U.S. Speaker of the House Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) takes questions as he speaks to members of the media after the House passed the tax overhaul bill December 19, 2017 at the Capitol in Washington, DC.

As the House prepares to vote again Wednesday morning on the GOP’s sweeping $1.5 trillion tax overhaul, Forum looks at how the bill will affect California’s residents, businesses and economy as a whole. And we want to hear from you: What are your tax concerns and questions?

Guests:

Carolyn Lochhead, Washington correspondent, San Francisco Chronicle

Robert Caplan, CPA , Caplan & Wong CPAs, LLP; member of the American Institute of CPA’s Individual Tax Committee

Annette Nellen, professor and director, Graduate Tax Program, San Jose State University; CPA and chair of the American Institute of CPA’s Tax Executive Committee

H.D. Palmer, deputy director for external affairs, California Department of Finance

Related:

How The New Version Of The Republican Tax Bill Would Affect You

What Does the GOP Tax Bill Mean For California? 20 December,2017Michael Krasny

  • EIDALM

    This is not a tax plan, this is a crime, outages heist, daytime robbery of the American people by Donald Trump and the Republicans in favor of themselves and their paymasters billionaires, Wall Street, Multinational corporations, and foreign interests, it is a total betrayal by them all and total defiance of their oath of office as this criminal plot will cause lots of harm to near all Americans, specially the dwindling middle class, and the poor, their severe cuts on healthcare including Medicare will lead to the early death of untold millions from lack of health care and hunger , this unprecedented awful act will shift trillions of dollars from the American masses to the few hands on the top, which will make the U S as the worst country with inequality in the whole civilized and uncivilized World.

  • EIDALM

    I have never seen in my whole life as such extreme plain lies and deceptive speeches as much as Donald Trump, Mich McConnell, Paul Ryan, and other Republican leaders lying their heart out with full mouth, total fib when they state that despicable heist will benefit all of the American people……..I wish if them all noses grows up a mile long.

    • Noelle

      And I thought Reagan and Gingrich were bad.

  • Another Mike

    Donald Trump is a New Yorker and his friends and family are New Yorkers. Why would he want to hurt himself and his friends?

    • SteveS

      Trump had very little to do with what is in this bill.

      • Sar Wash

        Trump will personally gain over $1 billion from this bill. None of the tax increases are hitting Trump or others who make over $1 million/ year.

        • SteveS

          I think you misunderstood my comment. I was saying he had very little to do with creating the content of the bill, not that he would not be affected one way or the other.

          • Another Mike

            Trump can always veto the bill.

    • geraldfnord

      He will gain much, much, more than he will lose—’believe me’.

    • Sar Wash

      Trump does not pay taxes and has not for many years. This bill will make him personally $1 billion wealthier by exempting pass through entities and real estate developers from taxes. This bill exists to increase the wealth of Trump and a few similar wealthy donors. Trump does not care about hurting the middle class, the upper middle class, the working class, or the poor. The Republican tax and deficit increase bill is targeted to help the ultra wealthy while hurting everyone else.

    • Noelle

      I read Sen. Bob Corker benefits from the real estate part.

    • marte48

      If he and his family were going to be hurt by this bill, he would not sign it.

  • geraldfnord

    They’ve eliminated much of the deduction for state and local taxes because they believe in allowing states and localities to experiment.

    No, actually, they hate the way the superior economies and quality of life in the higher-taxed states puts the lie to their claim that taxing, especially the wealthy, is generally bad for people. The only civil rights in which they truly believe are rights to property, earned or inherited or de facto defrauded (e.g. by purposefully stiffing investors and contractors), natural or created and shielded by the State. Ownership is proof of wisdom and moral fitness, so it were only right that decision-making power in society were entirely weighted by weight of possessions, as opposed to tawdry democracy which gives a virtuous man like Roy Cohn and a total loser like Martin Luther King Jr equal weight.

  • Curious

    Great tax plan. Economic growth is returning after the disastrous Obama years.

    • marte48

      so, you’re ready to go out to work?

  • geraldfnord

    They believe in ‘starving the Beast’, where by ‘the Beast’ they mean anything that diminishes the power of the wealthy by making us less afraid of being poor. Our fear of hunger, exposure, humiliation, crime, and illness is their power.

  • Carol Lamont

    I am considering paying the 2nd installment of my California property taxes due in April 2018 in December to avoid the $10,000 cap on deductions for property taxes and State income taxes in 2018. Can prepaying 2018 property taxes in 2017 (but not income taxes) be done to take the deduction this year before it is limited next year to $10,000?

