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The Newly Enacted Tax Stucture of the United States

GOP Tax plan Trump signed tax plan U.S. federal taxes economics taxes U.S. economy

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#21
caltrek

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^^^Rivers are sometimes public bodies of water.

 

More to the point, Jakob would shift the burden of proof away from corporations and away from government agencies on toward communities that are victims of pollution.  Communities that are not organized to take on such a responsibility. This would greatly increase the inefficiencies in collecting information and allow private corporations to throw numerous legal obstacles in the way.  Meanwhile, the profits gained by their activities could be plowed into their defense, while victims would have to secure resources from other activities to bring forward the needed proof.  Government would still be needed to adjudicate in such situations. This does not strike me as a very fair or balanced approach to the problem.

 

At least Jakob is now recognizing that EPA does indeed "do something."  


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The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#22
Alislaws

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Also, if public ownership of these sort of things was done away with, which I expect Jakob would advocate, while some rivers would be owned wholly by one person, more usually, you would find different sections owned by different interests, which means whoever owns the river furthest upstream would just dam it and divert it into pipes and sell the water, so there wouldn't actually be any rivers.

 

Which would solve the problem of people dumping waste into them I guess? 

 

River transport would be over very quickly with the tolls you'd have to pay to cross each owners section of river, even if the river wasn't dammed up, so that's gone either way, and if there's no transportation, and since dumping stuff into the river is what we are trying to avoid then I guess the USA would be better off without rivers. 

 

Not to mention the cost of land transport, with no public roads, you'd be spending more time in toll gates than driving, until the larger businesses bought up all the roads. which would bring the costs down to whatever makes them the most money, but would allow the most incredible anti-competitive moves, like refusing to allow competitors to use any of your roads etc, while not a big deal if theres lots of competiton, lots of competition here results in paying 50 different companies a day just to commute to work. That's what happens if you privatise natural monopolies.

 

Lakes etc. could also be pumped into reservoirs (where all that potentially valuable water would not just evaporate!) and then the water could be stored and sold, Every time the rain stopped for a bit the water barons would make millions, they could destroy any farmer or business at will, by refusing to sell them water at critical times, this would lead to businesses creating their own wells, and rain catching systems to avoid the high water prices which would lead to the water barons building their own wells to  try to lower the water table to stop people getting free water. 

 

Like most times you think through the potential consequences of libertarian/anarcho-capitalist ideology, you seem to end up with monopolies, and higher costs for everything.


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#23
rennerpetey

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^^^^^^^

yes, and if you're concerned about the environment, or animals whatsoever, the destruction of even one creek can lead to the destruction of different species down-stream.  You dam up the Ohio and you're talking about wide-scale destruction of entire Eco-systems that rely on that river.  Not to mention the fish, crabs, eels, shrimp, and fungal life that lives in the rivers, creeks and eddies that the Ohio feeds into along the way.


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John Lennon dares you to make sense of this

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#24
caltrek

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A Tiny Tax Hike On People Who Bike To Work Helps Explain The Whole GOP Tax Law

 

https://www.huffingt... whole GOP tax%

 

(Introduction)

 

(HuffPost) WASHINGTON ― Tucked inside the sweeping tax package Republicans rushed to enact last month is a tiny provision targeting people who bike to work.

 

Since 2009, businesses have been able to give workers who commute on bikes a tax-free benefit worth $20 a month to cover bike-related expenses. Not anymore: Cyclists will now have to pay taxes on that money.

 

“It’s an example of the cats and dogs in this bill,” Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Oregon), a staunch advocate of the bike benefit, told HuffPost. “Every week we’re going to find something else that really wasn’t discussed that matters to tens of thousands of people ― in this case, hundreds of thousands of people potentially.”

 

Implemented in the wake of the Great Recession, the modest benefit for cyclists was meant to put more parity in the U.S. tax code between those who bike to work and those who drive or take mass transit. Commuters in the latter category have long been eligible for a tax benefit on parking fees and transit fares ― in the form of a tax break on up to $255 of their monthly pay.

 

Although the bike benefit was pocket change by comparison, cycling advocates say it was an important recognition by the federal government that not everyone drives or takes the subway to work. If your employer provided the benefit, you got reimbursed with tax-free money for necessary cycling expenses ― like a bike purchase, a tune-up or new equipment such as tires or a helmet.

