Thursday, November 30, 2017
"After careful thought and consideration, I have decided to support the Senate tax reform bill," McCain said in a statement. "I believe this legislation, though far from perfect, would enhance American competitiveness, boost the economy, and provide long overdue tax relief for middle class families."
Jimmy P has it right: Tax cuts never jazzed core Trump voters the way immigration restriction and The Wall did
Here for The Week:
Remember, the U.S. is in its 101st month of a steady-if-unspectacular economic expansion. The unemployment rate is low. While there are obviously millions upon millions of Americans who continue to struggle, overall the economy simply isn't the priority for voters that it is in times of real economic crisis. What's more, a failed tax cut is unlikely to derail the expansion, since expectations of a fat tax cut aren't responsible for the growing economy and rising stock market. (You can thank a global economic upturn for that.) And tax cuts — much less corporate tax cuts — weren't the motivating factor behind the Trumpopulist surge. Tax cuts never jazzed core Trump voters the way immigration restriction and The Wall did. Trump's diehard supporters won't howl over a failure to slash corporate tax rates. ... [N]o magic tax cut will turn 2 percent GDP growth into sustained 3 percent or 4 percent growth.
Wednesday, November 29, 2017
Typically I present the data for JFK/LBJ as a unit because Kennedy was shot and Johnson finished his first term and then one of his own, making eight years. Same with Nixon/Ford, because Nixon resigned and Ford finished Nixon's second term, making eight years.
But when comparing first time office holders, LBJ really should be included. The key difference is that LBJ was elected in his own right in 1964, while Ford was not in 1972. So LBJ should be included, but not Ford in order to compare apples to apples.
Johnson was like Truman in three respects: For serving out a dead president's term, for being elected in his own right, and for deciding against standing for re-election.
So, the updated chart including Old Guns 'n Butter himself (note that Trump thus ranks 7th out of 12 starts in this update):
Tuesday, November 28, 2017
Laugh of the Day: Cokie Roberts admits all the women in media knew not to ride in the elevator with Conyers
It takes CNBC article 13 paragraphs before admitting repeal of Obamacare mandate would result in loss of coverage for millions BY CHOICE
"Most of the losses [in insurance coverage] are due to the fact that people are not getting pushed into getting coverage," Levitt said.
|"Thank God for me"|
Peak Baby Boom 1952-1957 when births per 1,000 of population averaged 25.17 (graph 1) is probably the simplest explanation for outsized GDP performance during the years when this generation turned 22 from 1974-1979. More babies in the 1950s equaled more GDP come the late 1970s.
We only wish for that GDP now.
Jimmy Carter, elected in 1976, still owns the best 4-year GDP record in the post-war, despite everything you've been told (graph 2). It's nothing special he did really, it's just that in 1975, the year before his election, you had the very peak of the Baby Boom turn 18, those born in 1957 when births per 1,000 hit 25.3 for the second and final time in the post-war. They and the rest of their cohort were ready to consume in numbers never seen before. Their era spanning from Nixon/Ford from 1972 when the first of them turned 20 through Reagan in 1984 when they turned 32 represents the coming of age of America's most powerful economic demographic and the period when America's GDP performance hit its highest levels (average 46.3%).
Their failure to have enough children themselves, however, is also a big part of the explanation for the GDP trend heading south after their time. They consumed, but they did not at all produce children like their parents had. In fact, the nadir of births per 1,000 before the current period occurred from 1972 to 1977, precisely the period exactly 20 years after peak Baby Boom 1952-1957. Births per 1,000 averaged just 14.92 during this period, a rate nearly 41% lower than their parents' era. So the most prolific fruit of the Baby Boom had gone on to become themselves the least prolific, having the fewest children ever.
Not surprisingly, without enough bodies the economy inevitably began to run out of gas starting about two decades after that. Clinton era GDP performance was never as good as Reagan's, and the era was marked by various warnings, not the least of which were the bond debacles of 1994 and 1999. The great Reagan bull market ended in August 2000, a recession ensued in 2001, average S&P 500 return has been reduced to 5.2% per annum over the last 17 years, and the GDP growth rate after Clinton has averaged just half what it averaged before Carter (16% vs. 32%). No wonder the trend is down so dramatically (graph 3).
