When Tax Reform Isn’t-What Congress Giveth It Taketh Away-Podcast 676

They call it Tax Reform. A Jobs Bill. That’s what it must be, right? Journalists and commentators are playing the same old game. Argue a proposed piece of legislation on its merits. Time to reset the boundaries in When Tax Reform Isn’t-What Congress Giveth It Taketh Away-Podcast 676.

Freedom Of Choice

While listeners to The Bob Davis Podcasts always have the freedom to choose what they think is right, I want to introduce the concept of marginal improvement. Legislators on both sides of the political spectrum talk big about ‘reform’. Usually though they make what really are marginal changes. This is especially relevant when we’re talking about the tax code.

The Real Football Game Is Congress

Team Red moves the ball back to the Blue thirty yard line. It’s hailed as a great victory. Team Blue moves the ball back to the Red twenty yard line a few years later. These are what both sides call marginal improvements. Meanwhile, as economist Milton Friedman famously suggested, they keep getting elected by making the tax code more complicated.

Budget Neutrality Isn’t A Thing

Enter a legislative concept called Budget Neutrality. The idea every expenditure must be ‘paid for’ with tax increases, or budget cuts. You think Tax Reform means lower taxes. What they’re really doing is taking away tax deductions and loop holes, and increasing our overall tax. The sad part is, it’s not their money, it’s our money. In When Tax Reform Isn’t-What Congress Giveth It Taketh Away-Podcast 676.

What Is Real Reform?

If you want real reform. The end to this kind of corruption? Then the power of the federal government to tax our incomes and our property must be permanently eliminated. Should corporations be taxed at all? Do you have property rights if you pay property taxes? How does government pay for the wonderful things both sides wants it to provide? We talk about it in When Tax Reform Isn’t-What Congress Giveth It Taketh Away-Podcast 676.

Already Socialists

So called conservatives like to argue the merits of capitalism versus socialism. It seems like I’d be on pretty safe ground if I suggested the United States has been collectivist for decades. Our economic system is not so much capitalist as it is a controlled market economy. Our elected Kings and their privy courts control our behavior and our futures with regulation and a tax code so complex, were it to be proposed as a single law in its present form, it would cause a revolution.

(Editor’s Note: While the first actual income tax in the United States was levied during the Civil War, it was later repealed as ‘unconstitutional’. Several attempts were made to establish an income tax through the late 1800’s which were unsuccessful, until the 16th amendment, ratified in 1913.)

Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul and Reliafund

When Tax Reform Isn’t-What Congress Giveth It Taketh Away-Podcast 676

Podcast 613-Rising Tide? Trump’s Minimal Economic Impact

We’re Growing Again Right?

Trump ballyhoos new numbers. Seems like the new president is turning our economy around. A rising tide? What does an improving economy look like? Are there actions that cause real economic growth? Do you think new leaders are taking those actions?

Republicans Know How To Fix The Economy Right?

Deregulation. Tax cuts and reform. Infrastructure construction. Campaign Pledges were made. Pledges spurred optimism. Furthermore promises can be kept because republicans are in charge and republicans understand business. So the story goes.

Trump Has Already Started Making Things Better Right?

Trump claims credit for the new numbers. Can a new president have an economic impact after less than 90 days?

What’s Better?

How do you define economic success for the United States? Better job? More money? Saving a job? Getting a loan for business or housing? Seeing your 401K account fatten because of stock performance? Cheaper gas? GDP? Productivity? Improved employment? Interest Rates? Jobs coming back to America? Consequently how do you know when it’s working?

What Has Been Done?

Because of the new numbers coverage exploded. However, what have Trump and the new Congress actually done? Executive orders on regulation. Business and the environment. Pipelines. Budget cuts. Trade and the budget. In conclusion, is there an impact on the economy overall?

How Do You Know?

Who are the people that put these reports together and what methodology do they use? How do economists and traders judge these numbers? Seems like people accept them at face value. Should you place confidence in these reports?

What Actually Works?

Are there specific actions that can be taken to grow our economy? If business and economic philosophy is important, what do our leaders believe? Do you think there is a standard approach to economics and government in Washington? More importantly, we know ideas counter to the current approach exist. Will the new congress and president embrace them?

Back To The ’50’s

Let’s face it. We have a sclerotic, 1950’s style government. People are developing and using new technological tools developed for the 21st Century. Moving fast toward building a new world. Block Chain Currencies. Improved Communication tools. Robotic manufacturing. Higher productivity. Government might be out of step with those developments.

Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul.

 

Podcast 310

Jeb Bush “Conservative”. Jeb Bush talks about the Middle Class and the American Dream in the nitty gritty northern city of Detroit, Michigan serving up ‘The Right To Rise’ political concept. Will Republicans buy this warmed over rhetoric one more time? If Bush convinces the mainstream GOP ‘he can win’, bet on it. If someone doesn’t come along to counter Bush’s contributions, and command of the rhetorical battleground – regardless of what the few crummy polls say right now – he will be the Republican nominee in 2016. Yet, nothing is harder to define than the so called Middle Class, and The American Dream. The Middle Class is supposed to be an income bracket, yet pundits, politicians and academics have defined it as low as thirty thousand dollars a year and as high as two hundred thousand dollars a year. The American Dream is supposedly enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, on the Statue of Liberty, in Martin Luther King’s speeches and so deeply ingrained in our culture you’d think its in the US Constitution. Where did the American Dream come from? What about the dystopian vision of the American Dream? Really, these concepts – and that’s what they are – mean anything any politician, demagogue, preacher or commentator want them to mean. What policies will Bush use to ensure a ‘middle class rise’? Well, to start with, he says, power will pass from the Federal Government to the states, but the Federal Government will also pass policies that benefit the so called middle class. We won’t repeal Obamacare, we’ll just fix it. We’re going to fix immigration, because illegals are just like the people who came over on the Mayflower. What’s the fix? Truthfully, solidifying what the President has been doing by executive order for the past three years, or more. All of this provokes a question? Aren’t Republicans and Democrats really just different sides of the same coin? Aren’t they both conservative in that they want to continue the status quo? What if what we need is a radical departure, a radical reduction in the scope of Federal Government Power that could be catastrophically dangerous to a Republic. Moreover, as technological developments become industry; That is, the new retail, manufacturing, autonomous machines and software, new ways to use media (like this podcast), sell and buy, hire and find jobs the disruptions will be chaotic. Add more government to that mix, whether it has an R or a D in front of it, and you’re going to have yet more chaos. What are you? How do you know? What are your values? What are your principles? How do you translate these into political ideas, policies, and ideas people can get behind. This is what is meant by organization, and today’s radicals are a long way from being close to having all that work done. Sponsored by Baklund R&D