Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) speaks during a news conference to discuss their plans for tax reform, September 27, 2017 in Washington, DC.

In the wake of another failed effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, President Donald Trump and Republican leaders announced Wednesday a plan for the largest overhaul to the American tax code in decades. The plan, dubbed the “Unified Framework for Fixing Our Broken Tax Code,” lowers the highest individual tax rate, increases the standard deduction and drops the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent. Supporters say the sweeping changes will make American businesses more competitive but critics say the plan hurts middle class and poor Americans while letting corporations and wealthy individuals off the hook. A preliminary analysis by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget said the tax plan would worsen the federal deficit by $2.2 trillion over the next 10 years. We discuss the proposed plan.

Guests:
Jared Bernstein, senior fellow, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities; former chief economist to Vice President Joe Biden; author, “The Reconnection Agenda: Reuniting Growth and Prosperity”
Chris Edwards director of Tax Policy Studies, The Cato Institute; editor, www.downsizinggovernment.org

Trump, GOP Leaders Propose Largest Tax Overhaul in Decades 28 September,2017Michael Krasny

  • William – SF

    Corporate profits are at a all time high. Ditto corporate cash reserves. Companies create jobs when and where they believe profits can be had. How exactly does giving corporations more money that they already have plenty of create jobs? Please explain this.

    • Another Mike

      Do you realize that your Forbes article does not support your argument? None of the pass-through corporations hire any significant number of workers, unlike the large corporations we commonly think about, which have the ability to shift jobs overseas.

      • William – SF

        It makes the case for why it isn’t true that lowering corporate taxes results in more jobs that somehow make up for the lost State revenue – it doesn’t, and more importantly the consequences are,
        ah duh, simply less government revenue. And of course, once the incentive is to incorporate to avoid paying taxes, people will do exactly that. It’s so obvious that it makes me shudder to think people believed what Governor Brownback sold would work. Even given the Governor’s less than brilliant mind.

        Lowering the taxes on LLCs, etc. means less Federal revenue, needlessly, and as you point out it creates no jobs. DJT, and Republican Congressmen aren’t leading with this provision, for obvious reasons, but are certainly including it to make DJT get off his fat arse to sell their American largess giveaway.

  • EIDALM

    This is not tax, it is daytime highway robbery of the American middle class and poor. it is a sell out, it isthe same old failed Milton Friedman voodoo economics, Reaganomics and the bogus trickle down economy, it is a total sell out of the American people party to enrich their puppet masters, billionaires goons of the Wall Street, and multinational corporation, while destroying whatever left of the middle class and sending more people to the poorhouse as well an agonizing suffering to the poor.

    • Curious

      You seem to know everything about everything.

  • Kurt thialfad

    Tax policy, besides raising revenue, is a tool for social engineering by rewarding certain behavior and discouraging other behavior. Import tariff is one example, while home mortgage deduction is another.
    Along this line of thinking, here are some i

    • William – SF

      1) Tax investment transactions (buy/sell) done in less than 3 years at a 50% rate. (Take gambling away from Wall Street. Make investing in companies, just that, investing in companies with an expectation of a future profit.)
      2) Go back to progressive tax rate schedule per-JFK. Highest bracket at 90%.

  • optikool

    You mean Trump, GOP Leaders Propose Largest Tax Overhaul for the Wealthy in Decades… If this tax overhaul was really to support the middle class, like Trump claims, why is there no talk on cutting payroll tax? Wouldn’t that help the middle class Bigly? And if Trump and GOP leaders do give the Wealthy a huge tax cut, are they going to get rid of deductions and loophole that Corporation and the Wealthy enjoy?

    • Robert Thomas

      No mention of the OASDI wage-base Social Security cap ($127,200 for 2017), either.

    • William – SF

      They want to cut taxes on pass-through corporations, like LLCs that real estate developers use, you know, like what DJT uses for his projects.

      • optikool

        I’m curious if DJT supporters understand this or even if they care.

        • William – SF

          Can’t possibly understand it unless one has gone through deciding what type of corporation ones business should use. If you collect a wage as an employee, you never make this consideration.

          • optikool

            Explains why they are not livid over the fact the Republican party is paying for Trumps legal fees which is costing millions.

    • Bill_Woods

      Do you want to cut the benefits Social Security pays out, which are funded by the payroll tax? If not, what would replace it?

      • optikool

        Social Security is a separate line item from State and Federal taxes. Not sure how this applies…

        • Bill_Woods

          Social Security is funded entirely by the payroll tax. If you cut the money coming in, you necessarily have to cut the money going out, sooner or later.

          • optikool

            So you’re trying to say Social Security Tax does not show up as a separate line item from Federal taxes on your paycheck?

          • Bill_Woods

            This started with your question, “why is there no talk on cutting payroll tax?”
            I’m just pointing out that there would be consequences from doing that.

          • optikool

            It looks like you are assuming when they cut payroll taxes, they cut all line items across the board, when all they would really do it cut the Federal Line item.

