Showing posts with label Tax reform. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tax reform. Show all posts

Sunday, April 30, 2017

President Trump's 100 days

   Must be a slow news day since all the newsies seem to be talking about Trump's 100 days in office.  Most of 'em claim that he hasn't done much, or done enough.   As for me, a medium speed Trump supporter (I voted for him but I think he has foot-in-mouth problems),  I will give him a B for achievement and an A for effort.  He has gotten Gorsuch onto the Supremes, OK'ed the Keystone XL pipeline project that will lower my heating oil bills, killed off a lot of Obama regulations with executive orders, and done good on foreign affairs.
   He hasn't gotten his REPUBLICAN Congress to pass Obamacare repeal, let alone Obamacare replacement, or to get onto federal income tax reform.  To be fair, both bills are complicated, have a zillion lobbyists pushing from every direction, and the Republicans have failed to explain to the country just what they are trying to pass,  and both issues are too tricky to deal with in a few months.  It took Obama a couple of years to get Obamacare thru the Congress, it gonna to take Trump more than a few months to kill it.  And the Congress critters are getting all soggy and hard to light. 
  So I think Trump's heart is in the right place, he is working hard on it, but he has a long long way to go.  I don't think we will have a good feel for how he is doing until mid summer. 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Republicans gotta get something done.

First they have to deal with Obamacare.  Nobody has ever figured out just what Obamacare is doing and what it is gonna cost.  The health insurers are dropping Obamacare as fast as the can after loosing barrels of money.  Right now it looks like Obamacare promises taxpayer funded health insurance for everyone who doesn't have health insurance from their employer or is 65 years old and hence eligible for Medicare.  Nobody has ever published an estimate of what Obamacare is gonna cost.  A reasonable guess is it will cost as much as Medicare.  There are more people without employer health insurance than there are people over 65.  Since they are younger than 65 they ought to be in better health.   Any way you slice it, Obamacare is a black hole down which we toss money.  A lot of money.
  To do tax reform, we have to get a handle on Obamacare costs.  Unless we at least know what the taxpayers have to fund, you cannot do any tax cutting.  And every one agrees that taxes are too damn complicated, too damn high,  and too unfair.  If tax reform doesn't happen, there will be a LOT of unhappy campers for the 2018 by election.  Might be enough for the Republicans to loose control of the house or the Senate, or both.
   It's do or die time for the Republicans.  They have to reform Obamacare.  They have to do tax reform.  If they don't,  they are gonna get clobbered in 2018.  

Saturday, March 25, 2017

So what does Trump and the GOP do now?

Should they try another Obamacare repeal and replace?  Maybe this time telling us who gets gov'mint subsidies and how much?  What will it take to get the "Freedom Caucus" on board?  Are they actually responsible legislators or do they just enjoy gumming things up?  We never did hear just what they wanted that they were not getting.
Should they press on to a tax reform bill?  And just what will get reformed?  Lower top bracket rates? Lower all rates, close some loopholes? Simplify the 1040 so it doesn't take a week to fill out?  Make health insurance payments deductible?  Some thing else?  Is there anything  the Republicans can agree on? 
   How about a federal law to allow any insurance company, located in any state, to sell health insurance policies in every state, without requiring they file paperwork with the state regulators.  Could they even get some Democrats on board with this one?
   How about a law allowing duty free import of medicine from any reasonable first world country, e.g. Canada.  Big Pharma hates the idea, but it would lower medicine prices, a lot. 
   How about a law limiting FDA medicine approval to a safety check only.  Any medicine that doesn't harm patients gets approved.  Let the doctors and the insurance companies decide if the medicine is effective.  Insurance companies can refuse to pay for quack remedies, and doctors will refuse to prescribe them.  We don't need years and years of FDA paperwork proving whether the medicine works or not. 
   How about a law declaring that manufacture, sale, or prescription of and FDA approved medicine is NEVER malpractice.  The lawyers hate this, but it would do a small bit to reduce the malpractice problem.