Paul Ryan Thinks $1.50 Increase in Take Home Pay is “Fabulous”

House Speaker Paul Ryan faced a backlash Saturday after he tweeted about a secretary’s $1.50 weekly increase in take-home pay as a sign of the Republican  tax plan’s success. No I am not making this up. This moron actually tweeted this. The article describes a high school secretary, Julia Ketchum, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania as “PLEASANTLY SURPRISED” that her pay went up $1.50 a week or $78 a year, more than enough to cover an annual Costco membership. Ryan deleted the Twitter post in hours, however, after lawmakers and social media users criticized him for appearing to be “out of touch”. Senator Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, wrote on Twitter, “this was not a PR mistake. It is what they really think”.

I have written two blogs on the impact of the tax cut, showing real tax calculations for individuals. My example shows that for the medium income American family of four, at $59,000 per year, the increase in take home was about $300 per year. So Ryan’s tweet about the secretary, who is probably making $30,000 per year, getting a $78 annual benefit is right in line with what I have been saying. America, most of you just got screwed, BOTH Republican and Democrat. What I find amazing through it all is the blind belief by Republican supporters that the tax cut is really going to be some great windfall for them. Recently in the Bend Bulletin, a “guest columnist” wrote after reading Walden’s holiday letter, that someone making $78,000 a year was going to see a 58% reduction in their taxes.

The unfortunate thing is, reality will very quickly catch up with these misinformed people who want so hard to believe the Republicans give a damn about them and Democrats are just trying to ruin their lives. I am trying to campaign on the basis of “PERCEPTION vs REALITY” and help people understand that what the Republicans tell you: ie: a $1.50 weekly increase in take home is wonderful, versus the reality that you once again got the short end of the stick. Will enough people wake up and smell the coffee in time to put me in office, instead of their do nothing for 19 years current congressman, only time will tell.

I promise you this. If you give me the opportunity, you will ALWAYS be told the truth. Wouldn’t that at least be refreshing for a change.

The Truth About the Tax Bill And The Sales Pitch the GOP Base Fell For

On December 21, 2017 (sorry for the late response but this one was hiding in my pile of homework) a “guest” columnist wrote as George W. Bush was overheard saying at Trump’s inauguration, “some really weird ****”. It was basically a rehash of a letter Walden sent to the district (at tax payer expense) quoting all the benefits Oregon’s middle class was going to get from the tax bill. The guest writes “the biggest percentage of tax reductions go to those earning between $20,000 and $50,000”. Let me give you q quick lesson in tax calculation. As 98% of people in this bracket file using the standard deduction we will use that and we will assume they are the average married couple with two kids. And I rounded the tax tables to nearest thousand for simplicity.

Old Tax Calculation: $50,000 minus $12,700 standard deduction,  minus $16,200 personal exemption = AGI of $21,100. Taxed at 10% on first 19,000 = $1900. Taxed on remaining $2100 at 15% = $315. Total tax due = $2215.

New Tax Calculation: $50,000 minus $24,000 standard deduction = AGI of $26,000. (Did somebody forget to tell you they did away with the “personal exemption for you and the kids” OOOPS!!! Taxed on first $19,000 @ 10% = $1900. Taxed on remaining $7,000 at 12% = $840. Total tax due = $2,740

Now if you have no kids, which of course the average American family does not (sarcasm intended) you get a tax reduction. But if you happen to have little Jimmy and Janie, you just lost money. Of course the example the GOP is selling and unfortunately their base is buying is exactly that. A no kid family example.

By the way, the corporate tax rate was reduced from 39% to 21% AND THEY DID NOT LOSE ANY DEDUCTIONS.

Then this weirdo guest columnist goes on to quote a family of four making $78,000 gets a 58% reduction. If this is what happens to the math ability of people when we legalize pot, I am going to rethink my support of it.