          • Bill_Woods

            No, I’m assuming that if they cut the payroll tax, they’d cut the one program funded by that tax.
            Which as you noted, is separate from the general revenues which fund all other programs.

          • optikool

            Well if Republican did decide to do something like that, which is likely since I believe they’d like get rid of social security as well, a bunch of Democrats will make the people aware and hopefully put an end to that nonsense…

  • Curious

    Time for everybody, EVERYBODY, to pay tax, not just 50% of us.

    • Todd Stiers

      ah, 50% of the wealth should be taxed, sure

      99% of the assets are held by 1%, thats a lot of “speech” that should be taxed on that 1%

      • Curious

        The top 10 percent pay two-thirds of the income tax. And the bottom 50 percent — all Americans with an income below the median — pay just 3 percent of the income tax.

        • William – SF

          A perfect example of how wealth is distributed in the US of A.

          • Curious

            Wealth is not “distributed.” Why is that so hard for you guys to understand?

          • William – SF

            When a hedge fund manager making millions or billions pays at a 15% rate and a high earning (say $125k) middle class salaried worker pays at a rate more than twice that, it is wealth distribution.

  • Rich

    Question: 1. If we eliminate the mortgage interest deduction would it make renting an apartment more attractive? Thus encourage the building of more apartments nearer to San Francisco, which would reduce sprawl and traffic congestion.
    2. If the lower and middle class pay some taxes they would have more skin in the game. Encouraging them to take an interest to speak up when they see wasteful spending. any evidence to support this theory?

    • William – SF

      1) The differences in costs to rent vs buy dictate choice.
      2) No. When one makes so little money that they pay either no or a small amount of tax they are spending all their time working. Spend some time with the working poor.

      • Rich

        William, you seem to have a strong opinion on this topic. I feel the working poor does not get enough attention (even on NPR). I’ve worked in Bahrain and Singapore where they have a two class society, I really do not want the US to become a tiered society. Have you recommended Working Poor/Income Inequality to Forum as a topic?

        • William – SF

          I ask it every time Forum hosts a politician, regardless of party affliation, can they describe what poverty looks like in America? It doesn’t get asked, clearly too uncomfortable a topic, too easy to ignore.

          Income inequality gets some mention but gets muddled in irrelevant issues.

          The unsaid despair and insecurity most Americans feel and experience gets little air.

          Political platitudes have effectively turned us against each other and we’re all losing. The tax structure and its wealth distribution makes our collective ills law.

    • No.

  • Robert Thomas

    Arizona Representative Dave Schweikert this morning took considerable time apologizing to NPR’s Mary Louise Kelly about how much math there is in the Republican Party’s new plan for federal income tax reform. In case she hadn’t caught it the third time, he said with a chuckle that he was sorry again, that it was so complicated, with so much math and so forth.

    It’s not that complicated, except the part about trying to guess what the “framework” has artfully omitted. Plenty of Americans are not journalists and so are less likely to reflexively blanch at basic arithmetic or even at (gasp) a logarithm.

    For example, on one’s fingers, one can puzzle out the utterly de rigueur elimination of the inheritance tax on the windfalls collected by the pocket universe of debauched, dissolute offspring. As any of hedge fund manager Steven Cohen’s seven expensive children might observe,

    “In my Father’s house are many mansions”

    Crown Lane, Greenwich, Conn. (35,000 sqft); $23.1 million
    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-k38WNuy8l_8/T7xH9rYHBCI/AAAAAAAABJk/UfH48iKKqE4/s1600/Screen+Shot+2012-05-22+at+8.39.18+PM.png
    Bloomberg Tower Duplex, East 58th St., New York, N.Y.; $67 million
    http://assets.nydailynews.com/polopoly_fs/1.1561727.1388438598!/img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/article_750/cohen31e-1-web.jpg
    Abingdon Maisonette, West 12th St., New York, N.Y.; $23.4 million
    https://static01.nyt.com/images/2013/07/28/realestate/28cover-1/28cover-1-videoLarge.jpg
    Perry St., West Village, New York, N.Y.; $38.8 million
    https://cdn20.patch.com/inline_images/131055/1472581908.jpg
    Further Lane, East Hampton, N.Y.; $62.5 million
    https://pmcvariety.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/80a61-scohen_ehfl_aer_01.jpg

    etc., etc.

  • Another Mike

    When I wondered why the corporations I worked for kept sending my job to Asia, I was informed that the tax holidays that various countries offered were the principal reason, that engineers were expensive to hire no matter where they were. Free trade meant there was no penalty here for building products overseas.

    So I support cutting the sticker rate of corporate income tax to compete with other countries, if it means keeping more good jobs in this country.

    • William – SF

      Well then, you’ve clearly figured out how giving corporation more money that they already have to create jobs that they can already create without the tax windfall. See my facts here. Please elaborate.

