US tax package

President Trump is claiming a major victory after the Republican tax package he championed pass through all it’s stages of US government. It is a major victory for him and for the GOP, for now at least. Time will tell whether all of the US benefits, or if it is too slanted to the big corporations and to rich Americans or not.

New York Post: Trump celebrates passing of GOP tax bill at White House

President Trump took a victory lap on the South Lawn of the White House on Wednesday, hailing passage of the first comprehensive overhaul of the US tax system in three decades.

Trump lauded GOP lawmakers for delivering on the promise he made to voters to slash taxes — and said the cuts would kickstart the economy.

“Many companies have come forward saying they are so happy. We are seeing something very special, bringing the entrepreneur back into this country and you’ll see what happens,” the president said, appearing with dozens of House and Senate Republicans at the South Lawn of the White House.

“And ultimately what does it mean? It means jobs. Jobs, jobs, jobs . . . We are in a special period of time. And it’s going to be even more so,” he added.

Eleven months into the Republican president’s first year in office, the GOP-controlled Congress finally gave him his first major legislative victory — and Trump clearly savored the moment.

“This will indeed be a very big day when people look back at our country. It’s a whole different attitude, a whole different way. We are making America great again,” he said.

Perhaps this will make America (or at least the US part of America) greater, but it could also dig a financial hole.

Analysts say the bill will add $1 trillion to $1.5 trillion to America’s already deep deficit.

Democrats blasted the bill as a boon only to the rich — and to businesses like Trump’s.

“There are only two places where America is popping Champagne: the White House and the corporate boardrooms, including Trump Tower. Otherwise, Americans have a lot to regret,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said.

But Republicans are savouring a major victory under Trump’s presidency:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said the bill’s passage capped a year of “extraordinary accomplishment” for Trump.

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) praised Trump’s “exquisite presidential leadership.”

The leaders of the key tax committees also had high praise. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, called Trump “one heck of a leader.”

Kevin Brady (R-Texas), chairman of the House tax-writing Ways and Means Committee, said the “historic day” could not have been achieved without Trump’s leadership.

RCP links:

 

Debate over Green’s budget support

Greens voting in support of the Government’s budget tax package has raised eyebrows and prompted debate at The Standard.

Micksavage: What the feck Greens

The Green Party caucus decision to support the Government’s tax reduction legislation is hard to comprehend and has created a perception of messiness in the way the Labour-Green MOU operates.

It appears the Labour Green Memorandum of Understanding did not work as well this week as it was intended.  The Greens decided to vote for National’s tax reduction legislation while Labour voted against it.

I am struggling to understand why the Greens did this.  This budget does nothing beneficial for the environment.  It promises more irrigation allowing more dairying and more polluted streams with a miniscule amount set aside to address the consequences.  It does not address New Zealand’s response to climate change.  Putting to one side the environmental devastation that will be caused it does not address how we as a country are going to address the $14 billion hole in our finances that the payments required under the Paris Accord will cause.  And the home insulation scheme is being cut, completely.

But they chose to support the Government’s tax reduction law.

There are some interesting discussions on that thread. It seems to have prompted two posts from a Green supporter.

Weka: The Greens on record

Despite rumours to the contrary, the Green Party was highly critical of National’s Budget.

There’s been a fair amount of speculation about the Green Party’s position on the Budget. If you want to see how they are voting, or to discuss that, have a look at the post The Greens and voting on the Budget.

There are a lot more links to Green responses too.

Weka: The Greens and voting on the Budget

Wondering about what the Greens are voting for? It might not be what you think.

The various Bills going through Parliament currently can be seen here. Explanations of how the Budget process happens are here.

Spokesperson for Māori Development, Social Housing, Human Rights and Pacific Peoples, Marama Davidson explains in a blogpost why they are voting for that Bill that gives a little bit extra for those on low incomes.

But that has sparked more debate.

Meanwwhile Martyn Bradbury at The Daily Blog: Can the Green Party of NZ do anything without taking a huge smelly dump on the chest of the Labour Party?

The Greens have allowed themselves to get played by the National Party who are right now running around telling everyone who will listen that even the Greens support this rip-off Budget, bloody Bill English did yesterday!

I wonder if Bradbury applied for a job at Greens, he certainly isn’t happy with the person who was successful (at getting a communications job).

My understanding from sources within the Party is that there are deep divisions over how James Shaw has run things since becoming leader.

I doubt that Greens and many others will put much weight on Bradbury’s understanding.

Serious question time, if these schoolboy errors in political tactics and strategy are all the Greens can muster how the Christ can they be trusted with Executive Power?

It’s a bit tragic that, similar to Cameron Slater, Bradbury has been left flailing around without a political home because no parties want anything to do with them.

But there does seem to be quite a bit of discord on the left over the Green vote last week and over the Green-Labour Memorandum of Understanding.

‘Tax and family’ package planned

Tax cuts may still happen but these seem likely to be limited by the need to spend on things such as earthquake repairs and prisons, plus signalled increased assistance for families.

The Government seems to be reacting to the growing discontent over inequality and the difficulties faced by the poorest in New Zealand, of which there is a substantial number who really struggle for a variety of reasons.

John Key has revealed the Government is preparing a ‘tax and family’ package.

National will be wanting to deliver on promises of tax cuts but seem to be wanting to balance that with further assistance to the less well off.

But large spending items such as prisons and on earthquake repairs will have an impact.

Vernon Small at Stuff: John Key reveals plans for ‘tax and family’ package, but quake might affect plans

The Kaikoura earthquakes have not demolished the Government’s tax cut plans but they may force Treasury to delay its half-year update while it crunches the numbers, Prime Minister John Key said.

Speaking to reporters in Peru, where he is attending the Apec Summit, he also revealed the Government is preparing a “tax and family” package for the 2017 campaign and beyond.

Key said the earthquakes were a factor that could have some impact on the Government’s plans “and we can’t say that wouldn’t”.

But they would not completely rule out the Government’s ability “to consider a range of things that we would want to either campaign on or carry out in a fourth term,” Key said.

“We’ve identified from our own perspective if there was more money where would be the kinds of areas we want to go, not what is the make up … for instance, of a tax or family package, what is the make up of other expenditure we want?”

Cash would be required for capital items, such as fixing roads and other infrastructure, but they were not recurring costs.

The difference for the “tax and family package” was that it was a recurring cost over future years.

As usual there will be a balancing act between essential expenditure, current and imposed, and policy driven changes – with an obvious eye on next year’s election.