Loading...
BYH to the one who thinks that we are energy independent because of this president. The initiatives you speak of began...

Imperfect tax overhaul step in right direction

Fact Check Week-1

President Donald Trump, joined by Vice President Mike Pence, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and other members of congress, speaks during an event on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington to acknowledge the final passage of tax overhaul legislation by Congress.

Loading…

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

When the wrapping paper comes off on Christmas morning, sometimes the pile of glittering gifts fails to live up to expectations. We teach our children to be gracious, appreciating their still-impressive haul rather than stewing over well-intended but imperfect presents.

That’s as good a metaphor as any for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the first major overhaul of the federal tax code since 1986. This isn’t the tax bill we wanted, but it’s a step in the right direction.

First, the druthers: There are still seven tax brackets and a thicket of deductions, exemptions and loopholes. President Trump preached simplicity, calling for three tax brackets and a winnowing of small print so sweeping that the average taxpayer could file his or her return on a postcard.

Complexity intimidates laymen and gives many an incentive to hire accountants or tax preparers to ensure they’re getting the best deal they can lawfully claim. We’d prefer a simple system where taxpayers understand exactly how much they owe without a need for middlemen.

The tax code is still progressive, demanding a higher proportion of earnings as income rises. A flat tax, where everyone pays the same marginal rate and the difference is made up in consumption taxes, is a fairer system.

Despite baleful grousing about the act being a bonanza for rich people, the libertarian Cato Institute says the middle class will see the greatest share of tax relief and the disparity in rates will only grow.

“Higher earners will pay an even larger share of the overall income tax burden than they do now,” Cato’s Chris Edwards wrote Tuesday. “Our highly ‘progressive’ income tax will be even more progressive.”

Finally, because the tax cuts are not accompanied by proportional spending caps, the bill is expected to increase the ballooning deficit by $1½ trillion over the next decade. That kicks the can down the road where sober and difficult decisions about public investment will have to be made.

Despite those shortcomings, the tax bill is still a net positive for individual taxpayers and the United States as a whole. Most people will see their federal tax burden drop.

The Tax Foundation, an independent think tank, projects that the legislation will raise average wages by 1½ percent, drive up the GDP by 1.7 percent and spur the creation of 339,000 jobs.

If that’s not reason enough to see the glass as half full, estimates show that the typical North Carolina family will save $600 per year. Some Tar Heel taxpayers will save more.

“We see growth coming from this,” Tax Foundation senior policy analyst Jared Walczak told the Carolina Journal. The resulting job creation “will be a benefit for all states including North Carolina.”

Critics of the Trump administration and the Republican-led Congress are sounding the doomsday siren, but their tax burden will drop, too. Unless they plan to voluntarily send their savings to Washington, we think they doth protest too much.

Though temporary levies were collected during the Civil War, the United States has only had a federal income tax for 104 years of its 241-year history. The Sixteenth Amendment, ratified in April 1913, authorized Congress to claim a portion of American workers’ earnings. Tax withholding was introduced during World War II.

To the extent that income taxes must be collected, everyone should pay his or her fair share. But we aren’t convinced higher taxes and more government spending is the way to secure prosperity. Individuals and families, not officials and bureaucrats, are best able to make decisions on how the money they earn is spent.

The corporate tax rate will plunge from 35 percent to 21 percent. It it leads to more businesses based in the U.S. and more robust job creation, overall corporate tax revenue could eventually rise. A lot of firms paying 21 percent is better than comparatively few paying 35 as businesses race to create shell companies and shift their tax burden offshore.

This tax bill isn’t perfect, but perfect need not be the enemy of good. And more of your money staying in your own pockets is unquestionably a good thing.

The Wilson Times

Loading…

Humans of Greenville

@HumansofGville

Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.

Editorials

December 15, 2018

The Trump administration on Nov. 30 gave five companies permission to conduct seismic airgun blasting off the coast of the Carolinas and other states, a major step toward offshore oil and gas drilling.

Here’s what that would look like, directly off the Carolinas’ coasts and extending…

Offshore Drilling Lawsuit

December 14, 2018

Thomas A. Farr was a woefully bad choice to be a federal district judge in North Carolina.

Thank goodness Sen. Tim Scott, a Republican from South Carolina, stood up for principle over blind party loyalty and announced that he would oppose Farr’s nomination. With all 49 Democrats in the Senate…

Congress Judicial Nomination

December 13, 2018

North Carolina corporations, again, are about to get another huge tax break — a break they do not need. It will make it more difficult for the government to meet the obligations it has to provide a quality education to the state’s children and high quality of life to all its…

N.C. Legislative Building

December 12, 2018

In his 1991 confirmation hearings, C-SPAN noted on Friday, former attorney general William Barr declared that "nothing could be more destructive of our system of government, of the rule of law, or Department of Justice as an institution, than any toleration of political interference with the…

Trump Attorney General-2

December 10, 2018

While the National Flood Insurance Program covers only 134,000 households our of North Carolina’s 3.8 million, it will likely pay for repairs costing hundreds of millions of dollars. Add all the damage in other states this year, from Florence and later from Hurricane Michael, which flattened…

Harvey-Flood Insurance-4

December 09, 2018

It is almost a truism in criminal investigations that those who flip early and help prosecutors build their case against higher-ranking figures are shown greater leniency than those who try to gut it out.

Michael Flynn, who served briefly as President Trump’s national security adviser, is…

Trump Russia Probe Flynn

December 08, 2018

In June 1948, after the College World Series and graduation day at Yale, young George H.W. Bush packed up his cranberry-red Studebaker (a graduation gift from his father) and headed the car’s distinctive nose in a southwesterly direction. The little car got him to Odessa and to a shotgun…

Obit George HW Bush-3

December 07, 2018

In the week since the state Board of Elections declined to certify the results of North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District election, journalists and others have begun to fill in the details of a troubling case of apparent ballot fraud. In Bladen County — and perhaps other counties…

Election 2018 North Carolina Congress

December 04, 2018

As many as 670,000 North Carolinians could gain sorely needed Medicaid coverage if Gov. Roy Cooper and members of both parties in the legislature will work together to help them.

Now that voters have restored some balance to the state’s power structure, that idea isn’t so far-fetched…

112118Cooper-SECU-2

December 03, 2018

What’s going on in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District? An election certification is being held up. The person behind the delay is being a bit coy about it. The public is in the dark. That needs to change — and soon.

The state board of elections refused Tuesday to certify…

Election 2018 9th Congressional District
83 stories in Editorials. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 9
        Next Page»   Last Page»