Tax reform needed to help economy recover

I received an email from our Rep. Tulsi Gabbard wherein she stated the House just passed a “disastrous” tax reform bill.

I am glad that the House passed a version of long overdue tax reform. It’s not what you nor I want, it’s nowhere near perfect, but it’s a start.

Calling the bill disastrous is hyperbole and does nothing to clarify either side’s position. Saying corporations and the wealthiest Americans will get massive tax breaks is only partly and disingenuously true. American corporations pay the highest tax rates in the industrialized world which encourages them to keep their earnings in other countries that don’t penalize them as heavily as our government does.

Money flows towards where it is treated well. If we want to attract trillions of dollars back to our country to be put to work here, we need to be friendlier to corporations large and small. Saying that the wealthiest Americans will get massive tax breaks seems, on the face of it, unfair. But wait, more than half of all Americans pay zero federal income taxes, so how can the largest percentage of our population get a tax break when they pay no taxes at all?

The top 20 percent pay over 67 percent of all taxes, so obviously those that pay the most stand to gain the most from any across-the-board, fair tax reforms.

I’m not even particularly worried that teachers might lose a deduction for furnishing their students with school supplies. It seems like such a noble effort on their part, and I’m sure it is, but we spend more tax dollars per pupil than just about any other country in the world. So much of it goes to support bloated administration (much like our government) and of course the steel-clad money triangle that goes from unions to elected officials to schools and teachers to unions, to elected officials, ad nauseum.

Our current crop of renewable energy is not economically feasible without government subsidies. Have you looked at Germany which has the highest percentage of renewable energy sources powering their country? Their utility rates are three times that of their neighboring countries!

You can only prop up companies such as Solyndra for so long before they collapse. It’s fine to search for and improve upon renewable energy sources but don’t make us pay for them before they are economically feasible just to line the pockets of political donors and please your base.

One of the next new credit bubbles to burst will be the trillion-dollar student loan debacle of the governments making. Why has college tuition risen over 1,000 percent, much more than inflation, the cost of living or even Obamacare costs?

Here we go again with funding students with ever increasing lines of credit for education that go to ever-increasing college tuition costs whose administrators and professors seem to have an unquenchable thirst for said free funds, spreading the money around to larger and larger faculties and staff, where everyone deserves a six-figure salary or more and many of the students, at least the ones that graduate, have useless degrees with no marketable skills.

Being able to write off their interest isn’t going to save them, but I’ll bet you will blame the lack of deductibility on the loan deadbeats for not paying back what they borrowed.

We all struggle to make ends meet. Except for those in government. Washington, D.C., never suffers from unemployment, do they? And many government workers with the help of their union (which no government organization needs) make far more in wages and benefits than comparable jobs held by regular taxpaying citizens.

Reduce the size and scope and financial malfeasance of our government followed up with a healthy slashing of business regulations will help. Teach kids the way we used to be taught 40 or 50 years ago when we really learned something and graduated with our wisdom shining.

Don’t give student loans for ridiculous degrees that will never lead to a vocation that can pay back the loans for them. Women’s and Ethnic Studies are only useful in a Left Wing chatroom.

Many people may not have been around in the ‘50s and ‘60s as I was, but education used to work and it worked well before it was changed, and not for the better. The proposed tax reform bill, if passed, will not be a disaster but another important step in helping our economy recover.

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Stan Lake is a resident of Kalaheo.

12 Comments
  1. Linda Sciaroni November 26, 2017 8:40 am Reply

    I encourage all to fact check their information on the tax bill. Our Corporations do not pay the highest tax rate in the world and our schools do not receive the highest per pupil spending in the world.

    I want to ask why do half of American families pay no INCOME tax? Because their incomes are THAT LOW!!! We need realize how much poverty is engulfing our people. That number has grown in my lifetime to unfathomable levels. The reasons teachers are buying stuff for kids is we are the front line. We see the the sleepy-eyed kid and offer them soap to wash up after they spent the night in inadequate housing and entered school hungry.

