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Taxes Trump Truth United Nations

A Great Week for President Trump, Utter Failure for the United Nations

by Rep. Julio Gonzalez, M.D., J.D.

The past week saw an unparalleled accomplishment by President Donald Trump and his team in the domestic arena in the passage of a tax plan that not only lowered corporate rates by 14 points, but repealed the individual mandate, and state and local tax deductions.  

By contrast, the United Nations displayed its consistently hateful and irrational bias towards Israel, along with its ill-directed ire towards the United States, by first considering a resolution calling for the United States to withdraw its recognition of Jerusalem as the rightful capital of Israel (a resolution with absolutely no chance of adoption due to America’s veto power at the General Assembly) and with the passage of a resolution condemning the United States for its position on the matter. In the end, 128 countries voted in favor of this overtly hostile second resolution with 35 nations abstaining and 8 nations joining the United States in opposing it.  

But in contradistinction to other occasions, the United States forewarned the member nations that it considered these two resolutions direct insults to its sovereignty and would be holding complicit members accountable. As fearless Ambassador Nikki Haley said, “We’re taking names.”

What does this mean to the United Nations?

The United States provides about 22% of the international organizations’ general budget funds with the second highest contributor being Japan at a distant 9.68%. Additionally, the United States provides the organization a permanent home in New York replete with diplomatic immunity for its members to avoid criminal punishment, plus the majority of its military and policing capabilities. In light of the impatience of the American people at the continued antics emanating from the United Nations, it is likely that these numbers will precipitously drop as early as 2018.

Unquestionably, the United States must work to undo the damage done by the weak standing of the Obama administration. Few things can more effectively accomplish this goal than withdrawing 22% of one’s revenues, and it is high time that we did just that.

Dr. Julio Gonzalez is an orthopaedic surgeon and lawyer living in Venice, Florida. He is the author of The Federalist Pages and serves in the Florida House of Representatives. He can be reached through www.thefederalistpages.com to arrange a lecture or book signing.

 

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Obamacare Politics Taxes Trump Truth

President Trump: One Trillion. Leftists: Zero.

by Rep. Julio Gonzalez, M.D., J.D.

Today, under the unrelenting pressure from the President of the United States, the Republican Congress accomplished what many, including me, thought would be unachievable: It passed a massive and historic tax reform package.  

Under this legislation, the corporate tax rate is slashed to 21%, the abhorrent individual mandate in Obamacare is repealed, the tax code simplified, the state and local tax deduction repealed, about two thousand dollars is placed back in Americans’ pockets — money that would have otherwise been hoarded by the federal government. It’s a tax return to millions of taxpaying Americans.

Although we could spend days going over the virtues of the tax reform legislation and the favorable effects it will have upon the American economy, it is important to take a few moments to acknowledge the significance of this development to President Trump, his presidency, and his leadership.

Clearly, this historic and nearly impossible accomplishment serves primarily as a gigantic thumb to the eye of the leftist media and its pseudo-journalists who relentlessly claim that President Trump is unfit to inhabit the office of the presidency. Needless to say, the vast majority of the Electoral College disagrees with that contention, but now, President Trump’s accomplishments serve to undermine the vitriol, unprofessionalism, and disingenuousness with which those allegations have been made.

This so called incompetent and psychologically “unfit” President deserving only ridicule and impeachment, in his first year of office, has managed to place a conservative in the Supreme Court, consistently increase the GDP to over 3% by rescinding destructive Obama era regulations and reaffirm solidarity between the United States and Israel.  Oh, and yes, he has managed, through the power of his personal resolve and uncompromising nature, to force feed a tax reform package down the throat of a reluctant and confrontational Congress possessing a mere two-vote Republican majority in the Senate.  

Compare and contrast these accomplishments with those of the champion of the Left, President Obama, who managed, through his own personal resolve to have Congress pass the single-most destructive piece of healthcare legislation in American history, recurrently demonstrated a disregard for the restrictions placed upon him by the Constitution of the United States, and left a void in the international arena quickly filled by terrorists and mayhem. Oh, and yes, he managed to ignore the illegal and murderous activities of Hezbollah while he funded international terrorism organizations and Iranian nuclear research to the tune of $1.7 billion in cash!