Then Mr. Guest Columnist quotes Walden directly “for those who choose to itemize their taxes, I worked with my colleagues to maintain provisions important to Oregonians such as preserving the ability to deduct medical expenses, and a combination of property and state taxes up to $10,000.” Please somebody tell this bat poop guest columnist there WAS NO LIMITATION ON PROPERTY AND STATE TAX DEDUCTIONS BEFORE THIS SCREW JOB. (I apologize for the use of bat poop).

Look I live in Bend and I do get my Bulletin every day because the NY Times won’t deliver to where I live and the Bulletin will. And I am a newspaper junky. The cool thing is the Bulletin reprints articles from both the NY Times and the Washington Post almost daily. The point is, this is not MIT level physics. If the Bulletin is going to reprint this garbage (and with the young right wing editor they are going to do this), they can at least do a little basic math checking first.

Would they print something from a nut job that claims the earth is flat?? Walden is nothing but a mouthpiece for the GOP who sold his soul and his district out a long time ago. The majority of Americans, with the average income of $59,000 will see about $300 more take home annually. Ah not so for people in the top brackets, particularly those whose income is based on Proprietorships or S Partnerships (which is what Trumps entire personal income excluding the presidential salary is based upon).

You know I came to hate the term “repeal and replace” but that is exactly what we are going to do with this horrible tax bill when I get to DC and Democrats take back the House, Senate, and White House.

Tim White

A Fighter For the 2nd District AND rural America

 

Defense Contractors Win – America You Lose (Again)

On December 12 the Liar in Chief, AKA Donald Trump, signed a $700 billion dollar military spending bill. And do not even bother asking if Walden voted for it. Of course he did. But remember we have a lot of military plants in the 2nd district of Oregon don’t we? No??? But they do have them in the wealthy districts that routinely donate to Walden. As if that would influence his vote. I call this a military spending bill rather than a “defense” bill because that is exactly what it is. A reward to the military contractors that contribute to the members of Congress and Senators, to keep them in office. This amount is $110 billion more than approved under Obama. It is so huge that even the armed services are going wait. What the hell are we going to do with all this stuff. The Navy is getting 13 new ships and 2 more carriers. They asked for 8 new ships. The Navy is getting 24 Super Hornet Fighters (at a cost of $71 million per). They asked for 14. They are getting 90 Joint Strike Fighters (at a cost of $95 million per). They asked for 70. And here is a little tidbit about Lockheed Martin’s impressive record on this program: The price tag for the F-35 program at $400 billion for 2,457 planes, is twice the initial estimate, three years behind schedule and some $200 billion over its original budget. Gosh darn good job. Lockheed’s CEO Marillyn Hewson, made $19.4 million last year. She has a base pay of $1.6 million, but by meeting annual and long-term goals, such as screwing over the American tax payers with a 100% cost over-run on the F-35 program, earned an additional $17.8 million. The Army gets 7,500 more troops, the Marines 1,000. the Air Force 4,100 and the Navy 4,000. Of course the most likely recruits are all currently hiding from ICE officers so it might be difficult hitting these numbers. (humor intended).

There is absolutely no reason for this level of spending beyond CEO pay and campaign donations. As I say on the campaign stump, China has “1” carrier and Russia has almost “1”, as it is reported to be in need of repair more than it actually works. And we will now have 13 carriers. Russia spends $70 billion annually and plans to reduce that figure. China spend $220 billion annually. Collectively we spend more than the next 11 countries combined.

Congress has no idea how to contain these expenditures within allowable spending levels without looking for reductions elsewhere. That large crack you just heard is the Medicare floor breaking. AARP are you awake? Ryan and McConnell have already floated the idea of cuts to Medicare in 2018 just to see how loudly the public reacts. And during all this discussion, Hawaii somehow sets off their missile warning system that requires two things to happen: 1) the military informs them of an impending strike and 2) the state agency responds by sounding the alarm. It is not like somebody accidentally sat on the alarm button or worse yet…..what does this button do???