      • Another Mike

        To increase profits, the corporations created jobs in Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, etc.

        • William – SF

          So much for bringing jobs to America — so much for “keeping more good jobs in this country.” This is my point. If US Corporations thought they could make more money in the US by creating jobs in the US they have the money to do that. So the additional money goes to management, shareholders, or is placed in the bank.

          • Gene K.

            True, unless the cuts and repatriation is tied to job creation it’s just another hand out to the wealthy.

          • Another Mike

            US corporations place their factories in low-taxed countries. I cannot say this any more clearly.

          • William – SF

            Yes, low tax and, depending on the type of business, low labor.

          • marte48

            The Bush tax cuts did not bring any jobs home.

          • Curious

            Income inequality grew substantially under Barry’s regime.

          • Noelle

            thanks to great recession, also offshoring of jobs since Pres. Reagan. both parties are to blame.

          • Curious

            Of course. Barry was not responsible for anything bad. LOL!!! The bystander president.

          • Noelle

            I blame him for taxpayer bailout of banks too.LOL.

          • turquoisewaters

            That’s why they call it the “Bush tax cuts”, I am sure.

          • Another Mike

            A one-time relaxation of the tax rules should not be expected to effect permanent change.

    • Robert Thomas

      Not necessarily in any particular state or municipality within the country, though.

      The difference in tax burden between that assessed in Penang, Suzhou, Sofia, Toronto and Neenah, Wisconsin vary, but they were hardly the largest consideration that a program team of which I was a member considered a few years ago. Prospective customer base, local value-added content requirements, supply chain pressure, technical staff availability, facility modernity, special taxation zones and other local inducements (available also in Canada and Wisconsin) were all part of the decisions made for parts of the production operation, that ended up being successfully spread across facilities on three continents. Gross tax burden was not peculiarly different among the potential choices. Had it been, other options would have been chosen.

      Among the most strictly cost-sensitive operations, favoritism merely toward U.S. locales didn’t prevent the nation’s furniture industry, for example, from deserting workers in Connecticut and decamping to Michigan and then abandoning Michigan labor for North Carolina, in the pursuit of ever stingier attention to local government services and decrepit infrastructure.

      • Another Mike

        Civil War historian Bruce Catton, a Michigan native, explains the Michigan furniture industry in his memoir: In the late 1800s, loggers moved from Maine to Michigan to cut down that state’s white pine forests. When no conifers were left, they turned their attention to the hardwoods, which made excellent furniture, causing Grand Rapids to become the Furniture City.

        When the land was logged, they owners quit paying property tax, allowing the land to go to the state, explaining the presence of so many state parks in Western Michigan, filled with second growth forests.

        • Robert Thomas

          Very interesting.

  • Noelle

    Was the corporate tax rate the real reason for the massive offshoring of manufacturing for the past 30 years?

    • William – SF

      No. It was that countries offered tax benefits to attract business money – look up Ireland. The EU has been trying to crack down on this. It’s much like what States do to attract incorporation – look up Delaware. If performed by all States or all countries it is the classic race-to-the-bottom.

  • pm05

    “If rich people are taxed less, they won’t cheat as much” — THAT is this tax policy!!
    Maybe the rich will be less crooked !! How Republican!

    • Noelle

      They will still have an army of lawyers to find tax loopholes!

  • Another Mike

    Inheritance is a form of welfare for the rich: People receive wealth without having lifted a finger to earn it.
    While it may make sense to pass unitized family businesses like family farms untaxed from generation to generation, what sense does it make not to tax liquid assets like stocks and bonds?

    • Curious

      The Kennedys have never ever paid inheritance tax. Lefties are hypocrites.

  • Ben Rawner

    The estate tax effects less than 1/2 of 1% of the richest people in the US. The perpetual divestment in government since the 80s has led to reduction of essentials services, while indebting all levels of the government, just to make the richest even richer. Real wage growth for the average American has been stagnant for decades while costs for everything has skyrocketed. These rich people better be careful because the next step will include pitchforks.

    • Noelle

      That’s an excellent summary of the past 30 years or so. And now we get THIS tax plan???

    • William – SF

      Once you give the money away, you’ll never get it back. Pitchforks, even as a metaphor, are pointless, ineffective. The only pitchfork moment you have is when you decide to not give the money away. Period.

  • William – SF

    The smoke screen of cutting corporate tax rates to keep companies from moving jobs offshore, is specious, idiotic, and a lie. If Americans believe this pile of crap they deserve the struggle to find a job.

    • Another Mike

      And all I have is thirty years of evidence.

      Look at the foreign companies who locate factories in this country. Every successful state has offered them tax holidays, access to municipal bond financing, free training of employees, free infrastructure upgrades such as freeway off ramps, etc.

      • William – SF

        And all Corporations have, in the last 17 years, is historic profits and cash.

        Foreign companies move here because of incentive and markets, and profits. IF US corporations thought they could make more money here they would create jobs here — they have all the resources they need to create jobs here.

