A Taxing Situation
No Dems voted for Trump’s tax cuts. Will that help or hurt them?
I think the big hurt is that Trump/Congress decided to have these tax cuts go into effect in just a few weeks…when we all begin work on our taxes for this year.
Many of us low-wage workers are expecting a big tax return. Aside from the child tax credit, we make so little that all we paid in taxes via our paychecks is returned, and we also have some tax money redistributed to us.
That’s why I had a $960 tax return last year…and my wife had the same amount.
So…will it be more this year…or will it be less?
Because if it’s more, then I’ll have no problem with the GOP tax cuts…at least this year.
But if it’s less…then shit – what the hell am I supposed to get excited about?
Millions of Americans are thinking the same way I am. If they’re not like me and not getting a return, they’re still looking to send a little less off to Uncle Sam than they had to last April.
If they have to send more, then the tax cuts will be a problem. If they send less, then the tax cuts will be a benefit.
For Dems…this is a quandary.
- On the one hand…the tax cuts could have Americans paying more…just maybe not this year. While that could help their future political ambitions, it might not help that much in 2018. In fact, it could hurt them.
- On the other hand…the tax cuts could have Americans paying less…and maybe starting in 2018. That would surely boost the GOP brand across the country leading up to the 2018 midterms, and it could put a damper on what Dems are able to fundraise going into their primaries.
Mostly, Dems are counting on this tax cut hurting Americans…it’s just that they mostly admit this won’t happen until the early-to-mid 2020s.
The GOP is mostly counting on this tax cut helping Americans now, via the soaring stock market (which is only pumped up via the liquidity of the Fed), as well as increased returns/decreased payments that common Americans can expect…mostly from the child tax credit being increased.
Sure, state and local tax deductions are gone, as is the student loan interest credit.
Americans will live with these changes. Oh, they’ll complain to anyone that’ll listen, but those complaints rarely translate into meaningful votes at the ballot box in November.
Red states have little to worry about as state taxes are usually low. Blue states have more of a problem because their Dem-controlled legislatures have driven up state taxes for years.
And then you get islands of blue in the seas of red, Missoula being a fine example. Here we have the highest taxes in the state, and many property owners are sick of it.
Despite that, they can’t muster enough votes to get rid of the mayor or the city council that’s foisting that tax burden off on them.
So there’s going to be a lot of Missoulians that own homes that are going to suffer under these GOP tax cuts…although we could also argue that they’re suffering because local taxes are so high.
Voting really does matter.
Last year, the GOP ran the table and now they get their way. The Dems are very angry about this, and very incapable of doing anything about that anger aside from looking foolish and ineffective.
For most of us, it’ll come down to what it always does – the money.
If I get more/pay less this year…the GOP tax cuts are good for me. If that’s not the case, then the GOP tax cuts are bad for me.
Millions of Americans will see this quite clearly by April. If the Dems or the GOP is not able to capitalize on this, then they have no one to blame but themselves.
Pieces of Shit Corker and Daines
These two assholes are getting the 20% small business tax rate on their real estate ‘businesses’ even though those businesses don’t have employees.
Both these clowns no longer have to pay taxes on the first $22 million of their earnings.
Both these clowns tout the tax bill as beneficial to American families as those families won’t have to pay taxes on the first $26,000 of their income.
$22 million vs. $26,000.
Dems can get angry about this, but they can do little else.
They just don’t have the votes to win in the areas of the country where it matters. Even if they did, and somehow took the House next year…I don’t see a new tax bill coming forth, one that’d undo these changes in favor of a tax policy that benefits working people more than the rich.
I don’t see that happening.
No, we’re stuck with these tax changes…and we don’t even know what many of them are yet.
Dems could capitalize on this, but their Party is so bereft of good orators and those that don’t come across as pure-complainers that they can’t do this.
On top of this, most of the Democratic congressmen and women are rich, too…just like their GOP counterparts.
We know in 2016 that all of Congress was worth $7 billion and that each congress person has an average net worth of $1 million.
