But Wait, There's Less . . .

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But Wait, There's Less . . .

Post by Amskeptic » Mon Dec 18, 2017 7:25 pm

What do you think of this tax cut veering down the pike?

Does it let you pay your taxes on a postcard?

Is it the "most beautiful tax cut for the middle class" that was promised?
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Re: But Wait, There's Less . . .

Post by Bleyseng » Tue Dec 19, 2017 10:56 am

Is it the "most beautiful tax cut for the middle class" that was promised?"
Only if you are mega rich and have lots of real-estate investments to take advantage of the "Corker" tax dodge with pass thru income!
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Re: But Wait, There's Less . . .

Post by Amskeptic » Wed Dec 20, 2017 7:51 am

The Tax Bill Shows the G.O.P.’s Contempt for Democracy
By Will Wilkerson
Dec. 20, 2017

The New York Times

The Republican Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is notably generous to corporations, high earners, inheritors of large estates and the owners of private jets. Taken as a whole, the bill will add about $1.4 trillion to the deficit in the next decade and trigger automatic cuts to Medicare and other safety net programs unless Congress steps in to stop them.

To most observers on the left, the Republican tax bill looks like sheer mercenary cupidity. “This is a brazen expression of money power,” Jesse Jackson wrote in The Chicago Tribune, “an example of American plutocracy — a government of the wealthy, by the wealthy, for the wealthy.”

Mr. Jackson is right to worry about the wealthy lording it over the rest of us, but the open contempt for democracy displayed in the Senate’s slapdash rush to pass the tax bill ought to trouble us as much as, if not more than, what’s in it.

In its great haste, the “world’s greatest deliberative body” held no hearings or debate on tax reform. The Senate’s Republicans made sloppy math mistakes, crossed out and rewrote whole sections of the bill by hand at the 11th hour and forced a vote on it before anyone could conceivably read it.

The link between the heedlessly negligent style and anti-redistributive substance of recent Republican lawmaking is easy to overlook. The key is the libertarian idea, woven into the right’s ideological DNA, that redistribution is the exploitation of the “makers” by the “takers.” It immediately follows that democracy, which enables and legitimizes this exploitation, is itself an engine of injustice. As the novelist Ayn Rand put it, under democracy “one’s work, one’s property, one’s mind, and one’s life are at the mercy of any gang that may muster the vote of a majority.”

On the campaign trail in 2015, Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, conceded that government is a “necessary evil” requiring some tax revenue. “But if we tax you at 100 percent, then you’ve got 0 percent liberty,” Mr. Paul continued. “If we tax you at 50 percent, you are half-slave, half-free.” The speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, shares Mr. Paul’s sense of the injustice of redistribution. He’s also a big fan of Ayn Rand. “I give out ‘Atlas Shrugged’ as Christmas presents, and I make all my interns read it,” Mr. Ryan has said. If the big-spending, democratic welfare state is really a system of part-time slavery, as Ayn Rand and Senator Paul contend, then beating it back is a moral imperative of the first order.

But the clock is ticking. Looking ahead to a potentially paralyzing presidential scandal, midterm blood bath or both, congressional Republicans are in a mad dash to emancipate us from the welfare state. As they see it, the redistributive upshot of democracy is responsible for the big-government mess they’re trying to bail us out of, so they’re not about to be tender with the niceties of democratic deliberation and regular parliamentary order.

The idea that there is an inherent conflict between democracy and the integrity of property rights is as old as democracy itself. Because the poor vastly outnumber the propertied rich — so the argument goes — if allowed to vote, the poor might gang up at the ballot box to wipe out the wealthy.

In the 20th century, and in particular after World War II, with voting rights and Soviet Communism on the march, the risk that wealthy democracies might redistribute their way to serfdom had never seemed more real. Radical libertarian thinkers like Rand and Murray Rothbard (who would be a muse to both Charles Koch and Ron Paul) responded with a theory of absolute property rights that morally criminalized taxation and narrowed the scope of legitimate government action and democratic discretion nearly to nothing. “What is the State anyway but organized banditry?” Rothbard asked. “What is taxation but theft on a gigantic, unchecked scale?”