        • Another Mike

          Why would they build facilities here when the rate of return on invested capital would be so much higher in any other country?

          • William – SF

            Why do foreign companies like Toyota, Honda, …, build factories in this country? It’s the same reason why US corporations would build factories here. Expansion outside of the US for US corporations is where their profits can be found. And again, US corporations don’t need money to expand in the US – they have plenty.

          • Another Mike

            Largely because the US represents 90% of the world market for SUVs, pickups, and large displacement engines. And of course, the tax and other state government benefits.

  • Robert Thomas

    The idea that three tax brackets rather than seven (or any other number) amounts to a “simplification” is flatly ridiculous. Apparently, the mere fact that three is less than seven is reckoned by these confidence tricksters to guarantee that clueless journalists will nod and say, “Oh yes, I see.” It was a good bet, as we perceive.

    The “complexity” of a progressive tax is hardly different, whether it features fewer, larger steps or more, smaller steps.

    One might argue that a flat tax is “simpler” than a progressive tax – the way that summary execution is simpler than requiring a criminal trial.

    Given the stricture of a progressive tax, a logarithmic formula (pretty “simple”) applied to each further dollar of income (akin to millions of tax brackets) would be “simplest”.

    • Noelle

      Maybe we should blame math illiteracy of most people.

      • Todd Stiers

        crappy schools that fail math also lack civics classes too

        • Noelle

          that’s for sure!

        • Curious

          That’s why we need to import millions more illiterate, non-English speaking manual laborers and their families!

          • Gene K.

            Look, your buddies the Koch Brothers who founded and fund the CATO institute say that Dreamers have a lower incarceration rate than natural born citizens. Sorry to blow another hole in your false narratives about illegals:
            https://www.cato.org/publications/immigration-research-policy-brief/dreamer-incarceration-rate

          • Curious

            Illegals are a huge economic and social drain on this country.

          • Noelle

            but wouldn’t inflation go up if we had to pay living wages to Americans?

          • Curious

            What is a “living wage”?

          • Noelle

            depends on what part of the country you live in. A wage where you can pay rent,food,transportation costs.

          • Curious

            Yeah, that’s not how it works. What we do know is that we would save more than $120 billion dollars a year if we got rid of illegals.

          • Curious

            Doing the jobs Americans won’t

            SEATTLE – A 23-year-old DREAMer in Washington state is accused of brutally raping a 19-year-old woman in her apartment complex’s gym and leaving her with severe facial injuries — including a broken jaw and dangling ear.

            In 2010, teenager Joshua Wilkerson was gruesomely murdered by a Dreamer in Houston, Texas.

            When Joshua Wilkerson gave Dreamer Hermilo Moralez a ride home from school in November of 2010, the immigrant punched him in the face, causing Wilkerson instant blindness, and then kneed him so hard that it forced Wilkerson’s spleen into his spine. Moralez then beat the teen with a curtain rod, doused Wilkerson’s tied-up dead body in gasoline, and set the teen on fire.

            In January, Dreamer Carlos Ruben Rodriguez was charged with murdering 24-year-old mother Kelsey Engelsen in Naples, Florida.

            In 2008, 17-year-old Los Angeles High School football star Jamiel Shaw II was murdered in cold blood by gang member and Dreamer Pedro Espinoza.
            In 2013, a Dreamer ran over two little girls, stepsisters Anna Dieter-Eckerdt, 6, and Abigail Robinson, 11, while they were playing in a leaf pile.

            Dreamer Cinthya Garcia-Cisneros ran over step-sisters Anna, 6, and Abigail, 11, in 2013, who were playing in a pile of leaves in the road, killing them both. Garcia-Cisneros then drove straight to an auto car wash in what the court ruled was an attempt to wash the evidence from her SUV.

            Juan Manuel Martinez, 19, will soon become one of a few DACA recipients who will be deported back to his native country after run-ins with the law, Breitbart Texas reported in May.

            Earlier this year, Martinez was arrested for drug possession after Monterey County sheriff’s deputies found meth and marijuana in his vehicle. Martinez was also charged with trespassing, which he later pleaded no contest to.

          • turquoisewaters

            Citing 8 cases going back all the way to 2010 really undermines your point. Do you know how many horrible crimes were committed by US citizens in the same time frame?

          • Curious

            And?

      • turquoisewaters

        No. I blame decades of lobbying by the rich and powerful.
        But you are right that people are extremely gullible and don’t even realize that their services and infrastructure is being taken away so that the super rich can get even richer. You tell them that their taxes will go down by $23 and that filing will be easier and they are all in.

    • turquoisewaters

      This is a great point. People don’t want a simpler tax code, but a fairer tax code.
      Maybe the tax returns of the wealthiest Americans and of corporations should fit on a post card. I would love to see that. But we know the wealthy and the corporations have a billion lawyers who get paid good money to take advantage of the billion tax loopholes that a billion lobbyists drilled into the taxcode.

