At some point, the government will need to pay its bills, through a combination of tax increases and spending cuts.Virtually any future deficit-reduction plan — except for a repeal of the Trump tax plan — would hurt most families more than his plan helps them.This chain of events has happened before.The Reagan and Bush tax cuts may have at first seemed to help the middle class and poor.But the deficits led to later cuts in education, medical research, transportation and anti-poverty programs that almost surely erased the benefits of a modest tax cut.Already, today’s congressional leaders are talking about sizable cuts to Medicare and Medicaid.Trump and his allies are feverishly trying to claim their plan really would benefit the middle class. Last week, a precursor bill barely passed the House, receiving 20 no votes from Republicans, many worried about the tax increases.Republican leaders certainly have a path to passing a tax bill, because nothing unites modern Republicans the way a tax cut does.But the opposition to the recent health care bills also started as an underdog and managed to prevail, by relentlessly talking about the bills’ effects.When enough Americans understood the truth, enough members of Congress felt pressure to vote no.The same could happen on taxes. It is starting to.Recent polls suggest the plan’s approval rating is only about 30 percent.To understand the Trump tax increases, you should first acknowledge the most admirable feature of his plan. It doesn’t aspire to be merely a tax cut. Trump’s plan would not actually cut taxes for many middle-class families. It would raise them.These families are in the minority, yes. But there are a lot of them.About 17 percent of households earning between $50,000 and $150,000 would see their taxes rise immediately, according to the only rigorous analysis so far, by the Tax Policy Center.Among households earning between $150,000 and $250,000, the share is about 35 percent.These numbers would grow over time, for reasons I’ll explain.Ultimately, the plan would be likely to hurt the finances of the vast majority of Americans.No wonder it is starting to look politically vulnerable. It aspires to be tax reform — both cuts and increases. Some deductions shrink, while rates fall, in the name of simplifying the tax code.But after this promising start, the plan commits its cardinal sin.It places the highest priority on huge tax cuts for the very wealthy.They get lower rates and get to keep cherished tax breaks, like the “carried interest” loophole.Herbert Hoover’s Republican Party wanted to put a chicken in every pot. Donald Trump’s wants to put a yacht at every private dock.Having lavished so much money on the wealthy, the tax package — or at least the vague framework that the administration has released — doesn’t have much remaining to spend on middle class and poor families.For them, the package is a mix of pluses and minuses. Their latest talking point is the notion that corporate tax cuts will create an indirect windfall for workers.Funny, though, how the wealthy get most of the direct benefits, while everyone else has to hope for indirect ones somehow to materialize.The main lesson of this year’s health care battle was the political power of facts.They don’t always win the day, but it’s better to have them as an ally than an enemy.Right now, facts are the biggest problem for Trump’s tax plan.David Leonhardt is New York Times columnist writing from a liberal progressive perspective. More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homes Many face a lower tax rate, but some face a higher one, and many families lose deductions. The combination creates a lot of losers.Reduced deductions for children, for example, hurt large families, notes NYU’s Lily Batchelder.And the deduction for state and local taxes — also a target for cuts — now benefits 30 percent of households nationwide.It was the main reason for last week’s House defections, and the tensions over it haven’t been resolved.Then there are the long-term problems I mentioned earlier.First, Trump’s plan takes a skimpy approach to inflation adjustments, which will push many families into higher tax brackets over time.Second, the plan would radically increase the federal deficit, and when it comes to the deficit, what goes up must eventually come down. Categories: Editorial, OpinionThe old formula for passing a big tax cut for the rich was simple: Package it with a modest tax cut for the middle class — and talk endlessly about the middle-class part.President Donald Trump and Congress are following the formula in some ways.Their plan would deliver an average tax cut of $700,000 to the nation’s 175,000 richest families. That’s enough for each to buy a new 50-foot yacht, annually.Meanwhile, Trump and other Republican leaders keep repeating “middle class,” “middle class,” “middle class.”Yet there is also a major difference between the current plan and George W. Bush’s tax cut or Ronald Reagan’s.