    I want to challenge the notion that schools are a waste of money EVER. Think about it, due to industrialization, refrigeration and efficient shipping , work has become mechanized and efficient. We can either push a whole lot of people out of the workforce and create the shame that surrounds unemployment and idleness or we could really double down on education and grow up a an amazing populous. We should surround a vulnerable community with support and joy and love and growth. This investment would pay off the rest of their lives.

    This tax bill does the opposite of the GOP platform for states and for education. I do no understand what the real thought is. The GOP stands for “states rights” yet they have eliminated the powerful tool that allows your state to levy taxes locally and have you deduct the same from your federal taxes. This is what allows states to provide programs that are not universally necessary for the nation. It allows the dollars and decisions to be local. The second GOP trumpet is tuned to Nationalism. “We are providing too many of our resources for immigrants”, they say… meanwhile 80 percent of the seats in graduate school are currently filled by children of other nations paid for by their home government… (Isn’t that how Barrack’s Dad got here? ) This will only increase with the plan to tax tuition remission for graduate students. My friends in graduate school tell me this is a $7,000 to $10,000 dollar hit (PER YEAR!!) of graduate school to kids at USC and Stanford University. The most vulnerable students will not be able to justify this. The details do matter. Family’s in Hawaii can barely afford the plane tickets and room and board to get their kids a college education, the shortage of doctors and dentists in Hawaii is already recognized by the National Health Service Corps. The Base in Kekaha asks us to find kids who would come home to be local engineers. Is this tax college tuition remission the best way to achieve those important goals?

    Eliminating the inheritance tax is the goal plain and clear. Not any thing I will benefit from and probably not my neighbors either.


    1. Stephen Eldridge November 27, 2017 2:11 pm Reply

      Linda,

      No, lower income workers do not pay tax NOT because they have incomes too low to pay tax, but because of the Strandard Deduction ($6,350) + Personal Exemptions ($4,050), plus “Refundable Tax Credits”, etc. EVERYONE who hjas the right to vote MUST pay Income Tax or the Republic turns into a lynch-mob.

      The fed govt has NOT at all eliminated the States’ tools of taxing their own citizens – it it. would simply stop subsidizing. Your State can tax you all it wants to, until you leave that State.

      The fgact that YOU don’t benefit from repeal of the Estate Tax does not mean that we should continue that pure Marxist tactic and removing it would help gropw small business which creates most of the jobs in this country.

      You cry for every person who would get “hurt” by this Tax Bill. The tax law is NOT a tool for “helping” lone group or another. It is a tool to RAISE MONEY to run the govt – that’s all. EVERYONE must pay.


      1. Pete Antonson November 28, 2017 2:52 pm Reply

        The estate tax is a “Marxist Tool?”

        Just go away. When you get there; stay away!


    2. joe delaware December 3, 2017 5:35 pm Reply

      well stated stephen, it amazes me which statistics are taken into account on the “conservative” side of the arguement…it obviously makes no sense in the whole picture. since exxon has been subsidesed heavily for years, while bad for the enironment, giving breaks to clean energy companies(solution for life on earth, not just the US) would be a step in the right direction, and need to go further.
      also, being that we are the strongest country in the world in many aspects, having the highest corporate tax rates would only make sense with all the benefits that corporations recieve just being based here. which would lead us to loopholes, that allow the major corporations to get away with opening an office overseas(to avoid taxation), but then still operate 50%+ in the u.s., and recieve all the benefits of being here.
      it has been a long line of lobbying for specific breaks, and payback for campaign contributions, that got us where we are now. like capital gains, a tax that was made so the investment homeowners made in there residence, didnt get taxed like income…to help the working person, and now has morphed into a corporate loophole to pay only 14% on income from business investments. rediculous
      final point – in the strongest economy that we have ever seen, set up by obama policies(remember that nothing has changed yet under trump that effects our economy), that started in one of the worst positions our economy has been in 60+ years, brought us to this relatively fast. so, is this really a good time to kickback to giant corporations and billionaires…when every positive marker is growing stronger as is??? how many more jobs do we need to create to facilitate the lowest unemployment rate in 20 years??? we need to give breaks to companies that bring the future closer, not fund pollution, outdated technology, and cash hoarding


  2. Lawaibob November 26, 2017 12:59 pm Reply

    what part of the economy has not recovered? I’m sick of hearing this “let’s do things like we did 50 years ago” stuff. The world has changed. Be honest, you like the tax bill because you’re rich. Don’t pretend to care about children’s educations.


