frame

The Tax Reform will make most people happy

Opening Argument

If the Republicans get tax reform passed, people will keep more of their paycheck, and the penalty for not having insurance will be done away with.
aarongyolostidekmelkevolution17billpassed
  1. Tax reform will look good for Conservatives

    14 votes
    1. It will
      57.14%
    2. It won't
      42.86%
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Status: Open Debate


Arguments

  • I have to be honest, I am still unclear what the net benefit/detriment will be for my family due to this reform.  It highly depends on specifics as it's really nuanced.
    Live Long and Prosper
  • @agsr is back! He’s the top user on DebateIsland.com!

    The Tax Reform May also repeal an ObamaCare mandate.
    brontoraptor
  • If it gives us extra money then I will be happy. Not so sure it will.
    brontoraptor
  • Once the temporary benefits for lower income individuals expires, and the corporate tax cuts stick permanently, the large majority of people will be unhappy. Also, once social programs are cut to fund those corporate tax cuts, that'll be an even bigger upset.
  • Tax reform may cut taxes for all classes and especially the middle class possibly. If it passes, that could be a huge win for Republicans and Trump.
  • It gives big tax cuts for the rich but the tax cuts for the middle class is small and temporary. After 10 years, the rich will be paying a lot less and the middle class a lot more. It also raises the debt by $2 trillion. 
  • The tax reform is going to stimulate the economy in a way we haven't seen in decades.  Before the ink was even dry, AT&T, Comcast, and Fifth Third Bancorp all announced $1000 bonuses for their employees.
  • It will not make most people happy because MOST PEOPLE benefit more from socialism than capitalism.

    Since USA is already less public-funded than most nations on many things this is a step in the totally maladaptive direction.
    I come to debate, I stay to troll,
    I leave to think, I return to brawl.
  • CYDdharta said:
    The tax reform is going to stimulate the economy in a way we haven't seen in decades.  Before the ink was even dry, AT&T, Comcast, and Fifth Third Bancorp all announced $1000 bonuses for their employees.
    Unions have been negotiating those bonuses for months. How easily you fall for propaganda, or are you lying to us on purpose?
  • When the Trump republican tax bill is fully implemented everyone with incomes under 75,000 will see minor tax increases. The rich get over 1.5 trillion in cuts. Other effects of the bill is billions in Medicare cuts due to higher deficits, tax increases specifically on blue states because republicans wanted to be like facists, tax hikes on education, charity, and people with children. The richest 1% already owns 42% of the nations wealth republicans decided you should get less so billionaires like Trump could get millions more.
    Http://www.motherjones.com/Kevin-drum/2017/12/Gary-Cohn-is-dumbfounded-heres-a-chart-to-help-him/
  • The tax reform would give most tax payers a tax cut and corporations a tax cut also. That could help people, corporations, the US, and the economy.
    DebateIslander and a DebateIsland.com lover. 
  • The tax bill that will make me “happy,” is the fair tax (U.S. Bill H.R.25).

    DrCereal
  • Unions have been negotiating those bonuses for months. How easily you fall for propaganda, or are you lying to us on purpose?
    They wouldn't have given their employees those bonuses and raises if the tax plan hadn't passed.  And Mother Jones???  Talk about propaganda.
  • CYDdharta said:
    They wouldn't have given their employees those bonuses and raises if the tax plan hadn't passed.  And Mother Jones???  Talk about propaganda.
    In the case of the bonuses, I agree with you. There is certainly a benefit coming to these employees that would be absent if no bill had been passed, and I think that is something worth looking forward to for many.

    However, I think when we're dealing with bonuses, we should recognize that they are one-time payments. They aren't permanent pay hikes, which is what the GOP was promising. Much like the bill itself, the benefits are there for the middle and poorer classes, but they're transient. That's not the case for the corporate tax cuts, which were made permanent. If these companies really wanted to make a big statement, they'd pass some measure of that permanence onto their employees.

    And some are at least starting to do that, increasing the minimum wage they pay their employees to $15. But that isn't particularly shocking, considering that California raised its minimum wage to $15, which will be fully phased in by 2022. It seems more like a basic requirement for companies that have a foothold in the state than a measure taken to pass on the funds they got from the tax break. Hell, Target announced the same raise in their minimum wage last summer, well before the tax cut.

    But I suppose my biggest problem with pointing out what these companies are doing is one of proportion: the pay hikes are very small relative to the size of the tax cut. For example, AT&T earned about $19.4 billion in 2016. It paid $6.5 billion in taxes. The new bill would have saved them about $2.4 billion of that. They're promising 200,000 $1,000 bonuses, which is less than a tenth the amount of the tax cut. That indicates they're going to spend that money elsewhere, and if past behavior is any indication, it will be paid out to shareholders. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it's hard to believe that that money is going to broadly benefit middle and lower classes.


  • In the case of the bonuses, I agree with you. There is certainly a benefit coming to these employees that would be absent if no bill had been passed, and I think that is something worth looking forward to for many.