5a57c7c71f00003c00db8442.jpeg?cache=gdua

 

Eliminating the bike benefit will likely raise a mere $5 million a year in federal revenue.

ANDREW HARRER/BLOOMBERG VIA GETTY IMAGES


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#25
caltrek

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Oh boy. It looks like the forces of capitalism are about to strike back.  Perhaps the heavy breath of socialism over their shoulder is making them nervous. At any rate, this will be a story worth watching, as in do they really follow through - or is this just more headline grabbing hype?

 

It should also be interesting to see how all of those foreign government react to this "repatriation" of American dollars. 

 

Finally, one wonders if the new tax structure is really the motivating force here - or just political cover.

 

Apple announces plans to repatriate billions in overseas cash, says it will contribute $350 billion to the US economy over the next 5 years

 

https://www.cnbc.com...er-5-years.html

 

Introduction:

 

(CNBC) The headline from Apple is that it will make a $350 billion "contribution" to the U.S. economy over the next five years, although it's unclear exactly how the company came to that number.

 

The company also promised to create 20,000 new jobs and open a new campus.

 

It said it expects to pay about $38 billion in taxes for the horde of cash it plans to bring back to the United States. This implies it will repatriate virtually all of its $250 billion in overseas cash.

 

Apple also said it will spend over $30 billion in capital expenditures over the next five years. About $10 billion in capital expenditures will be investments in U.S. data centers, the company said.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#26
caltrek

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...or maybe all that negative publicity about their slave labor work force in China is finally starting to get to them.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#27
Erowind

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I have no doubt that Apple will invest $350B back into the pockets of very wealthy Americans.


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#28
TranscendingGod

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...or maybe all that negative publicity about their slave labor work force in China is finally starting to get to them.

I recently read a book called "Made in China" by Pun Ngai and it talks about factory women workers in China in the mid 90s. The impression that that book left on me was not one which made me want to extol the virtues of the Chinese workplace. According to the book 12 work shifts with 6+ people to a dorm at the factory sites were the norm. A very regimented and strict work environment with little respect for the worker was the prevailing culture. Not to mention the abyssal wages earned by the factory workers. Now there are flip sides to the story of course as professor Ngai mentions. Especially in regards to wages which were many fold greater than what they could make in their previous rural subsistence. 

 

Now the only caveat I find with this is that we are in a new world when compared with the China of the mid 90s. Now this is not to say that there are not problems because of course the high profile suicides of the foxconn workers are something which we all know about and most likely why you make the allusion to slave labor combined with the infamous sweatshops which we all hear about. What I can say, however, is that after reading a book like Pun Ngai's "Made in China" is that the conditions that the workers had to endure may be classified as sweatshops but one would be hard pressed to call it slave labor as I understand the term. Even relative to working conditions for some of the population here in the United States the conditions described in that typical factory in China were not incomparable. Especially when we talk about industries which occupy undocumented immigrants largely off the books. For one 12 hour shifts are something I myself have worked here in the United States at a factory owned by some Japanese internationals where such shifts don't run awry. Another instance I have experienced myself is when I worked with a group of largely undocumented immigrants who out of fear for their jobs would bypass their allotted break times and only take a 15 minutes lunch break while working in the elements. We were preparing moulds and pouring in huge structural concrete slabs. The workers would not even pause to take some water even though it was 80-90 degree weather with an overbearing sun. Now take into account that this was self enforced as they supposedly had the right to take water breaks, conventional 10 minute breaks, and a 30 minute lunch but the dog eat dog competition denied them this luxury. 

 

So to make a long story short I am not fully aware of how far China has come but I imagine that it has progressed. Also conditions here in the United States for the less privileged are far from exemplary. Most of the American public is ensconced from the reality that such conditions exist here in the United States. Being from a minority group i've been exposed first hand at the conditions that undocumented migrants endure here in this country. For this reason I can sympathize with the Chinese worker and understand that even given the conditions they endure they relish the opportunity to work and better their condition. 


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#29
caltrek

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Trump’s Tax Cuts Incentivized Corporate Offshoring. These Democrats Want to Reverse That.