  • Robert Thomas

    “When it gets in place, when people see their paychecks getting bigger in February because withholding tables have adjusted to reflect their tax cuts, when businesses are keeping more of what they earn, when they can write off their spending and hire more people, that’s going to change its popularity, I am convinced.” [emphasis added]

    – U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan
    CBS This Morning, 12/20/2017
    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/paul-ryan-is-convinced-the-popularity-of-the-gop-tax-plan-will-change/

    American hedge fund manager Paul Singer, CEO of the Elliott Management Corporation,

    “… was instrumental in the selection of Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, a fellow fan of laissez-faire capitalism, as Mitt Romney’s 2012 running mate; Dan Senor, now a senior adviser at Elliott, was one of the campaign’s top foreign policy staffers.”

    “This Vulture-Fund Billionaire Is the GOP’s Go-To Guy on Wall Street”
    By Peter Stone
    Mother Jones, Sep/Oct 2013
    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/10/paul-singer-elliott-republican-fundraiser/#

    In 2012, Juniper Networks of Sunnyvale, California became the victim of an Elliott Management Corp. predatory Pump & Dump scheme.

    The manufacturer of core and edge internet routing equipment had been planning product expansion into new markets, playing on a successful pairing of security products and market growth in ethernet edge routing. With a healthy cash flow and bank balance, somewhat mysteriously, in October 2012 the company laid off 5% of staff and four executives resigned. In 2013 Juniper CEO Kevin Smith announced his intention to leave. In November 2013, Juniper announced that Barclays Bank Group CTO Shaygan Kheradpir had been chosen CEO, to take office in January 2014.

    “In February 2014 Juniper reached an agreement with Elliott Associates and other stakeholders to undertake a restructuring that involved repurchasing shares, reducing operating expenses by $160 million and appointing two new directors to its board.”

    [-WP, “Juniper Networks”; Financial Times,
    “Elliott calls on Juniper Networks to return $3.5bn to investors”]
    https://www.ft.com/content/096a1c42-7c77-11e3-b514-00144feabdc0

    From the point of view of Republican Party allies on Wall Street, a healthy bank balance makes one a high-risk target.

    “Kheradpir became CEO of Juniper Networks in January 2014. He developed and executed a [restructuring plan], in response to pressure from activist investors at Elliot Management.
    “The plan included $160 million in cost cutting and returning $3 billion to shareholders over three years by buying shares and increasing dividends. It also consolidated many product and R&D groups … According to Network World, Elliot Management was pleased with the plan.”

    “Shaygan Kheradpir” -WP

    That April, a further 6% of the company’s staff were laid off to cut expenses. In November 2014, Kheradpir unexpectedly resigned following a review by Juniper’s board of directors regarding his conduct in a negotiation with an unnamed Juniper customer – having served less than eleven months.

    The spineless Wormtongue Paul Ryan and his despicable clique of practiced carnival barkers have prevaricated for a decade to promote this self-appraised Apollonian Spiritual Nexus of the sociopathic criminal enterprise that is the U.S. Republican Party as a paragon of American civic virtue. Who would have thought that the GOP could manage to so elevate a man who makes their recent election of child m0lester Dennis Hastert to the Office third in line to the White House seem relatively judicious?

  • Allison

    How exactly does a tax bill allow for Alaska oil drilling? This feels like a “kitchen sink” bill where Republicans are throwing as many partisan issues into it as they can before year end.

    • SteveS

      I’ve wondered that myself (along with the repeal of the individual health care mandate) – in light of the fact that they are using rules that allow this bill to be passed in the Senate without a filibuster. It seems like those rules are awfully flexible, and I don’t recall the Democrats doing as much without the filibuster when they controlled the Senate.

      • Bill_Woods

        According to the Supreme Court, the mandate penalty is equivalent to a tax — which has now been eliminated.
        Presumably there’s some similar construction for the Alaskan oil reserve.

        • chriswinter

          Lisa Murkowski’s rationale was that the taxes on oil revenues would offset the deficit by $1 billion. I think that’s a questionable assumption. It depends on there being oil production, and credible sources maintain that the price of oil isn’t high enough at present for drilling in ANWR to be profitable.

          Meanwhile, oil is being found in unprotected areas of Alaska, and GE is laying off 12,000 employees from its power division because of slumping demand for gas turbines and other gear used to produce power from fossil fuels.

    • Winjas

      They agreed to Alaskan drilling in order to get Lisa Murkowski’s vote, the Senator from Alaska.

    • Noelle

      We shall see if the oil companies want to spend the extra money it takes to drill up there, hopefully they will not see this as a good idea. Not to mention for the caribou’s sake. 🙂

  • Winjas

    Can someone please comment on the final decision regarding medical deductions for retired and disabled? Was Susan Collins able to keep it in the bill?

  • Ash

    Can you talk more about (1) AMT and (2) Possible impact on Bay Area home prices? Thanks

  • Noelle

    Many Californians should pay their property tax in full before the end of the year to save money.

  • Dave Fork

    Now that our state, local and property tax are being double taxed under the new Republican tax increase for Californians, why don’t we lower our state income tax and increase taxes elsewhere such as a gasoline tax?

