Monday, December 11, 2017

Hall County's future under Tax Reform

As the Republicans silently debate their tax reform in Congress, a couple of letters in the Times provided some open and honest discussion on the future for the country under the once secretive proposal. I respond, not to those letters or the partisan work of Republican Representative Collins. I target Kevin Hassett, Republicans' Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers.

Hassett recently authored 'The Growth Effect of Corporate Tax Reform and Implications for Wages.' He boldly proposes a conservative increase of $4,000 for average households in 10 years. He weasels a bit in his paper. He writes about households earning $83,143, his chosen average income. He adds a caveat on the type of income earned, over 20% of that $83,143 comes from non-wages. I'll be more plain. His average household earns 20% of its income from something other than wages or salary. Hassett's average family earns $351 a week from things like stock option and capital gains. Let's translate that to the average family in Hall County.

The Census reports median household income for us at $50,853, some $33,000 less than Hassett calls average for all Americans. So we need to make 60% more to meet his standards. A long stretch for Hall County firefighters and police officers and bank tellers.

But, those wage earners must supplement their paycheck with $11,000 in other income to be Hassett's average type of household. I didn't make $11,000 last year on stock options, capital gains, or something called a 'bonus.'

I predict that in 10 years, the average Hall County household, will have less purchasing power than today. I predict the Hall County Republican Party will refuse to support raises for County and City employees.

So who in Hall County living in the average household will get Hassett's $4,000 increase in their income? Ask a Republican. They know.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Your $4,000 in Ten Years

So ... Kevin Hassett defines very few things in his paper named, 'The Growth Effect of Corporate Tax Reform and Implications for Wages'

And, frack, we can see this coming in the title. Oh, but let's stay on topic.

Dear Kevin says, in so many lines of sans serif, IF we cut corporate taxes then wages will rise by $4,000!

If we use the average'value of household income as reported by the Census. The 'if' means nothing in that context. We need to define the following:

Average value
Household income
As reported by the Census

Those definitions matter in the larger discussion. Taken together, in the least way, Hassett's magic numbers depend upon average income as being $83,143. If any other number for income is used, wages won't rise by $4,000 in 10 years.


Let's throw macro and micro economics up in the air. Which ever one lands ... Yeah, you have to know some deep economic stuff to understand that comment.

So Hassett uses Census information. That's good stuff, right? The best on the Planet. But ....

The Census 'average value' could be the median income figure. Or, not. It could be the mean or average. Or, not. Hassett doesn't say.

But, Census household income does not include all types of income, notably lump sum payments, income from annuities, and .... capital gains.

I'll have to come back to Capital Gains when that brain cell recovers. I only have two left.

So, if we use this vague 'average value' from the Census's measure of household income, does it mean average. No. Using that number, which excludes income from annuities and capital gains, skews the 'average lower.' And, we don't want average to get any higher for Hassett's conclusion.

If his average income of $83,143 gets much higher, 2 out of 3 households will not be average. As it is, 64% of households earn less than his average. But, I want to be average like everyone else!

Funny things come from definitions. Average. Mean. Median. Income. Brain cell damage.

So Hassett should have used median income as reported by the Census. In Georgia, that's only $50,853, some 30 thousand dollars less.

But, wait. Why not use median family income instead of median household? Because family income is always higher than household income under Census rules. In Hall County Georgia, family income is $58,295.

Are you confused yet?

So, does the household in Georgia, making only $50k get the $4k Hassett proposes?

You're not confused about that, are you? The answer is not no. It's Hell No!

So, if Hassett had used BEA definitions [See author's bizarre comment on macro and micro economics]of income , reported by family, his $82k number exceeds $100k. If it exceeds $100k, and includes Capital Gains, where does his figure of $4k in new wages land?

We don't know because Hassett doesn't define wages. Think Stock Options! Most economic definitions of 'wages' include lump sum payments like stock options.

So if we don't know average versus mean, household versus family, income versus income, and wages versus Capital Gains/Lump Sum Distributions/Annuities/Stock Options ...

What can we conclude?

If you're reading this, in 10 years, under the Republican Tax Reform, I'm betting that your after tax paycheck will buy less than it does now.

I'm taking both brain cells and leaving this rant here.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Representative Dunahoo

It speaks but who really wrote this editorial?

So ... Georgia's values are completely out of step with the rest of the country and most of the world.

And, that's a damn good thing says one of the Republican idiots representing Hall County in the State Legislature.

Yup. We need two Confederate holidays a year. Three more statues to Lee, Jackson, and Davis carved into the back side of Stone Mountain. We must support Judge Roy Moore the pedophile before a Democrat destroys God! We must not let poverty become a metric for providing healthcare because the poor should just die! And, we've added five Commandments to the Ten proposed by Moses. [The ones by Moses were just suggestions] We have assault rifles in elementary schools locked in cabinets because our active shooter policy remains Shelter in Place but the Gun Store needed sales. We have designed housing codes which outlaw Tiny Houses because we already have trailers.

So when will the rest of the country catch up to us and draft a Religious Liberty Law?

I rate him a 9.5 on the GOP scale of Tool.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Vegas Conspiracy Theory

Here's what I've heard really happened in Vegas.

A group of ISIS terrorists traveled from Iraq on fake Israeli passports, brought machine guns with them through customs with help from the CIA and Facebook, walked through a casino with the guns and ammo without anyone noticing, rented a dozen rooms, blew the windows out with plastic explosives, used tracers rounds in the darkness to target country music haters, after kidnapping a real estate millionaire with huge gambling debts to the Italian mob, and after eating room service pork BBQ ribs, and having sex with under aged male prostitutes, and not tipping room service.

They all escaped by hiding behind the slot machines being operated by blue hair old ladies on fixed incomes. Sadly, the terrorists are trapped there until the ladies leave. That's when the pink elephants dance on the craps tables. As soon as that happens, the terrorists escape by walking backwards out the casino doors and into a waiting stretched Humvee limo with hot tub.

Does that pretty much cover it?

Monday, October 2, 2017

The Gun Store Incident

After the Vegas disaster pushed the hurricane disasters off the front page, my hatred of guns returned.

So I went down to the local gun store. Got in line and listened to all the reasons for buying a gun.

'My wife said I could have a butter knife or a Glock. She didn't care if a spread butter or blood. She said, 'Just get off the sofa and do something with your life. So, I'll take the Glock with the bayonet mounting rail.'

'I spent the weekend shopping for a new truck. The bank turned me down for the $51,000 loan. If I can't have a real man's truck, I'm getting the AR with that round, drum magazine, and a case of bullets. Do you have in house financing?'

'Plasma rifle with a 40 watt range.' Sorry, fella. What you see is what you get. 'SUV with a cow catcher bumper.'

'My wife said I could have a blow job for my birthday but I just can't wait.'

'He said his Ford was faster than my Chevy. So I raced him, title for title. Now that I'm walking, I'll need a gun to catch his ass.'