Senate Passes Tax Bill

Every Democrat voted against the Senate Tax Bill. Every Republican except Bob Corker voted for it.

There were last minute changes. Here's the bill with the changes.

The Senate version still has to be reconciled with the House version. According to the New York Times, here's what they have to resolve.

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    Such is life.. (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by desertswine on Sat Dec 02, 2017 at 03:21:31 PM EST
    in a Piratochracy.

    At one time (none / 0) (#6)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Sat Dec 02, 2017 at 07:18:11 PM EST
    Burger King, Johnson Controls, and Anhauser Busch were all independent American companies. No more.  Well, the pirates thought they only existed to be looted. Net result, adios jobs and tax revenue.

    and this tax bill? (none / 0) (#8)
    by linea on Sat Dec 02, 2017 at 11:14:42 PM EST
    what is the connection between american-headquartered multinational corporations being purchased by foreign multinational corporations and this tax bill?

    Prior to its 2008 acquisition, Anheuser-Busch operated 15 breweries internationally: 14 in China and one in the United Kingdom.

    The connection is territorial taxation. (none / 0) (#13)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Sun Dec 03, 2017 at 11:53:38 AM EST

    Burger King merged with Tim Horton's and is now a Canadian company. Prior to that Burger King paid both US income tax and Mexican income tax on earnings in Mexico for example. Now as a Canadian company they only pay Mexican income tax on earnings in Mexico.  Canada is not as greedy.

    In short corporations doing business in many countries are at a competitive disadvantage if based in the US. As a result over time those corporate headquarters will move out of the US through mergers as BK and Johnson Controls or acquisition in the case of that well known beer company.

    No matter what you think of corporations it is better for US workers, tax revenue, ands job opportunities if HQ'd here.


    One of the big 3 myths (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by Yman on Sun Dec 03, 2017 at 02:00:38 PM EST
    3 Myths About Inversions and U.S. Corporate Taxes

    Myth 1: Corporate America is not competitive, and our tax code is to blame.

    Myth 2: Inversions are being driven by the corporate response to America's uncompetitive tax system.

    Myth 3: A territorial system that exempted foreign income would solve the inversion problem.


    But Republicans (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by MKS on Sun Dec 03, 2017 at 02:52:56 PM EST
    really, really believe cutting taxes for the wealthy and corporations will solve all ills.

    Data that says otherwise cannot overcome their deeply held sincere beliefs.....

    Faith based economics.


    Thanks for the link. (2.00 / 1) (#30)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Dec 04, 2017 at 09:26:34 AM EST
    Myth 2: Inversions are being driven by the corporate response to America's uncompetitive tax system.

    Inversions are indeed a symptom of a larger problem with the U.S. tax system. Multinational firms have accumulated over $2 trillion of earnings booked in low-tax countries, and they fear triggering a U.S. tax liability if they repatriate these earnings.

    Quite the "debunking" there.  First you say inversions are not driven by the US tax policy, then point out they are driven by US tax policy!  Yikes!

    Mergers certainly occur for reasons other than taxes. However, to say that taxes have no impact on which domicile will survive is silly. The Burger King and Tim Hortons merger could have resulted in an American company rather than a Canadian company. Those that claim that the obvious tax benefits were not part of that decision need to offer justification for that view. So far none in sight.


    "Yikes"? Don't be scared (5.00 / 3) (#36)
    by Yman on Tue Dec 05, 2017 at 10:49:41 AM EST
    Just keep reading instead of using clipped quotes and you'll discover the myth in your ultimate argument - which is that the way to deal with inversions is to reward these greedy companies with a lower tax rate for gaming the system.

    However, every analysis of a previous tax holiday offering a low tax rate for repatriation (enacted under the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004) indicates that such tax breaks led to only share repurchases and dividend issues, not to new jobs or investments in the United States.

    While these incentives toward inversions are a real problem, giving a windfall tax break on past earnings that have been shifted to tax havens is a bad solution, essentially rewarding U.S. companies for their gaming of the tax system. There are much better solutions, including requiring a higher threshold for foreign ownership, better earnings stripping rules (which would limit profit shifting), and exit taxes


    But I guess strawman arguments are easier, soooo ...