    However, I think when we're dealing with bonuses, we should recognize that they are one-time payments. They aren't permanent pay hikes, which is what the GOP was promising. Much like the bill itself, the benefits are there for the middle and poorer classes, but they're transient. That's not the case for the corporate tax cuts, which were made permanent. If these companies really wanted to make a big statement, they'd pass some measure of that permanence onto their employees.

    And some are at least starting to do that, increasing the minimum wage they pay their employees to $15. But that isn't particularly shocking, considering that California raised its minimum wage to $15, which will be fully phased in by 2022. It seems more like a basic requirement for companies that have a foothold in the state than a measure taken to pass on the funds they got from the tax break. Hell, Target announced the same raise in their minimum wage last summer, well before the tax cut.

    But I suppose my biggest problem with pointing out what these companies are doing is one of proportion: the pay hikes are very small relative to the size of the tax cut. For example, AT&T earned about $19.4 billion in 2016. It paid $6.5 billion in taxes. The new bill would have saved them about $2.4 billion of that. They're promising 200,000 $1,000 bonuses, which is less than a tenth the amount of the tax cut. That indicates they're going to spend that money elsewhere, and if past behavior is any indication, it will be paid out to shareholders. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it's hard to believe that that money is going to broadly benefit middle and lower classes.

    The bonuses are discretionary, but they aren't necessarily one-time payments.  If the company is doing well, the employees will expect to be paid a bonus.  Many employees rely on such bonuses and can go a bit crazy if they don't get it (think Clark Griswald in Christmas Vacation).  As for the corporate tax cuts being permanent; the individual rates had already been made permanent at a reasonable rate, the corporate rates had not.  It's hard to be competitive when you have some of the world's highest tax rates, as the US had before Trump's tax reform;
    The World Bank study finds that the US corporate ETR is 28.1 percent (27.4 percent in New York City and 29.3 percent in Los Angeles). The US corporate ETR is 16th highest among these 189 countries, and 3rd highest among the 35 OECD member countries (see Figure 4).  Excluding the United States, the average ETR is 16.2 percent for the World and 15.5 percent for the OECD member countries. The only developed countries with a higher corporate ETR than the United States are New Zealand (30 percent) and Japan (28.9 percent).
    http://www.actontaxreform.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/International-Comparison-of-Effective-Corporate-Tax-Rates_FINAL_20160926.pdf


    As for the $15 minimum, that is quite significant.  No one was interested in raising their minimums to such an extent before tax reform.  Considering California is set to lose nearly half a million jobs due to their their minimum wage hike, quite a few companies appeared to be ready to pull out of California, or at least phase out a lot of jobs.  The tax reform may be what saves California's minimum wage hike.
  • CYDdharta said:
    The bonuses are discretionary, but they aren't necessarily one-time payments.  If the company is doing well, the employees will expect to be paid a bonus.  Many employees rely on such bonuses and can go a bit crazy if they don't get it (think Clark Griswald in Christmas Vacation).  As for the corporate tax cuts being permanent; the individual rates had already been made permanent at a reasonable rate, the corporate rates had not.  It's hard to be competitive when you have some of the world's highest tax rates, as the US had before Trump's tax reform;
    The World Bank study finds that the US corporate ETR is 28.1 percent (27.4 percent in New York City and 29.3 percent in Los Angeles). The US corporate ETR is 16th highest among these 189 countries, and 3rd highest among the 35 OECD member countries (see Figure 4).  Excluding the United States, the average ETR is 16.2 percent for the World and 15.5 percent for the OECD member countries. The only developed countries with a higher corporate ETR than the United States are New Zealand (30 percent) and Japan (28.9 percent).
    http://www.actontaxreform.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/International-Comparison-of-Effective-Corporate-Tax-Rates_FINAL_20160926.pdf


    As for the $15 minimum, that is quite significant.  No one was interested in raising their minimums to such an extent before tax reform.  Considering California is set to lose nearly half a million jobs due to their their minimum wage hike, quite a few companies appeared to be ready to pull out of California, or at least phase out a lot of jobs.  The tax reform may be what saves California's minimum wage hike.
    It's entirely possible that the bonus will be paid out to employees year-on-year. The problem with a bonus, though, is that it doesn't have to be. A bonus isn't a promise of more money in subsequent years. You're right that employees can be reliant on them, but that doesn't change the basic fact that a bonus is, as you say, discretionary. It doesn't happen automatically, and there's no reason to believe it will happen automatically over the next several years. I'd love to see these companies give amounts like this (and more) in bonuses to their employees year after year, but that remains to be seen.

    Considering that individual rates will actually rise after 8-10 years (depending on the tax bracket you're in - the middle class, especially, is going to take a hit), I'd say that the tax bill is masquerading as reasonable in the short term with small breaks with the promise of an unreasonable increase in the future. 

    As for corporate taxes, I think your numbers are a little misleading. Those are the statutory rates. However, that "doesn't reflect the write-offs in the tax code (so-called tax expenditures) that reduce the "effective rate" on corporate profits – that is, what corporations actually pay in taxes as a share of their profits. Indeed, while the U.S. statutory rate is about 14 points higher than the average among industrialized countries, the effective rate differential is much smaller, a Congressional Research Service analysis found.