As Dwight Eisenhower reminded us in 1961…..beware the military industrial complex…..they are a threat to democracy

 

The Truth About the Tax Bill (A Gigantic Lie)

Well folks, I did take a little break over the holidays to recharge the batteries and I am back now and in full battle gear. Let’s talk about the horrendous tax bill.

The truth about the tax bill is that it rewarded a limited number of people. To be specific 1) Corporations who provide the campaign funds to keep congressional and senate members in office; 2) The very wealthy in this country who by virtue of owning 76% of the wealth, primarily in the form of corporate equity, will benefit enormously from the upward movement of stock price, which has already occurred and will continue into the foreseeable future; and 3) Those who own partnerships, S Corps and Sole Proprietorships, who will now be able to pass through 20% of their income at the corporate rate of 21% rather than the personal top rate of 37% (formerly 39.5%). So these people received a double bonus. And in case you are wondering, our current president’s entire source of personal income falls into this category.

Just for fun I performed a calculation of various incomes at the prior and new rates to see just who benefits and by how much. I took into consideration the doubling of standard deductions from $12,700 to $24,000 for a married coupled, and the elimination of the $4,050 allowable per person and dependent deduction.

Income Annual Savings
 $              20,000  $                           –
 $              80,000  $                        393
 $            160,000  $                    2,453
 $            250,000  $                    5,973
 $            400,000  $                  13,981
 $            500,000  $                  13,789
 $        1,000,000  $                  29,565

The median family income in the US was $59,000 in 2017. At that rate a family can expect to receive approximately an after tax increase in take home income of $300. In Oregon where the median family income is slightly less at $57,000, the increase in take home will be slightly less. For those paying no taxes but benefiting from the increase in the child tax credit, your increase in annual take home will be $300. The question you must be asking your self now with all this available income is should you plan a trip to Hawaii or Paris.

This tax cut in effect will add $1.5 Trillion in national debt, making us more vulnerable and limiting our ability to react to future recessions or even depression as we nearly experienced in 2008, all so the wealthy can become even wealthier. Yes you did hear Trump say you were going to get so much money you won’t know what to do with it. Trump’s personal economic adviser Gary Cohn suggested you remodel your kitchen with your savings. Yes you can do a lot with $300 these days.

Help me get to a congress and fight these lies. I may not be able to stop the monster, but I can damn well expose the hypocrisy that is congress.

 

 

 

“YES” Measure 101 – Protect Health Care for all Oregonians

Hello fellow CD2 Neighbors. As I was recently driving home from a holiday visit with my kids and grandkids, I drove past numerous anti-measure 101 signs on properties of folks who were obviously struggling economically. I could not help but wonder why these people would be so much against something that is so much for their benefit. Yes it is a 1.5% tax on various medical premiums and service, that was originally passed in 2003 with support from BOTH Republicans AND Democrats. The funding in turn then provided medical coverage for most of these same people that now have anti measure 101 signs on their property. I could only think that in 2003 the Republicans had not gone completely right wing crazy and now they have. I can not help but wonder what it will take for those people who have been left behind in the new economy to open their eyes and minds and say hey, we are getting really hosed here. The recent horrendous tax bill has as Trump was quoted as saying, made rich people even richer. And for once he was telling the truth. The stock market, which is where wealthy people invest their money is up 6% in just one month. The long term annual return of the NYSE is 6% annually and it did this in just one month because of the tax bill. So what happens if measure 101 fails in Oregon? Insurance companies, medical suppliers, etc. will all make more money and many of those people with anti measure 101 signs in the yard will lose their medical coverage and continue to fall further and further into poverty. I just want to scream. Stop the madness. If measure 101 fails, the projected loss of state revenue is nearly $700 million with a projected loss of federal matching funds of $1.9 billion. That puts at risk the health insurance of 350,000 Oregonians, starting with most of those folks with the signs in the yard. So I am going to vote to pay my fair share to care for those people who need me to do so, despite their ridiculous signs. And I ask all of those with a heart and a conscious, to do the same.

