US Politicking

Intended for constructive conversations. Exhibits of polarizing tribalism will be deleted.
User avatar
jennypenny
Posts: 6274
Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2011 2:20 pm
Location: Stepford USA

Re: US Politicking

Post by jennypenny » Tue Dec 12, 2017 6:36 am

I'm not working today so I don't/won't have much insight into the Alabama election. I got a couple of emails overnight asking me (again) if I'd work the election. One sent me my Moore hotsheet and asked if the parts they highlighted were still applicable lol. I don't think they are pestering me because I'm that good. I think it's because the typical urbanite journalist can't wrap their head around what's going on in Alabama, and they learned with Trump's election not to make assumptions.

There's a lot in play. Every state has the occasional election circus and it rarely affects the overall political tide of the country. That said, it could be that the outcome shows whether we're still in the 'I hate Washington' phase of this transitional period (if Moore wins) or whether we've moved on to the 'stop giving us horrible candidates' phase (if Jones wins). I think Moore is probably out either way ... McConnell & company intend to boot him as soon as they can get it through Ethics.

If Jones is elected, it does show that there's some teeth to the outcry over sexual predators. That doesn't bode well for Trump. I imagine that if there were any Franken-like photos out there they would have surfaced by now. Still, his rhetoric combined with his support for Moore makes him vulnerable.

bryan
Posts: 1045
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2014 2:01 am
Location: mostly Bay Area

Re: US Politicking

Post by bryan » Tue Dec 12, 2017 6:00 pm

jennypenny wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 6:36 am
I think it's because the typical urbanite journalist can't wrap their head around what's going on in Alabama, and they learned with Trump's election not to make assumptions.
My mom and her husband sounded like they may be voting for Moore, after texting them a couple days ago. Didn't ask my dad. They may just not vote or write-in a different Republican or make a last minute pivot to Jones, though.

The main issue they voiced was 1) they didn't like all the national interference and "scary how much (Hillary) money is coming in" for Jones and they are tired of his ads, 2) Hillary is on a vendetta, 3) Jones will vote Democrat even though AL is Republican, 4) if Jones is elected he is a clown/puppet owing to his $$$ masters, 5) and generally tired of everyone just saying whatever they think will get them elected; no one talking about the real issues, and 6) they agreed with me that in 5 years we will all have universal healthcare and higher taxes owing to whiplash effect.

So have to hand it to Moore, I guess he was still able to play the Hillary card effectively.

User avatar
jennypenny
Posts: 6274
Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2011 2:20 pm
Location: Stepford USA

Re: US Politicking

Post by jennypenny » Tue Dec 12, 2017 6:21 pm

The Alabama race echoes the Trump/Clinton race in some interesting ways.

I think there is probably also a percentage of pro-life voters who can't bring themselves to vote for Jones even if they find Moore reprehensible.

Turnout seems high. I assume that's good for Moore but who knows.

bryan
Posts: 1045
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2014 2:01 am
Location: mostly Bay Area

Re: US Politicking

Post by bryan » Tue Dec 12, 2017 8:54 pm

I have a very religious, traditional friend (he's a pastor) in Montgomery. His facebook post an hour ago was a meme for writing-in Nick Saban. He also had a post from this weekend, saying Doug Jones campaign has been poorly executed (shades of Hillary anyone?); specifically that he has not aligned himself with fellow Alabamians against the Yankees. He has also shared thoughts on how Moore's moral character may not be a reason to not vote for him (the Dems have a more troubling moral platform). Granted, Moore has really shot himself in the foot with black folks..

I also noticed one of my high school teachers wrote-in some other republican.

I'm not sure how increased turnout will really effects things. I can see both sides being happy about that.

edit: just started skimming 538 coverage and got this:
"Interestingly, Taylor and both Vacis said they did not back Trump in 2016 but did not feel comfortable supporting Hillary Clinton either. The Vacis voted for third-party candidate Evan McMullin last year, but felt that was a waste of their votes and opted to back Jones in this race."

Sums it up, in my mind, basically. Not sure why he added "interestingly" as it's really not..

Gilberto de Piento
Posts: 1324
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:23 pm

Re: US Politicking

Post by Gilberto de Piento » Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:54 pm

I'm really surprised. With 90% of precincts in the news is projecting Doug Jones has won, though barely. Faith in humanity slightly restored.

User avatar
jennypenny
Posts: 6274
Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2011 2:20 pm
Location: Stepford USA

Re: US Politicking

Post by jennypenny » Wed Dec 13, 2017 6:40 am

I think the press is over-hyping how important the results are, but that's not uncommon. It also helps them avoid talking about how wrong they were (again) about who would win the election. Political punditry is at an all-time low IMO.