    One of the largest corporate tax expenditures – and the one that's central to the Pfizer situation – is "deferral of income from controlled foreign corporations," which allows multinationals to delay paying U.S. tax on their foreign profits. Companies get a credit against their U.S. taxes for the taxes they pay to other countries, and they pay no U.S. taxes on the profits they earn in other countries that they haven't yet "repatriated" (that is, brought back) to the United States.

    In 2014, Pfizer reported $3.1 billion of tax obligations worldwide and an effective tax rate of 25.5 percent. That's well below the U.S. statutory rate, but Pfizer actually paid less than $1 billion in taxes for an effective rate of just 7.5 percent. The difference between its tax obligations and tax payments lies in the profits Pfizer has not yet repatriated – and may never repatriate – and hence profits on which they haven't paid taxes."

    https://www.usnews.com/opinion/economic-intelligence/2015/11/13/reality-check-on-corporate-income-tax-rates

    Regarding the $15 minimum wage, two things. 

    One, there aren't that many companies that are actually taking the step of increasing their minimum wage before they are required to do so, but among those is Target, which clearly stated its decision to transition to that minimum well in advance of the tax bill. Many corporations can afford those changes, and since the corporate tax rate is the main one being affected by this policy, the idea that they need it in order to get over this hurdle is not well supported. What that article points to is a series of closures of small businesses, and while I won't defend this increase in the minimum wage, I don't think the tax bill is going to save any of these jobs. They're simply not getting enough back from the reduced taxation to afford those increased minimum wages. But if you're right, then we'll see those same companies stabilize. I'd love to see that.

    Two, you're missing my point. Your argument appears to be that the tax reform is pushing corporations to be more generous in their payments to employees. That argument doesn't hold much water if those same corporations are already being required to do so. You can argue that this makes it possible for them to make up the difference (though, as I said above, I don't believe that's true), but even if that's the case, they aren't increasing their wages simply because they have more money to work with. They're increasing their wages because they are required to do so. In states where the minimum wage is lower, there's no reason to believe that they will institute a self-imposed higher minimum wage. So if the tax bill was meant to spur higher wages for employees, it's not doing that. At best, it's providing the funds to make the shift manageable, but without the requirement to shift, companies just won't do it.


  • It's entirely possible that the bonus will be paid out to employees year-on-year. The problem with a bonus, though, is that it doesn't have to be. A bonus isn't a promise of more money in subsequent years. You're right that employees can be reliant on them, but that doesn't change the basic fact that a bonus is, as you say, discretionary. It doesn't happen automatically, and there's no reason to believe it will happen automatically over the next several years. I'd love to see these companies give amounts like this (and more) in bonuses to their employees year after year, but that remains to be seen.

    Considering that individual rates will actually rise after 8-10 years (depending on the tax bracket you're in - the middle class, especially, is going to take a hit), I'd say that the tax bill is masquerading as reasonable in the short term with small breaks with the promise of an unreasonable increase in the future. 

    As for corporate taxes, I think your numbers are a little misleading. Those are the statutory rates. However, that "doesn't reflect the write-offs in the tax code (so-called tax expenditures) that reduce the "effective rate" on corporate profits – that is, what corporations actually pay in taxes as a share of their profits. Indeed, while the U.S. statutory rate is about 14 points higher than the average among industrialized countries, the effective rate differential is much smaller, a Congressional Research Service analysis found.

    One of the largest corporate tax expenditures – and the one that's central to the Pfizer situation – is "deferral of income from controlled foreign corporations," which allows multinationals to delay paying U.S. tax on their foreign profits. Companies get a credit against their U.S. taxes for the taxes they pay to other countries, and they pay no U.S. taxes on the profits they earn in other countries that they haven't yet "repatriated" (that is, brought back) to the United States.

    In 2014, Pfizer reported $3.1 billion of tax obligations worldwide and an effective tax rate of 25.5 percent. That's well below the U.S. statutory rate, but Pfizer actually paid less than $1 billion in taxes for an effective rate of just 7.5 percent. The difference between its tax obligations and tax payments lies in the profits Pfizer has not yet repatriated – and may never repatriate – and hence profits on which they haven't paid taxes."

    https://www.usnews.com/opinion/economic-intelligence/2015/11/13/reality-check-on-corporate-income-tax-rates

    I, in turn, think you're numbers are misleading.  There are, indeed, many write-offs in our tax code, however they ARE NOT enough to offset the tax rates.  This is demonstrably true by the fact that Pfizer moved to Ireland in the first place, and they certainly weren't alone.  The following chart shows the effective tax rates (ETR) of the top GDP countries as well as continents as a whole;

    http://www.nber.org/papers/w15091


    As you can see, while there may be a few individual examples of companies that do well under the old tax code, as a whole, companies had better tax rates everywhere but in Japan.  I find that particularly interesting, as it wasn't that long ago that Japan was going to buy up the United States, much like we hear China is going to do today.  It would seem high corporate taxes and a stalled economy go hand-in-hand.


