Dueling Tax Plans
Senate Republicans met today to hear the outlines of a tax reform plan being drafted by Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. The broad outlines generally mirror the House plan, but there are some significant differences. For example:
- The Senate bill reportedly delays implementation of corporate tax cuts for one year.But it would allow companies to deduct capital investments in 2018.
- The Senate plan has seven individual tax brackets:10%, 12%, 22.5%, 25%, 32.5%, 35% and 38.5%. The House plan had four brackets.
- The Senate plan completely eliminates all deductions for state and local taxes.The House plan maintained a $10,000 deduction for local property taxes.
- The Senate plan maintains the mortgage interest deduction for homes valued at $1 million.The House plan limits the interest deduction to the first $500,000 of a home's mortgage.
- Unlike the House bill, the Senate's plan does not repeal the Death tax, but it does double the current estate tax exemption.
Again, we're still a long away from getting something to the president's desk. Neither chamber has voted on anything yet, so nothing is final. The House Ways and Means Committee has spent all week tweaking its proposal. One good development is that the committee reinstated the child adoption tax credit, which the Senate plan also keeps.
As you know, President Trump is currently in Asia meeting with heads of state and promoting trade and business deals. There is another major item on the agenda -- North Korea.
President Trump addressed the South Korean National Assembly on Tuesday and directed much of his remarks to the Stalinist regime in Pyongyang. It was a tremendously powerful speech. Here are some excerpts:
"On this peninsula, we have watched the results of a tragic experiment in a laboratory of history. It is a tale of one people, but two Koreas.
"One Korea in which the people took control of their lives and their country, and chose a future of freedom and justice, of civilization, and incredible achievement. And another Korea in which leaders imprison their people under the banner of tyranny, fascism, and oppression. . .
"The North Korean regime has pursued its nuclear and ballistic missile programs in defiance of every assurance, agreement, and commitment it has made to the United States and its allies. It's broken all of those commitments. . .
"The regime has interpreted America's past restraint as weakness. This would be a fatal miscalculation. This is a very different administration than the United States has had in the past. . .
"Do not underestimate us, and do not try us. We will defend our common security, our shared prosperity, and our sacred liberty.
"We did not choose to draw here, on this peninsula . . . the thin line of civilization. . . It is the line between peace and war, between decency and depravity, between law and tyranny, between hope and total despair. . .
"To hold that line is a choice free nations have always had to make. We have learned together the high cost of weakness and the high stakes of its defense. . .
"America does not seek conflict or confrontation, but we will never run from it. History is filled with discarded regimes that have foolishly tested America's resolve.
"Anyone who doubts the strength or determination of the United States should look to our past, and you will doubt it no longer. We will not permit America or our allies to be blackmailed or attacked. We will not allow American cities to be threatened with destruction. We will not be intimidated. . .
"That is why I have come here . . . with a message for the peace-loving nations of the world: The time for excuses is over. Now is the time for strength. If you want peace, you must stand strong at all times."
You can watch the president's address here.
More Left-wing Nonsense
Just when you think the left can't get any crazier, it does. Not surprisingly, the latest example of left-wing nonsense comes to us courtesy of the Left Coast.
The California chapter of the NAACP wants to ban our national anthem, the Star Spangled Banner. "This song is wrong; it should have never been there," said California NAACP President Alice Huffman. "It's racist, it doesn't represent our community, it's anti-black people," she added.
The Washington Free Beacon reports that the group is circulating petitions in the California legislature, "one that calls the song 'one of the most racist, pro-slavery, anti-black songs in the American lexicon,' and another that praises former NFL player Colin Kaepernick for kneeling during the anthem."
At least one congressional progressive seems open to banning the Star Spangled Banner, so I encourage Speaker Ryan and Senate Majority Leader McConnell to put the issue to a vote. Let's find out how many members of Congress think the national anthem is racist and pro-slavery.
Did the national anthem suddenly become offensive on January 20, 2017, when Donald Trump took the oath of office? The left wasn't screaming about the national anthem during the Obama years.
And I bet you also didn't realize that the Pledge of Allegiance is "an instrument of white nationalism." Well, apparently some progressive college professor thinks it is. How has this revelation escaped him until now?
Did the pledge, like the anthem, suddenly become a white nationalist statement this year? We had a liberal black president for eight years and I don't recall anyone on the left so viciously attacking the national anthem or the Pledge of Allegiance during that time.
This is nothing more than a concerted effort by the left to stoke further division. It is an effort to convince young Americans that they are living in an evil country that must be "fundamentally transformed."
Sadly, it seems to be working. How else can you explain the fact that so many millennials think Joseph Stalin and Kim Jong Un are "heroes"? Why do nearly half of millennials prefer socialism over capitalism?
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