Tax filing simplified for many; little change in taxes owed on static basis
The respected Tax Foundation has just provided a preliminary analysis of the Republican leadership’s tax reform framework. Its two main conclusions are that
- By the doubling of the standard deduction, millions of taxpayers will be saved the bother of having to determine whether they should file for itemized deductions. The elimination of the alternative minimum tax (AMT) also simplifies tax filing;
- Computed on a static basis, taxes owed will change little for all income percentiles. All tax payers will enjoy a very slight tax cut, with the exception of those in the 90th to 99th percentile group.
If the tax reform plan isn’t crippled in subsequent Congressional negotiations, economic growth and personal income should be given a significant boost. Such dynamic modeling of the tax plan’s effect hasn’t been done yet. The Foundation’s static figures do suffice to refute Democratic Party accusations that the plan is a giveaway to the rich.
Illegal immigration an economic burden?
Immigration restrictionist publications are claiming that illegal immigrants to the U.S. are costing the economy $116 billion annually. The libertarian Cato Institute writes that “Merely using the actual numbers in a correct way reduces FAIR’s estimated fiscal cost of illegal immigrants from $116 billion to $3.3 to $15.6 billion – and that doesn’t even touch their flawed static approach to counting how illegal immigrants impact the economy.” But the “biggest methodological error” in the economic burden claim, Cato continues, “is that it does not consider the extra economic activity generated by illegal immigrants that would not occur otherwise.”
The key legislative take-home from this wrangling is the need to drastically reduce illegal immigration by means of a well-run seasonal guest-worker program — one that balances the needs of employers with the employment needs of U.S. citizens.
Federal Reserve Board openings
President Trump has been interviewing candidates for Federal Reserve chair when Janet Yellin’s term expires in February — unless he offers her another term.
Libertarian writer John Stossel aims a well-deserved brickbat at the Americans with Disabilities Act — for destroying the free education that the University of California, Berkeley was offering on its websites.
The Cambridge, Massachusetts elementary school librarian who refused Melania Trump’s gift of Dr. Seuss books, claiming that the author is a racist, has been outed as a hypocrite.
Conservative writer Mark Steyn weighs in: