“I am on nobody’s side because nobody is on my side” – Treebeard
I have to admit that I feel less like this than in the recent past, but the feeling of lone wolf is still pretty much a reality these days, especially after watching the amusements of state-level Democrats in blue states appearing as deer in headlights in the chaos over the SALT deduction cap which effectively limits Federal subsidization of spendthrift states.
Yesterday, the theme of Democratic rhetoric was “tax the rich” for whatever you want. With the introduction of the SALT cap, all of a sudden, on the rhetorical victims of Democratic policies is exactly where the tax incidence above $10k will fall, and it’s the fault of the GOP tax plan, costing residents billions according to just about every commentary I’ve read on the topic on Bloomberg and elsewhere.
Now, the stories being told are about Democratic lawmakers in blue states rushing to “shield residents” from the burden of the SALT cap. But, being a middle of the road middle class person in the State of New York who will be covered for the most part by the doubled standard Federal deduction, the SALT deduction is meaningless in itself, and there is nothing for Democratic lawmakers to do to “shield” me from anything.
So what the story is really about is that they will be rushing to “shield” the top 10-15% of the income scale, people who have more far income than most and will still need to itemize their Federal return, from state taxes that were levied on them previously by these same lawmakers with specific intent, rendering the claim that they are “rushing to shield residents” from the GOP’s SALT cap somewhat of an embellishment of fact. If the D’s really believe that taxing the rich will solve all of our problems and doesn’t kill jobs or harm the economy, I fail to see the emergency here especially when these same people will also be getting a Federal rate reduction that will at least partially offset the effect of the SALT cap.
As it turns out, “tax the rich” rhetoric was really just a scam that worked well as long as the incidence of state tax increases never actually fell on the intended victims due to the write off on their Federal taxes.
Of course, I don’t believe that higher earners should be burdened in that way. My core philosophy includes maximum economic freedom, not maximum repression of the successful and I never voted for it or supported any campaign with that sort of theme.
But let’s face some facts here. There are plenty of deep-pocketed people who did support the economic repression theme, and these same people are probably the ones raising the ruckus over the SALT cap. Who else would blame Republicans for taxes levied on them by Democrats? In a rhetorical way, leaving these people to walk the walk after lying to all the lemmings who don’t have much more than two pennies to rub together so they can bag the politicians would provide some sense of justice in a crony-capitalist world that is sorely lacking it. I won’t need to develop a fantastic inflation fiction to explain why they have to take one for the team; the truth will stand nicely enough on its own. The hypocrisy is obvious and is easily comprehended, and most people will be watching for what happens next.