  • Todd Stiers

    Time for a max income policy again – rich people not paying taxes should be framed and called out as traitorous. If you work the machine harder, you gotta pay more and INVEST in the government and people that make it possible. Taxes ARE the investment, not the cost.

    • Curious

      Wealthy people pay far more than their share of taxes. It is the 50% not paying taxes that are traitors.

      • Gene K.

        Another false narrative from you: Everyone pays taxes. Some don’t pay income tax because they are poor but they still pay sales and other taxes. Your buddy Trump avoids paying taxes by declaring big losses on his income tax.

        • Curious

          Your Buddies Barry and Hillary are tax dodgers.

      • Todd Stiers

        …and those wealthy people did it ALL by themselves, no help from anyone or on anyone’s else’s back or good graces.

        Pay the machine or it will break – its that simple. FDR got the new deal through because there was an implicit threat of violence to redistribute that “wealth” and ever since its all been about dismantling that threat to allow ongoing hording of wealth by the few. Reagan to Trump, same game of disinvesting in our country and its people with the promise of aspirational wealth for the idiots who vote them in.

        Plenty of taxes being paid on consumption BY everyone – 10% sales taxes is “not paying taxes?”. Notice there is NEVER a discussion about reducing sales tax, because its totally regressive. And it keeps going up, mostly in part to the loss of revenue
        by not putting taxes on where the resources are.

        • Curious

          Ah, yes. Barry’s “you didn’t build that” trope.

          Communism does not work.

          And everybody pays sales tax. 50% pay no federal taxes. I am tired of supporting layabouts and illegals.

          • Todd Stiers

            Hardly a “Trope” – Slavery built that!

            We got a 3-4% unemployment rate, not much laying around. Plenty of hard working people making
            not enough to live on that you benefit from – just because you can’t see it doesn’t make it real.

          • Curious

            The U.S.’s labor participation rate for this group of men is lower than every country in the OECD except for Israel (an outlier, because of the high number of non-working Orthodox Jewish men) and Italy (an economic omnishambles). Today, one in six prime-age men in America are either unemployed or out of the workforce altogether—about 10 million men.

  • Another Mike

    One way US corporations lower their effective tax rates is by siting factories overseas. Why doesn’t your guest get this?

  • Vignan Manne

    How can you say that increasing taxes from 10-12% for the poorest Americans is a good idea? How does artificial intelligence change investment strategies including ‘building factories’ and ‘hiring workers’ in the US?

  • EIDALM

    T he biggest losers of the so called falsely tax reform are the morons, idiots, and fools middle class and poor who voted for Donald Trump……..Sad

  • Dave J

    Can someone comment further on the notion that companies will leave the US in search of lower taxes. Though I believe this is so, taken to its logical conclusion, companies will play every country in a race to the bottom. How can a country have the revenue it needs to provide its citizens the services they want if they have to keep cutting taxes to hold onto businesses.

    This race to the bottom seems to be a serious problem that people suggesting we lower tax rates to attract companies do not address. In essence, corporations seem to be saying: “that’s a nice country you have there, it would be a shame if something were to happen to it.”

    • William – SF

      Ireland was a big draw in the 90s. The EU is attempting to remove the incentives countries like Ireland offer foreign corporations to do nothing more than register their corporations as belonging to that country.

    • Another Mike

      Our southern states have decided it is better to have more residents with good jobs even if their employers pay less in income tax.

  • optikool

    What would be the outcome if government cut wealthy and corporate taxes down to 20 or 25 percent, but also cut those special loopholes that allow them to currently bring their taxes down to 20 or 25 percent?

    • Bill_Woods

      A lot less time and effort, and money, wasted chasing those loopholes.

      • Noelle

        Maybe tax lawyers would lose their loophole-finding jobs?

        • Bill_Woods

          In general, they’re smart and hard working. I’m sure they’d find something productive to do.

  • I have not heard anything from Chris Edwards–or anyone else who supports this massive tax change–that demonstrates how t it will re-establish the equitable share of middle-class wealth that existed in the 1950s and 1960s. How will “voodoo economics” (AKA “fairy dust”) tax cuts ensure that middle-class and lower-class workers–and not just the ultra-rich–will actually get the fair share of America’s prosperity that they have been earning, generating, and producing all along?

    • William – SF

      Kansas did it …and failed miserably. Look up the Kansas experiment.

  • Todd Stiers

    Taxation should be scaled on the wealth, not on the individual. IF money is speech, tax the money.

    Taxes are an investment in the country and its people. Pay the machine that you love.

    • Curious

      We should impose a flat tax. Our present system is discriminatory and discourages people from working.

      • Todd Stiers

        Tax the wealth, sure. Screwing the individual and fighting for their crumbs is a waste of time.

        Working jobs for salaries that don’t sustain a standard of living is slavery.

        • Curious

          You are very confused and ill-informed.

