New Year......New Goal

In Politics Plus

By Michael Gomez
Dec. 27, 2017 at 12:38 p.m.




For the past few years, I’ve started to turn off my television during the holiday season and catch-up on my reading. I have 15 partially read books on my iPad that I need to complete and delete. I hate repeats and shows that feature rewards for the best/worst of the current year.

I’m going to concentrate on learning new things instead of trying to convince the closed- minded who have taken my words out of context. A book I was reading referenced a 1936 book by Dale Carnegie” How to win friends and influence people” which every inspiring entrepreneur or employee trying to get ahead, read in the 1990s. The concepts remain true today. I am wasting my time arguing with a person who only relies on confirmation bias because they don’t have a full grasp of the subject matter. It’s a better use of our time to agree on what we can agree on and move on. There’s no need for name -calling or alienating that person to no end, unless that is the intention. I’m going to learn new things, so I won’t have time for that. The older I get the less time I have for trivial matters.

A few days ago, I was accused of being a socialist because I stressed that the continuance of income inequality will lead to our downfall. The poster probably thought I meant that the government should take away from from the rich and give it to the poor. No, I was thinking of a 1970s mindset when unions were so strong that non- unions companies doled out union pay and benefits to retain their valued employees. Corporations were very active in the local community and charity and goodwill were synonymous with the name of the corporation.

I read several pro/con articles that pertained to the recently passed tax bill. I don’t buy into the left or right versions of the tax bill because it’s about math and probability. The pro forces will paint their rosy scenario and the cons will portray a gloom and doom one. I cringe when someone uses Ronald Reagan or John Kennedy’s tax policies as an example of why tax cuts help our economy because they always leave out important variables necessary to stake their claim. The economy, tax brackets, and the times were different. It all boils down to a “wait and see” and the CBO, Tax Policy Center and the Heritage Center are guidelines as to what to expect. Republicans are now saying a bipartisan infrastructure bill and budgets will fill in the gaps because they know that they may not be in charge in 2019. Translation: We know we should have included our F- crumbling infrastructure and funded CHIP, so you democrats have to bail us out.

This is a tax bill, which I refuse to call tax reform because it left in the loopholes. I also refuse to call it a jobs bill because I firmly believe that the need for new employees overrides any tax cut as the basis for hiring. Yes, the tax bill will provide tax relief for individuals and it is a bonanza for corporations but it was a missed opportunity because it left out funding for CHIP, infrastructure, education, and renewable fuels. As I mentioned, loopholes that both parties agree are nonessential were not addressed. This tax bill will rely heavily on sustained growth (3%+) and a reliance that corporations do right by their employees. There are no provisions to keep corporations from outsourcing their jobs. Corporations will still weigh their options of lax environmental conditions and cheap labor overseas. Don’t believe the hype because 4.1% is considered full employment and our good economy will not benefit from this stimulus. In 2008-2009, it made good sense to stimulate the economy.

I hope my friends are not that gullible to believe the press releases by AT&T and others shortly after the tax bill was passed. You should have learned after the Carrier debacle where the company said they were not shipping their jobs to Mexico, got White House praise and then shipped their jobs to Mexico. First, there are 1.7 C corporations in America and you are relying on few companies using a publicity stunt to curry favors from the administration for future merger deals. Read this article from Bloomberg because it’s too lengthy for me to go step by step detailing what the corporation hoped to receive with their praise of the tax bill that republicans desperately needed. One hand washes the other…….https://www.bloomberg.com/gadfly/articles/2017-12-20/tax-bill-reactions

I did call a few friends advising them to max out their contributions, and see about prepaying their property tax because the doubling of their standard deduction will make it harder to itemize their deduction next year. Changing their W4 form will have to done on a case- by- case basis because of their filing status and dependents. The days of doing the calculations on a yellow legal pad are long gone so I’m waiting on the new software.

Enough about the tax bill because the president has signed it into law, so it’s a done deal. I’ll wait a couple of years before the “I told you so” or “boy was I wrong” final analysis.

Now it’s back to reading, I’ve always thought that you can learn a lot about a person if you know what they are reading. If you saw my Kindle app, you would probably come away saying “this person is interested in politics, the economy, Obama, income taxes, history, stats and different theories.”

What are you reading?

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