 

http://www.futuretim...d-states/page-2

 

Extract:

 

(The American Prospect) The new law established a lower 10.5 percent tax rate—half the domestic corporate rate—on the income that American corporations earn abroad. As Kimberly Clausing, a tax policy expert at Reed College, told The New York Times, “It’s sort of an America-last tax policy. We are basically saying that if you earn in the U.S., you pay X, and if you earn abroad, you pay X divided by two.” On top of that, American companies do not have to pay U.S. taxes on any profits earned from factories and equipment that is overseas, so long as such profits remain below a certain threshold of overall international investment. Critics say this could spark a new wave of offshored jobs.

 

The new Democratic bill aims to fix those skewed incentives by equaling out the corporate tax rates for both domestic and foreign profits, repealing the incentives to set up operations abroad, and cracking down on corporate inversions as a tool for international tax evasion.

 

“President Trump promised the American people he’d end the march of jobs and profits overseas. Instead, he’s doled out massive new tax breaks that reward offshoring,” Senator Whitehouse said in a statement. “Our bill would prohibit multinational corporations from exploiting the loopholes opened by President Trump’s so-called ‘tax reform.’ Those big corporations have profited long enough from special tax breaks—now we need a tax code that’s fair to small businesses and middle-class workers.”

 

The Whitehouse-Doggett bill has already drawn the support of a broad array of progressive advocacy and labor groups. Beyond that, it’s unlikely that the bill will go anywhere. Altering the tax treatment of foreign-earned profits has long been a top Republican priority. But when it comes to Democrats clearly articulating how they plan to undo the damage done by the Trump tax cuts, and how they plan to talk about the issue in the fall campaign, the bill is at least a step in the right direction.

ap_17263692591035.jpg?itok=ofxmfwHb

 

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., speaks during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in September 2017.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#30
caltrek

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I just received an email from the DNCC. Admitedly a biased source, but still:


"The Maddow Show reported this week that Paul Ryan just acknowledged Democrats’ worst fears about the GOP tax scam: that cutting Social Security and Medicare is the next step in their 'game.'

The GOP tax bill added more than $1 trillion to our national deficit -- and now, just as Senate Democrats predicted, Ryan and his fellow Republicans are using the added debt as an excuse to slash Social Security and Medicare.

We can’t let the GOP get away with massive cuts to our safety net (especially not to fund tax breaks for billionaires). Add your name to stand with Senate Democrats and stop cuts to Social Security and Medicare.

Look, we know Ryan and Mitch McConnell won’t give up their plans to cut our safety net programs until they are out of the majority. Ryan said this week, 'We’re just going to have to keep at it.'”

The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#31
caltrek

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Marco Rubio Admits the Depressing Truth About Republicans' Tax Cut Bill

 

https://www.alternet...ns-tax-cut-bill

 

Introduction:

 

(Alternet) Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) voted in favor of the Republican Party’s massive tax cut late last year — but now he says that there’s little evidence that handing out big breaks to corporations has significantly trickled down to American workers.

 

Talking with The Economist, Rubio criticizes his party for believing that large corporate tax cuts will inevitably produce windfalls for workers in the United States — and he says that so far, we haven’t seen very many corporations using their additional money to invest in their employees.

 

“There is still a lot of thinking on the right that if big corporations are happy, they’re going to take the money they’re saving and reinvest it in American workers,” Rubio tells the publication. “In fact they bought back shares, a few gave out bonuses; there’s no evidence whatsoever that the money’s been massively poured back into the American worker.”

 

Rubio also hinted that neither the GOP’s tax cut plan nor Trump’s protectionism will do much to help workers who are seeing more and more jobs disappear thanks to automation and technology.


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The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#32
caltrek

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Mnuchin Flips Tax-Scam Grift, Hopes Nobody Notices

 

https://ourfuture.or...-nobody-notices

 

Extract:

 

(Our Future.org) To sell the tax cut, Trump, Mnuchin and Congressional Republicans insisted that most of the bill’s benefits would go to the middle class, which is demonstrably untrue. In fact, lower-income and middle-class Americans lose needed benefits and will eventually pay more in taxes than they did before the bill was passed.

 

Mnuchin, like his boss and his boss’s cronies, also insisted that the bill’s massive tax corporate cuts would lead to worker bonuses and new jobs as corporations reinvested their new-found billions.

 

…Class War

 

Stock buybacks were considered illegal for most of the twentieth century, because they are commonly used to manipulate share prices.

 

Under Ronald Reagan, the SEC loosened the rules and made the practice legal – but that didn’t make it right. As executive packages tilted more toward stock-based compensation, executives had a powerful incentive to abuse the process for personal gain.