          • Todd Stiers

            $1 one vote! Tax the representation!

          • Curious

            I agree. If you don’t pay taxes, you should not be able to vote.

          • Gene K.

            By your rationale we should go back to only allowing land owners to vote.

  • marte48

    The more that corporations get out of paying taxes, the more the rest of us are forced to pay. We cannot avoid paying taxes, and we cannot hide our earnings offshore. Reagan’s “tax reform” shifted the tax burden from corporations to individual professionals, like tech engineers, who are in nearly 30% tax bracket.

  • Another Mike

    The American worker’s productivity is second only to Denmark’s.

    • William – SF

      And how do the services provided by each government compare? What’s the difference in income disparity between both countries?

      • Curious

        How do tax rates compare?

      • Another Mike

        We have almost the best workers in the world. Given a free choice, any rational corporation would build factories in America.

        • William – SF

          Corporations have free choice. How do corporations rationalize away manufacturing and labor costs?

          This is nothing more than a giveaway at the expense of the vast majority of Americans.

  • Curious

    So after admitting we have the highest corporate tax rate in the world, Jared alleges that after deductions, companies pay an effective tax rate that puts us in the middle of the pack. Of course, he is using fairy dust by comparing the effective US corporate tax rate with the statutory tax rates in other countries i.e., before they get their deductions. Apples and oranges.

    • Another Mike

      Yes, and so much of that lowered effective tax rate was made possible by siting factories overseas.

  • Another Mike

    Low unemployment, sure. But how many Americans are employed in “do you want fries with that” jobs that could never sustain a family?

  • William – SF

    Thank you KQED for putting Jared Bernstein on.

    • Curious

      Yep. Just what we need – another ignorant leftie.

  • Todd Stiers

    Tax policy should not be confused with import/export costs and management of companies.

    Plenty of other policy can be put in place to make exporting jobs and money outside the country unattractive.

  • Curious

    Illegals must pay taxes too before being deported. We could give everyone a free college education by getting rid of illegals.

    • Gene K.

      another false narrative.

  • Fay Nissenbaum

    Can Chris Edwards explain how he knows more than Warren Buffet? I hear him selling pie-in-the-sky like like Trump did in his campaign.

    • Curious

      You know that Buffet has his own agenda, right? You know he moved Burger King’s HQ from the US to Canada to save taxes, right?

      • Fay Nissenbaum

        Then given his greed, when he says this is a giveaway to the well-heeled, it speaks volumes…

        • Curious

          No, it says he will promote what will benefit him.

  • William – SF

    Explain how Apple created $17 billion in bonds (2013) to collect more money while sitting on a $145 billion.
    PEOPLE corporations have LOTS of money, they don’t need the money!

    • Another Mike

      How did they get all that money?

      Apple used to build Macintosh computers in Fremont, California. Now they build them in China.

      • William – SF

        Profits, tax manipulation by registering in Ireland, keeping foreign profits offshore, …

        Ah… less expensive for Apple to employ manufacturing labor offshore. Go figure. They must have read about how Nike was growing so fast using cheap labor.

        Once you’ve given Apple more money through lower taxes, they will what, move their manufacturing back to the US? Really? Why not create a US labor pool that competes with China … oh, right, Americans can’t make a living wage that way.

        • Another Mike

          Do you really not see the difference between building highly automatable products like computers and manual labor intensive products like shoes?

          • William – SF

            I do. Time frame context: Nike’s growth late-70s/80s/90s; MacIntosh – 30 years ago.

            How will giving Apple, with cash reserves exceeding $250,000,000,000, bring jobs make to Fremont or anywhere in the US?

          • Another Mike

            What is the incentive for Apple to spend even one more dime in this country?

          • William – SF

            …yet they should pay a lower tax rate, and their quarter of a trillion dollars should be brought back to be stored in management and shareholder …banks?

            The middle class will be left with this bill. The poor are long ago invisible, as will be the fate of us all.

          • Another Mike

            Putting a factory in, say, the Central Valley would make a great deal of sense for Apple. Design engineers could easily watch pilot run and production ramp up, custom order turnaround would be a lot faster. Nimbleness, responsiveness, are positive factors. Plus every American on the line can see things that could be done to improve productivity, manufacturability, etc.

          • William – SF

            ..and, Apple doesn’t even need to borrow money to fund it! Or they can issue another bond. But lower taxes, no way.

          • Another Mike

            William, I will try one last time.

            Let us say you have a small fund put away for your retirement. You have two places to invest it.

            One will pay you a 10% return; the other, only 1%.

            Which investment will you put your money in?

            Hint: the answer is NOT “I have plenty of money.”

          • William – SF

            If Apple built a factory in the Central Valley and they hired you, I’d be all for that.

            How’d I do?

    • Curious

      They use slave labor in China.

  • kfkyahoo
  • Todd Stiers

    This supply-side guy is just trying to ultimately bankrupt the very government that makes the wealth possible. Traitor.

