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« Scattershots – 26sep17 (updated 1oct17) | Main | Tax Policy Noodlings »

27 September 2017


Don Bessee

Its going to be interesting to see the reactions of the actual tax payers in blue states like CA & NY to loosing the federal subsidies by way of state tax deductions? ;-)


Canada isn't so "Progressive" anymore.


Off topic,, but I made an observation in my travels.
If you care to go to the USGS earthquake page, you will find a growing cluster of quakes just off the coast of Ferndale.
More likely than not it's nothing. BUT....There has been little to no movement starting there, in a LONG time.
I think I will inventory our "prepper" gear... Just because.

Steve Frisch

Posted by: Don Bessee | 27 September 2017 at 01:10 PM

Funny, I guess it must be consistent with 'conservatarian' principles to pay a tax on a tax--which is what repealing the state and local tax deduction is effectively doing...and I guess it is an accident that it falls mst heavily on states that did not vote for Trump :)

But don't worry, also on the table is the amount of the home mortgage interest deduction....proposed to be reduced from interest on mortgage debt up to $1 million down to interest on debt up to $500k---which interestingly falls of states that did not vote for Trump most heavily.

What I am really looking forward to is seeing the California Republican Congressional delegation do the dance on this one...particularly Mssrs. LaMalfa and the Presidents tax plan and you are raising taxes on your constituency, middle income Californians who own a home much for "no new taxes..."

Steve Frisch

I will just let you guys do the math:

Add togther your new tax on state and local taxes paid, and you home mortgage interest deduction.


Posted by: Steve Frisch | 28 September 2017 at 06:24 AM

Funny, I guess it must be consistent with 'conservatarian' principles to pay a tax on a tax--which is what repealing the state and local tax deduction is effectively doing...and I guess it is an accident that it falls mst heavily on states that did not vote for Trump :)

But don't worry, also on the table is the amount of the home mortgage interest deduction....proposed to be reduced from interest on mortgage debt up to $1 million down to interest on debt up to $500k---which interestingly falls of states that did not vote for Trump most heavily.

Yeah.....funny that....the whole "reward our friends and punish our enemies" thing.

Who endorsed that democrat ever !

Todd Juvinall

Funny how the little states were subsidizing the big blues regarding the tax deductions for their residents. But my guess is there will be a lot of screaming by the left that this proposal is racist and bigoted against people of color and children. And those complaining will be kneeling at the Little League games.


Trump is ok with screwing Californian reTrumplicans and they love him. You cannot make this up!


Posted by: bunbun | 28 September 2017 at 08:39 AM

Trump is ok with screwing Californian reTrumplicans and they love him. You cannot make this up!

Nice cup of Joe and some deep breathing should have last nights gin soaked antics behind you in no time KeachKeach.

Todd Juvinall

BB is a biy loosy today.


It is never too early,,,


Posted by: BunBun | 28 September 2017 at 09:46 AM

….and finally……agreement!


Golly, Steve, I thought you were always for double taxation... like when a dollar earned by a corporation gets taxed, and then what is left over gets taxed again when the owner gets their dividend.

Scott Obermuller

Lost in this whole tax deal is the fact that state income tax isn't the only tax folks pay at the local and state level vs the feds.
If you think that you shouldn't have to pay twice on the same income, (that's not a tax on a tax, BTW) think about the fact that some states have no state income tax, but do have high sales and/or property taxes. Why can't those be taken right off the top as well as state income tax? The fact of the matter remains that citizens in states with high state income taxes are not paying their fair share of fed income taxes. They get the same services from the feds but pay less than those folks in the same income level from states with lower income taxes but higher sales and/or property tax rates. Eliminating the deduction of state income tax paid makes sense as a way of making the total tax structure fairer. If you want to say it's a 'coincidence' that blue states will be 'hurt' by the change is looking at it backwards. Why did these highly populated and politically powerful states get this write-off in the first place? Free ride is over and it's about time. Don't like like paying more taxes? Gee - maybe you should talk to your local state rep. Local control, don't ya know. Just like green libertarians constantly screech for.
If you want an example of a tax on a tax, check out what you pay at the pump in CA.
That is a tax on a tax. Never seen one single lefty complain about it yet.


I have some thoughts on Nevada City / Verizon Cell Towers Here:


Bill Tozer

Puerto Rico? I thought you were talking about Nicaragua or Venezuela, where the richest person in the Socialist Paradise is the widow of former Presidente Hugo.

Welcome to the People’s Democratic Socialist Republic of Puerto Rico.

As recently as 2016, the island suffered a three-day, island-wide blackout as a result of a fire. A private energy consultant noted then that the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority “appears to be running on fumes, and … desperately requires an infusion of capital — monetary, human and intellectual — to restore a functional utility.”

Puerto Ricans in early 2016 were suffering power outages at rates four to five times higher than average U.S. customers, said the report from the Massachusetts-based Synapse Energy Economics.

The neglect led to massive and chronic failures at the Aguirre and Palo Seco power plants. The three-day blackout in September 2016 underscored how fragile the system was, and that the company was "unable to cope with this first contingency," the Synapse Energy report said.

George Rebane

re BillT's 1204pm - I repeat myself, but if you want to see what California will look and feel like before another generation of open borders from the south, take a close look at what has gone on and continues in Puerto Rico. They have all the advantages of being Americans - citizenship, commerce, proximity, ... - but they are proud of their Latino culture instead of looking northward and copying best practices. Culture counts, and our politicos on both sides wanting to export American style republicanism have been pissing in the wind.

Paul Emery

What is the problem George of Puerto Rican's being "proud of their Latino culture and heritage " ? Does that mean you have to abandon your cultural heritage to be a proper American? Also can you specific about what you feel the problem other than using vague references with no details. Is it language, religion, dress styles, etc.

