Taxes reformed – maybe…

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"Today after breakfast, I am going shopping and spend some of the money I will be saving on taxes next year. On second thought, maybe not. I might one of the unfortunate few who need to 'take one for the team'. In other words, a tax increase."

Last night, at about zero dark thirty, the Senate voted to pass the tax bill. It simplifies our tax code. And the bill is 500 pages long. Huh? How can a 500 page bill simplify anything? A very good question, indeed. And what is in the final version? Don't know as yet. It is different than the one which was written. Why? Because of all the "horse trading" at the end. The "horse trading" to get that all important 51st vote.
This is shades of the ObamaCare vote, only on the red side this time. And for those of us who took civics (when they still taught it in the government schools), this looked nothing like the legislative process we learned about. I mean, it is one thing to not let the people who pay the taxes read the bill to be voted on, but not the Senators either? And what happened to discussions, debate, amendments - all that stuff which is important before the all important bill is voted on? For a "historic bill", which will set the tone for the next decade, I will already give it an "F" for transparency.
My favorite part of the pressers when the red team is explaining the bill is the question of fairness. The red team does admit this bill is slanted towards the low SALT (low state and local tax) states. They high SALT states - either cut your spending or take it tough with the federal taxes. And then when the question is raised if everyone in the middle class will get a tax cut, the answer ranged from "maybe" to "no".
So here is what we don't know. First, what is in the bill - and second, how will it affect me? What we do know is this. Both the House and Senate version have a huge reduction in the business tax. If the tax bill had only that provision in it, it would be a winner. Those of us in the business world know that the taxes a corporation pays are in reality a VAT. So reducing these taxes will not only make us more competitive in the world market, it should also slightly reduce the price of many products.
Don;t get too comfortable as yet. In the paper this morning, was an article about the next hill to conquer. And this one will be a might size tougher than the tax hill. The long overdue fix for Social Security and Medicare. I have been thinking for quite a while now that Paul Ryan might have some amnesia. After all, he was at one time the consummate budget hawk. But his memory seems to have returned, and he really wants to trim the sails on these two entitlement monsters.
My biggest fear going forward is many of the Democrats are going to get laryngitis. After screaming about the unfairness of the tax bill which few or none of them supported, they will be screaming the Republicans are trying to take away our hard earned Social Security and Medicare. Am I clairvoyant? Not a bit. Seen this movie before the last time the word "privatization" was mentioned by the red team with entitlement reform. Bottom line? Should be a raucous December and 2018.
Today after breakfast, I am going shopping and spend some of the money I will be saving on taxes next year. On second thought, maybe not. I might one of the unfortunate few who need to "take one for the team". In other words, a tax increase.