 

The wave of stock buybacks triggered by the “Tax and Jobs Act” was, therefore, highly predictable. One assumes, in fact, that savvy bankers like Mnuchin expected it – and that this wave of wealth-taking at the public’s expense was, in fact, their goal all along.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#33
caltrek

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The GOP Tax Cuts Are Bad Champagne for Small Business

 

https://ourfuture.or...-small-business

 

Extract::

 

(OurFuture.org) As they take their victory lap, Republican lawmakers still insist Main Street benefits most from these cuts, even as the evidence mounts that big business is taking home the kitty.

 

…But Main Street workers and business owners will not be fooled. Hardworking families know that in coming years, if nothing is done, they will bear the burden as this law redistributes wealth upwards, long after the stock buybacks and one-time bonuses are gone.

 

The View From Main Street

 

To find out what the real effects of these tax cuts will be on Main Street, we reached out to nearly 1,800 small business owners across the country. We’ve published what they told us in a new report.

 

What these hardworking folks – who create the vast majority of jobs in this country – say they need is not tax cuts for the few, but conditions that will create and support growing consumer demand. These include high-quality, stable and affordable healthcare and spending on infrastructure to create a virtuous cycle in local economies.

“When people in my neighborhood don’t have enough to keep up with the basics – like paying bills, purchasing food and school supplies, and making car repairs – then they definitely aren’t calling us to cater a party,” said David Borris, co-owner of Hel’s Kitchen, a catering service he’s run in Chicago for more than thirty years.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#34
caltrek

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The Democrats' Response

 

http://prospect.org/...rats-response-0

 

Extract:

 

(American Prospect) The tax cut that all but 12 Republicans voted for and Donald Trump signed earlier in this session remains the one significant piece of legislation that an otherwise fractious GOP could agree upon—and, in grand Republican tradition, it will deliver 83 percent of its benefits to the wealthiest 1 percent by 2027. But this time around, no Democrat in either house supported the legislation. Even though many Democrats had at times supported lowering corporate tax rates, the GOP bill was so overwhelmingly tilted toward the rich that no Democrat crossed party lines on the vote.

 

The Democrats’ solidarity was doubtless strengthened by their battles against Trump, and “their success in defeating the Republicans’ attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act,” says Frank Clemente, executive director of Americans for Tax Fairness (ATF), “really stiffened their spines.” More than that, their unanimity was a reflection of the political transformations their party and nation had undergone since 1981, with the Democrats no longer representing any part of the white South, and with the share of party members identifying themselves as liberals growing from 28 percent in 2000 to 46 percent today. It was also a reflection of the economic transformation the nation had undergone since that 1981 tax cut, with the era of broadly shared prosperity now a dim memory, with the decades-long stagnation of wages, and with levels of economic inequality not seen since just before the 1929 crash.

 

…DESPITE ALL THE COVERAGE the 2017 Republican Tax Act received in the media, despite all the hype about corporations passing along their new savings to their workers, when Democrats talked to their constituents in town meetings and neighborhood coffee shops in the weeks and months following the bill’s enactment, they made an important discovery: Most people didn’t think the cut mattered very much to their own pocketbooks. Indeed, it was far from the top of list of issues that concerned them.

 

…And the tax cut, says (Oregon Senator Jeff) Merkley, is a perfect illustration of …corruption. “I describe the bill as a reflection of the fundamental corruption of Congress,” he says. “I say it borrowed $1.5 trillion from your kids to give 80 percent of that to the richest Americans.”

 


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#35
caltrek

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As feared, the projected deficits caused by the tax cuts are now being used as an argument for cutting Medicare and Social Security. 

 

House GOP plan would cut Medicare, Social Security to balance budget

 

https://www.greensbo...84a79a533a.html

 

 

(News & Record) House Republicans released a budget proposal Tuesday that would balance in nine years - but only by making large cuts to entitlement programs, including Medicare and Social Security, that President Donald Trump has vowed not to touch.

 

The House Budget Committee is aiming to pass the blueprint later this week, but that may be as far as it goes this midterm election year. It's not clear that GOP leaders will put the document on the House floor for a vote, and even if it were to pass the House, the budget would have little impact on actual spending levels.