    Regarding the $15 minimum wage, two things. 

    One, there aren't that many companies that are actually taking the step of increasing their minimum wage before they are required to do so, but among those is Target, which clearly stated its decision to transition to that minimum well in advance of the tax bill. Many corporations can afford those changes, and since the corporate tax rate is the main one being affected by this policy, the idea that they need it in order to get over this hurdle is not well supported. What that article points to is a series of closures of small businesses, and while I won't defend this increase in the minimum wage, I don't think the tax bill is going to save any of these jobs. They're simply not getting enough back from the reduced taxation to afford those increased minimum wages. But if you're right, then we'll see those same companies stabilize. I'd love to see that.Two, you're missing my point. Your argument appears to be that the tax reform is pushing corporations to be more generous in their payments to employees. That argument doesn't hold much water if those same corporations are already being required to do so. You can argue that this makes it possible for them to make up the difference (though, as I said above, I don't believe that's true), but even if that's the case, they aren't increasing their wages simply because they have more money to work with. They're increasing their wages because they are required to do so. In states where the minimum wage is lower, there's no reason to believe that they will institute a self-imposed higher minimum wage. So if the tax bill was meant to spur higher wages for employees, it's not doing that. At best, it's providing the funds to make the shift manageable, but without the requirement to shift, companies just won't do it.

    I believe you are overstating the significance of California's minimum wage increase and understating the effects of the tax reform.  Companies ARE being more generous to their employees because of the corporate tax cuts.  How are banks that have no branches anywhere near the west coast being forced to increase their wages by California's minimum wage increase?

    https://www.cnbc.com/2017/12/20/fifth-third-bancorp-unveils-bonuses-minimum-wage-hike-after-tax-bill-passage.html
    http://fox6now.com/2017/12/21/associated-bank-increases-minimum-wage-from-10-to-15-offers-bonus-after-tax-bill-approval/


  • CYDdharta said:
    I, in turn, think you're numbers are misleading.  There are, indeed, many write-offs in our tax code, however they ARE NOT enough to offset the tax rates.  This is demonstrably true by the fact that Pfizer moved to Ireland in the first place, and they certainly weren't alone.  The following chart shows the effective tax rates (ETR) of the top GDP countries as well as continents as a whole;

    http://www.nber.org/papers/w15091

    As you can see, while there may be a few individual examples of companies that do well under the old tax code, as a whole, companies had better tax rates everywhere but in Japan.  I find that particularly interesting, as it wasn't that long ago that Japan was going to buy up the United States, much like we hear China is going to do today.  It would seem high corporate taxes and a stalled economy go hand-in-hand.

    Rather than going back and forth on the issue of whether or not the effective tax rate is much higher in the US than in every other country, let’s just compare the studies that say one way or the other. Forbes actually did a great analysis of this in 2015.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/taxanalysts/2015/03/25/the-truth-about-corporate-tax-rates/#478d42d0742c

    “[T]he most important difference in the results is the easiest to explain. Some calculations of average foreign effective tax rates use simple averages where all foreign countries are counted equally. Others use weighted averages in which large countries are counted more than smaller ones (according to the size of their economies or the size of their business sectors). In general, whether we are talking about statutory or corporate effective rates, large counties have higher rates than smaller countries.”

    Your study uses unweighted averages. In doing so, it enlarges “the difference between U.S. and foreign corporate effective tax rates… A more representative picture of foreign corporate effective tax rates can be found in the weighted average shown in line 3. The excess of the U.S. effective rate and foreign effective rates… is much smaller -- and in two cases, negative -- when weighted averages are used… On average, the foreign effective tax rate is not much lower than the U.S. domestic tax rate.”

    And this holds up in a multitude of studies, particularly those done by our own Treasury department. They have shown that the tax rate on profits from new investments and the share of worldwide profits paid in taxes is actually about the same in the US as in other G-7 countries. Those taxes are also dramatically offset by targeted subsidies: “The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that in 2016, while the corporate income tax raised $300 billion in revenues, targeted subsidies delivered to companies through the corporate tax code cost about $270 billion.”

    https://www.cbpp.org/research/federal-tax/actual-us-corporate-tax-rates-are-in-line-with-comparable-countries 

    Much as Pfizer moved its headquarters to Ireland for a low tax rate, that’s because Ireland has an abnormally low tax rate, at 17-18%. That’s still lower than the 21% rate brought about by the bill. Moreover, moving its headquarters doesn’t affect the number of jobs it has in the US.

