When I Get Around to It

Senator Al Franken (D, MN) announced on the Senate floor—where, among other things, nothing he said would be actionable in a court of law—that he would resign from the Senate as a result of the plethora of women’s accusations of him sexually abusing and assaulting them.

When will he resign?  When he feels like it (my words).  In the coming weeks (his words).

Franken also said he appreciated the

irony that I am leaving while a man who bragged on tape about his history of sexual assault sits in the Oval Office, and a man who preyed on young girls runs for Senate with the full support of his party

Why Not All of Them?

President Donald Trump wants Congress—which is to say, Republicans, since the Progressive-Democrats in Congress want nothing to do with any Trump or Republican generally proposal—to take up welfare reform as the next major Government revamp after tax reform goes through (assuming, of course, a few Republican ego-riven snowflakes don’t blow that up).  However, Louise Radnofsky, who wrote the WSJ piece at the link, seems not to understand the scope of the problem.  Commenting on a speech concerning the matter that Trump gave in Missouri a bit ago, Radnofsky wrote this:

The president didn’t offer specifics about which of the dozens of welfare programs he was seeking to change….

How Close Are the House and Senate Tax Reform Bills?

See the table below, from The Wall Street Journal.  While the Left and its NLMSM emphasize the differences, and the Progressive-Democratic Party denizens rail at the claimed iniquities in their manufactured dudgeon, the tax reform bills on offer from the House and the Senate are remarkably similar.  The agree right down the line on the goals of tax reform, and they agree right down that same line on the means of achieving those goals.  The differences between the two bills are matters of degree, details bordering on trivial.

Tax Reform and SALT

The Wall Street Journal Friday opined that a House-Senate conference on the tax reform bills passed by the House and then-on offer by the Senate (since passed, with some changes to the on-offer version) could improve on the two bills and produce a better one for final passage and President’s signature.  The Editorial Board is right as far as it goes.

Notably in the context of their piece and this post, one of those changes to the Senate’s version that was included in what finally was passed was a change to their complete removal of State and local taxes: the Senate-passed version now includes the House’s deductibility of up to $10,000 in property taxes paid.

Law Be Damned

The city of Seattle passed a law earlier this year that levied an income tax on the city’s wealthiest—all in the name of equality of outcome and so…fairness.

It turns out that tax was contrary to the State’s law, which said that only the State can levy an income tax and, explicitly, cities cannot.  The question also was raised regarding whether the Seattle law was even contrary to the State’s constitution—illegitimate—as well as illegal, but the judge avoided the constitutional question.

King County Superior Court Judge John Ruhl ruled in a Wednesday that Seattle did not have the authority to impose the tax because state law prohibits tax on net income.

Soros Puts His Money in a Tax Shelter

And Stephen Moore’s knickers are in a twist.

Congress is still scrambling to find ways to pay for its tax cut, so perhaps it should pay closer attention to last month’s news that George Soros had transferred $18 billion of his fortune to a private charity that he controls. There it will be sheltered from the Internal Revenue Service forever. This may be the single biggest tax dodge in US history, yet no one on the right or left seems to have raised an eyebrow.

Another Reason

…to push for lowered State tax rates, empirically observed.

There are signs home buyers in metropolitan New York are pausing to consider the effects of proposed federal tax law changes, setting the stage for a possible chill in the market, brokers say.

The changes, in versions of bills in both the House and the Senate, likely would increase the cost of home ownership and reduce after-tax discretionary income for many mostly affluent home buyers in New York and other states with high state and local income and property taxes, brokers and analysts say.

Death Panels?

The Affordable Care Act required Medicare to penalize hospitals with high numbers of heart failure patients who returned for treatment shortly after discharge. New research shows that penalty was associated with fewer readmissions, but also higher rates of death among that patient group.

Because sometimes readmission is necessary for quality care—whether that readmission was driven by later complications, by too-soon original discharge in the Medicare (which is to say Government) pressure to hold down costs first, or by some other factor—but that Government pressure to push the patient out the door also pushes against the patient’s return.  Even when necessary.

The Tax Proposals on Offer

The House has one, and the Senate has one.  The Wall Street Journal, oddly, is making out like the differences between the two are enormous.  Yet, here’s the WSJ‘s own chart illustrating these humongous differences.

The big differences the WSJ singles out are these:

The big ways the Senate version breaks with the House plan: the level of top individual tax rates, the number of individual tax brackets, the timing of a corporate tax-rate cut and the particulars of estate tax changes[.]

Disrespect

The House of Representatives held a moment of silence Monday out of respect for and sympathy with the victims and surviving family members of the Texas church shooting.

Congressman Ted Lieu (D, CA) walked out on that moment, and he’s proud of his disrespect, posting a video of his excuse on the Internet.  That excuse centered on his crocodile tears over not being able to get knee jerk gun controls enacted.

Then he added empty rhetoric:

Because his feelings are more important than a respectful moment of silence.  And he’s paraphrasing Rahm Emanuel’s remark about crises: Lieu isn’t letting a tragedy go to political waste.