The home at 17 Girrah Street, Brendale.A RESIDENTIAL enclave in Brendale with elevated home sites has been uncovered by affordability-driven buyers, according to LJ Hooker Albany Creek sales consultant Wayne Cornell.“They’ve been selling pretty much under 10 days there. We’ve been getting quite a few groups through the open homes and we’ve been getting multiple offers as well,” Mr Cornell said.Mr Cornell said 17 Girrah St, Brendale, which sold on November 7 for $457,000, demonstrated the level of demand.More from newsLand grab sees 12 Sandstone Lakes homesites sell in a week21 Jun 2020Tropical haven walking distance from the surf9 Oct 2019The home at 17 Girrah Street, Brendale.“We took it to the first open home and we had 15 groups come through,” he said.Mr Cornell said the home sold just a few days after listing.He said a mix of first and second homebuyers dominated this patch of Brendale.“Because the prices are getting a bit higher in Albany Creek, some buyers are looking to Brendale. There are approximately 180 homes in that little area there and it’s a secret pocket,” he said.“You can see golf course views from some of the houses and you can also see some city glimpses as well.”Mr Cornell said he was looking forward to a strong market in 2018.
Syracuse (3-2, 1-0 Atlantic Coast) suffered a 45-24 loss at South Florida (2-3, 0-1 American Athletic) on Saturday. The Orange made a comeback attempt in the third quarter, but ultimately the Bulls pulled away. Here are some players that both looked impressive and overmatched in SU’s final nonconference game.Stock UpSophomore hybrid Ervin PhilipsAfter missing the last three-and-a-half games with a lower-body injury, Philips contributed in his first game back with five receptions for 75 yards, both team highs. He provided a reliable check down for freshman quarterback Eric Dungey, who was protected by an offensive line with two backups in at one point due to injuries. Philips also rushed three times for 21 yards, good for most on the Orange outside of Dungey.Philips was involved in the third quarter when SU cut into USF’s lead. A 29-yard reception led to a touchdown two plays after. Later in the third quarter, Philips had back-to-back catches for 10 and 12 yards, respectively, on another eventual touchdown drive.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textRedshirt freshman defensive tackle Chris SlaytonIn a game that the Orange’s defense gave up 45 points, Slayton might be the only bright spot. After jumping senior John Raymon on the depth chart earlier this week, Slayton’s sack-fumble on Bulls quarterback Quinton Flowers was a key moment in the Orange’s comeback attempt. The play was sandwiched between two SU touchdown drives when Syracuse cut the game to 24-17. The Orange only recorded four tackles for loss and Slayton’s sack was one of them.Stock DownFreshman safety Kielan WhitnerEntering the season, Syracuse coaches knew one of its three freshmen safeties would have to contribute in the secondary rotation. Coming out of training camp, Whitner won the fourth safety spot. On Saturday, he was exposed. Published on October 11, 2015 at 4:31 pm Contact Paul: firstname.lastname@example.org | @pschweds Facebook Twitter Google+ In the second quarter, a USF punt bounced off Whitner’s back and the ball caromed into the hands of a Bulls player, giving South Florida possession on SU’s 25-yard line. On Marlon Mack’s 45-yard third-quarter touchdown, which gave USF a 31-17 lead, Whitner whiffed on a tackle along the sideline. On a key third-and-10 in the fourth, Whitner was flagged for a late hit after the ball fell incomplete out of bounds. He bumped the intended receiver, extending the Bulls’ drive, which resulted in a touchdown.Defensive coordinator Chuck BulloughBullough was tasked with replacing eight starters when the season began and early on, SU was successful on defense. Albeit against weak competition, the Orange allowed just 140 rushing yards through the first three games.After getting lit up by Heisman Trophy candidate Leonard Fournette and co. for 268 yards against Louisiana State, Syracuse had two weeks to prepare for the Bulls. Entering the game, USF had run on 64 percent of offensive plays. Still, SU gave up 282 yards and four touchdowns on the ground.The Bulls’ 45 points are the second most by a nonconference opponent since Bullough became the defensive coordinator after Scott Shafer was named head coach.“We got outplayed, out-coached, everything,” Bullough said after the game. “When the score is like that there is nothing else you can say.” Comments
No. 1 Minnesota leads No. 8 Wisconsin 2-0 through one period of play in LaBahn Arena.The Golden Gophers started the scoring early in the first period with a goal from freshman forward Hannah Brandt from the right circle with less than five minutes off of the clock.Junior forward Amanda Kessel picked up her WCHA leading 38th assist on Brandt’s goal.The Badgers had plenty of opportunities to even the game, outshooting the Gophers 5-2 halfway through the first period.With 3:57 left in the period Wisconsin junior defenseman Natalie Berg picked up a penalty for tripping giving Minnesota a power play. Just one minute later UW senior forward Alev Kelter was called for roughing giving UM a two man advantage with just three minutes left in the period.Wisconsin’s goaltender Alex Rigsby did her best to hold off the Minnesota power play racking up several consecutive saves until finally giving up a goal to Mira Jalosuo from the left circle with just one second left in Minnesota’s 5-3 advantage.The Golden Gophers ended the first period outshooting the Badgers 12-7.