    CYDdharta said:

    I believe you are overstating the significance of California's minimum wage increase and understating the effects of the tax reform.  Companies ARE being more generous to their employees because of the corporate tax cuts.  How are banks that have no branches anywhere near the west coast being forced to increase their wages by California's minimum wage increase?

    https://www.cnbc.com/2017/12/20/fifth-third-bancorp-unveils-bonuses-minimum-wage-hike-after-tax-bill-passage.html
    http://fox6now.com/2017/12/21/associated-bank-increases-minimum-wage-from-10-to-15-offers-bonus-after-tax-bill-approval/


    It’s a stretch to say that the tax reform is the sole cause of the minimum wage increases seen at banks like these. Corporations like these have every incentive to tout the tax reform as the sole cause, mainly because it’s helping them quite a bit and they’d like to see more. Doing so right after the bill passed makes the same kind of sense. They have very little incentive to talk about other factors that contributed to their raising wages. For example, looking at Associated Bank:

     “Part of the equation may also be the low unemployment rate. The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development said Thursday that seasonally adjusted unemployment in November in the state was 3.2%, the lowest since 1999. Wisconsin added 42,900 private-sector jobs from November 2016 to November 2017, according to the report.”

    https://www.jsonline.com/story/money/business/2017/12/21/associated-bank-boost-minimum-wage-15-pay-one-time-bonuses-when-tax-reform-signed/975154001/

    That means they’re competing for employees, and raising wages is an effective way to do that. It’s a smart choice, and while it might be made slightly easier by virtue of having the extra funds, the causation link you’re going for isn’t nearly as clear with this as a factor. But if you are going to argue that the funds are needed, that doesn’t seem entirely clear either.

    “The overall environment for banks is a good one, with interest rates likely to continue to rise, and that would have been a boon to bank profits regardless of tax cuts.”

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/other/the-tortured-truth-behind-wells-fargos-minimum-wage-raise/ar-BBHbtIR

    Oakchairbc
  • The tax cut plan will help not just conservatives, but people in general too!  :)

  • Rather than going back and forth on the issue of whether or not the effective tax rate is much higher in the US than in every other country, let’s just compare the studies that say one way or the other. Forbes actually did a great analysis of this in 2015.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/taxanalysts/2015/03/25/the-truth-about-corporate-tax-rates/#478d42d0742c

    “[T]he most important difference in the results is the easiest to explain. Some calculations of average foreign effective tax rates use simple averages where all foreign countries are counted equally. Others use weighted averages in which large countries are counted more than smaller ones (according to the size of their economies or the size of their business sectors). In general, whether we are talking about statutory or corporate effective rates, large counties have higher rates than smaller countries.”

    Your study uses unweighted averages. In doing so, it enlarges “the difference between U.S. and foreign corporate effective tax rates… A more representative picture of foreign corporate effective tax rates can be found in the weighted average shown in line 3. The excess of the U.S. effective rate and foreign effective rates… is much smaller -- and in two cases, negative -- when weighted averages are used… On average, the foreign effective tax rate is not much lower than the U.S. domestic tax rate.”

    And this holds up in a multitude of studies, particularly those done by our own Treasury department. They have shown that the tax rate on profits from new investments and the share of worldwide profits paid in taxes is actually about the same in the US as in other G-7 countries. Those taxes are also dramatically offset by targeted subsidies: “The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that in 2016, while the corporate income tax raised $300 billion in revenues, targeted subsidies delivered to companies through the corporate tax code cost about $270 billion.”

    https://www.cbpp.org/research/federal-tax/actual-us-corporate-tax-rates-are-in-line-with-comparable-countries 

    Much as Pfizer moved its headquarters to Ireland for a low tax rate, that’s because Ireland has an abnormally low tax rate, at 17-18%. That’s still lower than the 21% rate brought about by the bill. Moreover, moving its headquarters doesn’t affect the number of jobs it has in the US.


    What every single study in that article shows is that US tax rates were among the highest in any group. Lets use Markle and Shackelfords' revised numbers.  It's pretty much the same study as the Markle and Shackelford study I posted above, but since Forbes is citing the other study, we'll use that;





    The US still has the second highest mean current ETR next to Japan, the second highest median current ETR next to Japan, the second statutory tax rate next to Japan, and the highest doing business profit tax rate bar none.  The folly of weighing averages according to the size of a country's economy is that companies are moving to small countries with much better tax rates, as Pfizer would have by moving to Ireland, and they are hardly alone.  In any event, Pfizer never did move to Ireland, but they did increase employment in Ireland and cut jobs in New York. This is especially significant, considering the massive 31,771 jobs cuts due to slow sales and mergers. If you’re trying to argue that the corporate tax cuts weren’t big enough, I can’t disagree with you.



    It’s a stretch to say that the tax reform is the sole cause of the minimum wage increases seen at banks like these. Corporations like these have every incentive to tout the tax reform as the sole cause, mainly because it’s helping them quite a bit and they’d like to see more. Doing so right after the bill passed makes the same kind of sense. They have very little incentive to talk about other factors that contributed to their raising wages. For example, looking at Associated Bank:

     “Part of the equation may also be the low unemployment rate. The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development said Thursday that seasonally adjusted unemployment in November in the state was 3.2%, the lowest since 1999. Wisconsin added 42,900 private-sector jobs from November 2016 to November 2017, according to the report.”

    https://www.jsonline.com/story/money/business/2017/12/21/associated-bank-boost-minimum-wage-15-pay-one-time-bonuses-when-tax-reform-signed/975154001/That means they’re competing for employees, and raising wages is an effective way to do that. It’s a smart choice, and while it might be made slightly easier by virtue of having the extra funds, the causation link you’re going for isn’t nearly as clear with this as a factor. But if you are going to argue that the funds are needed, that doesn’t seem entirely clear either.“The overall environment for banks is a good one, with interest rates likely to continue to rise, and that would have been a boon to bank profits regardless of tax cuts.”https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/other/the-tortured-truth-behind-wells-fargos-minimum-wage-raise/ar-BBHbtIR

    I never said tax reform was the sole reason for those companies to increase their minimum wage, but as the company spokesmen have said, it was the deciding factor.  But for Trump's recently signed tax reform, these wage increases would not be taking place at this time. 