  • Curious

    We could also save taxpayer money by cutting funding of propagandists like NPR and baby parts purveyors like Planned Parenthood.

    • We would save a lot more by not subsidizing US oil and agribiz corporations that suck tens of billions of dollars out of our economy and our government. Corporations receive orders of magnitude more than the pittance NPR or Planned Parenthood get for providing ethically more justifiable services than an oil company or an agribiz corporation ever will.)

      • Curious

        Yes, killing babies and selling their parts is very ethical.

        • Noelle

          are you against stem cell transplants?

          • Curious

            I think I made it clear that I am against killing babies.

        • Gene K.

          Look, it’s the Russian troll continuing to propagate false narratives.

  • marte48

    Why didn’t the extensive supply-side tax cuts in the Bush administration work for everyone?

    • Curious

      Why was Barry’s 8 years an unprecedented disaster, doubling the deficit?

      • Gene K.

        Yeah, that low unemployment rate was a total disaster.

        • Curious

          LOL! Lowest workforce participation in over 30 years! Highest rates of poverty! Highest food stamp use ever. Yep. He was a real winner!

      • Another Mike

        GW Bush handed the wheel over to Obama as the bus went over the cliff:
        1. Housing bubble burst, leading to

        2. Unemployment of construction workers, mortgage brokers, etc. and,
        3. Loss of apparent wealth.
        4. Two unfunded wars started by Cheney/GWB, representing $4.5 trillion in debt, worsened by
        5. Much lower tax receipts due to much higher unemployment.

        • Curious

          Obama inherited a better economy than Reagan got from Cater. Reagan ushered in an unprecedented boom. Barry was an abject failure.

  • Robert Thomas

    Whoa! I’ve been a manufacturing engineer in the computing and communications machinery business since about 1980. I’ve directed operations in Indonesia, China, Bulgaria, Ireland, Switzerland, Mexico, Canada and the U.S.

    Mr Edwards assertions about why electronic technology manufacturing has moved around the world is just comically, ridiculously, breathtakingly clueless and utterly idiotic.

    I’m of two minds about the speculations of the effects on a reform of U.S. corporate tax – generally the effort to reduce the marginal rate while eliminating many loopholes – but Mr Edwards’s line in this regard is just sophomoric, Cracker Jack toy junk.

  • Stephen Monismith

    Please note that the Cato Institute is underwritten by the Koch brothers who stand to benefit enormously by the proposed changes. Has their greed no bounds?

    • William – SF

      Clearly, there are not enough Yankee bucks to pad their coffins.

  • Does the GOP tax proposal reduce or eliminate the billions of dollars in corporate welfare (AKA subsidies) for big ag, big oil, and other sectors that have been ripping off American taxpayers for decades?

  • Russell Blank

    Given that we saw banks in 2008 use taxpayer bailout money to line their own pockets with bonuses, why should we believe that corporations will use this tax windfall for anything different?

    Also, it sounds like the guest is proposing something similar to the anti-tax experiment that failed in Kansas

    • Todd Stiers

      Push bad ideas loud enough and frequently enough seems to dull the facts 🙂

  • Fay Nissenbaum

    Cannot deduct student loan interest like mortgage interest – Why? Lots of talk about building the nation’s braintrust to compete on the global stage,yet buying houses is sacred when student loan interest paid cannot be deducted over the life of the loan. Comments?

  • Curious

    Just love it how leftist shills like George Stephanopolous and Krasny press Republicans for “guarantees.”

    I remember fondly how they pushed Obama to guarantee that no one would lose their health insurance, that no one would have to change their doctors and that everyone would save at least $2500 a year.

    Even better when they confronted him with his lies when every one of his statements was revealed to be false.

    Oh, wait………..

    • Todd Stiers

      Yes, its tough to provide healthcare when the people with all the money refuse to share and assume its okay
      to kill off millions of people if necessary to avoid sharing.

      • Curious

        Who are “people with all the money”? Why should they share what is theirs with you? Who is “killing off millions”?

        • Todd Stiers

          I really need to detail the last 6 months of “repeal and replace” for you?

          See Google. See COB estimates. Define country, citizen and fellow citizen, and the basics of western civilization that the US lacks.

          • Curious

            Got nothing, huh? Not surprised.

  • timholton

    Zero corporate tax rate would be ideal, says Edwards. Which is to say, corporations and their activities have no costs to the commonwealth. That isn’t zombie economics. That’s bonehead economics.

  • Curious

    We have far too many over-paid, under-performing government employees.

    • Todd Stiers

      Nah, they just have a better union than you.

      It used to be that these government jobs sucked, but their unions cut good deals that look awesome 30+ years on of the divestment and gutting of the middle class in this country, idiots voting against their own self interest (Hello Reagan!).

  • Curious

    We need some sanctuary cities and states where you don’t have to pay federal taxes at all.

    • Another Mike

      There’s always Puerto Rico.

      • Curious

        No air con.

