Thursday Open Thread

“There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.”

–Elie Wiesel

23 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Mueller brings on a cyber-security expert. The investigation has surely found nothing.

    The DC swamp is more putrid than ever. Stay upwind, folks!

  2. itlduso says:

    So, how are those tax cuts working out for you?  I have started analyzing some of my tax clients' 2016 returns to see what would have happened if the 2018 law was applied. 

    Here are my preliminary thoughts:

    1) The 2018 law eliminates personal exemptions (!).  Not many people are aware of this.  Each exemption (i.e., for a joint return — two spouses plus any dependents, often children) was a $4,050 deduction from taxable income.  No more.  For example, a joint return with two dependent children will see their taxable income increase by about $16,200.

    2) The increase in the standard deduction to about $24,000 for a joint return is offset by the limitation of state income and property taxes to $10,000 and other limitations.  I'm noting how many CO taxpayers with about $200,000 + in income do pay more than $10,000 in these state taxes.

    3) The ability to deduct 20% of net income from pass-through entities (partnerships, S Corps and sole proprietorships) is a boon to those owners.  If you are a W-2 wage earner, no soup for you.

    4) The lower tax rates offset the Federal taxable income increases, but not for CO!  That is, even though Federal taxable income often is increased by the above measures, the lower Federal tax rates result in lower Federal income taxes.  But, the increase in Federal taxable income causes CO income taxes to increase.  An apparent boon to CO tax collections is on the horizon.

    So far, I am finding that higher income taxpayers are seeing a net reduction in their combined Fed and CO income taxes, perhaps about $5,000 for someone with about $250,000 in taxable income.  Those with income in the $150,000 range and lower are finding virtually no tax relief.  Some are actually paying more depending on how many dependents they have.

    Dems should do a similar analysis of typical tax returns.  Most Americans will find that this tax bill provides them with nothing more than chump change.

    • itlduso says:

      Here are the results for a family of 4 making $60,000 in W-2 income:

      Loss of personal exemptions                +$16,200  increase in taxable income

      Increase in standard deduction              (-11,300)

      Net Increase in Fed taxable income       +$4,900

      Increase in Federal taxes applying 2018 rates versus 2017 rates:  +$203

      Increase in CO taxes due to increase in Fed taxable income            +$227

      Net Tax Increase for family of four making $60,000 W-2 income   +$430 !!!

      Conclusion: Wow. 

       

       

      • unnamed says:

        So when Nutlid is "too busy COUNTING HIS MONEY", he's counting negative numbers.  Unless he is well off to begin with.

         

        Thank you for your analysis.  It is very helpful and ABSOLUTELY NEEDS to be messaged to Colorado voters. 

      • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

        Wow, indeed.

        This is simple validation that the GOP ( Paul Ryan and Yertle in particular)  should be removed from American politics.     

         

      • VoyageurVoyageur says:

        That's consistent with my guess for our family.  At 72,we have no personal exemtipns for kids and benefit from the higher personal exemtion.Result is about $4,000 less in taxable income and roughly$400 in total tax savings.

        I plan to buy a yacht.

      • Old Time Dem says:

        Does your analysis take into account child tax credits?

        It seems to me there will be very large negative effects on families with older teenagers. For each year that a kid ages out of child tax credit eligibility, there will be a $2,000 jump in tax liability.

        • itlduso says:

          Yikes!  The child tax credit for those under age 17 does double from $1,000 to $2,000 per child.  I looked at the change in gross income taxes. 

          Factoring in the $2,000 increase in the credit (assuming the kids are 16 years and under), then the impact would be:

          Increase in Federal income taxes         $203

          Less: increase in child tax credits     ($2,000)

          Plus: increase in CO income taxes       $270

          Net Decrease in total taxes              ($1,527)

          Thank you for your comment.  This is a very complicated tax bill!

          • Old Time Dem says:

            It's more complicated than that because the child tax credit isn't fully refundable, so only a portion of what you count as a reduction due to the increase in child tax credits will result in an actual tax reduction.

             

            • itlduso says:

              Actually, in my example the refundable portion would only be $244 of the extra $2,000 child tax credits.  And, I believe that $244 would be refundable which is available to "lower-income taxpayers".   But, keep the comments coming!  We are all just beginning to understand the details of this massive change.

              The sick thing about the new child tax credit is that it is now available to joint filers up to $400,000 adjusted gross income.  Another sop to the wealthy.

              And, interestingly, the $1,500 tax savings for this family is exactly what I had been proposing in 2016 to Michael Bennet, Morgan Carroll, and now Jason Crow.  I get crickets from them.  So, the GOP gets credit for a middle class tax cut, while the Dems are left arguing for job retraining programs.

               

  3. ParkHill says:

    WOTD: "Misogyny is the Law Enforcement Branch of Patriarchy"

    Sean Illing
    Culture can change pretty quickly. We’ve seen it happen with same-sex marriage and drug laws. But what we’re talking about here is power relations — and that seems to be a different kind of challenge altogether.

    Kate Manne
    When people are attached to positions they believe are their birthright, you get huge amounts of backlash. When men think women are taking opportunities and privileges away from them, when they think women are challenging male dominance, you get backlash. But we have to deal with that. Women cannot — and should not — internalize patriarchal values and give and give and give until we’re nothing.

    What would need to change is for men in positions of power to accept that women can surpass them without having wronged them.

  4. Diogenesdemar says:

    Giving new meaning to the term “safe sex,” . . . 

    https://newrepublic.com/minutes/146580/missouris-republican-governor-admitting-affair-allegedly-threatening-blackmail-woman

    . . . Republican Governor style. 

  5. ajb says:

    Anybody catch this little gem?

    Based on filings from Xcel, reported here by ThinkProgress, new Colorado wind farms with batteries are now cheaper than running old coal plants

    And another from Carbon Tracker: https://www.carbontracker.org/colorados-renewables-revolution/

     

  6. Diogenesdemar says:

    President Stable Genius strikes again . . . 

    President Trump on Thursday balked at an immigration deal that would include protections for people from Haiti and African countries, demanding to know at a White House meeting why he should accept immigrants from “shithole countries” rather than people from places like Norway, according to people with direct knowledge of the conversation.

    Trump Alarms Lawmakers With Disparaging Words for Haiti and Africa

    http://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/11/us/politics/trump-shithole-countries.html

  7. Pseudonymous says:

    When @justinamash & @VoteMeadows, chair of the freedom caucus, vote against surveillance, but scores of Democrats vote for it, then its fair to ask what does our party stand for? If we can’t be unified around the principle of civil liberties, then what is the soul of our party?

    — Ro Khanna (@RoKhanna) January 11, 2018

    With Support From Nancy Pelosi, House Gives Trump Administration Broad Latitude to Spy on Americans

    On Thursday, the House failed to pass an amendment to the bill offered by Rep. Justin Amash, R.-Mich., which would have required federal law enforcement agents to get a warrant before searching NSA data for information on Americans. The amendment was defeated 183-233, with 125 Democrats voting for it and 55 Democrats against, including Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif..

  8. Diogenesdemar says:

    “I mean, it’s not like he’s the leader of some ‘shithole’ country, or something like that  . . .”

    “I probably have a very good relationship with Kim Jong-un,” [President Stable Genius] told The Wall Street Journal in an interview. “I have relationships with people. I think you people are surprised.”

    Trump Boasts of ‘Very Good Relationship’ With North Korean Leader

    http://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/11/us/politics/trump-kim-jong-un-north-korea-relationship.html

     

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