Have LOTS more kids, and wait 20 years, if you want America to still be America, that is. Otherwise, let in even more than the 1 million immigrants we already let in annually, and prepare to kiss your country goodbye.
But don't hold your breath. Births per 1,000 have fallen to an average of just 12.5 for the five year period 2011-2015.
They don't call it the suicide of the West for nothing.
Monday, November 27, 2017
As long as you are a good Democrat, like Al Franken, you can get away with molesting women and stay in the US Senate
|Methodically executed 77 in Norway, gets only 21 years!|
Franken committed unwanted kissing and touching, but he gets to go back to work in the US Senate today.
Just like Norway, it seems Minnesota will go easy on just about everything.
All you have to do is apologize!
Black Africans are being sold in open-air slave markets right now, and it’s Hillary Clinton’s fault. ... Footage from Libya, released last week by CNN, showed young men from sub-Saharan Africa being auctioned off as farm workers in slave markets.
And how did we get to this point? As the BBC reported back in May, “Libya has been beset by chaos since NATO-backed forces overthrew long-serving ruler Col. Moammar Gadhafi in Oct. 2011.” And who was behind that overthrow? None other than then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Sunday, November 26, 2017
Friday, November 24, 2017
Thursday, November 23, 2017
Wednesday, November 22, 2017
What an effing pig is Republican Rep. Joe Barton of Texas, 32 years up there on The Hill, wanking away
Dramatic video shows what a parasite-ridden North Korean soldier did to achieve his freedom in the West
Thank God South Korea remains a bastion of freedom, thanks to the freedom-loving people of these United States.
Another True Born Son of Liberty is born.
From the story:
While treating the [gunshot] wounds, surgeons removed dozens of parasites from the soldier’s ruptured small intestine, including presumed roundworms that were as long as 27 centimetres, which may reflect poor nutrition and health in North Korea’s military. The soldier is 5 feet, 7 inches tall but weighs just 9.4 stone.
Monday, November 20, 2017
The Giant of the Senate, indeed. Giant fraud.
A second woman has accused Minnesota Sen. Al Franken of improper conduct, saying he put his hand on her bottom as they posed for a picture at the Minnesota State Fair in 2010 — after he had begun his career in the Senate. Lindsay Menz told CNN last week for a report broadcast Monday that the interaction made her feel "gross." She said she immediately told her husband that Franken had "grabbed" her bottom, and she said she posted about it on Facebook. ...
She said as she posed with Franken, he "pulled me in really close, like awkward close, and as my husband took the picture, he put his hand full-fledged on my rear," Menz said. "It was wrapped tightly around my butt cheek." Menz said she told her husband, Jeremy Menz, and father Mark Brown about it right away. Both men affirmed that to CNN. Menz also said she posted the photo with Franken on Facebook on Aug. 27, and when her sister commented on the photo, she replied: "Dude -- Al Franken TOTALLY molested me! Creeper!"
Sunday, November 19, 2017
Merkel was weakened after an election in September as voters angry with her decision in 2015 to open Germany's borders to more than a million asylum seekers punished her conservatives by voting for the Alternative for Germany (AfD) far-right party.
There is little appetite for a second vote, especially as the main parties fear that the populist AfD would win more than the almost 13 percent of votes it secured in September.
The video is here.
At the end Darrel Nelson claims his stepmom likes to live pretty high on the hog. He believes she's in this for the money.
Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe suggested Comey's investigation of Hillary wasn't routine but given "special" status
The Hill reported here on the 15th:
Shortly before last year’s election, FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe wrote an email on his official government account stating that the Hillary Clinton email probe had been given “special” status, according to documents released Wednesday.
McCabe’s Oct. 23, 2016, email to press officials in the FBI said the probe was under the control of a small group of high-ranking people at the FBI’s headquarters in Washington.
“As I now know the decision was made to investigate it at HQ with a small team,” McCabe wrote in the email. He said he had no input when the Clinton email investigation started in summer 2015, while he was serving as assistant director in charge of the FBI's Washington office.
“[The Washington office] provided some personnel for the effort but it was referred to as a ‘special’ and I was not given any details about it,” he wrote.
Thursday, November 16, 2017
[T]he bill would limit state and local deductions and the mortgage interest deduction, eliminate the personal exemption and nearly double the standard deduction. ... The most significant difference between the chambers' plans is the treatment of state and local tax deductions. The Senate plan would eliminate those deductions entirely. The measure could alienate some House Republicans who voted for the chamber's bill that would allow up to $10,000 in property tax deductions.
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
Nearly 82,000 Minnesotans paid over $38 million in federal penalties in 2015 for not having health insurance.
That's how much repealing the Obamacare mandate would have saved those Minnesotans in 2015, the vast majority of whom made less than the national average wage of $46,000.
The national average penalty in 2015 was $470.
Jeff Greenfield is a Democrat political hack forging equivalency between Roy Moore, Donald Trump and Bill Clinton
Here in Politico:
So what changed? Three people: Harvey Weinstein, Donald Trump and Roy Moore.
Actually, nothing's changed.
When blacks like Bill Cosby and Jews like Harvey Weinstein suddenly get outed and become ground zero for sex crime in the popular imagination, Democrats have to act quickly to change the narrative to deflect the attention away from themselves and onto their opponents.
Same old same old.
Tuesday, November 14, 2017
Why was General Robin Rand promoted and put in charge of our nuclear missiles after he failed to report Texas shooter's crime to FBI?
From the story here in The Chicago Tribune:
The Air Force lapse in the Devin P. Kelley case, which is now under review by the Pentagon's inspector general, made it possible for him to buy guns before his attack Sunday at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. Twenty-six people were killed, including multiple members of some families. About 20 other people were wounded. ...
Federal law prohibited him from buying or possessing firearms after his conviction. But because it was never added to the FBI's database for background checks, Kelley was able to buy his guns.
Air Force records show Kelley initially faced charges of domestic violence for seven alleged incidents in 2011 and 2012. Five were withdrawn as part of a plea agreement, including two involving Kelley pointing a loaded gun at his wife. He pleaded guilty to striking, choking and kicking his wife and hitting his stepson "with a force likely to produce death or grievous bodily harm."
He was sentenced in November 2012 to one year in confinement and reduction in rank to E-1, the lowest enlisted rank. He was given a bad conduct discharge, which was carried out in 2014. The officer overseeing the case was Robin Rand, then a three-star general and now the four-star commander of Air Force Global Strike Command in charge of the service's bomber force and nuclear missiles.
Monday, November 13, 2017
I'll entertain the notion of the US Senate's integrity when it repeals Obamacare, builds The Wall, and cuts spending
You remember "teen tit film" Ted, dontcha?
The Texas Senator is quoted here on Roy Moore:
“As it stands, I can’t urge the people of Alabama to support a campaign in the face of these charges without serious, persuasive demonstration that the charges are not true,” the Texas Republican told reporters, according to a Texas Tribune reporter.
Saturday, November 11, 2017
How quickly we forget.
Thursday, November 9, 2017
Just in time for the Dec. 12 election in Alabama, WaPo comes up with a sex scandal involving candidate Roy Moore
The story, "Woman says Roy Moore initiated sexual encounter when she was 14, he was 32", is here.
The judge liked 'em young.
Way to go, Brownie! Or somebody.
When ABC News asked the source familiar with the report if the failure rate was 80 percent, the response was, “You are in the ballpark.” ... The news of the failure comes two years after ABC News reported that secret teams from DHS found that TSA failed 95 percent of the time to stop inspectors from covertly smuggling weapons or explosive materials through screening.
Wednesday, November 8, 2017
Seen in the comments to "Dems win from coast to coast" at The Hill.
The mice that roared.
Tuesday, November 7, 2017
Real Clear has called both races even though just 5% of the vote is in in New Jersey.
New Jersey is a flip, having been governed by Republican Chris Christie.