And if you are wondering where Waldo is on this issue…let me assure you….he will cast the first no vote for the measure…..

Republican Tax Cuts – The Truth and Nothing but the Truth

There are some really smart people on the planet with a good heart and a brilliant mind. Robert Reich is one of them. Walden is not. Take a read to see what Trump’s tax cuts really mean for the hard working people of the 2nd district. And I don’t give a damn which political party you support. This reprint is for all of us in the district.

Tim White

One Tough Democrat for the 2nd District of Oregon.

ROBERT B. REICH is Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley and Senior Fellow at the Blum Center for Developing Economies. He served as Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration, for which Time Magazine named him one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the twentieth century. He has written fourteen books, including the best sellers “Aftershock”, “The Work of Nations,” and”Beyond Outrage,” and, his most recent, “Saving Capitalism.” He is also a founding editor of the American Prospect magazine, chairman of Common Cause, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and co-creator of the award

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Here are the 3 main Republican arguments in favor of the Republican tax plan, followed by the truth.

  1. It will make American corporations competitive with foreign corporations, which are taxed at a lower rate.

Rubbish.

(1) American corporations now pay an effective rate (after taking deductions and tax credits) that’s just about the same as most foreign based corporations pay.

(2) Most of these other countries also impose a “Value Added Tax” on top of the corporate tax.

(3) When we cut our corporate rate from 35% to 20%, other nations will cut their corporate rates in order to be competitive with us – so we gain nothing anyway.

(4) Most big American corporations who benefit most from the Republican tax plan aren’t even “American.” Over 35 percent of their shareholders are foreign (which means that by cutting corporate taxes we’re giving a big tax cut to those foreign shareholders). 20 percent of their employees are foreign, while many Americans work for foreign-based corporations.

(5) The “competitiveness” of America depends on American workers, not on “American” corporations. But this tax plan will make it harder to finance public investments in education, health, and infrastructure, on which the future competitiveness of American workers depends.

(6) American corporations already have more money than they know what to do with. Their profits are at record levels. They’re using them to buy back their shares of stock, and raise executive pay. That’s what they’ll do with the additional $1 trillion they’ll receive in this tax cut.

***

  1. With the tax cut, big corporations and the rich will invest and create more jobs.

Baloney.

(1) Job creation doesn’t trickle down. After Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush cut taxes on the top, few jobs and little growth resulted. America cut taxes on corporations in 2004 in an attempt to get them to bring their profits home from abroad, and what happened? They didn’t invest. They just bought up more shares of their own stock, and increased executive pay.

(2) Companies expand and create jobs when there’s more demand for their goods and services. That demand comes from customers who have the money to buy what companies sell. Those customers are primarily the middle class and poor, who spend far more of their incomes than the rich. But this tax bill mostly benefits the rich.

(3) At a time when the richest 1 percent already have 40 percent of all the wealth in the country, it’s immoral to give them even more – especially when financed partly by 13 million low-income Americans who will lose their health coverage as a result of this tax plan (according to the Congressional Budget Office), and by subsequent cuts in safety-net programs necessitated by increasing the deficit by $1.5 trillion.

***

  1. It will give small businesses an incentive to invest and create more jobs.

Untrue.

(1) At least 85 percent of small businesses earn so little they already pay the lowest corporate tax rate, which this plan doesn’t change.

(2) In fact, because the tax plan bestows much larger rewards on big businesses, they’ll have more ability to use predatory tactics to squeeze small firms and force them out of business.

***

Don’t let your Uncle Bob be fooled: Republicans are voting for this because their wealthy patrons demand it. Their tax plan will weaken our economy for years – reducing demand, widening inequality, and increasing the national debt by at least $1.5 trillion over the next decade.

Shame on the greedy Republican backers who have engineered this. Shame on Trump and the Republicans who have lied to the public about its consequences.