    [Fifth Third President and CEO Greg] Carmichael said the tax cut allowed the Bank the opportunity to reevaluate its compensation structure and share some of those benefits with its talented and dedicated workforce.
    https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20171220006042/en/Bancorp-Invests-Employees

    Associated Bank President and CEO Philip Flynn said the new tax legislation, particularly the reduction in business tax rates, allowed the company to share some of the benefits with its employees.
    http://fox6now.com/2017/12/21/associated-bank-increases-minimum-wage-from-10-to-15-offers-bonus-after-tax-bill-approval/



    With unprecedented negative coverage of the Trump administration, it should come as no surprise that mainstream media sources such as USA Today and especially MSN, would seearch for an excuse, any excuse, to downplay the immediate effects of the tax reform.
  • CYDdharta said:

    The US still has the second highest mean current ETR next to Japan, the second highest median current ETR next to Japan, the second statutory tax rate next to Japan, and the highest doing business profit tax rate bar none.  The folly of weighing averages according to the size of a country's economy is that companies are moving to small countries with much better tax rates, as Pfizer would have by moving to Ireland, and they are hardly alone.  In any event, Pfizer never did move to Ireland, but they did increase employment in Ireland and cut jobs in New York. This is especially significant, considering the massive 31,771 jobs cuts due to slow sales and mergers. If you’re trying to argue that the corporate tax cuts weren’t big enough, I can’t disagree with you.

    You ignored the data on subsidies, which isn't included in the effective tax rate, and counterbalances those costs to a tremendous degree.

    As for why we do weighted averages, "Large, high-income countries such as the G-7 are likely to be most similar to the United States in terms of their public infrastructure, the workforce’s education and skills, and political structure and stability.  These factors are what make these countries attractive places for companies to locate in and invest, regardless of their tax rates.  By contrast, a developing country with an economic output per person that’s a fraction of the size of the United States and with much lower public investments is not a fair comparison."

    https://www.cbpp.org/research/federal-tax/actual-us-corporate-tax-rates-are-in-line-with-comparable-countries

    You can argue, as you have, that companies are still willing to move overseas for a better tax rate, regardless of these factors, but these are essential factors that they have to take into account. Weighing the averages is the only way to do that.

    Regarding Pfizer, they actually paid a rate of about 7.5 percent on its $12 billion in worldwide pre-tax income in 2014. So, my point was that their effective tax rate (on all their income, not just their US income) is actually far lower than the rate it would pay in Ireland.

    https://www.cbpp.org/research/federal-tax/actual-us-corporate-tax-rates-are-in-line-with-comparable-countries

    As to why they're laying off workers in the US, that's not entirely clear from what I've read, but the company has generally been reducing its workforce since a peak in 2009, well before they threatened to move their headquarters to Ireland and when the tax rate was still at its highest. 

    https://www.statista.com/statistics/281387/number-of-employees-at-pfizer-since-2006/

    CYDdharta said:
    I never said tax reform was the sole reason for those companies to increase their minimum wage, but as the company spokesmen have said, it was the deciding factor.  But for Trump's recently signed tax reform, these wage increases would not be taking place at this time.  

    With unprecedented negative coverage of the Trump administration, it should come as no surprise that mainstream media sources such as USA Today and especially MSN, would seearch for an excuse, any excuse, to downplay the immediate effects of the tax reform.
    You're not addressing my reasoning for why those company spokesmen have stated that it's a deciding factor. They have every reason to tout the strength of those tax cuts because they want to encourage more business-friendly governmental response. You're right that the tax reform bill may have expedited the process for increasing the minimum wage (though I should note that this is only for a few companies, whereas Republicans asserted that wages would increase across the board), but there's good reason to believe it would have happened in the absence of such a bill anyway. 

    Whether you believe those sources or not, the reality is that the level of unemployment has gone down, and that has increased the difficulty involved in acquiring new hires and keeping people on board (because they have other options). In those circumstances, companies have to actually work to attract employees, and raising the minimum wage is one way to do that. That's why Target decided to raise its minimum wage well before the tax bill was passed.

  • You ignored the data on subsidies, which isn't included in the effective tax rate, and counterbalances those costs to a tremendous degree.