Virginia stays Democrat. Ed Gillespie loses another one, having run unsuccessfully for the US Senate previously and now for governor.
Monday, November 6, 2017
But by July she was just "extremely careless".
John Solomon for The Hill notes here that
'The change is significant, since federal law states that gross negligence in handling the nation’s intelligence can be punished criminally with prison time or fines. ... “There is evidence to support a conclusion that Secretary Clinton, and others, used the email server in a manner that was grossly negligent with respect to the handling of classified information,” reads the statement, one of Comey’s earliest drafts from May 2, 2016.'
Sunday, November 5, 2017
And it wasn't even raining.
[A] little more than 300 people showed up, according to NYPD officers tasked with securing it. Many of the signs Refuse Fascism had prepared sat stacked against a metal railing. Organizers handed out leaflets about the Revolutionary Communist Party, an older, radical group with ties to Refuse Fascism. Over a thousand people had previously committed to going to the November 4 protests on Facebook, and roughly five thousand had pledged interest, but when all was said and done, burgeoning leftist groups like Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), protest mainstays like Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) and the masked anarchists that had captured the imagination of people on the far right failed to attend.
Saturday, November 4, 2017
Ruh-roh, in his senile dotage 41 has also taken to feelin' up the ladies at photo-ops, hence the permanent shit-faced grin.
In 1913 when the average Joe made about $800 a year, the first income tax under the 16th Amendment didn't worry him because he didn't pay it and probably thought he never would. The personal exemption for a married couple in the original tax code was $4,000.
Today that $4,000 personal exemption adjusted for inflation using the Consumer Price Index amounts to about $100,000.
Even in 2016 that kind of income is made by fewer than 10% of individual wage earners. Under the original income tax of 1913, 90% today wouldn't have to worry about paying the dreaded income tax either.
Is there a way to return to this golden age of taxation?
I'm here to tell you that I think so, and I say that as a conservative. We could easily simplify the tax code by returning to the status quo which prevailed before the First World War, pay all the bills, abolish Social Security and Medicare taxes, the corporate income tax and all the other little irritating taxes and reduce income inequality in the process. We'd also save a lot of time and money wasted in complying with the tax code's myriad baroque features.
Here's the math.
In 2016 according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis personal income in the United States was $15.9287 trillion.
Social Security's Office of the Chief Actuary tells us that in 2016 there were 163.5 million individual wage earners. If you exempt the first $100,000 of everybody's individual wage income in 2016, including from the rich, you're talking about $6.213 trillion of individual wage income which would be tax-free.
That leaves $9.7157 trillion of personal income left in 2016 to tax, to pay all the bills.
According to The Tax Policy Center, the bills were the total estimated federal outlays of $3.9513 trillion in 2016.
So, the tax is 40.67% (9.7157 X .4067 = 3.9513) on all personal income in excess of $100,000 a year, no itemized deductions, no credits of any kind (this is where they all came from in the first place, because the rich pissed, moaned and complained and bribed the politicians to carve out privileges for them to escape paying).
The rich, all 14.9 million of them, will still have $7.2544 trillion to play with ($1.49 trillion from their first $100K tax-free, just like everybody else, and $5.7644 trillion left over after taxes from the income in excess of $100K).
The rest of us, 148.6 million, won't pay any federal income tax, Social Security or Medicare tax, gasoline tax, or any other kind of federal tax on our $4.723 trillion. The only taxes we'll have to pay will be State and Local Income Taxes, property taxes, sales taxes and the like. Of course rich people will have to pay those too, but that's a problem for all of us and for a different level of politics.
$15.9287 trillion personal income 2016 (BEA)
- 3.9513 trillion federal taxes, all from those making $100,000+ per year @40.67%
- 7.2544 trillion left over for the 14.9 million making $100,000+ per year (top 10%)
- 4.7230 trillion left over for the 148.6 million making less than $100,000 per year (bottom 90%)
And the budget balances.
Friday, November 3, 2017
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Rep. Kevin Brady, quoted here:
He also said that there would be no House floor amendments to the bill, and that changes would be made in his committee and potentially in a conference with the Senate down the road.
