Archive for September 2015
Jeb Bush has been saying that his tax plan is better than Trump’s plan because it doesn’t add as much to the budget deficit.
Trump basically steals Jeb’s tax-cuts-for-the-rich tax plan, puts it on steroids by increasing the amount of the tax cuts, and now Jeb has to say that Trump is cutting too much tax while Jeb himself is cutting just the right amount of tax.
I think that Bernie Sanders has the best tax plan of any candidate. Too bad we can’t join Bernie Sanders’ tax plan to Donald Trump’s immigration plan.
The New York Times “Upshot” points out that even hedge fund managers will pay less tax under the Trump plan. They currently are paying a 23.4% capital gains rate. Trump would eliminate the loophole that allows them to classify their income as capital gains, but he’s lowering the top rate from 39% to 25%, so there’s only a small increase on their income previously classified as capital gains, but a big decrease in the portion of their income previously classified as ordinary income.
The Times column also points out that there’s no way that eliminating deductions and loopholes could possibly make up for the huge lowering of tax rates in the Trump plan. Did Trump actually hire any tax law experts? The New York Times was quickly able to tear his plan apart.
This is so disappointing, Trump is just is another Republican bozo with a stupid tax plan.
Trump’s “plan” is apparently to lower everybody’s rates, which sounds like standard Republican pro-rich pro-big-business fiscally irresponsible tax policy.
Trump also proposes a foreign tax repatriation holiday with a rate of 10%, which seems to me like rewarding corporations for their previous bad behavior in keeping the money overseas in the first place in hopes that eventually pro-big-business Republicans would give them a tax holiday.
Trump also proposes to end the “death tax” which is a huge giveaway to the richest Americans.
Trump talks about eliminating deductions, but the two biggest deductions, for home mortgage interest and charitable deductions, will remain.
On the positive side, he proposes: “An end to the deferral of taxes on corporate income earned abroad. Corporations will no longer be allowed to defer taxes on income earned abroad, but the foreign tax credit will remain in place because no company should face double taxation.” That closes a big loophole.
I also think that the 0% marginal rate for low incomes is a good idea as well.
But overall, I am disappointed with the Trump Tax Plan. Trump claims that the tax plan is revenue neutral because he’s going to be eliminating so many loopholes and deductions (and it’s an absolutely great idea to eliminate loopholes and deductions), but with all of the rates being lowered and the estate tax being abolished, that sounds very suspicious. Furthermore, we have a budget deficit, so a responsible tax plan would raise taxes rather than be revenue netural.
It’s clear that Trump isn’t going to propose something incredibly stupid like abolishing income tax and replacing it with a sales tax. (Yes, Huckabee’s tax plan is incredibly stupid.)
Besides removing the carried interest loophole which treats hedge fund manager income as pass-through partnership income (thus qualifying for the lower capital gains rate), it’s not clear what’s going to be in the Plan.
Wishing my Orthodox Jewish readers a happy Succos.
It appears that John Boehner, who is Catholic, has resigned because the Pope made him realize that the Republican Party is evil and standing in the way of holy work like fighting global warming, helping the poor, and having mercy on immigrants.
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And I’m not trolling. Boehner cried during the Pope’s speech. Apparently the Pope made him change his mind about being a Republican politician. He realized he was not going God’s work but rather he was standing in the way of God’s work.
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But if Boehner winds up making huge amounts of money as a lobbyist after he leaves Congress instead of doing more righteous work, we will know that the Pope Effect didn’t last too long.
It’s annoying that the host of the show made Ahmed out like some sort of genius because he took apart a commercial LED clock and put the pieces into a pencil case. Ahmed admits that it only took him ten minutes.
However, my nerdar tells me that Ahmed is a genuine nerd (skinny and short for his age, and not good at public speaking), and not a diabolical mastermind who ingeniously created a device that would look just enough like a hoax bomb to get himself arrested, but not enough like a hoax bomb to be charged with the crime of bringing a hoax bomb to school. For whatever reason a nerdy 14-year-old boy thinks that, he thinks it’s cool to remove the electronic components of consumer electronics from their housings. He just craved attention for his hobby.
