Taxes

In America, It Is Reality vs. Fantasy

Featured image I spent the day in Washington yesterday. The city is roiled by the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearing, where the Democrats are disgracing themselves with fantastical assertions against a superb, mainstream jurist. Beyond the Kavanaugh hearing, the city’s main obsession is an anonymous op-ed in the New York Times by a person who may or may not exist and may or may not be a senior executive branch official. The gist »

Paul Krugman, Supply Sider

Featured image Paul Krugman is a partisan hack, so I don’t take anything he says seriously. Still, it is interesting, as Dan Mitchell points out, that Krugman subscribes to the Laffer Curve: I’ve been writing about the Laffer Curve for decades, making the simple point that there’s not a linear relationship between tax rates and tax revenue. To help people understand, I ask them to imagine that they owned a restaurant and »

A sidebar on Barbara Bush

Featured image The death of Barbara Bush at the age of 92 gives us the occasion to look back on a meaningful life well lived. She died in Houston yesterday surrounded by her family. The wife of the 41st president, the mother of the 43rd, she was a great and gallant lady in her own right. She was widely admired and respected. The full Houston Chronicle obituary is posted here. I want »

The Cost of “The Resistance”: For CA, It’s $12 Billion

Featured image If you’re an old-timer like me, cast your mind back to the tax reform of 1986, which was passed on a bipartisan basis, because Democrats understood the logic of tax simplification and cutting rates down to a lower level with a broader base. There’s one detail everyone has forgotten that is relevant today: President Reagan’s initial tax reform proposal included elimination the state and local income tax deduction. Pro-tax reform »

Democrats’ Tax Plan: Back to the Future?

Featured image The Democrats have rolled out the tax plan on which they intend to run in November. It is, I think, revealing. The Democrats propose to raise the top personal income tax rate back up to 39.6%, instead of the 37% to which it was reduced under the Trump tax cuts. But the other personal income tax cuts in the Republican package–the “crumbs”–will remain in place. So the Democrats have given »

Democrats are surprised that more money in pay checks is popular

Featured image How out of touch is the Democratic Party? This out of touch: The Washington Post reports that Democrats expected the Trump tax cut to be unpopular and are surprised to find that voters like seeing more money in their pay checks. Post reporter Erica Warner writes: Democrats predicted a political backlash for ­Republicans in December when the GOP pushed through a deeply unpopular tax cut that added more than $1 »

Did the tax cut really produce those bonuses and pay raises?

Featured image Veronique de Rugy suggests that the bonuses and pay raises granted by many employers right after the tax cut was signed into law might well have been coming even without the tax cut. The key to the increase in worker compensation, she proposes, is the very tight labor market. De Rugy quotes the Wall Street Journal: With the unemployment rate low and unfilled job openings high, losing workers to a »

Bringing it all back home

Featured image Has there ever been a quicker boost to the economy than the one we have experienced under President Trump over the past year? As Joel Kotkin puts it in this City Journal column: “New job numbers are robust, GDP and wages continue to rise, stocks are soaring, unemployment continues to decline, and overall growth is at its highest in 13 years. And this salutary picture is not exclusive to big »

The Media vs. the Facts On Tax Reform

Featured image The Democratic Party media tried desperately to discredit the Republican tax reform bill, assuring readers and viewers that it wouldn’t do them any good. This makes it especially fun to watch the good news continue to roll out. And just wait until the overwhelming majority of working Americans get a raise next month! The Washington Free Beacon created this delightful 2:31 video, in which Democratic Party broadcasters and “experts” claim »

Bonus Bonus Bonus!

Featured image [I see John is after this story also, just below.] Is it still Christmas? Or is Nancy Pelosi just determined to be the gift that keeps on giving all year round? Today, in answer to a reporter’s question about the growing number of companies giving bonuses to their workforce because of the tax bill, said that the bonuses were “insignificant crumbs.” I’ll bet a lot of the people receiving the »

Lessons in Economic Literacy

Featured image Anyone remember the early 1990s when the Clinton Administration discovered to its horror that it couldn’t spend like the horny drunken sailors we know them to have been because the bond market would instantly punish the economy? James Carville famously said that if he was reincarnated, he wanted to come back to earth as the bond market. Hold that thought in mind as we survey the current economic scene a »

Blue States Search For Ways to Preserve Subsidies

Featured image Blue state governments are reeling following enactment of the tax reform bill, which among many other virtues, corrects an injustice: residents of low-tax states like South Dakota will no longer be forced to subsidize residents of high-tax states like New York. Or at least, not to the same extent. State and local taxes will still be deductible, up to $10,000. The Associated Press reports: “States exploring tax changes in response »

Holiday Shopping Data Illustrate Success of Trump’s Policies and Democrats’ Difficult Road

Featured image The Wall Street Journal reports on holiday shopping: Fueled by high consumer confidence and a robust job market, U.S. retail sales in the holiday period rose at their best pace since 2011, according to MastercardSpendingPulse, which tracks both online and in-store spending. Sales, excluding automobiles, rose 4.9% from Nov. 1 through Christmas Eve, compared with a 3.7% gain in the same period last year. *** Unlike in past years, when »

Meet Robert Strong

Featured image Robert Strong is the Los Angeles psychologist who “claims to have left the festively wrapped box of manure outside the Bel-Air home of U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin that spurred a Secret Service investigation, billing it as a political protest against the recently passed tax bill.” Here I am quoting from Emily Alpert Reyes’s Los Angeles Times story. Robert Strong, in other words, is the face of the Resistance »

Breaking: Tax bill cut taxes

Featured image Under an all caps Merry Christmas Glenn Reynolds alerts us to the Senate GOP tweet that embeds an interesting report from CBS News (below). In the spirit of the day, it carries tidings of good cheer. CBS checked in with three families of varying means to ascertain the effect of the tax bill enacted last week. I was particularly interested in the impressions each of them had. A single mother »

Not the end of the world as we know it, maybe

Featured image Can fans of Bernie Sanders be persuaded to support elements of the GOP tax bill that was just enacted despite the Democrats’ visions of the apocalypse? It seems impossible, but Ami Horowitz may have have opened a few minds of Sandernistas waking the streets of the East Village by creatively ascribing them to Sanders (video below). I’m not sure Ami persuaded anyone on lowering the corporate tax rate from 35 »

What if Americans end up really liking the tax cuts?

Featured image As the Senate was about to pass the tax reform bill earlier this week, protesters interrupted the proceedings with chants like “Kill the bill, don’t kill us.” The protests were so loud that Vice President Pence had to stop the process a few times. Protesters singled out Sen. Jeff Flake, whom they hoped would vote “no.” A protester yelled: “Have you no decency, have you no shame?” This was probably »