Mainstream conservatives, like William F. Buckley, banished radical libertarians to the fringes of the conservative movement to mingle with the other unclubbables. Still, the so-called fusionist synthesis of libertarianism and moral traditionalism became the ideological core of modern conservatism. For hawkish Cold Warriors, libertarianism’s glorification of capitalism and vilification of redistribution was useful for immunizing American political culture against viral socialism. Moral traditionalists, struggling to hold ground against rising mass movements for racial and gender equality, found much to like in libertarianism’s principled skepticism of democracy. “If you analyze it,” Ronald Reagan said, “I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism.”

The hostility to redistributive democracy at the ideological center of the American right has made standard policies of successful modern welfare states, happily embraced by Europe’s conservative parties, seem beyond the moral pale for many Republicans. The outsize stakes seem to justify dubious tactics — bunking down with racists, aggressive gerrymandering, inventing paper-thin pretexts for voting rules that disproportionately hurt Democrats — to prevent majorities from voting themselves a bigger slice of the pie.

But the idea that there is an inherent tension between democracy and the integrity of property rights is wildly misguided. The liberal-democratic state is a relatively recent historical innovation, and our best accounts of the transition from autocracy to democracy points to the role of democratic political inclusion in protecting property rights.

As Daron Acemoglu of M.I.T. and James Robinson of Harvard show in “Why Nations Fail,” ruling elites in pre-democratic states arranged political and economic institutions to extract labor and property from the lower orders. That is to say, the system was set up to make it easy for elites to seize what ought to have been other people’s stuff.

In “Inequality and Democratization,” the political scientists Ben W. Ansell and David J. Samuels show that this demand for political inclusion generally isn’t driven by a desire to use the existing institutions to plunder the elites. It’s driven by a desire to keep the elites from continuing to plunder them.

It’s easy to say that everyone ought to have certain rights. Democracy is how we come to get and protect them. Far from endangering property rights by facilitating redistribution, inclusive democratic institutions limit the “organized banditry” of the elite-dominated state by bringing everyone inside the charmed circle of legally enforced rights.

Democracy is fundamentally about protecting the middle and lower classes from redistribution by establishing the equality of basic rights that makes it possible for everyone to be a capitalist. Democracy doesn’t strangle the golden goose of free enterprise through redistributive taxation; it fattens the goose by releasing the talent, ingenuity and effort of otherwise abused and exploited people.

At a time when America’s faith in democracy is flagging, the Republicans elected to treat the United States Senate, and the citizens it represents, with all the respect college guys accord public restrooms. It’s easier to reverse a bad piece of legislation than the bad reputation of our representative institutions, which is why the way the tax bill was passed is probably worse than what’s in it. Ultimately, it’s the integrity of democratic institutions and the rule of law that gives ordinary people the power to protect themselves against elite exploitation. But the Republican majority is bulldozing through basic democratic norms as though freedom has everything to do with the tax code and democracy just gets in the way.

(Will Wilkinson is the vice president for policy at the Niskanen Center)
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Re: But Wait, There's Less . . .

Post by Amskeptic » Tue Jan 30, 2018 1:36 pm

I just finished my 2017 taxes. They sure as heck weren't postcard. There were some actual new complexities regarding income generated outside of my home state. There were charts of states that have a compact with mine and states that don't, and I think I might have been required to fill out a bewildering number of forms to declare the income while in those states. Why is this? Is it about figuring out state tax burdens and credits only for deducting state income tax only on income in my home state?
I paid more tax this year than last on $2,200.00 less income. Why? I don't yet know. My new online tax preparer doesn't have a comparison chart.
Thanx, Trump.