 

Nonetheless the budget serves as an expression of Republicans' priorities at a time of rapidly rising deficits and debt. Although the nation's growing indebtedness has been exacerbated by the GOP's own policy decisions - including the new tax law, which most analyses say will add at least $1 trillion to the debt - Republicans on the Budget Committee said they felt a responsibility to put the nation on a sounder fiscal trajectory.

 

"The time is now for our Congress to step up and confront the biggest challenge to our society," said House Budget Chairman Rep. Steve Womack (R-Ark.). "There is not a bigger enemy on the domestic side than the debt and deficits."

 

The Republican budget confronts this enemy by taking a whack at entitlement spending. Lawmakers of both parties agree that so-called mandatory spending that is not subject to Congress's annual appropriations process is becoming unsustainable. But Trump has largely taken it off the table by refusing to touch Medicare or Social Security, and Democrats have little interest in addressing it except as part of a larger deal including tax hikes - the sort of "Grand Bargain" that eluded former President Barack Obama.


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The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#36
caltrek

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Will the Tax Act Set Back Private Equity?

 

http://prospect.org/...-private-equity

 

Introduction:

 

(American Prospect) Section 13301 of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act spans only 12 of the legislation’s 503 pages. It doesn’t cover the giant corporate tax rate cut, the trim to the top marginal rate, or changes to pass-through income. It wasn’t part of anyone’s talking points, whether touting or damning the tax overhaul. After passage, few even understood how it got into the bill.

 

But Section 13301 could affect the lives of millions of Americans. It could radically upend the balance sheets of some of the most powerful financial institutions in the country. It’s hard to know at this point exactly how these firms will compensate for the changes. But it does show how small shifts in the tax laws can have wide-ranging, unanticipated consequences.

What does Section 13301 do? It limits the ability of corporations to deduct interest payments from their overall taxes. Previously, companies could take all of their interest payments as a deduction, making financing operations through debt more desirable than through equity. Those days are now over.

 

This obviously affects any company that uses debt financing, of which there are many. But it really targets the masters of debt in the modern economy: the private equity industry, which uses borrowed money to purchase companies—and, some would say, suck them dry. Those deals are predicated on the ability to load up on debt cheaply: the new tax limitations make such maneuvering more expensive.

 

So did the Republican Congress and Donald Trump unilaterally dismantle one of the most powerful industries in the financial sector? Did they inadvertently hand struggling companies, once prime targets for private equity vultures, a real shot to avoid capture? Well, not quite. It more likely just altered the structure of private equity deals, and perhaps the targets of their business model. “Private equity will adapt,” said William Cohan, former Wall Street investor and author of three books about the financial industry. “They are nothing if not an incredibly adaptive organism.”

 

ap_18050649062566.jpg?itok=GsoeeuWT

House Speaker Paul Ryan, left, and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, second from left, congratulate each other after signing the final version of the GOP tax bill during an enrollment ceremony at the Capitol in Washington.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#37
caltrek

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Why the Tax Act Will Not Boost Investment

 

http://prospect.org/...oost-investment

 

Introduction:

 

(American Prospect) The centerpiece of the Republican Tax Act signed into law at the end of last year was the cut in the corporate income tax rate. The reduction in the tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, along with other reductions in business taxes, accounts for almost 40 percent of the $1.6 trillion projected gross cost of the tax cuts.

 

Since the law passed, most of the discussion has focused on the division of the benefits of the corporate tax cuts between shareholders and workers. On this score, the shareholders look to be the big winners. According to an analysis by Americans for Tax Fairness that focused on the public announcements from the country’s 500 largest corporations, share buybacks announced since the law’s passage have totaled more than $400 billion compared with $6.1 billion in announced bonuses or pay increases, with the vast majority of this money falling in the category of one-time bonuses.

 

It is also worth noting that companies were effectively getting paid to announce bonuses as soon as the law was passed. A bonus announced in calendar year 2017 could be written off against the 35 percent corporate income tax rate in effect that year even if it would be paid in 2018. In contrast, bonuses that were not announced until 2018 could be deducted only at the new 21 percent corporate income tax rate. As a result, a company like AT&T, which announced one-time bonuses of roughly $200 million in December for its employees (equal to less than 10 percent of its annualtax savings), was effectively paid $28 million to make its announcement in 2017 rather than wait until January. This is in addition to the benefits of getting into the good graces of a notoriously capricious president


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls






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