One thing is for sure, incompetent, President Trump is not. Nor is he unfit for service as President of the United States.  As a matter of fact the person more deserving of those descriptions is the very champion of the American Left, one President Barack Obama.

And what of the investigations on the fabricated charges of potential illegalities engaged in by President Trump during his presidential run? Well, we see how those are imploding under the weight of their own capriciousness and baselessness.  

Yes, today is an incredible day for a presidency that has been more mistreated by the mainstream press than any other in the history of the United States, not to mention the cruel and evil attacks lodged at it by the leftists within the broad entertainment industry.

However, there is one criticism of the tax plan passed today carrying a semblance of credibility: the potential of this taxation scheme adding to the national debt. And this criticism will only ring true if the Republicans are unable to undertake the next and associated step in restoring America’s fiscal health; cut federal spending.

Stay tuned.

Dr. Julio Gonzalez is an orthopaedic surgeon and lawyer living in Venice, Florida. He is the author of The Federalist Pages and serves in the Florida House of Representatives. He can be reached through www.thefederalistpages.com to arrange a lecture or book signing.

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Taxes Truth Video

VIDEO: Rod Thomson Defends Tax Cuts Against Democratic Disinformation

 

 

 

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Congress Taxes Trump Truth

GOP Tax Reform is Democrat-Lite. Where’s the Conservatism?

Rod Thomson

When the GOP unveiled the outline of their big tax reform plan last week, they billed it as one of the largest tax cuts in history. If only that were true. It cuts the corporate tax rate which even Democratic economists (not politicians, they have to demagogue everything) see as necessary. This is easily the strongest point in the plan. But there’s now a hitch even there.

All of our western nation competitors have cut their corporate tax rates in recent years (Germany went from 40% to 15%!) leaving the U.S. as the highest rate in the industrialized world at 35%. That makes U.S. soil uncompetitive, and that’s bad for American jobs, companies and the economy. So, yes, that is good and necessary — but more later as even it may be imperiled.

Once we get past that corporate tax cut, there is very little cheer from a conservative perspective for individual American taxpayers. There’s an actual tax increase for the wealthy with a bubble tax rate of 46% for those earning more than $1 million until they make up for a tax cut at the lower ends — which pay hardly any taxes now at all. So an actual tax increase! How is that in any way conservative? Does anyone need reminding that the rich are already carrying most of the income tax load — far more than their “fair share?” Or that it is the rich who are the job-creators? Apparently just the party representing conservatism.

It will change from here for the worse as it looks to get votes in both chambers. But overall, it looks a lot like the GOP tax cut plan is largely a sop to class warfare, a totally swampy cave from the most basic principles of conservatism. Outside the corporate tax cut, it is nothing more than Democrat-lite. It looks like one big shell game to ensure that the government keeps growing and the “rich” get soaked, because rich people are, you know, evil.

Getting into the details is not worthwhile as it will change. Essentially, it reduces tax brackets except the highest one and eliminates some deductions — that latter of which means more taxes paid.

Fortune magazine fact-checked the middle class cuts and found a mixed bag:

“But the proposal’s conflicting provisions and phase-outs of certain benefits suggest that taxes could rise for some middle-class earners over time. Middle-income people in states with high state income taxes or who have many children, high medical bills or heavy student debt are particularly at risk of a bigger tax hit. Others may benefit modestly from the lower tax rates and revamped credits and deductions.”

Shell game.

Remember, this proposal is essentially the starting negotiating point. If the swamp acts as normal, what will happen from here is that this proposal will be larded up with more special interests and hidden garbage like the bubble tax and become worse. Bottom line: We could end up with even worse than we have right now.

Good job, guys. Glad we gave you a majority so you could act like little Democratic class warfare warriors and make sure leviathan keeps chewing us up — while pitching it as this huge tax cut. More and more conservatives outside the ruling class are catching on as the details get examined.

This all is more than disappointing. Just like repealing Obamacare (although that was really on a small number of Senate Republicans who lied during re-election, including John McCain.) Just like keeping the Dreamer Act (Trump.) Just like no money for building the wall (Congress.)

VIDEO: Tax cuts are morally and economically right

The only big promises kept so far are by Trump on deregulation and appointing conservative justices and judges — few of which have been confirmed, yet. That’s a pretty short list of promises kept, and none of them from the GOP-controlled Congress.

