Texarkana, TX 77° View Live Radar Wed H 77° L 59° Thu H 75° L 57° Fri H 79° L 63° Weather Sponsored By:

It can be so hard for Washington to do what's right

It can be so hard for Washington to do what's right

October 12th, 2017 by Jay Ambrose in Opinion Columns

The Trump tax plan is currently under investigation and, some keen analysts are finding, could do more to revitalize the economy, lift up the poor and middle class, and simplify outrageous complexities than anything seen in a long, long time. That's simply intolerable by the standards of many in D.C. and must stop now, we're told.

The Democrats, for instance, don't like it because the well-off will profit, too, as in lowering corporate taxes from the developed world's highest. The thing is, the average Joe and Jane mostly pay those taxes with fewer jobs, lower wages, higher prices and lower economic growth rates.

That last item is huge because, as Trump adviser Stephen Moore has observed, we desperately need something better than the miserable, cough, cough, limp-along 1.6 percent growth rate in President Barack Obama's last year in office. But this year, with good news possibly just around the corner, corporations have been thinking big again. Their profits are up, stocks are up and the growth rate hit 3.1 percent in the second quarter.

We've also got high consumer confidence and lower unemployment. Of course, as has been said by others noting all of this, the happier days may not be just a consequence of President Donald Trump's tax ideas, regulatory rollbacks and unleashing of our energy resources. But it truly is the case that we are talking about making our corporations more competitive internationally, likelier to stay home, foreigners likelier to invest more dollars here and the whole nation profiting.

It will also be the case under the plan, by the way, that money made overseas will be coming back (maybe as much as $2.5 trillion) without the kinds of taxes that keep it abroad, and that feeds the economy to everyone's benefit even if some say a lot of that money just goes to shareholders. Those shareholders invest and spend, which benefits one and all, and the lion's share would be going to pension funds known to serve many people without mansions in Beverly Hills.

There's a whole lot more here, of course, such as vastly simplifying individual and family income taxes, getting to just three basic rates, expanding child tax credits and getting rid of deductions for state and local taxes. Some love those deductions and don't want to see them go, but step back and consider how it works. The states that tax the most get the most deductions, it has been observed. That means lower-tax states are in effect subsidizing higher-tax states whose representatives in Congress love that system and in some cases are willing to sacrifice the rest of us to maintain it.

Lots of loopholes of various kinds will go away as we get higher standard deductions and what that means is the lobbyists are coming, the lobbyists are coming. They would much rather have special interests conquering the overall public interest, even if it means keeping tax-form confusion intact. The business of figuring out what exemptions you have and do not have and all the rest ends up costing a lot of money, $165 billion a year, it is said, and it would be oh, so nice to skip some of that pain.

The plan lacks lots of details because that was left up to Congress, not such a bad idea if the members do their job, and it is not a horror to me that some Republicans are questioning the possible added budget deficit here. They should think it through and take care through compromises if necessary while not forgetting what a truly well-constructed plan can do.

As former U.S. Sen. Phil Gramm and Michael Solon of US Policy Metrics have written in the Wall Street Journal, the combined tax cuts of President Ronald Reagan increased federal revenue by 19 percent during his time in office while blessing the later years of his tenure with 4.6 percent growth. A percentage point less than that could do wonders this time around.

Getting Started/Comments Policy

Getting started

  1. 1. If you frequently comment on news websites then you may already have a Disqus account. If so, click the "Login" button at the top right of the comment widget and choose whether you'd rather log in with Facebook, Twitter, Google, or a Disqus account.
  2. 2. If you've forgotten your password, Disqus will email you a link that will allow you to create a new one. Easy!
  3. 3. If you're not a member yet, Disqus will go ahead and register you. It's seamless and takes about 10 seconds.
  4. 4. To register, either go through the login process or just click in the box that says "join the discussion," type your comment, and either choose a social media platform to log you in or create a Disqus account with your email address.
  5. 5. If you use Twitter, Facebook or Google to log in, you will need to stay logged into that platform in order to comment. If you create a Disqus account instead, you'll need to remember your Disqus password. Either way, you can change your display name if you'd rather not show off your real name.
  6. 6. Don't be a huge jerk or do anything illegal, and you'll be fine.

Texarkana Gazette Comments Policy

The Texarkana Gazette web sites include interactive areas in which users can express opinions and share ideas and information. We cannot and do not monitor all of the material submitted to the website. Additionally, we do not control, and are not responsible for, content submitted by users. By using the web sites, you may be exposed to content that you may find offensive, indecent, inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise objectionable. You agree that you must evaluate, and bear all risks associated with, the use of the Gazette web sites and any content on the Gazette web sites, including, but not limited to, whether you should rely on such content. Notwithstanding the foregoing, you acknowledge that we shall have the right (but not the obligation) to review any content that you have submitted to the Gazette, and to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content that we determine, in our sole discretion, (a) does not comply with the terms and conditions of this agreement; (b) might violate any law, infringe upon the rights of third parties, or subject us to liability for any reason; or (c) might adversely affect our public image, reputation or goodwill. Moreover, we reserve the right to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content at any time, for the reasons set forth above, for any other reason, or for no reason. If you believe that any content on any of the Gazette web sites infringes upon any copyrights that you own, please contact us pursuant to the procedures outlined in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (Title 17 U.S.C. § 512) at the following address:

Copyright Agent
The Texarkana Gazette
15 Pine Street
Texarkana, TX 75501
Phone: 903-794-3311
Email: webeditor@texarkanagazette.com