 

Republican Tax Proposal

I just received Greg Walden’s press release on the GOP tax proposal. Halleluja nirvana is right around the corner according to Greg. He used ALL the buzz words…. like complicated tax codes taking money from hardworking tax payers for government to waste. Loopholes for lobbyist and special breaks for special interest. The new tax bill will let you keep more of your hard earned dollars. You should not need accountants and an army of lawyers to make sense of the tax code. These are all Greg’s words.

I will keep my response on a professional level, but first let me run to the bathroom and throw up. Folks let us look at reality. The per capita net income in rural Oregon is $37,000 per year. On the surface that does not sound too bad until you consider that includes on average $11,000 of transfer payments from the government for programs like food stamps, childcare, etc. The “real” per capita income is therefore $26,000 per year. And Greg wants you to stop using accountants and an army of lawyers to file your tax returns. The ONLY people making out on this tax bill are the wealthy 10% of the population. And trust me folks, their income is considerably higher than our district. To be in the top 10% you must earn $295,000, the top 5% is $350,000 and the top 1% requires $1,300,000. Those are the people who require accountants and lawyers.

So what does this bill do for you. For most of us in the district, not a thing. According to the non-partisan Tax Policy Center, the wealthiest people in the country will receive 48% of the benefits. I completely understand why this should be the case as it is really a struggle to live on $1,300,000 a year. But look at the bright side this bill actually reduced the benefits to these folks from the original bill where 79% of the benefits would have gone to them. They did keep the highest tax rate the same at 39.5% but only for those earning over $1 million per year. They made it up to them however by repealing the estate tax so people like the Koch brothers with a net worth of $82 BILLION can pass it on to their children tax free. To help pay for people like the Koch brothers passing on their $82 BILLION to the kids, the rest of you will no longer be able to deduct your state and local taxes, and it will limit your property tax deduction as well. But hey, the Koch kids send their heart felt thank you for that one.

Then there is Kevin Brady, GOP chair of the Ways and Means Committee who issued a statement claiming the average middle income tax savings will be $2,600 per family. Really? Middle class for a family of four is defined as $48,000 per year with an average tax liability of about $4,000. And the taxes on these folks are going down by $2,600???? Sure….I buy that. The Joint Committee on Taxation has found that the middle class and even the top 5% will see an increase in their taxes by 2027.

And of course all this good news comes with a price tag of increasing the national debt by $1.5 TRILLION. Can you imagine what the GOP reaction would have been if Obama had proposed such a bill? They would not have been able to file impeachment papers fast enough. But don’t worry about this increase in debt. Here it comes…..ta da….it will generate such growth in the economy and jobs jobs jobs, jobs jobs jobs…oh one more time….jobs jobs jobs….that it will all pay for itself. Just read Greg’s press release…This bill will generate 975,000 new jobs, jobs, jobs. Since the end of the great recession we have averaged an increase of 200,000 new jobs nationwide every month. And was done without making wealthy people even wealthier. That figure has dropped to 170,000 per month since Trump moved into the oval office. So Greg says if we just give millionaires and billionaire this huge tax break we create 975,000 new jobs. My fear is that figure will be spread over 12 months putting us right back on track to where we were heading into the great recession of 2008. Great idea Greg.

The final truth of the matter is this tax cut will benefit corporations with a reduction of their tax rate from 35% to 20%. Corporate profits are currently at record levels. Their stock prices are at all time highs. Their cash on hand at $5.6 TRILLION is at an obscene record high. Yet, employee wages have been stagnant for ten years, while at the same time executive compensation and stock option wealth has gone through the roof. Wealthy people do not have all their wealth tied up in mansions and yachts. It is in stock ownership. Thus this tax bill will do nothing but increase their percentage of wealth, already at 76% for the top 10% of the people, to some even higher obscene level.

And to this bill, Greg Walden gives his undivided support and loyalty to his owners. Greg, I will defeat you in November. I will fight to bring back some degree of economic opportunity and fairness to the district you abandoned many years ago.

Tim White

One Tough Democrat for the 2nd District of Oregon