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Author Topic: Federal Taxes and Spending Set Records  (Read 1478 times)

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Re: Federal Taxes and Spending Set Records
« Reply #15 on: February 13, 2020, 12:46:27 PM »

Offline mmmmm

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In the first four months of this fiscal year—while collecting a record $1,178,800,000,000 and spending a record $1,567,985,000,000—the federal government ran a deficit of $389,185,000,000.

https://www.cnsnews.com/article/washington/terence-p-jeffrey/federal-taxes-and-spending-set-records-through-january

If you are going to discuss spending you need to break the discussion down into discretionary vs mandatory spending.   Also, all those numbers are for fiscal year 2020 "so far".   Neither revenues nor expenditures are reported evenly throughout the full fiscal year.   

The full fiscal year will show over $700 Billion in DoD spending -- so the $250B in this article is just a start.  Other departments will similar have much bigger numbers ... but others will not.
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Re: Federal Taxes and Spending Set Records
« Reply #16 on: February 13, 2020, 01:16:50 PM »

Offline Sophomore

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Pretty clear that....
1. tax cuts can raise revenue
2. we don't have an income problem, we have a spending problem
3. neither party will address the problem until its too late

Numbers 2. and 3. are matters of opinion. You might think spending should be lower and that's your right.

Number 1. is hogwash at the range of tax rates that are actually in effect now or that are being considered.  It's a comforting fiction that makes number 2 and 3 much harder to solve. When people are told they can have more things (military spending, social security, whatever) *and* it won't even run up a bill, of course that's what they want. Who wouldn't?

Statement 1. is factual not fictional.  Tax were cut - tax revenues increased.  Also, US corporate tax rates are on the high side globally.   

Its your opinion that our taxes aren't high enough and that spending isn't a problem.  I disagree.

Can you tell me when tax cuts produced a revenue increase? Certainly not with the Trump tax cuts.

The U.S. Treasury Department - Trump's Treasury department - reported that tax revenues went down the first year of the tax cuts, even though they would be expected ordinarily to rise given low unemployment and significant growth. Reported in the Wall Street Journal. https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-tax-revenue-declined-0-4-in-2018-11550084426

This was obvious before the bill was signed. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is overseen by Congress. Which means that in 2017 it was overseen by Republicans. Not liberals. Not Democrats. It predicted that the bill would blow a hole in the deficit.  https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-fiscal-deficit/republican-tax-cuts-to-fuel-historic-u-s-deficits-cbo-idUSKBN1HG2RW

But in the end this is just common sense. Yes, at the margins, reducing taxes might cause some people to work more, or more productively. But it will also cause other people to work less (they get to keep more of each dollar, and they also like leisure) and you have to earn a heck of a lot more to make up for cutting marginal rates.


Re: Federal Taxes and Spending Set Records
« Reply #17 on: February 13, 2020, 02:20:30 PM »

Offline SDceltGuy

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The U.S. Treasury Department - Trump's Treasury department - reported that tax revenues went down the first year of the tax cuts, even though they would be expected ordinarily to rise given low unemployment and significant growth. Reported in the Wall Street Journal. https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-tax-revenue-declined-0-4-in-2018-11550084426

You need to read past the headlines, further down in your article....

A Treasury spokeswoman said the administration has been clear the tax law would reduce
revenues in the near-term “due to the front-loading of certain provisions, such as the
immediate expensing of capital expenditures to encourage investment in U.S. businesses.”




Re: Federal Taxes and Spending Set Records
« Reply #18 on: February 13, 2020, 02:44:27 PM »

Offline slamtheking

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The U.S. Treasury Department - Trump's Treasury department - reported that tax revenues went down the first year of the tax cuts, even though they would be expected ordinarily to rise given low unemployment and significant growth. Reported in the Wall Street Journal. https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-tax-revenue-declined-0-4-in-2018-11550084426

You need to read past the headlines, further down in your article....