    You misunderstand the nature of the study and the meaning of EFFECTIVE tax rate.  It includes ALL subsidies, tax loopholes, carve-outs, anything to make the company's financial situation look better to investors.   That's the effective in the effective tax rate;
    We use publicly available financial statement information for 11,602 public corporations from 82 countries from 1988–2009 in an attempt to isolate the impact of domicile on corporate taxes.



    As for why we do weighted averages, "Large, high-income countries such as the G-7 are likely to be most similar to the United States in terms of their public infrastructure, the workforce’s education and skills, and political structure and stability.  These factors are what make these countries attractive places for companies to locate in and invest, regardless of their tax rates.  By contrast, a developing country with an economic output per person that’s a fraction of the size of the United States and with much lower public investments is not a fair comparison."

    https://www.cbpp.org/research/federal-tax/actual-us-corporate-tax-rates-are-in-line-with-comparable-countries

    You can argue, as you have, that companies are still willing to move overseas for a better tax rate, regardless of these factors, but these are essential factors that they have to take into account. Weighing the averages is the only way to do that.



    Are you trying to argue Ireland is a third-world country???  Their education system, and thus their workforce’s education and skills, are far better than the US.  The G-7 doesn't even include the world's second largest economy.  This is where your argument falls apart, and another reason why so many companies are expanding overseas instead of in the US.


    Regarding Pfizer, they actually paid a rate of about 7.5 percent on its $12 billion in worldwide pre-tax income in 2014. So, my point was that their effective tax rate (on all their income, not just their US income) is actually far lower than the rate it would pay in Ireland.

    https://www.cbpp.org/research/federal-tax/actual-us-corporate-tax-rates-are-in-line-with-comparable-countries

    As to why they're laying off workers in the US, that's not entirely clear from what I've read, but the company has generally been reducing its workforce since a peak in 2009, well before they threatened to move their headquarters to Ireland and when the tax rate was still at its highest. 

    https://www.statista.com/statistics/281387/number-of-employees-at-pfizer-since-2006/

    Pfizer is in a unique position due to it's products, not many companies are in a position to operate in the same way.

    So how is Pfizer avoiding large U.S. tax liabilities? By consistently reporting operating losses in the U.S. The chart below shows the income before taxes for Pfizer’s U.S. and international operations. The company is clearly strong in financial management, and has effectively turned its U.S. operations into a cost center. One way the company has done so is by developing drugs in the U.S., manufacturing them overseas, and then buying them back from its subsidiaries at high prices.

    Pfizer_Income Before Taxes
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/greatspeculations/2017/06/05/will-pfizer-be-affected-by-trump-administration-tax-reform/#4c5f74c946be

    I know Pfizer has laid off 10's of thousands of employees over the last eight years, I even pointed that out.  The question isn't why are they laying off people, it's why are they laying off people in New York while hiring in Ireland?

    You're not addressing my reasoning for why those company spokesmen have stated that it's a deciding factor. They have every reason to tout the strength of those tax cuts because they want to encourage more business-friendly governmental response. You're right that the tax reform bill may have expedited the process for increasing the minimum wage (though I should note that this is only for a few companies, whereas Republicans asserted that wages would increase across the board), but there's good reason to believe it would have happened in the absence of such a bill anyway. 

    Whether you believe those sources or not, the reality is that the level of unemployment has gone down, and that has increased the difficulty involved in acquiring new hires and keeping people on board (because they have other options). In those circumstances, companies have to actually work to attract employees, and raising the minimum wage is one way to do that. That's why Target decided to raise its minimum wage well before the tax bill was passed.

    I'm not addressing your supposition for exactly that reason, it's nothing but supposition.  You have nothing more.  i have the statements of the CEO's as to their actions.  They have stated quite clearly that they are raising minimum wages now DUE TO THE PASSAGE OF TAX REFORM, and they're actually raising wages NOW, not years from now like Target.  Granted, the administration has been doing a fantastic job with the economy before tax reform passed, but passing the tax reform is only going to increase economic activity inside the US as well as throughout the world.
  • @CYDdharta

    I was planning on tackling each of these points individually, but I've been slammed with work, and I don't think I'll have the time anytime soon. So, I'll leave this on a few points. 

    1) There are many reasons why companies ship jobs overseas. I'm not sure how wages look in Ireland, but let's just be clear that we're not going to stop companies from outsourcing those jobs without dramatically reducing the wages and benefits of people in this country. Taxes may affect where a company is based, but they do not play much of a role in deciding where companies open up/close down jobs. There are certainly issues of minimum wage that factor into this, but that's off topic.

    2) I don't think it's a supposition to state that companies have an incentive to throw support behind a bill that reduces their taxes. There's a clear incentive to show that they and the country as a whole are doing better under those reduced taxes, so presenting a strongly positive message up front does quite a bit to further their cause. I agree with you that these companies likely wouldn't have raised wages (at least, not this soon) or provided these bonuses in the absence of this bill, but I think the stronger supposition is that the sole reason they're doing it now is that the tax bill enabled them to do so. Pretty much across the board, these companies have been doing extremely well in recent years. It's hard to believe that absolutely none of them have had the finances to make this move. 

