn the gun in now, no questions asked. Give a time limit on this and that’s it. I think you will see lots of guns turned in if the sentence is really a long jail time.We have to take our streets back once and for all. Enough is enough. Let’s act on this now.Sid GordonSaratoga Springs More from The Daily Gazette:Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homeslast_img read more

What does a property asset manager do?

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THI makes a killing at Coliseum Park

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The Royal ascent

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Benchmark beats City forecasts

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Mayor must balance business needs with homes

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TrizecHahn in retreat from Milan

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