In 2012, Republicans in Congress had an average net worth between $6.9 million and $7.6 million (Senate vs. House) and Democrats had an average of between $13.5 million and $5.7 million.
In fact, if we look at a list of the 20 richest members of Congress, we find that 11 of them are Republicans and 9 are Democrats.
The richest person is Greg Gianforte, with $315 million, then Darrell Issa of California, with $254 million. After that it’s Michael McCaul of Texas with $107 million. All are Republicans.
After that we get three Democrats – John Delaney of Maryland with $91 million; Mark Warner of Virginia with $90 million; and Jared Polis of Colorado with $90 million as well.
Mostly, if you’re in Congress you’re going to be old and rich and white and a man. That’s who most of these people are. These are the people that you feel best represent you, based on how you vote, or how well you’re able to convince others to vote.
Most Montanans are quite happy with this congressional makeup. They voted in the richest member of the House, and one of our Senators has $15 million while the other has $1 million.
And then we sit here with a dumb look on our face, wondering why in the hell our representatives are voting in their own interests, and now ours.
Well…follow the money. It’s not like this was a big surprise before these guys were elected. Hell, I gave you their finances all during 2014, 2016, and the 2017 special election.
You voted for ‘em anyways…or at least your neighbors did.
So really…who’s to blame?
And I’m Supposed to Care…Why, Exactly?
I pay $9,000 a year in rent for a place I’m building no equity in…and yet I’m supposed to care about homeowners that aren’t going to be able to deduct state and local taxes, or deduct mortgage interest on a home worth more than $750,000?
I look at local job postings everyday and mostly there’s CDL drivers, elder care attendants, nursing assistants, baristas and dishwashers…and yet I’m supposed to be satisfied with this, with this lack of non-specialized, higher-wage jobs?
I make $8.15 an hour at two of my part-time jobs…and yet I’m supposed to care that unionized, benefitted, resource-extraction workers are having a ‘tough time’ right now?
I spend 25% of my annual income on rent/bills, 20% on food, 10% on gas and car repairs…and yet I’m supposed to care about identity political issues?
I ain’t got a pot to piss in and a sink full of dirty dishes…and yet I’m supposed to care about wolves or grizzlies or sage grouse?
I work several jobs and do stay-at-home dad duties (it’s much cheaper than child care) and can’t get anything saved at the end of each month…and yet I’m supposed to care about ‘racist’ fountains or gender-neutral bathrooms?
Folks, wake the fuck up!
Picking It Up Again
And finally…the non-political.
For nearly two months I’ve had the first 50-or-so pages of my novel-in-progress printed out and laying on the floor.
The idea was to read through it, fix typos, and fill plot-holes.
Took me about two months to work up the ‘courage’ to do that. And as usual…I was pretty impressed with how good the story was, and how easy it was to keep turning the pages.
Maybe the writing’s not that good, and perhaps the grammar ain’t perfect. But gosh darn…the story keeps moving.
It’s a Book 12, and I’m finding it harder and harder to come up with new ideas for the same old kinds of situations…even when I have historical events to go off of.
I mean…how many times can you have whites kill Indians and Indians kill whites without it getting stale?
Maybe that’s why I’ve been plodding away on this novel for over 9 months, now.
But at least I picked it up off the floor and I’m making progress again.
Will anyone care?
Some will, but most won’t. For Book 11, I’ve sold at least 180 copies since I put it out earlier this year, and that’s netted me about $130 in income.
Doesn’t even cover the costs of getting the book cover made…and won’t for another 50 sales or so. After that I’ll begin to turn a profit.
I’ve made over $5,600 from my book sales this year, and I’ve only spent $95 on marketing. The books might not sell that well compared to other authors, but I don’t have to put an effort forth to get sales, either.
At this point it’s all icing on the cake. Another $2,000 or so in book royalties and my writing would have paid for the $31,000 in student loan debt I had when I graduated in 2008.
Not many ‘fine arts’ majors can say the same…though I have a BA, so maybe that has something to do with it.
And with that...I'm off to watch my son's first grade Christmas show. Have a good day.