The House GOP Tax Bill Is Mostly Crappola

❝ House Republicans made their tax bill public today. Boiled down to the basics, it is a mid-sized tax cut–aimed mostly at businesses and their owners. Here are five big take-aways.

It is a tax cut, not tax reform.

It is not the biggest income tax cut in history—not even close– despite President Trump’s repeated promises that it would be.

For households, it will almost surely create winners and losers. Many middle-income households are likely to pay more under this plan, not less.

It is not tax simplification. Indeed, for many taxpayers the House bill would make filing more complicated.

At the end of 10 years, it likely would end up increasing the deficit by far more than the advertised $1.5 trillion.

It will not lead to a 3 percent permanent economic growth.

Howard Gleckman from the Tax Policy Center offers up the gold standard for truthful tax analysis inside the Beltway. No doubt the Congressional Budget Office will soon be out with a version – more polite; but, no less accurate and free from the lies today’s Republicans seem to need before they even put their pants on in the morning.

RTFA. You won’t enjoy it. At a minimum, you won’t have to hold back a belch over fake news, fake statistics, 19th Century ideology.

The Militarization of America’s Cities by Maj. Danny Sjursen

❝ I can remember both so well.

2006. My first raid in South Baghdad. 2014. Watching on YouTube as a New York police officer asphyxiated — murdered — Eric Garner for allegedly selling loose cigarettes on a Staten Island street corner not five miles from my old apartment. Both events shocked the conscience.

It was 11 years ago next month. My first patrol of the war and we were still learning the ropes from the Army unit we were replacing. Unit swaps are tricky, dangerous times…

❝ Officers from incoming units like mine were forced to learn the terrain, identify the key powerbrokers in our assigned area, and sort out the most effective tactics in the two weeks before the experienced officers departed. It was a stressful time…

Major Sjursen quickly learned to rearrange his response and definitions to war, honesty, actual military and political goals to the realities of the American War on Iraq. Short, worthy read on its own.

❝ Years passed. I came home, stayed in the Army, had a kid, divorced, moved a few more times, remarried, had more kids — my Giants even won two Super Bowls. Suddenly everyone had an iPhone, was on Facebook or tweeting or texting rather than calling.

Somehow in those blurred years, Iraq-style police brutality and violence — especially against poor blacks — gradually became front-page news. One case, one shaky YouTube video followed another. Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Philando Castile and Freddie Gray, just to start a long list.

So many of the clips reminded me of enemy propaganda videos from Baghdad or helmet-cam shots recorded by our troopers in combat, except that they came from New York or Chicago or San Francisco…

The tactics, intent, goals began to more than resemble his life in an occupying army thousands of miles from home. And that’s what the rest of his article is about.