I don't think this is a sign that the Democrats have gotten their act together and are finally on the rebound. I think this is about the people of Alabama deciding that they didn't want an accused pedophile as their senator. It certainly bolsters Democrats and gives them a much needed talking point other than #neverTrump.

Trump is losing political capital fast. He seems to be losing his touch for knowing what 'the people' want. We'll see if this misjudgment on Trump's part leads to a bigger exodus next month.

Seppia
Posts: 1099
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2016 9:34 am
Location: Italy

Re: US Politicking

Post by Seppia » Wed Dec 13, 2017 8:26 am

jennypenny wrote:
Wed Dec 13, 2017 6:40 am
He seems to be losing his touch for knowing what 'the people' want.
I am no political analyst, but my impression is that often, it is more a question of being lucky (right person at the right time) rather than a genius able to intepret the zeitgeist better than anybody else.

In hindsight, during the pre-election, Trump looked like a phenomenal communicator, ready to give people exactly what they wanted and needed at that specific point in history.
My opinion is that he just IS like that, and would have behaved in the exact same manner no matter the situation.
In 90% of elections, he would have been laughed out of the room in 3 minutes, but in 2016 his personality and bravado just happened to be a perfect fit for the specific situations he was put in*

I am not sure he ever "knew" what people wanted, I mean he has the lowest approval of any president ever, and it has been more or less consistent since day 1


*in the primary: too many R candidates, he was the only one who consistently stood out; in the election, against a very weak candidate who run a terrible campaign, coming after 8 years of Democratic presidency (due for a change)

jacob
Site Admin
Posts: 11413
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:38 pm
Location: USA, Zone 5b, Koppen Dfa, Elev. 620ft, Walkscore 73
Contact:

Re: US Politicking

Post by jacob » Wed Dec 13, 2017 10:58 am

Here's an enormous---maybe too enormous---breakdown of the contingency probabilities along many dimensions (gender, race, education, party affiliation, ideology, religion, Trump support, party support, sexual misconduct tolerance, age, abortion stance, value overlap, late decision factor, number of children, senate concerns, urban/rural, location) based on exit-polls: https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics ... xit-polls/

User avatar
jennypenny
Posts: 6274
Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2011 2:20 pm
Location: Stepford USA

Re: US Politicking

Post by jennypenny » Sat Dec 16, 2017 8:07 am

For those who've asked, Bloomberg has an article detailing the proposed tax plan ... https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... rhaul-bill

I didn't realize that the medical deduction threshold would be lowered to 7.5% of AGI for 2017 and 2018.

IlliniDave
Posts: 2606
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:46 pm

Re: US Politicking

Post by IlliniDave » Sat Dec 16, 2017 9:03 am

Looks like I might see a token decrease as my top marginal rate would go from 25% to 24%. The only thing I'm aggravated about for my personal situation is that they didn't get rid of the AMT. I don't have anywhere near the size/type of deductions to trigger it any more (in my lifetime I've paid about $500 in AMT due to an equity loan), but I still have to go through the math every year. It's been fun listening to the pundits that come on NPR in the morning wringing hands over "elimination of state tax and mortgage interest deductions" when the caps are set such that no median or below household would be affected. There was talk about changing how investment income would be taxed that I didn't see anything about in the Bloomberg article. Maybe that all went away or was too far in the details to get a mention.

User avatar
jennypenny
Posts: 6274
Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2011 2:20 pm
Location: Stepford USA

Re: US Politicking

Post by jennypenny » Sat Dec 16, 2017 9:19 am

They're talking about it because they would be affected. The two I know who live in NJ pay $28K/yr and $17K/yr in real estate taxes (for mid-level McMansion homes on <1 acre lots -- below HWoNJ but above my town's version). Add in state income tax (@6% for this bracket) and they are taking a pretty big hit. I'm not arguing for or against the limit, only pointing out that a lot of nationally known journalists live in the areas most affected, so they are more likely to complain about that particular change.

IlliniDave
Posts: 2606
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:46 pm

Re: US Politicking

Post by IlliniDave » Sat Dec 16, 2017 2:19 pm

jennypenny wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 9:19 am
They're talking about it because they would be affected. The two I know who live in NJ pay $28K/yr and $17K/yr in real estate taxes (for mid-level McMansion homes on <1 acre lots -- below HWoNJ but above my town's version). Add in state income tax (@6% for this bracket) and they are taking a pretty big hit. I'm not arguing for or against the limit, only pointing out that a lot of nationally known journalists live in the areas most affected, so they are more likely to complain about that particular change.
Oh I get it, but they couch it as if it (the plan) was punishing the poor and downtrodden. I doubt the "single mom waitress making $18,000/yr" they throw out there as the victim of this tax plan is paying $17K in property taxes. If they were honest and came on and said I don't like it because I can now deduct less than half the property taxes on my $750,000 home, I'd have no problem with the objection. But that doesn't stir up class warfare.