    Thus, those (none / 0) (#33)
    by MKS on Mon Dec 04, 2017 at 07:11:53 PM EST
    who disbelieve your view of taxes need data--BUT you do not to support your view.  Because your position is obvious.

     Classic. Like I said: Faith based economics.


    You have the (none / 0) (#34)
    by MKS on Mon Dec 04, 2017 at 07:23:44 PM EST
    burden of proving your point: which implicitly is that taxes are outcome determinative.  That is lower taxes would create more HQs here; or that lower taxes would create more middle class jobs.

    But, you see, there is no evidence of that.  But contrary evidence abounds.


    I don't believe (none / 0) (#35)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Tue Dec 05, 2017 at 09:51:05 AM EST
    that taxes are outcome determinative. Taxes are certainly contributing though.  The greater the tax differential, the greater the contribution. But we have data.  BK and Johnson Controls and others have inverted to less greedy taxing locations.  The reason these mergers are called inversions is that the smaller corporation survives, which is unusual.  These inversions all share one common component, a large US corporation combines with a smaller foreign corporation which the end result of escaping the US tax regime.

    If you want to believe it is a myth that US tax policy contributed to those inversions feel free.  


    Still no data (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by MKS on Tue Dec 05, 2017 at 10:52:08 AM EST
    from you.  Just arguments that certain things are obvious.  And the case you cite does not address causation.....

    How about data (none / 0) (#38)
    by MKS on Tue Dec 05, 2017 at 11:17:34 AM EST
    showing the reverse of what you cite?  That lowering taxes will bring HQs back.  

    I was expecting (none / 0) (#15)
    by MKS on Sun Dec 03, 2017 at 02:51:36 PM EST
    an article from a liberal publication like The Nation, not Fortune.

    not sure (none / 0) (#19)
    by linea on Sun Dec 03, 2017 at 04:27:49 PM EST
    how you force multinational corporations to be headquartered in the u.s.

    Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV is a Belgian transnational beverage and brewing company with global headquarters in Leuven, Belgium.

    and corporate income tax is not lower in belgium.

    General rate. CIT is levied at a rate of 33% plus a 3% crisis tax, which is a surtax, implying an effective rate of 33.99%. This rate applies to both Belgian companies (subject to Belgian CIT) and Belgian PEs of foreign companies (subject to Belgian non-resident CIT).

    You don't force them. (none / 0) (#20)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Sun Dec 03, 2017 at 05:31:18 PM EST
    You make it more attractive to HQ here than other countries.

    Belgium only taxes income earned in Belgium. The US taxes income earned in other countries, unlike Belgium.


    Tax (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by FlJoe on Sun Dec 03, 2017 at 06:12:32 PM EST
    policy is mostly beyond my ken, but I'll bite.

    If the US had exactly the same policy as Belgium
    wouldn't the tax burden still be much higher for AB in this country given the size of the market?  


    my understanding (none / 0) (#23)
    by linea on Sun Dec 03, 2017 at 07:10:57 PM EST
    and i'm an expert on corporate taxes obviously.

    re: `The US taxes income earned in other countries, unlike Belgium.`

    i don't believe that this is true. i know for a fact that personal income is not taxed twice per international agreements and i believe this is also true with corporate taxes.

    also, given that the u.s. has so many tax loopholes and deductions (many corporations in the u.s. effectively pay no income tax) i'm pretty sure A-B pays more tax by being headquartered in Belgium.

    p.s. i believe the issue you might be hinting at is that corporations are taxed when they transfer moneys back to the u.s. - my question: if the u.s. eliminates this transfer-in tax, what stops e.u. countries from passing a transfer-out tax to prevent the movement of moneys out of their stock exchanges and business investments?


    sorry!! (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by linea on Sun Dec 03, 2017 at 07:16:57 PM EST

    should be: `and i'm not an expert on corporate taxes obviously.'

    George W. Bush (none / 0) (#28)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Dec 04, 2017 at 03:54:15 AM EST
    did the same thing with regards to foreign money and it didn't pan out the way you are saying. Basically workers were still not paid and they gave themselves all big bonuses. Now they don't even have to pay taxes on bonuses or very little taxes on bonuses. But hey, I know conservatives think this group of people are extremely special and deserve special treatment. Trickle down vodoo never works. It never has and it never will.