If you're a resident of..............................and you work in..............Submit this exemption form to your employer
Anywhere other than District of Columbia..........District of Columbia.......................................................D-4A
Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, or Wisconsin......................................Illinois....................................................IL-W-5-NR
Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin.................Indiana........................................................WH-47
Illinois...................................................................................................Iowa..........................................................44-016
Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin...Kentucky............................................42A809
District of Columbia, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia..................Maryland..........................................MW 507
Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin......................Michigan.............................................MI-W4
etc. etc. etc...
Michigan or North Dakota Minnesota MWR
North Dakota Montana MT-R
Pennsylvania New Jersey NJ-165
Minnesota or Montana North Dakota NDW-R
Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Pennsylvania, or West Virginia Ohio IT-4NR
Indiana, Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio, Virginia, or West Virginia Pennsylvania REV-419
District of Columbia, Kentucky, Maryland, Pennsylvania, or West Virginia Virginia VA-4
Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, or Virginia West Virginia WV/IT-104 R
Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, or Michigan Wisconsin W-220
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .111,130 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,787 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 91 414 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,510 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 72,113 miles

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Re: But Wait, There's Less . . .

Post by hippiewannabe » Fri Feb 02, 2018 6:50 pm

Amskeptic wrote:
Tue Jan 30, 2018 1:36 pm
I just finished my 2017 taxes. They sure as heck weren't postcard. There were some actual new complexities regarding income generated outside of my home state. There were charts of states that have a compact with mine and states that don't, and I think I might have been required to fill out a bewildering number of forms to declare the income while in those states. Why is this? Is it about figuring out state tax burdens and credits only for deducting state income tax only on income in my home state?
I paid more tax this year than last on $2,200.00 less income. Why? I don't yet know. My new online tax preparer doesn't have a comparison chart.
Thanx, Trump.

If you're a resident of..............................and you work in..............Submit this exemption form to your employer
Anywhere other than District of Columbia..........District of Columbia.......................................................D-4A
Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, or Wisconsin......................................Illinois....................................................IL-W-5-NR
Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin.................Indiana........................................................WH-47
Illinois...................................................................................................Iowa..........................................................44-016
Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin...Kentucky............................................42A809
District of Columbia, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia..................Maryland..........................................MW 507
etc. etc. etc...
Michigan or North Dakota Minnesota MWR
Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin......................Michigan.............................................MI-W4
North Dakota Montana MT-R
Pennsylvania New Jersey NJ-165
Minnesota or Montana North Dakota NDW-R
Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Pennsylvania, or West Virginia Ohio IT-4NR
Indiana, Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio, Virginia, or West Virginia Pennsylvania REV-419
District of Columbia, Kentucky, Maryland, Pennsylvania, or West Virginia Virginia VA-4
Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, or Virginia West Virginia WV/IT-104 R
Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, or Michigan Wisconsin W-220
Whoa.
Well, one thing is certain, you can't pin this on Trump. The new tax reform takes effect in 2018. There were only the typical inflation index adjustments and such between '16 and '17, which would reduce your taxes, not increase them. So what changed? This: "...My new online tax preparer..." Your previous one seems to have not gotten down to the multi-state level of detail. Every state with an income tax wants its pound of flesh for any income earned in that state. Makes sense if you worked in Michigan for six months then moved to Ohio. Your situation, not so much.

Kudos to you for wanting to pay Uncle Sam everything he deserves, but you may be taking things a bit far. I would suggest you declare all the income where most of the world thinks you live. If nobody really knows, use Florida, which has no state income tax.

Here's a major point: the IRS only knows what people tell them, and really only knows what employers and financial institutions tell them via electronically transmitted forms. They have bigger fish to fry. If you want to get down and dirty, when you receive more than $600 from someone (i.e. two days), you must provide them your W-9 and they must file a 1099. Do you really want to go there?

So keep it simple, don't break it down by state.

Here's the really cool news: Your standard deduction has nearly doubled, from $6500 to $12,000. So after all your business stuff is calculated on Schedule C, you really can do your 1040 taxes on a post card. And your marginal tax rate has been reduced from 15% to 12% .

You can send your thank-you letter to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20500.
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Re: But Wait, There's Less . . .

Post by Amskeptic » Sat Feb 03, 2018 1:04 pm

hippiewannabe wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 6:50 pm
Whoa.
Well, one thing is certain, you can't pin this on Trump. The new tax reform takes effect in 2018.

A) So what changed? This: "...My new online tax preparer..."
I would suggest you declare all the income where most of the world thinks you live.