    3) I think the issue of whether the tax reform bill will be a success remains to be seen. We're talking about well over a trillion dollars in lost revenue that could have gone to other places, like permanent tax cuts for the middle class. You can argue that this will produce more growth for the country's economy, though that certainly remains to be seen. In the meantime, what we're seeing is companies setting aside a relatively small amount of money for bonuses and raised minimum wages, both of which are good, but neither of which account for the vast majority of the money these companies will be saving. I honestly hope that more of that money will be used in ways that benefit those employees and the US as a whole, but I have a hard time believing that that will be the case. In the short term, people in this country will have little reason to complain, as most everyone is getting a tax cut of some sort. But in the long term, the much larger tax cuts for corporations and the rich will survive, and those for others in society will lapse. That's a reason why many can reasonably find fault with the tax reform. I hope that the growth estimates that the Trump administration has made are anywhere near accurate, but they have not detailed how they're getting their numbers, and that makes me doubt their claims. 
  • @CYDdharta

    I was planning on tackling each of these points individually, but I've been slammed with work, and I don't think I'll have the time anytime soon. So, I'll leave this on a few points. 

    1) There are many reasons why companies ship jobs overseas. I'm not sure how wages look in Ireland, but let's just be clear that we're not going to stop companies from outsourcing those jobs without dramatically reducing the wages and benefits of people in this country. Taxes may affect where a company is based, but they do not play much of a role in deciding where companies open up/close down jobs. There are certainly issues of minimum wage that factor into this, but that's off topic.
    If taxes play a role (and they do play a significant role) in where a company bases itself, then they also play a prominent in where they locate their employees.  If Pfizer decides to relocate their manufacturing overseas, then it stands to reason that they're going to hire overseas.  Our old tax rates were so bad they found it cost effective to relocate manufacturing to Ireland, where wages are approx 30% higher than the US (Ireland minimum - $10.45 vs US minimum - $7.25). 

    2) I don't think it's a supposition to state that companies have an incentive to throw support behind a bill that reduces their taxes. There's a clear incentive to show that they and the country as a whole are doing better under those reduced taxes, so presenting a strongly positive message up front does quite a bit to further their cause. I agree with you that these companies likely wouldn't have raised wages (at least, not this soon) or provided these bonuses in the absence of this bill, but I think the stronger supposition is that the sole reason they're doing it now is that the tax bill enabled them to do so. Pretty much across the board, these companies have been doing extremely well in recent years. It's hard to believe that absolutely none of them have had the finances to make this move. 
    Enough with the strawman .  I'll say this one last time; I HAVE NEVER CLAIMED THE NEW TAX RATES WERE THE SOLE REASON THESE COMPANIES WERE GIVING BONUSES AND RAISING WAGES.  I said specifically it was the DECIDING FACTOR.  No doubt, the improving economy over the last year and the expectation that it will continue, was another major factor.  As for these companies doing well "in recent years", not so much.  Towards the end of 2016, First Third was dumping branches and pulled out of two states.  They're approx 12% smaller than they were in 2015.  Associated Bank may have been doing a bit better, but you'd have to prove to me they were " doing extremely well in recent years".

    https://www.cincinnati.com/story/money/2016/09/13/fifth-third-closing-more-branches/90300914/

    3) I think the issue of whether the tax reform bill will be a success remains to be seen. We're talking about well over a trillion dollars in lost revenue that could have gone to other places, like permanent tax cuts for the middle class. You can argue that this will produce more growth for the country's economy, though that certainly remains to be seen. In the meantime, what we're seeing is companies setting aside a relatively small amount of money for bonuses and raised minimum wages, both of which are good, but neither of which account for the vast majority of the money these companies will be saving. I honestly hope that more of that money will be used in ways that benefit those employees and the US as a whole, but I have a hard time believing that that will be the case. In the short term, people in this country will have little reason to complain, as most everyone is getting a tax cut of some sort. But in the long term, the much larger tax cuts for corporations and the rich will survive, and those for others in society will lapse. That's a reason why many can reasonably find fault with the tax reform. I hope that the growth estimates that the Trump administration has made are anywhere near accurate, but they have not detailed how they're getting their numbers, and that makes me doubt their claims.
    Of course the success of tax reform remains to be seen, as does lost revenue, if there is any.  That largely depends on what Congress does next.  It can't reasonably be denied that momentum is in their favor; the GDP is regularly hitting new highs, consumer confidence is the highest it's been in nearly two decades, unemployment is the lowest its been in nearly two decades, etc.  Congress could still screw it up if they try.  But here's the real difference between our views; i look at the current trends and I'm optimistic, you ignore the trends and are pessimistic. 

    https://www.investors.com/news/economy/americans-paychecks-just-got-a-lot-fatter-new-tax-data-show/
    https://www.usnews.com/news/economy/articles/2018-01-04/us-employers-create-250-000-new-jobs-to-close-out-2017

  • @CYDdharta
    Could you calm down a little? I know debates can be frustrating, but don't let anger take control of you.
    Bis das, si cito das.
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