  • Sar Wash

    For my family and almost all of my friends, family, and neighbors, this billionaire donor kickback bill means a huge tax increase. Not being able to deduct state income taxes, property taxes, and mortgage interest is devastating to the middle class of California. The cuts to healthcare access and the ultimate Paul Ryan goal of eliminating Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare facilitated by this deficit-financed bill will hurt everyone, especially the poor and working classes. Republicans are spending like crackw*ores and pushing up the budget deficit, as usual.

    • Noelle

      Maybe their plan is to make Californians to move to other states?

  • Ben Rawner

    For average Americans, does this tax bill immediately effect our upcoming filing in April, or will the changes take effect on money made in 2018, so the taxes will change on our 2019 filing?

    • Winjas

      Great question!

    • Sar Wash

      The tax increases will take effect in 2018 (2019 filing), not in 2017 (2018 filing).

  • marte48

    what’s to prevent other countries from lowering their tax rates?

  • Sumit Kamath

    Has the backdoor roth IRA been fixed or is it still possible

  • Another Mike

    In 2013, Harvard economist Linda Bilmes estimated the total cost of the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan would be $4 trillion. Yet no one worried about how to pay for these wars back in 2002. Any deficit caused by these tax cuts would be dwarfed by the war deficits. And corporate headquarters are fleeing America for such unlikely tax havens as Canada (Burger King) and Switzerland (Walgreen’s).

    Let’s cut corporate taxes to the world standard, and keep more US companies inside the US.

  • crazykite2002

    I haven’t heard any discussion on how the lower corporate tax rate will impact business’s decision in taking deductible expenses, such as buying equipment, or hiring employees. This year it costs a company $65 (after tax) to pay $100 of salary or other deductible expense. When the new law, the same expenses will cause $80. It would seem that the new lower rate will change the math for deciding to re-invest in companies and employees.

  • Robert Thomas

    California’s return on it’s dollar sent to Washington every year has been calculated to be between 80¢ and “break even” (closer to the latter, according to the California Legislative Analyst’s Office, last January).

    Under this new all-Republican squeeze, in which the GOP insists that the the state must exercise its God-Given right to be extorted to subsidize South Carolina, Kentucky, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Montana et al., surely, we Californians will sleep better under the halo of our externally enforced financial virtue.

  • Noelle

    Let’s cut defense spending to balance the budget that will go into deficit after this bill goes into effect!

  • crazykite2002

    How does one submit question for the radio show?

    • chriswinter

      One way is by doing what you just did. Of course, there’s no guarantee that any particular question will get an answer.

  • marte48

    What happens to the debt when Trump starts another war?

    • Curious

      Barry’s bills will never be paid. His unconstitutional attack on Libya and his enabling of Iran and N. Korea have created disasters around the world.

  • amyj1276

    Wait. Did that caller seriously just blame Nancy Pelosi for this?? What ignorance and cognitive dissonance. No wonder republicans can continue screwing the people with their express permission. Unbelievable.

    • chriswinter

      I was about to ask the same thing. I could hardly believe my ears. But I do know there is such a thing as “Pelosi Derangement Syndrome” — similar to “Obama Derangement Syndrome”, though not as common. I guess that caller has a case of PDS.

    • Sar Wash

      It makes no sense when every single Democrat opposed this plan to increase taxes and the deficit to funnel money into the Trump and Republican donors’ bank accounts.

      • Bill_Woods

        “increase taxes”?

  • Sar Wash

    Thank you Democrats for standing up against this attack on the American people. Let’s make sure we work to elect more Democrats nation-wide to reverse this disastrous travesty.

    • Curious

      Thanks Republicans for standing up for Americans and for correcting the disastrous democratic policies that have been killing this country.

  • Curious

    Hyesterical to hear the hypocritical lefties calling in and whining about their tax bill going up!! They want higher taxes – just not for them!

  • NorcalGeek

    Can the State of California set up a non-profit fund to collect taxes ? Since Charitable Contributions are fully deductible, the state could encourage residents to donate to lets say – a “CA Education fund” .. and credit every dollar donated here towards their state tax liability ? I heard this discussed on Bloomberg recently.

  • Curious

    Of the 150,493,263 filers who submitted individual income tax returns to the Internal Revenue Service for the 2015 tax year, only 99,040,729 paid any income tax at all.

    Together, those Americans paid a record $1,457,891,441,000 in total income taxes — for an average of $14,720 per taxpayer.

    The other 51,452,534 — or about 34.2 percent of all filers — did not pay a penny. Their average income tax payment was $0.

    This is a fundamental divide in the American tax system. On one side are those who do pay taxes; on the other, those who don’t.

    And the divide gets worse.

    There were 30,417,609 filers who did not pay income taxes and received $89,614,869,000 in cash back from the federal government.

    In other words, they got $89,614,869,000 in welfare payments.

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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