A Treasury spokeswoman said the administration has been clear the tax law would reduce
revenues in the near-term “due to the front-loading of certain provisions, such as the
immediate expensing of capital expenditures to encourage investment in U.S. businesses.”

your extra tidbit doesn't prove your point at all.

also, your opinion on tax cuts generating revenue is just that, an opinion.  it's never worked. 

if the tax cuts were such a great idea:
- why are most middle and lower income people not enjoying nearly as much of a tax break as corporations or the wealthy? 
- why is there a growing gap in the deficit in such a booming economy? 
- why were the home-owning taxpayers in 'blue' states targeted to pay higher taxes when the wealthy and corporations are paying much less? 
-Why did corporations making so much more money only give a one-time bonus to employees that reflected much less than they saved in taxes and was just given the first year of the tax cut when they've continued to enjoy the savings every year since?
- Why did corporations give out that money as a bonus instead of increased wages or benefits that their employees would benefit from each year?
- Why are corporations that are doing so well fighting any wage increase?

start looking into the reasons behind those questions and you'll see the tax cuts aren't all they're cracked up to be by the Republicans that pushed them.

Re: Federal Taxes and Spending Set Records
« Reply #19 on: February 13, 2020, 03:05:10 PM »

Offline Sophomore

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The U.S. Treasury Department - Trump's Treasury department - reported that tax revenues went down the first year of the tax cuts, even though they would be expected ordinarily to rise given low unemployment and significant growth. Reported in the Wall Street Journal. https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-tax-revenue-declined-0-4-in-2018-11550084426

You need to read past the headlines, further down in your article....

A Treasury spokeswoman said the administration has been clear the tax law would reduce
revenues in the near-term “due to the front-loading of certain provisions, such as the
immediate expensing of capital expenditures to encourage investment in U.S. businesses.”


I see someone else has responded on the spin in the latter part of the Treasury report.

I await your explanation of the CBO scoring - and what expertise you rely on to reject it.

Just on the basis of simple math, you should be able to see how implausible this is. Cutting marginal rates a few points requires much larger - implausibly larger - gains in taxable income to be revenue neutral.

Re: Federal Taxes and Spending Set Records
« Reply #20 on: February 13, 2020, 03:58:12 PM »

Offline nickagneta

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My limited economic knowledge is based on this: during economic down periods you cut taxes and during economic prosperity you increase taxes. During economic booms, like this, you need to increase interest rates and increase taxes to generate more revenue and cut deficits so that when things eventually go bad, you can cut taxes and decrease interest rates to temper the overall effects of the down economic times.

What Trump did with these taxes is the complete opposite of everything I knew on the subject. What can the government do now to alleviate the effects of a possible recession with interest rates at the Fed at all time lows and income taxes rates both individual and corporate already very low?

A downturn in the economy will happen. It always does. You have to save for those rainy days and we aren't. That will prove to be very problematic in the near future.

Re: Federal Taxes and Spending Set Records
« Reply #21 on: February 13, 2020, 04:16:00 PM »

Offline Vermont Green

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Pretty clear that....
1. tax cuts can raise revenue
2. we don't have an income problem, we have a spending problem
3. neither party will address the problem until its too late

I am not picking on one poster but this "we don't have a tax problem, we have a spending problem" response is trite and condescending.  If you take it literally, then what you are saying is that the Trump/Republican solution to a spending problem is to cut taxes.  This is so nonsensical that it really isn't even possible to debate the issue if that is the starting point of the discussion.

The second argument that tax cuts raise revenue was proven false by Reagan, by Bush, and now again by Trump.  There is no evidence even that tax cuts are good for the economy.  Deficit spending is good for the economy, that is a proven truth but there is no evidence that with a balanced budget that lower taxes and spending is better for the economy than higher taxes and spending.

In this case (our current rate of taxation and spending), I suspect that if spending was cut to a level that allowed for a balance budget, there would be a recession if not a depression.

