SEIA’s Response to Bidenomic’s Tariffs

The Wall Street Journal‘s editors correctly noted the internal—and intrinsic—contradictions in the Biden administration’s “renewable” energy demands and its trade policy. The administration is pushing ever harder to shift our economy, for good or ill (mostly ill IMNHO), to energy sourced to non-carbon-based, but renewable only—nuclear need not apply—producers. Then comes Gina Raimondo, Commerce Secretary, and her decision, backed by that same Joe Biden, to apply tariffs as high as 254% to solar power-related products imported from five People’s Republic of China enterprises, never minding that these companies are American domestic solar power producers’ primary sources of the needed articles.

A Thought on SALT Deductions

New York Republican Congressman John Tamny had an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal early last week in which he advocated enthusiastically for raising the ceiling on the deduction of State and Local Taxes from Federal income taxes. That deduction currently is capped at $10,000, and Tamny worries that that works a hardship on his constituents, since despite their high incomes, those folks aren’t really all that rich. New York’s high taxes and prices already work to reduce those folks’ relative wealth.

A WSJ reader responded in WSJ‘s Sunday Letters section.

Vivek Ramaswamy’s Brief Thought on Taxation

And my brief response. Ramaswamy has said in the past that he favors an estate tax as high as 59% on his theory that passing wealth from parents to children breeds inequality and “hereditary aristocracy.” Stipulate that’s reasonably accurate: he needs to show that he’s considered other means of preventing that aristocratic development and how those alternatives are inadequate to the task.

More importantly, though, is this underlying theory of his:

I do believe in a vision of bringing income taxes as low as possible, if one could collect it back on the back end[.]

A Rich Property Transfer Tax

Chicago, already a heavily taxed city, is looking at increasing the tax it claims on the sale of properties valued at more than $1 million. It’s no tweak, either: the increase would be from the current 0.75% to 2.65%. Even so, it’s projected (more like hoped IMNSHO) to raise $163 million per year. The money ostensibly is to be explicitly earmarked for construction of (and, presumably, conversion of existing structures for) permanent supportive housing units for the homeless.

I have questions.

Chicago—Cook County—is losing population at a high rate.

A Thought on Moore v US

Moore v US is a tax case that the Supreme Court has agreed to hear in its next term, beginning 2 October. The case asks whether mere asset value increases—wealth increases—can be taxed as income, just because of that increase, but before it has been realized—before the asset actually has been disposed of for more than the cost of its acquisition, with that value increase turned into actual dollars on the barrelhead.

The proximate subject concerns a provision in the 2017 tax reform that levied a one-time mandatory repatriation tax on foreign companies.

IRS Misbehavior

The IRS wants to be the one to figure the taxes owed by us average Americans, and the IRS wants to do the figuring based on the data the IRS claims to have collected on each of us average Americans.

The Inflation Reduction Act, that travesty that too many Republicans actually voted for and that is a source of the present inflationary environment (among a number of economic problems inflicted by the IRA), authorized the IRS to explore the concept of a mechanism that would have the IRS figure our taxes for us.

That’s Easy

Progressive-Democratic Party politicians claim they want to prevent a future [debt ceiling] standoff by trying to defuse the borrowing limit as a weapon.

Congressman Brendan Boyle (D, PA), the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee, said there is an increasing number of Democrats who want to fundamentally change the debt-ceiling process, with many colleagues recognizing it is “just insanity to keep doing this over and over and over again.”

Boyle also said this, as though it were a bad thing:

Because we have been fixated on this issue for months and months, we are dramatically behind on all the rest of the legislative work that Congress has to get done.

Hype that Deadline

Even The Wall Street Journal is in on the artificial…excitement…act. Congress has just a few days to pass a bill before June 5 deadline goes the subheadline.

It’s not much of a deadline, with revenue flowing in under existing tax laws that’s more than sufficient to pay as scheduled the principal and interest on our nation’s debt, and then the scheduled payments for our soldiers and veterans, and then the scheduled payments for Social Security and Medicare along with the scheduled transfers to the States for Medicaid, and then the scheduled payments for HHS, then DoT (for good or ill), then DoEd (for good or ill), then….

A Tax Picture

This is for the benefit of those who demand the Evil Rich “pay their fair share.” The rest of us—us ordinary Americans—already know the facts of the matter.

As noted at the bottom of the graph, the data are from the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation, which is comprised of nonpartisan tax specialists. WSJ staff did the analysis.

Those Evil Rich, boy, they’re only paying 39% of the total income taxes remitted, nearly two-and-a-half times their proportion of income earned across the nation, while the working poor are paying a whopping 6%, or just under a third of their proportion of income earned.

Taxing the Middle Class and Poor

Arizona’s Progressive-Democrat Governor Katie Hobbs has vetoed a bill that would have barred cities and municipalities from taxing food purchases. Hobbs’ rationalization went like this:

The bill, originally unveiled as a way to mitigate inflation, does not take effect for more than two years. What’s more, it does nothing for the more than 800,000 Arizonans who use SNAP and WIC benefits for their groceries, as these constituents are already exempt from the tax.

Hobbs’ first beef might seem like a reasonable objection, and one easily corrected. However, it’s reasonable, also, to give those cities and municipalities whose budgets currently use those food taxes time to adjust their budgets.