The Republican Party used to stand for basic conservative principles: limited government, reduced tax burdens, de-regulation over an overly regulatory state, personal responsibility, individual freedoms, equality under the law.

Where are these to be found in this tax plan? Where are they found in the budget outline approved previously? Where are they in the various (and failed) Obamacare repeals? Where are they in building a wall and enforcing existing laws?

Do we have a party of limited government or do we have Democrats-but-burden-Americans-more-slowly?

 

Where is President Trump on the tax proposal?

Populists and conservatives look at the tax code differently.

Since Trump is more populist than conservative in philosophy — although a lot of his policies have been conservative — it was incumbent on actual supposed principled conservatives such as Speaker Paul Ryan to come through with strong tax reform that made American corporations more competitive, gave all Americans tax relief and for goodness sake, shrank government.

This does the first, but whiffs on the next two.

However, Trump was the avatar for Americans who wanted change, who knew we needed change. Washington was a place filled with self-promoting creatures who cared first and only about re-election as their pathway to power, prestige and wealth. They feed the beast.

And it works great for them, for lobbyists, for bureaucrats, for the nest of hangers-on that feed off ever burgeoning government. But not for Americans. And many Americans know this. Washington long has been out for only Washington. Trump was seen as someone who might be able to at least take a step forward in draining a little of the scumminess out, shake up the status quo.

So while he is a populist, it was still disappointing to see him so strongly onboard with this “biggest tax cut in history” nonsense. Part of this may be because Republicans aren’t presenting what he wanted. But part is because of the mantra that “Republicans need a win!”

Here’s an idea. How about if Americans get a win?

Starting to make any real change in Washington, D.C. requires an almost revolutionary vision for a Capitol that works for Americans. Trump rightly identified the problem being the seedy Washington culture. But tweeting and complaining about it doesn’t change anything. And calling a questionable class warfare tax plan the biggest tax cut in history doesn’t change the swamp, either.

 

Potential saving grace — repeal Obamacare mandate

Republicans are looking to include repealing the Obamacare individual insurance mandate. That would totally change the dynamics and value of the tax plan…if they actually do.

This is a two-fer winner. The first and most important part is that it is a win for individual American liberties. Personal freedoms from heavy, distant government intrusion is a bedrock conservative principle.

The individual mandate is maybe the most onerous element of Obamacare. Forcing all Americans to buy a private-sector product was always an atrocity — upheld 5-4 by an outrageous U.S. Supreme Court decision that put the reputation of the Court above the rights of the American people by calling the mandate a “tax.” The result was that it ended up eroding both. A terrible decision. Getting rid of this monstrous assault on individual liberties is a huge benefit.

Second, it’s good for Americans’ wallets by allowing millions to choose not to have insurance, or traditional health insurance, and keeping money they earn to spend how they choose.

Democrats would undoubtedly demagogue such a move — they laughably denounced the original proposals as tax cuts for the rich before even seeing it, because they are on autoplay — and the media would report the move as “throwing 13 million off their health insurance.” But of course it does no such thing. It allows people the choice, and an estimated 13 million Americans would choose not to have insurance. See how that works, media? Americans should have that freedom.

House leadership seems onboard with doing this, although it was not in their initial proposal. It still may be. However, the Senate plan revealed today does not include the mandate, and delays the corporate tax — the only strong element — for a year. Any delays are problematic because too often it has meant that it never actually happens.

The entire tax “reform” efforts just further reveal how badly the swamp needs draining — and how difficult that is to do.

Rod Thomson is an author, TV talking head and former journalist, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act.

Categories
Taxes Video

VIDEO: Tax cuts are morally and economically right

Rod Thomson on ABC 7 panel debates the GOP tax cut proposal with a liberal Democrat and economics professor.

GOP tax cuts needed, but too small

 

 

 

 

Categories
Government Taxes Truth

Tech is Drastically Disrupting Local Taxes. Can Government Respond?

by Jim Ley

In 1994 I gave a speech to a large gathering at the National Association of Counties asking the question “Will You be Roadkill on the Information Superhighway?” The Internet as an everyday thing was new and just beginning to gain some relevance. But those of us who liked to look to the future saw a lot that was going to impact public policy.

On that day I asked them the simple question — how will you tax a box the size of your kitchen table (OK, be fair, file servers were a lot larger then, but I was looking to the future) that produces all of the sales transactions that used to be produced by your local mall — at the time the arguably largest single property tax generator in most urban counties?