George Rebane

PaulE 127pm - The problems with their cultural pride are visible in various ways to various observers - apparently to you and yours, there is no culture dependent problem in PR. And re "vague references with no details", exactly what kind of details did you think it proper to provide in this comment stream, since these pages are chock full of my commentaries on the definition, role, impacts, desirability, ... of culture and different cultures?? I cannot cater to your memory (or lack thereof) or propensity to research my extant writings, glossary, and credo. BTW, just to nail it down one more time, I do not believe that all cultures are of equal worth along any dimension you care to evoke.

Paul Emery

So George accommodating for your lack of details means that in general they are a less desirable culture than what you prefer. Do you have any specific ideas as to what they could do to improve their culture and come up to the higher standards you require?

Bill Tozer

Apparently someone did NOT read the links provided when Dr. Rebane penned his post.

“for the last 30 years, the Puerto Rican government has been completely inept at handling regular societal needs,”

“118 billion dollar debt due to government corruption and mismanagement.” Hmm. Due to government corruption and mismanagement. That sounds like a banana republic or the VA. It’s the culture at the VA that is the problem, according to every reformer who looked under the hood to fix what’s broken.

George Rebane

PaulE 242pm - Yes I do. In science and technology we tend to stand on the shoulders of our peers and predecessors who have solved the same or similar problems. And then we improve on the solution as our own particular problem demands and our creativity permits. There is no evidence that Puerto Rican governments have done that, and no evidence that PR's citizens are even aware of the fact. All they want when things get bad is to "be in Amee-ri-kaah!" as the song says. These are foreign thoughts to progressives.

The real question to you is - if it's not a cultural stenosis from which the PRs suffer, then what explains their awful record at organizing their society - is it racial, are they intrinsically stupid, does proximity to the equator mess with their minds, ...? You tell us what your tribe believes the problem to be, if it's not cultural.

Paul Emery

It is my understanding that Puerto Rico does not control it's own destiny and in no way has the rights of Statehood. Almost like a colony. Here's an example I dug up

"In fact, it’s not a country at all. Puerto Rico doesn’t manage its own foreign trade and diplomacy, and the U.S. generally stops it when the island’s government tries to do so. Immigration is also regulated by the U.S.

As a U.S. territory, Puerto Rico is treated like a state under many U.S. laws, but it is not a state. There is no requirement that Puerto Rico be treated equally, and often it is not. Federal funds are often distributed unequally to Puerto Rico, and the people of Puerto Rico don’t have the same access to some tax credits as the people living on the mainland do.

The question is hotly debated in forums around the internet, but the answer is clear: Puerto Rico is a territory and a possession of the United States, not technically a part of the United States under U.S. law."

George Rebane

PaulE 842pm - "PR doesn't manage its own foreign trade and diplomacy,..." Well, neither do Alabama and Indiana. But they seem to manage their internal affairs a mite better than does Puerto Rico, a territory that is populated by US citizens who continually debate whether they want statehood or independence from the US. If you are trying to argue that our federal government is somehow holding them back, that doesn't wash with reality, which is that PR has been our reluctant ward since we got them from Spain.

As a territory they have their own constitution, pay no federal taxes, and elect their own government which has governed them into financial ruin to the extent that they no longer have operable infrastructure. They have been able to borrow money to keep their corrupt noses above water because the lenders believe that the feds will bail them out. Hurricane Maria has now exposed all this, and anyone who points it out is savaged by our leftwing (aka Team Chuckie et al).

So my 512pm question stands, what explains their habitual state of decrepitude?

Bill Tozer

1) First, the memes. Let’s get them out of the way.

She is mad as hell!!!

2) Now to the boring stuff:
To understand one smallet problem with our trade relationship with Puerto Rico and the PR economy (or lack thereof) one must look at the Jones Act. It costs PR 500 million a year, hardly a solution to their 118 billion debt, but worth a peek.
Update, Trump lifted parts of the Jones Act.

If PR receives goods from a US port, it must be carried on US flagged cargo ships or else PR must pay high tariffs. Adds to the cost of living expenses. To send gas and oil from The Gulf to Puerto Rico, the oil is usually shipped to Canada on a foreign vessel and then to PR under the Act. Otherwise the oil/gas would have to off loaded in Florida on a US flagged tanker and then shipped to PR. But, like I mentioned above, it’s small potatoes in the bigger picture. The Metchant Marines are a powerful lobby.

The bigger picture: It applies to PR

Don Bessee

The one thing no one is talking about as a limiting factor for development of the islands like the PR and DR/Hati & beyond the rampant drug corruption is they live in the historic line of hurricanes. No one now has any historical perspective. There were tons of biographies and histories that richly documented the tenuous nature of organized societies on those rocks. ;-)

Bill Tozer

Don @ 9:33 pm

You and Dr. Rebane make good points. PR can’t make up it’s mind whether to push for Statehood or become an independent country. Come to think about it, the Jones Act applies to Guam, California, Hawaii, the New England states, Alaska. Any cargo from an US port going to another US port, including the US Virgin Islands. They seem to handle it without a ton of weeping and gnashing of teeth, unlike PR. Hmmm. Guess we can only do the best we can to help the helpless.

PR reminds me of a teenager who naturally wants to exert their independence, but begrudgingly needs to do their chores and clean their room before Daddy gives them the keys to his car.

PR also reminds me of a story I read about a family of illegal immigrant Haitians who snuck into Canada. They were delighted that Canada “welcomed them”, unlike Trump. The Haitian man continued, “They welcomed us, now give us a check so we can rent an apartment!” Hmmm. When will the checks end? Call them economic refugees, I reckon.

Sounds like PR.....the perpetual ward of the State.

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