Raising Taxes on Day One

That’s what Progressive-Democratic Party Presidential candidate Joe Biden has said he intends to do; his latest iteration of that intent was last Thursday in a CNN interview.

I’d make the changes on the corporate taxes on day one[.]

Leaving aside the…foolishness…of implementing such an attack on our economy’s health, there has been pushback on the Day One timing—no President, not even a Progressive-Democratic one, can raise taxes by fiat; such a move can only come from the Congress (and subsequently signed by a President or his veto overridden).

The Size of the Drift

ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos is the latest member of the media to portray Senator Kamala Harris (D, CA) as a moderate choice for Joe Biden’s running mate.

Stephanopoulos went on to add

Kamala Harris comes from the middle of the road, moderate wing of the Democratic party….

Harris’ positions include

  • supporting vastly raising tax rates, beginning with—but not ending there, rescinding the 2017 tax rate cuts
  • eliminating private insurance altogether and replacing it with Senator Bernie Sanders’ (I, VT) Medicare for All
  • limiting, in contravention of the 2nd Amendment, Americans’ access to weapons of which she personally disapproves

Pen and Phone

The editors at The Wall Street Journal expressed worry about President Donald Trump’s use of his “pen and phone” over the weekend to render the Congressional Progressive-Democrats’ obstructionism regarding Wuhan Virus relief for Americans irrelevant. They think he’s aping too closely ex-President Barack Obama’s (D) pen and phone.

It’s true that Trump is using his pen and phone. The differences between his actions and Obama’s, though, are two: Trump is undoing Obama’s pen and phone actions, not creating new things—with this exception, which is the other critical difference: Obama’s actions were largely illegal, struck down on legal challenge; Trump’s have proven legal, in the main, upheld on legal challenge.

“We’re Losing Taxpayers When We Need Them Most”

That’s what Congressman Tom Suozzi (D, NY) said on the House floor, with an absolutely straight face, as he was attempting to add the Progressive-Democrats’ current move to protect their rich constituents: repeal of the $10,000 SALT cap, which limits the State and Local Taxes that can be deducted from Federal income taxes.

The SALT limit only hits the rich, and it only hits those in Progressive-Democrat-run jurisdictions.

We’re losing taxpayers when we need them most.

They’re not human beings, citizens who pay taxes. They’re taxpayers. In particular, they’re rich taxpayers who happen to be human beings, citizens. Progressive-Democrats don’t care a fig about their citizen-constituents, and they’re especially not really protective of their wealthiest citizen-constituents.

The Biden Tax Plan

Progressive-Democratic Party Presidential candidate Joe Biden thinks American businesses don’t pay enough taxes into Government’s coffers.

“Vice President Biden has been clear that it’s absolutely unacceptable for some of the biggest companies in America, like Amazon, to pay next to nothing in taxes,” Michael Gwin, a campaign spokesman, said.

This is a carefully misleading claim that Biden is making through his spokesman. Some of the biggest companies in America actually pay billions of dollars in taxes for all that each of those companies pay a net amount of close to zero. That, though, is an outcome of our byzantine tax code that lets companies—big and small; although it’s the biggest that are able to make the most of it—balance a tax bite here with a subsidy, write-off, credit, or what-have-you there in order to achieve low/zero overall liability while paying those individual billions.

Tax Misallocation

The misallocation, this time, is not in the way our tax monies are being spent.

It’s in what our money is not being spent on in lieu of paying those taxes in the first place.

According to a 2018 Bureau of Labor Statistics survey—before the 2017 tax reform bill had been able to percolate into our economy in any serious way—we Americans spent more on the taxes Government exacts from us than we did on food, clothing, and health care combined.

Byzantine Taxing

Many companies, sitting on billions of dollars of tax credits, want to be able to cash them in promptly.

For example:

Duke has been unable to use all the corporate-research and renewable-energy credits it accumulated because it has been using accelerated tax deductions for capital investments to lower its taxable income, said Dwight Jacobs, the company’s chief accounting officer. That bumped it up against tax-code rules that limit tax credits, leaving $1.8 billion in unused credits on Duke’s books. Under the proposal, the company could get that within months instead of years.
The proposal “would give us more cash today and that would cause us to avoid borrowing money that we would otherwise have to borrow,” said Mr Jacobs.

A Taxing Case

Apple won its appeal of a European Commission ruling that it owed €13 billion ($15 billion) in back taxes because Ireland had illegally subsidized the company.

The General Court agreed with Ireland’s argument that the matter wasn’t an illegal subsidy because the nation cut similar tax deals with all comers.

The EU, of course, is not happy. It’s Tax Justice Coordinator (no irony in that title), Tove Maria Ryding, said,

If we had a proper corporate tax system, we wouldn’t need long court cases to find out whether it is legal for multinational corporations to pay less than 1% in taxes.

“Tax Us”

Some members of the rich class have formed a group and extended a demand that governments should tax all members of their clique.

Over 80 men and women worth seven figures from the US, UK, Germany, New Zealand, Canada, and the Netherlands calling themselves the “Millionaires for Humanity” have signed an open letter asking their governments to “raise taxes on people like us. Immediately. Substantially. Permanently.

The Americans in that crowd first must prove they mean it by committing—with publicly available means for verifying that they’re honoring that commitment over the succeeding years—to making donations to the US Treasury of the amounts they’d pay under this “tax us” plan.

Heads Up

Be very heads up, this fall.

The coronavirus pandemic shook the US economy. It hasn’t shaken Democrats’ fervor for trillions of dollars in tax increases, and significant income redistribution is still likely as soon as 2021 if Joe Biden wins the White House and Democrats control Congress.

Senator Ron Wyden (D, OR):

It’s all the more important to protect the retirement and security of working [people] and make sure the wealthy pay their fair share. We’ll be ready to go in January of 2021.