I look back on that presentation and realize that as close as I was to defining a set of specific challenges that might take place, I wasn’t even in the ballpark of being able to see the systematic influence that technology would drive across the board.

I find it interesting that much of the policy discussion today regarding technology is centered on the theme of “coping with disruptive technology trends.” Just the use of the word “disruptive” to describe the challenge shows how difficult it is for government and society to identify and adapt to changes in the status quo. How tied to the status quo we can become!

 

The way of systemic adaptation

Amazon is now the large retailer in the world.

The online shopping experience, having started in 1995, has hit its stride and has become more a part of our everyday consuming life than we could ever have suspected. Online fulfillment companies like Amazon have evolved through multiple phases of connection with their customers and have now begun to address the subliminal emotional aspects of the shopping experience.

Within 10 years even more will change as regards the online shopping experience. You won’t have to shop, as in searching and then browsing through endless pages looking for what you want. Your desires will be presented to you directly, just like you have your own digital personal shopper. Your shopping experience will become the guide to anticipating your purchasing needs.

Your closet, pantry and refrigerator will tell your computer, and that of your online retailer, how old your clothes are, when you wore an item last, and what food staples you are in need of. Your purchasing habits, social media and on line habits will be mined to produce a customized shopping experience geared just to you. The local retail store will increasingly become a thing of the past, replaced by an outlet where you may be able to try out virtual goods or where you can have them delivered in the form of 3D printed consumables. With a personal shopping list having been organized for you without much thought on your part, the push of a button will bring your groceries and supplies to your door.   

Other things will change as a result.

The commercial real estate market will begin to shrink, maybe even dramatically. The need for large and small strip malls will be greatly diminished, limited in some respects to places that house grocery stores — to the degree they will be needed as grocery needs can also be algorithmically anticipated — and small offices and boutique local retail.

Personal shopping automobile trips will, over time, be reduced dramatically, and more and more people will begin to abandon personal automobile ownership in favor of car sharing services that will evolve from the current Uber model to the point where you can simply call for a self-driving vehicle on your smartphone or similar device.

Automobile sales as the significant source of state and local sales tax revenue they now are will begin to decline under this scenario. Bulk delivery services like FedEx and UPS will be replaced with drones and Uber like personalized delivery. The Amazon-type fulfillment center will become the largest building in a region — until it too is made obsolete.

 

A radical impact on funding governments

All of this will radically transform the property tax base, with commercial space being devalued sharply. It is this commercial and office space in the shape of downtowns and dense (not suburban) clusters that, until now, has produced the large tax premium  — defined as producing taxes over and above the average per acre — that the rest of the community uses as a dividend to keep its public services funded at a sustainable level.

Maintaining a sustainable property tax base will become a topic at every City Council and County Commission meeting as the commercial tax base absorbs this “disruptive” result. The shape of communities will change, creating large opportunities for redevelopment, always with an emphasis on propping up the property tax base. A strategy of density oriented tax farming will become more obvious as a means of maintaining the flow of public revenue while limiting costs required to provide for the basics of public service. It will no longer be a question of what is the most valuable parcel in a county or city tax base (like “the mall”) but instead it will be all about the taxes generated per acre of development. Density, a dirty word used in land-use hearings today, will be the byword for financial survival.

Collectively these trends should work to influence land-use policy now and lead to a redefinition of urban space, their collective interaction producing the catalyst that moves the market back to a more walkable and intimate urban and suburban form in our activity centers.

The question is: Are the statehouses and local council chambers that set the policies that manage our communities capable of identifying these trends and managing the political discussions and decisions required to adapt? What principle will be applied in attempts to cope? Will it be a principle of regulate-and-control that protects the status quo, or a principle of identify-and-adapt, seeking to engage and inform investment and real estate interests who themselves will have to adapt or perish?

The states and cities that can think forward like the Amazons and Apples of the private sector, will be in position to thrive in the new economy. The rest…

Jim Ley has more than 35 years in public service, the last 25 of which were in top level administrative positions in two of the more dynamic counties in the U.S. Jim served two terms as President of the National Association of County administrators and was a leading “small government” voice in the profession. His administrative focus has been on financial sustainability and accountability to the taxpayer.