The third statement is not really true either.  Politicians during the Clinton administration balanced the budget.  Obama (along with congress on both sides of the aisle) while recovering from a deep recession was able to maintain deficits well below what Trump has been maintaining. 

It is true that those willing to address debt are few and far between but I still don't get the republican apparent attitude of "we will never be able to balance the budget so let's just cut taxes" follow by a steady stream of "its a spending problem, not a tax problem".  This has always and will continue to lead to only one thing, more debt.  Trump doesn't care.  He likes the sound of lower taxes and figures his base will buy the "spending problem not tax problem".  The debt will be someone else's problem.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2020, 04:22:31 PM by Vermont Green »

Re: Federal Taxes and Spending Set Records
« Reply #22 on: February 13, 2020, 05:37:09 PM »

Offline Fan from VT

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The U.S. Treasury Department - Trump's Treasury department - reported that tax revenues went down the first year of the tax cuts, even though they would be expected ordinarily to rise given low unemployment and significant growth. Reported in the Wall Street Journal. https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-tax-revenue-declined-0-4-in-2018-11550084426

You need to read past the headlines, further down in your article....

A Treasury spokeswoman said the administration has been clear the tax law would reduce
revenues in the near-term “due to the front-loading of certain provisions, such as the
immediate expensing of capital expenditures to encourage investment in U.S. businesses.”

your extra tidbit doesn't prove your point at all.

also, your opinion on tax cuts generating revenue is just that, an opinion.  it's never worked. 

if the tax cuts were such a great idea:
- why are most middle and lower income people not enjoying nearly as much of a tax break as corporations or the wealthy? 
- why is there a growing gap in the deficit in such a booming economy? 
- why were the home-owning taxpayers in 'blue' states targeted to pay higher taxes when the wealthy and corporations are paying much less? 
-Why did corporations making so much more money only give a one-time bonus to employees that reflected much less than they saved in taxes and was just given the first year of the tax cut when they've continued to enjoy the savings every year since?
- Why did corporations give out that money as a bonus instead of increased wages or benefits that their employees would benefit from each year?
- Why are corporations that are doing so well fighting any wage increase?

start looking into the reasons behind those questions and you'll see the tax cuts aren't all they're cracked up to be by the Republicans that pushed them.

Quote
Yes, and at the same time, Trump is citing emergent economic conditions as justifications for cutting the pay raise scheduled for federal employees...even though his economy is strong?

If you lived in a bubble where Twitter Trump was your sole news source, you’d be pretty fired up, which makes it odd that on Monday the very same Trump White House said it intends to slash a scheduled pay raise for civilian federal employees. Cutting the 2.5 percent raise set for 2021 to 1 percent for millions of federal workers seems a bit austere in the face of such self-proclaimed boom times. Even more absurdly, Trump is justifying ordering the cut on the grounds that the country is in the midst of a “national emergency or serious economic conditions affecting the general welfare,” which the White House says authorizes the president to “implement alternative plans for pay adjustments.”

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2020/02/trump-cuts-scheduled-federal-pay-raise-serious-economic-conditions.html

Re: Federal Taxes and Spending Set Records
« Reply #23 on: February 13, 2020, 06:10:00 PM »

Online Csfan1984

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The deficit is a problem, if the government was paying that down with higher taxes I'd have some faith in the process but the deficit grows. The spending is out of control even under Republicans who preach small government. Turns out small government for our representives means allowing the rich and powerful to be governless. The Simpsons predicted President Trump and they also predicted he would bankrupt the country but the Democrats also allowed this to appease their high profile donors/investors. It's a mess that I feel will never be fixed. They will just kick the can down the road till everything falls apart. They only care about themselves and not about future generations.
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Re: Federal Taxes and Spending Set Records
« Reply #24 on: February 14, 2020, 09:10:07 AM »

Offline SDceltGuy

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I am not picking on one poster but this "we don't have a tax problem, we have a spending problem" response is trite and condescending.  If you take it literally, then what you are saying is that the Trump/Republican solution to a spending problem is to cut taxes.  This is so nonsensical that it really isn't even possible to debate the issue if that is the starting point of the discussion.