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I suspect the same people hating on Ahmed would defend the West Virginia 14-year-old white kid who was arrested for wearing an NRA t-shirt to school. Unlike Ahmed, the kid from West Virginia was definitely trying to annoy people. He was also far more physically mature for his age than Ahmed.
It’s wrong when the liberal MSM has a double standard, but it’s also wrong for conservatives to have a double standard.
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Thin-Skinned Masta-Beta writes:
I’m not sure I have enough info or context to condemn the kid and his pop for fishing for attention and sympathy with a stunt like that. To be sure some of the breathless praise from Mark Zuck… and Barry O’ for young Ahmed’s contributions to science are exaggerated. On the other hand the criticism of his project for failing to “invent” a clock are also off base.
We find plenty of educational value to have kids Ahmed’s age dissect frogs. None of those kids are “inventing” frogs. I always admire the kind of natural curiosity that prompts people to take things apart… even more-so if they can put it back together so it still works.
Young Ahmed is probably better off in an educational context where his natural curiosity can fuel his learning… perhaps a la Maria Montessori? Any of you guys have the benefit of Montessori method education? Seemed to work out alright for the elite of Silicon Valley… Otherwise our educational system seems more concerned with “safety” and babysitting our young in into “high-achieving” “well-credentialed” conformity when it takes some time off lionizing the jocks who actually pose a greater threat of bullying “terror” than any little nerd immigrant ever could.
Good luck Ahmed…
Good comment. Most other commenters here seem totally unable to imagine that a kid can be fascinated by taking things apart and putting them back together to try to figure out how they work. They cannot get over the fact that the kid is Muslim and the father is some sort of annoying activist.
Some reader expressed doubt that the briefcase looking thing that Ahmed put the clock parts into is really a pencil case, but I found it on Amazon.com.
As you can see, with the pens in it to give it a size perspective, it’s a small little thing, and it doesn’t look bomb-sized. After the police questioned Ahmed (because school employees told the police the kid brought a hoax bomb to school), they determined that he had no intent to hoax anyone, and they let him go. So the police back up the story that it wasn’t a hoax bomb.
Some Ahmed haters have proposed the idea that the LED clock gadget was a diabolical plan by Ahmed’s dad to get Ahmed arrested so that they could milk it for huge publicity, and the gadget was ingeniously designed to look enough like a bomb to get the police involved, but not enough like a bomb so that they would have “plausible deniability” and not wind up in prison for creating a genuine hoax bomb (which sounds sort of like an oxymoron). That story violates the Occam’s Razor principle because it’s too damn complicated. The much simpler story is that Ahmed is a nerdy kid who likes to tinker with old consumer electronics who wanted attention from his teachers.
From the perspective of Ahmed’s dad, the incident was one of serendipity. Once it happened, the father who is an Islamic activist, did know how to milk it for huge publicity.
There’s a NY Times article today, Race and Class Collide in a Plan for Two Brooklyn Schools.
The gentrification of the “Dumbo” area of Brooklyn was good news for P.S. 8. (New York City calls its grades K-5 schools P.S. schools). The school became predominately SWPL and thus a safe place for white parents (as well as SWPLfied Asians) to send their precious children.
But too much of a good thing is now a bad thing because the school now has too many children for the size of the building. The city’s solution? Send some of children now zoned for P.S. 8 to nearby P.S. 307 that primarily draws students from the housing projects.
Not surprisingly, the SWPL parents who thought they were zoned for a free and safe public school are outraged. But somewhat surprisingly, the parents in the projects don’t want a bunch of white kids invading their school either!
Some people will probably point out the hypocrisy of these parents who probably voted for Obama and De Blasio but now suddenly become racists when their own kids are involved. However, I will point out to my readers, again, that people are completely capable of sincerely believing in mutually contradictory things because people just aren’t that logical.
If there isn’t room in P.S. 8, there isn’t room, so some parents and their children are probably screwed. This is why it sucks to live in New York City if you have children and are too poor to afford quality private education.
At least that’s the implication of the NY Times article, Pope Francis, at White House, Praises Obama’s Action on Climate Change. I confess that I didn’t read the article because it looks boring, but I think this is one of those types of articles where the headline is all you need to read to know what it’s about.