  • mcm31

    It would be useful if Forum had fact checking. When guests make statements of fact, they can be checked. For example, today, when Mr. Edwards talked about Ireland, he failed to mention that the economy crashed for ten years, that the are swaths of rotting houses, empty factories, polluted areas, and unemployed people were rescued by EU investment. It’s still 1/3 of the size it was during boom times and carrying a lot of debt. Companies took Irish tax breaks, hired cheap labor, then hid their profits elsewhere. Edwards also failed to look here in the US where states with the most and largest corporate tax breaks & lowest corporate tax rates, Kansas and Texas, find themselves begging for relief.

    Then there’s the finding by the US GAO that showed that 20% of US corporations paid 0% in taxes. There’s nothing lower than zero, so by Mr. Edward’s logic, we should start paying corporations to exist. Germany has 20% corporate base tax rate, plus trade and solidarity taxes of 5.5% and 14%-17% making Germany’s effective tax rate about 30%. Germany also has a lot of regulations about workers rights, health care, pollution, and conduct. Still, with all this, Germany has the strongest. most stable economy in the world.

    Tax cuts for corporations have been going on since the 1980s, so why are our public services less than satisfactory? Why are the rich so much richer and the middle class in danger of collapse? Why are there fewer well paying jobs here? It cannot possibly be because corporations pay too much in taxes. They are paying less than 9% of all taxes, while income tax, the tax paid by the workers not the investor class, is 47%, and payroll taxes are 34%. Employers and employees split the cost of payroll taxes, but employers get a tax benefit that workers do not.

    The nonsense about tax cuts for corporations has to stop. There is
    no moral or legal imperative for a corporate entity or the men running
    them do do anything except keep the money for themselves. CEO pay is 300
    times average worker pay. CEO have gotten 38% increase in pay since
    2000, while workers have gained 0%, Workers, in fact, have lost real
    purchasing power.

    • Curious

      Yep, they should have fact checked Bernstein’s myriad lies. Yesterday, Krasny and his guest made the astounding allegation that Trump does not have the authority to walk away from the Iran “deal.” So much for accurate “reporting” and paid for with my taxes.

    • Another Mike

      Yes, America’s corporations have shipped jobs to countries with much lower corporate taxes. This allows them to pay a much lower effective rate than the sticker rate the US charges them. Why not level the playing field? Make corporate greed favor the American worker rather than work against him and her?

  • Another Mike

    This article attributes the failure of Ireland’s “Celtic Tiger” economy (1990-2008) to the bursting of their cheap-money-inflated housing bubble. Now where did that also occur? Oh, here, that’s right.

    https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2487813

  • Eamonn

    Ireland’s 12.5% corporate tax rate has attracted investment from outside, but it has not been a win-win. Ireland’s public services are woefully underfunded. Hospitals are overcrowded, infrastructure is not keeping up with growth, schools are inadequate, and there’s a massive affordable housing shortage. Too much of the tax burden is shifted from corporations onto the people working for them. This does not raise enough revenue to fund the state.

    • Another Mike

      Glad to see that Ireland’s property market has recovered from the bursting of the housing bubble. A lack of affordable housing generally means a place is highly desirable, such that many people want to live there, more than can fit into the existing housing.

      A low corporate tax rate induces corporations to locate there, where they are forced to hire local residents. Supply and demand mean wages go up, meaning that individuals can afford to pay the taxes that corporations never would have in the first place, because they would never have located there.

  • turquoisewaters

    If you want to help hard-working Americans, why not reduce the payroll tax?
    On the other hand,getting rid of the Estate tax would be a clean and massive giveaway for the super-wealthy.

Host

Michael Krasny

Michael Krasny, PhD, has been in broadcast journalism since 1983. He was with ABC in both radio and television and migrated to public broadcasting in 1993. He has been Professor of English at San Francisco State University and also taught at Stanford, the University of San Francisco and the University of California, as well as in the Fulbright International Institutes. A veteran interviewer for the nationally broadcast City Arts and Lectures, he is the author of a number of books, including “Off Mike: A Memoir of Talk Radio and Literary Life” (Stanford University Press) “Spiritual Envy” (New World); “Sound Ideas” (with M.E. Sokolik/ McGraw-Hill); “Let There Be Laughter” (Harper-Collins) as well as the twenty-four lecture series in DVD, audio and book, “Short Story Masterpieces” (The Teaching Company). He has interviewed many of the world’s leading political, cultural, literary, science and technology figures, as well as major figures from the world of entertainment. He is the recipient of many awards and honors including the S.Y. Agnon Medal for Intellectual Achievement; The Eugene Block Award for Human Rights Journalism; the James Madison Freedom of Information Award; the Excellence in Journalism Award from the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association; Career Achievement Award from the Society of Professional Journalists and an award from the Radio and Television News Directors Association. He holds a B.A. (cum laude) and M.A. from Ohio University and a PhD from the University of Wisconsin.

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