B) If you want to get down and dirty, when you receive more than $600 from someone (i.e. two days), you must provide them your W-9 and they must file a 1099. Do you really want to go there?


C) Here's the really cool news: Your standard deduction has nearly doubled, from $6500 to $12,000. So after all your business stuff is calculated on Schedule C, you really can do your 1040 taxes on a post card. And your marginal tax rate has been reduced from 15% to 12% .

D) You can send your thank-you letter to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20500.

a) That is what I ended up doing. I am a New Yorker. A grateful New Yorker who pays my state income taxes to the penny because I really do appreciate my state, my corrupt, self-dealing, government still manages to take care of its residents, and I am happy to participate in keeping it running.

b) That is why, hippiewannabe, my rates bang in at ten dollars below the threshold, and I try to separate my two-day deals with someone else in the middle. A crafty little boy scout . . . :cyclopsani:

c) Currently factored at .13 cents per hour amortized over the coming year.

d) Dear Donald and Paul,

Thank-you for the tax cut. See you in November.

Dead Sincerely,
Colin
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Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,787 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 91 414 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,510 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 72,113 miles

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Re: But Wait, There's Less . . .

Post by MonoCone » Sat Feb 03, 2018 2:53 pm

hippiewannabe wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 6:50 pm
Here's a major point: the IRS only knows what people tell them, and really only knows what employers and financial institutions tell them via electronically transmitted forms. They have bigger fish to fry. If you want to get down and dirty, when you receive more than $600 from someone (i.e. two days), you must provide them your W-9 and they must file a 1099. Do you really want to go there?
I believe that an individual does not need to file a 1099 when paying someone in cash unless that individual is making the payment in connection with their own trade or business.
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Re: But Wait, There's Less . . .

Post by Amskeptic » Sun Feb 04, 2018 12:49 pm

MonoCone wrote:
Sat Feb 03, 2018 2:53 pm
hippiewannabe wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 6:50 pm
Here's a major point: the IRS only knows what people tell them, and really only knows what employers and financial institutions tell them via electronically transmitted forms. They have bigger fish to fry. If you want to get down and dirty, when you receive more than $600 from someone (i.e. two days), you must provide them your W-9 and they must file a 1099. Do you really want to go there?
I believe that an individual does not need to file a 1099 when paying someone in cash unless that individual is making the payment in connection with their own trade or business.
$600 in: rents; services performed by someone who is not your employee; prizes and awards; other income payments; medical and health care payments; 1099-MISCs only need to be sent for services provided for a business, not for goods or merchandise
I had a whole slew of employees who I had to provide 1099 MISC forms to back in the days of my hvac/appliance business. To remain on the right side of the law, I had to allow them to contract their services to others.

In this consulting business, I am in a different circumstance because my customers are not a business, they are retail consumers of information, and I am not being paid in the course of their business.
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .111,130 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,787 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 91 414 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,510 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 72,113 miles

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Re: But Wait, There's Less . . .

Post by hippiewannabe » Sun Feb 04, 2018 8:03 pm

Amskeptic wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 12:49 pm
MonoCone wrote:
Sat Feb 03, 2018 2:53 pm
hippiewannabe wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 6:50 pm
Here's a major point: the IRS only knows what people tell them, and really only knows what employers and financial institutions tell them via electronically transmitted forms. They have bigger fish to fry. If you want to get down and dirty, when you receive more than $600 from someone (i.e. two days), you must provide them your W-9 and they must file a 1099. Do you really want to go there?
I believe that an individual does not need to file a 1099 when paying someone in cash unless that individual is making the payment in connection with their own trade or business.
$600 in: rents; services performed by someone who is not your employee; prizes and awards; other income payments; medical and health care payments; 1099-MISCs only need to be sent for services provided for a business, not for goods or merchandise
I had a whole slew of employees who I had to provide 1099 MISC forms to back in the days of my hvac/appliance business. To remain on the right side of the law, I had to allow them to contract their services to others.