In all seriousness, Republican elimination of personal exemptions is just sleight of hand to raise your taxes
In 2017, the personal exemption is $4,050.
If your little tribe is six, mommy, daddy, and four kids, your personal exemptions add up to $24,300.
Add in the standard deduction for a married couple filing jointly of $12,700 and you are up to $37,000 shielded from taxation. (Itemize deductions instead and you might shield even more, but Republicans are proposing new limits on those, too).
The new Republican tax reform, however, eliminates the personal exemptions and caps all this at the new higher standard deduction of $24,000, thus exposing $13,000 to taxation that wouldn't have been exposed before. And you'll pay at a higher rate in the lowest bracket, too, which has been raised from 10% to 12%.
That's what's really going on here. The only way this benefits families is if those families are small. And, of course, small families implies something else: more immigration.
It's anti-American and anti-family, and in fact, it's inhumane. Taxes were always meant to be personal, and by eliminating personal exemptions for the first time in history the libertarians who wrote this bill are showing their purely materialistic hand.
You aren't a human being to them. You're merely capital.
Don't let them get away with this.
In 1913 when the income tax began there was no such thing as the standard deduction. That didn't come along until 1944.
The original income tax was a class tax, a tax on the wealthy, just as was the corporate tax instituted in 1909. From the beginning it came with a personal exemption of $3,000 and if you were married $4,000. Dependent exemptions didn't begin to be added until 1917, starting at $200.
Guess what the personal exemption of $4,000 would be in 2016, adjusted for inflation? $100,000. Times all the individual wage earners in America in 2016 $16.3 trillion would be exempt from taxation. In the third quarter of 2017, personal income in the United States wasn't even $16.5 trillion.
In other words, the original personal exemptions of the tax code adjusted for inflation would exempt all current personal income from taxation, except for maybe $200 billion.
As far as I'm concerned, the government can have that.
Now that's what I call a tax reform.
56% use a paid preparer, and 34% use tax software, according to figures reported here.
That means 90% of individual filers really have no idea how the numbers have worked in the past, and therefore they are most likely going to have not the slightest idea how the tax reform will change them.
I'm betting Republicans are counting on this as they try to rush this through by Thanksgiving.
Your goose is cooked, sir.
Republican tax reform includes a sneaky tax increase on itemizers, removing the personal exemption privilege
Josh Barro, here:
Currently, you get to take the personal exemption even if you also itemize deductions, but you get to take the standard deduction only if you forego itemized deductions. Combining these provisions into a single, standard deduction would mean itemizers lose their personal exemption and get nothing back — meaning they'll typically pay tax on an extra $4,050 of income if they're single, or $8,100 if they're married.
Thursday, November 2, 2017
The Democrat Senator is quoted here:
Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, said that Republicans were employing a double standard, giving corporations a better deal than individuals. ... “Corporations will still get to deduct their state and local taxes, but individuals and families won’t,” Wyden said.
Parents of large families no longer get dependent exemptions for their multiple children under the proposed Republican tax reform, thereby exposing more of their income to taxation, income which parents need to raise these future taxpayers. It's almost as if Republicans are trying to discourage giving birth to the future country.
And medical expenses are no longer a thing under the plan. It's mostly elderly people who rely on the deduction of medical expenses to keep solvent in old age, but the deduction also helps others who experience catastrophic medical expenses under high deductible plans or under no plan. It's almost as if Republicans want these people to suffer complete and utter penury because of medical necessity.
For the first time in my Republican life I'm having to consider that Republicans deliberately went after these two groups, the most vulnerable in our society. It's almost unthinkable after all these years that the pro-life party is nothing of the sort.
If stuff like that stays in the plan I'm going to be facing the prospect of having to consider seriously voting for the enemy.
Who knows. Maybe that's what Republicans want. They've become so liberal now maybe they want us to fulfill this very clearly expressed tax reform death wish by throwing them out of office.
Republicans are favoring established big businesses at the expense of smaller and independent businesses. In essence they are protecting the already successful from those who only dream of being as successful. Combine the loss of other deductions being eliminated under the tax reform proposal and pass-through filers will find that their big tax cut is not so big after all.