  3. PauloT November 26, 2017 1:49 pm Reply

    Tax reform other than reducing a few loopholes is not needed. The economy is doing well after coming off the worst recession since the depression. Do we want a government that can be responsive to disasters, to help the under privileged, to have proper funding of education? Or do we want to cut programs for the needy, schools, possibly cut entitlements like Social Security and Medicare and increase our national debt?

    Selfish hopes aside, this our country we talking about. There is more to it than individuals pocketing a few more tax dollars. When we cut revenue to the Federal Government and states we continue with divisive economic disparity.

    The writer being anti union, ignores the fact that unions were the main reason the US had a decent wage for such a long time. As the unions were broken, wages began their long period of stagnation.

    As far as college tuition increases go over the past 40 or 50 years, the writer asks why is tuition now unaffordable. Colleges are not spending much more to educate students, but because of their lost state funding over the years, they have to charge enough to make up for that. Why did they lose that funding? Tax reform.

    If there is anything that can help level the playing field for the entire US demographic, it’s affordable education. No, to tax cuts benefiting the wealth holders.


  4. Stephen Eldridge November 26, 2017 2:13 pm Reply

    The House Bill take another 10MM people OFF the taxpaying rolls.

    Our Republic cannot long survive with only a small minority paying virtually ALL the Income Tax.
    IRS estimates that today, the top 20% income earners pay an astounding 93% of all the Income Tax (while earning only 60% of the income) and more than half pay NONE!

    The House Bill would makes today’s situation even worse and would make taxpayers an even smaller, indefensible, permanent MINORITY.


  5. Stephen Eldridge November 27, 2017 2:21 pm Reply

    Paolo,

    No, tax reform is badluy needed. The tax code is way too complex, the cost of complyiance is exhorbitant, it collects too mujch of our hard-earned money.

    No, not the tax code nor the fed gov should be responsible for all the poor and everything that might go wrong in your life (those are the tasks of the private sector under our Constitution).

    Colleges are raising their tuition because there is so much momney available for student loans, supported by the taxpayers. Remove those taxpayer supports and tuition rates would fall.

    Unions have faded because they don’t represent workers well anymore and are no longer needed.
    Employers are treating workers better so that they havea continuous, productive work force.

    Starving fed & Styate govts is a good thing. The more money they have, the more they spend recklessly to buy votes.


    1. Sunrise_blue November 28, 2017 2:34 pm Reply

      The county is way to short on skilled personnel. Do they know their own jobs then? Mayor, senators, councilmen. Basically I hate the stories about them. Too complex, but doable. There’s no pay in politics on Kaua’i.


    2. Pete Antonson November 28, 2017 3:04 pm Reply

      First off Stephen, you really need spellcheck. Next, you need to research what an evidence based fact looks like because you haven’t produced a single one! Finally, do you really believe, longer than a NY minute, that tax cuts for the wealthy and corporate and ending estate taxes for the wealthy are not vote buying measures?


  6. Sunrise_blue November 28, 2017 2:39 pm Reply

    Island Air had no government backing. No skilled personnel to back up a growing airline in a growing economy. Useless speeches from local politicians.


  7. Sunrise_blue November 28, 2017 2:48 pm Reply

    A word on our local leaders then, precisely a given task without any detour produces a desired result. Reading handbooks, banks, stadium employees, forestry, all says a lot about our leaders. They want a big picture, yet they miss the smallest details. To error is human.


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