In this consulting business, I am in a different circumstance because my customers are not a business, they are retail consumers of information, and I am not being paid in the course of their business.
Makes sense. It gets a bit ambiguous with the " Zoe Baird Problem", but I guess when you are paying a nanny month after month, they are essentially an employee, while an Itinerant Mechanic is a passing personal service. One thing is certain though, paying cash vs. check or credit card or PayPal or Venmo doesn't matter, except to the extent it allows you to hide the transaction from Big Brother.
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Re: But Wait, There's Less . . .

Post by Amskeptic » Sun Feb 04, 2018 8:32 pm

hippiewannabe wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 8:03 pm
One thing is certain though, paying cash vs. check or credit card doesn't matter, except to the extent it allows you to hide the transaction from Big Brother.
I claim every dollar so I can burnish my magnificent social security retirement. Now at $990/m if I retire at 67.
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BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .111,130 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,787 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 91 414 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,510 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 72,113 miles

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Re: But Wait, There's Less . . .

Post by hippiewannabe » Sun Feb 04, 2018 8:52 pm

Amskeptic wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 8:32 pm
hippiewannabe wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 8:03 pm
One thing is certain though, paying cash vs. check or credit card doesn't matter, except to the extent it allows you to hide the transaction from Big Brother.
I claim every dollar so I can burnish my magnificent social security retirement. Now at $990/m if I retire at 67.
ColinTycoon
Ha. As much as you demand full disclosure from your interlocutors, the hints I've perceived when lubricated by a few beers makes me think you won't be suffering too much in your retirement, even without the benefit of the Suicide Door Lincoln Annuity .
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Re: But Wait, There's Less . . .

Post by Amskeptic » Sun Feb 04, 2018 9:15 pm

hippiewannabe wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 8:52 pm
Ha. As much as you demand full disclosure from your interlocutors, the hints I've perceived when lubricated by a few beers makes me think you won't be suffering too much in your retirement, even without the benefit of the Suicide Door Lincoln Annuity .

I demand nothing of the sort from my interlocutors. When have I ever demanded full disclosure of others?

Have we been talking too much under the lubrication of beers? If so, I apologize for giving you wrong impressions or hints or whatever. I find that distasteful. "Suicide Door Lincoln Annuity" What??
It will not happen again.
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BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .111,130 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,787 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 91 414 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,510 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 72,113 miles

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Re: But Wait, There's Less . . .

Post by hippiewannabe » Sun Feb 04, 2018 9:51 pm

Amskeptic wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 9:15 pm
hippiewannabe wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 8:52 pm
Ha. As much as you demand full disclosure from your interlocutors, the hints I've perceived when lubricated by a few beers makes me think you won't be suffering too much in your retirement, even without the benefit of the Suicide Door Lincoln Annuity .

I demand nothing of the sort from my interlocutors. When have I ever demanded full disclosure of others?

Have we been talking too much under the lubrication of beers? If so, I apologize for giving you wrong impressions or hints or whatever. I find that distasteful. "Suicide Door Lincoln Annuity" What??
It will not happen again.
Colin
"Suicide Door Lincoln Annuity" is just fun. It's a cool car that has been a good investment.

I do remember a pretty aggressive "I asked you a question!" when I demurred on a monetary query that us mid-western folks normally consider off limits. Just a cultural difference.

Some of the best conversations are lubricated by a few beers, we just have to keep them in context, and private. Perhaps I've said too much, having had more than a few beers while watching the game. :drunken:
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Re: But Wait, There's Less . . .

Post by Amskeptic » Tue Feb 06, 2018 7:05 pm

hippiewannabe wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 9:51 pm

"Suicide Door Lincoln Annuity" is just fun. It's a cool car that has been a good investment.

I do remember a pretty aggressive "I asked you a question!" when I demurred on a monetary query that us mid-western folks normally consider off limits. Just a cultural difference.

Some of the best conversations are lubricated by a few beers, we just have to keep them in context, and private. Perhaps I've said too much, having had more than a few beers while watching the game. :drunken:

But that was a great game, from that gorgeous trick play in the 2nd quarter to that ..... deflating strip sack at the end.
Colin :drunken:
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .111,130 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,787 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 91 414 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,510 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 72,113 miles

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