"One rate for thee, but another for me".
The bill would lower the top rate for income from "pass-through" businesses from 39.6 percent to 25 percent. These businesses, which include some small businesses, otherwise have their income taxed through the individual code on their owners' returns. But NFIB [National Federation of Independent Business] says that most small businesses wouldn't qualify for the lower rate because of the way the new rate is structured.
Additionally, the bill as a default position would not allow income from personal services businesses, such as law and accounting firms, to be eligible for the 25-percent rate.
Under current law, the IRS allows individuals to deduct qualified medical expenses that exceed 10 percent of a person’s adjusted gross income for the year. The bill would repeal that itemized deduction, effective in 2018.
This is part of The Swamp's incremental war against taxpayer deductions.
For decades the threshold was 7.5% of AGI. Then under Obamacare it became 10%. Now it's gone entirely.
These greedy bastards must be stopped.
CNBC's Jake Novak lets it slip that his libertarian hatred of single family homes has been aesthetic all along
Seen here, italics added by me:
Second we have perhaps the most controversial proposal: The plan to cap mortgage interest deductions for new home purchases at $500,000, but keep the rules as is for existing mortgages. This starts the long-needed process of eliminating a tax policy that mostly aided the rich and has aided America's ruinous and unsustainable suburban single-family home sprawl.
Funny how so many Americans like to live in that suburban sprawl instead of in cities.
Funny also how they overwhelmingly vote Republican.
Looks like as much as 5,000 tons of US yellowcake were shipped by Uranium One to Canada and then on to Europe and Asia
NRC memos reviewed by The Hill show ... that it did approve the shipment of yellowcake uranium — the raw material used to make nuclear fuel and weapons — from the Russian-owned mines in the United States to Canada in 2012 through a third party. Later, the Obama administration approved some of that uranium going all the way to Europe, government documents show. ...
Rather than give Rosatom a direct export license — which would have raised red flags inside a Congress already suspicious of the deal — the NRC in 2012 authorized an amendment to an existing export license for a Paducah, Ky.,-based trucking firm called RSB Logistics Services Inc. to simply add Uranium One to the list of clients whose uranium it could move to Canada.
The license, reviewed by The Hill, is dated March 16, 2012, and it increased the amount of uranium ore concentrate that RSB Logistics could ship to the Cameco Corp. plant in Ontario from 7,500,000 kilograms to 12,000,000 kilograms and added Uranium One to the “other parties to Export.”
The move escaped notice in Congress. ...
The entire Uranium One episode is getting a fresh look after The Hill disclosed late last month that the FBI had gathered extensive evidence in 2009 — before the mine sale was approved — that Rosatom’s main executive in the United States was engaged in a racketeering scheme that included bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering.
Wednesday, November 1, 2017
Grand Rapids, Michigan, climate update for October 2017
Max Temp: Actual 82, Mean 79
Min Temp: Actual 28, Mean 28
Av Temp: Actual 55.2, Mean 51.3, YTD Actual 54.06, YTD Mean 51.08
Precip: Actual 9.69, Mean 2.98, YTD Actual 34.67, YTD Mean 29.26
CDD: Actual 11, Mean 8, YTD Actual 719, YTD Mean 693
Average temperature is running 5.8% ahead of mean to date.
The warmest years on record here were considerably warmer at this stage.
In the warmest full year on record by average temperature, 2012, average temperature year to date was 55.84, 1.78 ahead of 2017 year to date and 9.3% ahead of mean to date.
In the second warmest full year on record, 1931, average temperature year to date was 54.35, 0.29 ahead of 2017 year to date and 6.4% ahead of mean to date.
In the third warmest full year on record, 1921, average temperature year to date was 56.00, 1.94 ahead of 2017 year to date and 9.6% ahead of mean to date.
In 2009 in Obama's America, nearly 30 million people filed first time claims for unemployment. That high point is the lowest point in recent memory. And if you can't remember that, you're either a moron, on drugs, or NINE.