In 2004, the National Transitional Government of Liberia (NTGL) embarked upon a great experiment: opening the telecommunications market to competition. The result has been an unmitigated success. We have gone from a landscape of only 5,000 lines when a public corporation called The Liberian Telecommunications Corporation (“Telecom” headquartered on Lynch Street) ruled the roost to a situation where there are almost 2 million GSM subscribers today. The cost to the national treasury has been zero, zilch, nada. But the treasury reaps millions of dollars each year from the GSM companies by way of tax revenue. It’s like belonging to a susu club, to which you contribute nothing but from which you receive thousands of dollars every month. A similar scenario can be brought into being with regard to electricity.According to the folks at Manitoba Hydro, the Canadian company that is managing LEC under a lucrative 5-year contract, financed by the Norwegian government, by which they will have pulled in $8 million in fees by the time their contract ends in a few days’ time, the demand for electricity in Monrovia alone is 120MW. LEC is currently producing only 6MW, just 5 percent of the demand. The rest is coming through self-generation. We are producing our own electricity using everything from small Tiger generators to large Perkins and Caterpillar machines.And why is LEC only producing 6MW of power? Because many of its old generators have reached the end of their useful life. In fact, LEC is producing less electricity today than it did, say, 3-4 years ago. One clever wag has suggested that LEC changes its slogan from “Small Light Today, Big Light Tomorrow” to “Small Light Today, Even Smaller Light Tomorrow”. LEC simply does not have the resources to get the job done. To bring 120MW of current to Monrovia will cost several hundred million dollars. LEC does not have that kind of money. The Government of Liberia (GOL) operating on a shoestring budget of $500 million does not have the millions to give capitalize LEC to level required for LEC to get the job done. And if we are waiting for GOL come up with the money, we will be waiting another 100 years.Right now LEC is living on life support—-from donors. In addition to the $8 million that the Norwegian government has spent to finance the Manitoba Hydro contract, this same Norwegian government has shelled out an additional $29 million to enable LEC to expand its network. Well, you cannot build a sustainable business on the basis of handouts from donors. Donor programs typically are short-lived. So, what happens when the donor program comes to an end, as they inevitably do? You are left high and dry. If the Norwegians decide not to renew their aid program, LEC will collapse.So, what are the options for LEC? If LEC wishes to remain in business, it should either seek a long-term partner, a utility with bags of money and know-how, a partner which will inevitably demand a controlling interest in the entity. Or, LEC can simply become a landlord, leasing out its assets to another utility and collecting rent. Alternatively, it could simply sell its assets (and corresponding liabilities).But lest we allow ourselves to become too distracted with trying to solve LEC’s internal problems, let us return to our original premise: how can we apply the lessons we have learned from opening the telecommunications market to competition to electricity?The answer is quite simple: set aside the LEC monopoly and allow private companies to come to Liberia, set up shop and produce and sell electricity to us. This is precisely what an NGO that me and 25 other Liberian citizens established in December last year are advocating. Our NGO, “The Coalition to Bring Plenty Cheap Reliable Stable Electricity to Liberia” (“Brescelco” for short) has drafted a law, the “2015 Liberian Electricity Act” that will be introduced into our national legislature as soon as it returns from its Easter recess. We have mounted a vigorous public awareness campaign, going from community to community, to educate the public about the issues surrounding electricity and offering solutions. The purpose of this grassroots initiative is to get the public involved in making representations to their elected officials to act so that our electricity problem can be solved.Next week we will examine the specifics of what actions are necessary to solve the electricity problem.The writer is a businessman. He can be reached at