    Yes (none / 0) (#27)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Dec 04, 2017 at 03:47:55 AM EST
    the direct result of conservatives. They are the ones that have constantly been lauding CEOs as the solution to everything.

    At the very, very least... (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Sat Dec 02, 2017 at 11:20:02 PM EST
    I hope this clusterf#ck leads 5o a push for public financing of elections.

    We've got to stop selling out our repulic to the highest bidders.

    As the rare broked!ck winner... (none / 0) (#3)
    by kdog on Sat Dec 02, 2017 at 04:33:07 PM EST
    under this bill, I've never been so bummed to get a sizeable (for me) tax cut. Cuz we all know what's next...entitlement cuts.

    all we can do is help to make sure (none / 0) (#4)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Dec 02, 2017 at 04:40:50 PM EST
    we are in a position to fix what can be fixed in 2019

    Can't fix in 2019 (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Michael Masinter on Sun Dec 03, 2017 at 06:15:57 PM EST
    It takes a 2/3 majority in both the house and senate to enact legislation over a presidential veto. That can't happen in the 2018 elections; there aren't enough republican senate seats in play.  The earliest possible fix is 2021, assuming a democrat wins the white house and democrats take both the house and senate.  That's unlikely, but not impossible.  The more likely outcome is legislative paralysis and entitlement cuts as budget deficits balloon (a feature, not a bug in the tax cuts).

    Unless you make more than $75 grand (none / 0) (#5)
    by caseyOR on Sat Dec 02, 2017 at 06:16:36 PM EST
    your taxes will eventually go up.

    Those making less than $40,000 are screwed from the get-go.

    And, yes, Paul Ryan's goal for 2018 is massive cuts to SS, Medicare and Medicaid.


    That's quite a lot (none / 0) (#7)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Dec 02, 2017 at 08:10:27 PM EST
    To resolve

    Odds are that the House will sign off on ... (none / 0) (#10)
    by Erehwon on Sun Dec 03, 2017 at 06:50:54 AM EST
    the Senate version without any amendments. Each version stinks so why insist on yours when the Senate stench will do!

    Angus King (none / 0) (#17)
    by MKS on Sun Dec 03, 2017 at 02:54:55 PM EST
    of Maine said it was 50-50 the House would just pass Senate version without going to Reconciliation.

    But tax measures must originate in the House.


    im pretty sure they will do it (none / 0) (#18)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Dec 03, 2017 at 04:01:41 PM EST
    i just hope none of the mealy mouthed moderates ever expect to be taken seriously again.

    So, MKS, does "Origination Clause" (none / 0) (#26)
    by Peter G on Sun Dec 03, 2017 at 07:18:32 PM EST
    precedent put the validity of the measure in doubt if the House adopts the Senate version?

    The challenge (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by MKS on Mon Dec 04, 2017 at 05:59:14 PM EST
    was invoked against Obamacare



    As I recall (none / 0) (#31)
    by MKS on Mon Dec 04, 2017 at 05:26:54 PM EST
    one of the Obama statutes had that problem.  Don't remember the rest.

    I will Google if I can.


    Given his often ruthless behavior ... (none / 0) (#11)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Dec 03, 2017 at 11:21:12 AM EST
    ... as Senate Majority Leader, by which he's run roughshod over longstanding democratic principles and institutional protocols to get his way, I would offer that history will likely not look very kindly upon the congressional tenure of Sen. Mitch McConnell.

    Ture (none / 0) (#12)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Dec 03, 2017 at 11:27:00 AM EST
    It says to me the GOP really deserves Donald Trump.

    Sadly, the rest of us (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by Coral on Sun Dec 03, 2017 at 07:15:18 PM EST
    don't deserve this train wreck and the ensuing catastrophic impact on American economy, democracy, infrastructure, education, health care, position in the world, not to mention the impact on climate change.

    I know. (none / 0) (#29)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Dec 04, 2017 at 04:04:14 AM EST
    I said the same thing right after the presidential election. The majority didn't vote for this crap and they don't deserve it.