You are trying to hard to be contrarian and your conclusion is disingenuine.  I said the Republicans did cut taxes and revenues did increase.  I also said we spend way too much money.  Trump isnt a fiscal conservative and nobody in congress is really trying to solve the problem.  The few true conservative Republicans have no political power to actually affect the spending problem.  The Democrats would dramatically increase spending if not opposed.  It is going to take something catastrophic before anything changes. 

Re: Federal Taxes and Spending Set Records
« Reply #25 on: February 14, 2020, 10:27:40 AM »

Offline gift

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Pretty clear that....
1. tax cuts can raise revenue
2. we don't have an income problem, we have a spending problem
3. neither party will address the problem until its too late

The second argument that tax cuts raise revenue was proven false by Reagan, by Bush, and now again by Trump.  There is no evidence even that tax cuts are good for the economy.  Deficit spending is good for the economy, that is a proven truth but there is no evidence that with a balanced budget that lower taxes and spending is better for the economy than higher taxes and spending.


Why is deficit spending good for the economy? Because it is traded for some value provided. Why are lower taxes good for the economy? Because the money not taxed is traded for some value provided. The difference is when taxes are higher, the government decides how and where more of that money is spent. Which can have it's benefits. But there is no inherent benefit to the economy of having higher taxes and deficit spending. The realized effects depend on a variety of factors as any investment/spending do.

Re: Federal Taxes and Spending Set Records
« Reply #26 on: February 14, 2020, 10:42:39 AM »

Offline KGs Knee

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I have plenty of thoughts on taxes and government spending, but at this point I'd settle for simple tax equality. No more deductions, no more government picking winners and losers, just a simple plan of equal federal taxes for equal pay. If I make $50k/yr and you make $50k/yr we should be paying the exact same federal income tax. And I'd apply this across the entire income spectrum. No more hiding income in tax shelters. That would be true tax equality.

Re: Federal Taxes and Spending Set Records
« Reply #27 on: February 14, 2020, 10:49:59 AM »

Offline Sketch5

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I have plenty of thoughts on taxes and government spending, but at this point I'd settle for simple tax equality. No more deductions, no more government picking winners and losers, just a simple plan of equal federal taxes for equal pay. If I make $50k/yr and you make $50k/yr we should be paying the exact same federal income tax. And I'd apply this across the entire income spectrum. No more hiding income in tax shelters. That would be true tax equality.

I get simplifying it. But you can't do a flat tax. Your 50k working for a company is different than some ones 50k that does freelance work.

Things that drive me nuts are things like Amazon giving bonuses to the top guys to avoid getting taxed. At least give small bonuses to the workers, big reason Amazon makes money is people getting the packages out fast.

Re: Federal Taxes and Spending Set Records
« Reply #28 on: February 14, 2020, 11:16:06 AM »

Offline SDceltGuy

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IMO the best and most fair is a national retail sales tax.  Everybody is treated equally and on same team vs government, no dealing with IRS, reporting income and tax filing for individuals, no withholding, very transparent.  You have no tax on used items and a tax refund to negate impact on poor.   


Re: Federal Taxes and Spending Set Records
« Reply #29 on: February 14, 2020, 02:53:57 PM »

Offline fairweatherfan

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IMO the best and most fair is a national retail sales tax.  Everybody is treated equally and on same team vs government, no dealing with IRS, reporting income and tax filing for individuals, no withholding, very transparent.  You have no tax on used items and a tax refund to negate impact on poor.   

Reorganizing the entire tax structure of a consumption-based economy to exclusively disincentivize consumption is not likely to work out very well. And that's before getting into how deeply regressive it would be.