Arrogance of the Left

This is made blatantly, nakedly clear by New York City’s mayor, Bill de Blasio.  In his State of the City speech last week, he laid bare the premier goal of the Progressive-Democratic Party, even above doing away with ICE and with our borders generally.  He said—and he meant every word of it:

Here’s the truth. Brothers and sisters, there’s plenty of money in the world. There’s plenty of money in this city. It’s just in the wrong hands.

The Party of Expansionist, Acquisitive Government

That’s what we can see made plain in the incoming Congress’ House of Representatives.  Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D, NJ) had this on her Progressive-Democratic Party’s plans:

There are dozens of measures…that have been languishing with Republicans at the helm for years, and I expect to see many of them finally come to the floor under Democratic leadership[.]

Plans like rolling back the just enacted tax cuts and preventing the individual income tax cuts from becoming permanent.  Because the Progressive-Democrats know more about how to spend our money than we do.

Tax Cuts Don’t Have Long-Term Benefits

That’s the claim of ex-President Barack Obama’s (D) Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Jason Furman in a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed.  It’s an accurate claim, too, when tax cuts are taken in isolation, as Furman took them throughout his piece.  That loneliness was emphasized by his closing remarks.

Going forward, policy makers should aim for a reformed tax system that is more stable, economically efficient, simple, and directly supportive of the middle class. Do this right, and the results could be higher economic growth and higher wages without the higher deficits. That’s a combination that’s proved elusive to date.

France is Taxing

The Macron administration utterly failed in its cynical effort to raise its taxes on the French working class and poor with its “climate” tax on transportation fuels, so now it’s going to go after American tech companies with carefully targeted taxes.  And that administration is desperate to get going, and it’s going to do it unilaterally.

In early December, Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire said France would give the EU until March to come up with a deal on taxing US internet giants. But ten days later he announced the tax would be introduced on January 1.

Wait, what?

Taxing Speech

California has decided to kill two birds with one stone.  The State thinks it needs more money, so it’s going to raise a new tax.  The State is anxious to…manage…speech of which it disapproves, so it has chosen its target for its new tax.

California state regulators have been working on a plan to charge mobile phone users a text messaging fee intended to fund programs that make phone service accessible to the low-income residents, reports said Tuesday.

Here’s Jim Wunderman, Bay Area Council President, on the plot, though:

Still a Foolish Tax

The EU’s usurious digital tax on international tech companies that they had proposed has met with sufficient resistance from low-tax member nations—Ireland and several northern European nations—that France and Germany, the drivers of the proposal, have offered a modified version.  This new effort would

  • limit the tax to a 3% levy on online advertising revenues rather than all online revenues
  • effectively exempt Amazon, AirBnB, and Spotify—a sop to non-EU administrations, especially Trump
  • run until 2025

The beef underlying this drive to tax techs centers on tech firms paying less tax than putatively traditional firms on their EU earnings.

Rewarding Thuggery

Recall the rioting, looting, and graffiti-spraying—on l’Arc de Triomphe, yet—in France over the Macron government’s decision to raise fuel taxes and utility rates.  Now the government has abjectly surrendered to the rioters: it will not implement the new tax and utility rates at all (Deutsche Welle has reported that the tax is suspended for six months rather than canceled altogether).

Quick Thought on Tax Reform

The Progressive-Democrats won a majority in the House, and the Republicans look like they’re going to expand their majority in the Senate.  That looks like legislative paralysis in the next Congress.

However.

The next Congress won’t be sworn in until 3 January 2019.  That gives two months for the present Congress, with Republican majorities in both houses, to get some remaining stuff done.

Top on that list in my august view is tax reform.  This Congress needs to move to make permanent the individual income tax cuts that otherwise will expire in 2025.  Get it done now, before the Progressive-Democrats, with their gridlock, take sufficient office to block the reform.

Federal Redistributions of State Funds

In response to Robert Poole’s Wall Street Journal bit about making some aspects of our infrastructure more affordable, a couple of folks wrote Letters to the Editor.  And so I have my own response.

[A]sset recycling is not about finding more efficient ways to modernize and expand infrastructure. It’s about raising money for cash-starved treasuries….

and

The solution is to allow all states to retain the federal gas tax generated by each state.

Fairness

Various nations around Europe and Asia are looking at ways to add to the tax burden on multinational technology companies doing business in those nations.

Bruno Le Maire, French Minister of the Economy and Finance, rationalized the movement this way:

It is a question of fairness.

Leave it to a European politician to not understand the concept.

No. Fairness is cutting taxes, not raising them, thereby leaving more of the citizens’ money in their hands.