User avatar
jennypenny
Posts: 6274
Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2011 2:20 pm
Location: Stepford USA

Re: US Politicking

Post by jennypenny » Sun Dec 17, 2017 12:28 pm

Simple calculator to see what your taxes will be as of the 12/15 proposed plan.

BRUTE
Posts: 3803
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2015 5:20 pm

Re: US Politicking

Post by BRUTE » Sun Dec 17, 2017 12:41 pm

it says brute will save quite a lot of money in taxes.

CS
Posts: 397
Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2012 10:24 pm

Re: US Politicking

Post by CS » Sun Dec 17, 2017 1:13 pm

As someone who made the majority of her money via a pass through business (not addressed by that calculator), I know I could possibly save a lot of I kept working, or if my new business does well. I think you get a deduction of 20% of taxable income up to 157.5k for a single person. (This was not as clearcut to me, because there was some strange language about pulling as money as income, versus business profits. Right now I'm forced to take all my business income as personal income - it's a hefty tax bill indeed). This portion seems custom written for Trump - it favors passive owners (i.e. his licensing businesses) over active partners. People doing the actual work might be forced to pay the same tax as always.

That is short term. Not looking forward to the long term mess than will happen when they try to cut SS benefits because of it. Or what will happen to my health coverage prices that I get through the exchange.

@jp
The medical deduction is not worth all that much if you don't already itemize because the guaranteed standard exemption is gone - instead you get the a larger standard deduction (12k per person, 24k for a couple).

You also lose the standard exemption for each dependent... which will hurt people with more than two kids. (And Ryan is telling women to have more children... okay then)
Last edited by CS on Mon Dec 18, 2017 2:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

IlliniDave
Posts: 2606
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:46 pm

Re: US Politicking

Post by IlliniDave » Sun Dec 17, 2017 2:01 pm

CS wrote:
Sun Dec 17, 2017 1:13 pm

You also lose the standard exemption for each dependent... which will hurt people with more than two kids. (And Ryan is telling women to have more children... okay then)
But they increased the child tax credit by $1k/child, which offsets taxes on $8,333 of income at the 12% marginal rate (lowest middle income folks) which is bigger than a ~$4K exemption (equivalent to a $480 tax credit at the 12% rate). The total tax credit is $2K/child which for the lowest income earners offsets taxes on nearly $17,000 of income.

Even at the 22% marginal rate it is a little over $4,500 offset which is larger than the current exemption. The credit starts to get phased out in the middle of the 22% bracket.

As far as the pass through, the large majority (I've heard it claimed the number is > 90% but can't verify) of entities that this effects are small business that are profiting less than $100K/year. You are correct that there is no stopping larger private businesses from stuffing their pockets with money. But I think the red team is right that a lot of the money is going to get plowed back into the businesses, both large and small.

User avatar
jennypenny
Posts: 6274
Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2011 2:20 pm
Location: Stepford USA

Re: US Politicking

Post by jennypenny » Sun Dec 17, 2017 6:22 pm

If I were wearing my tinfoil hat, I'd think the RNC put out the calculator themselves and made sure it would show that everyone was getting a bigger rebate. That would certainly help garner more public support for the bill. ;)

enigmaT120
Posts: 1080
Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2015 2:14 pm
Location: Falls City, OR

Re: US Politicking

Post by enigmaT120 » Mon Dec 18, 2017 1:12 pm

Hey, you gave us the link and now you say that? It says I'll save about 1100 bucks. Not a bigger tax return, I would adjust my withholding and keep it.

User avatar
jennypenny
Posts: 6274
Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2011 2:20 pm
Location: Stepford USA

Re: US Politicking

Post by jennypenny » Thu Jan 04, 2018 2:18 pm

Sorry for the tease, but I'm deleting this. It was mostly rumor anyway and I don't think it contributes to the conversation on the forum.

User avatar
jennypenny
Posts: 6274
Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2011 2:20 pm
Location: Stepford USA

Re: US Politicking

Post by jennypenny » Tue Jan 09, 2018 9:44 am

Since the book has been discussed a few times, I thought some might find this article from Politico interesting ... 'Hillbilly Elegy' author Vance urged to run for Senate

Post Reply