About that tax bill...

The wheels are coming off the Democrats' plans for tax reform. Many bazillions of dollars in revenue are needed to pay for their infrastructure pork, and with no votes to spare in the Senate, it's proving impossible for the blue team to come up with a tax deal that will fly. The fake Democrats, Jack Ruby Manchin and Vérité Sinema, are tubing most of what the White House really wants in that regard, and now the Senate Finance chair, Gatsby Wyden, is throwing wild haymaker punches, some of which seem to be hitting him upside his own head.

Wyden's latest brilliant idea is to overturn 100 years' worth of tax history and require a select 700 to 1,000 über-rich individuals to "mark" their appreciated securities "to market" every year, the way stock dealers have to. For people like Musk, Bezos, Knight, Zuckerberg, etc., it would be a major hit, and well-deserved. But it's probably not going to happen.

For one thing, it's not even clear that it's legal, and if that question went to court, it would take years to resolve. Courts usually don't rule on tax issues until somebody files a tax return and the IRS rejects their position. And so I think we'd be at least a year and half away from even starting the litigation. Whatever the Democrats say they're going to collect under Gatsby's Dream Tax, it might never actually get collected.

Another one he's trying out in this 11th hour is having the biggest corporations pay tax based on what their financial statements say, rather than on what their tax returns say. Of course, their financial statements, which go to bankers and investors, always look a lot rosier than their tax returns. The inconsistency is disgraceful. But wow, Wyden's proposal is a radical concept to try to get 49 other senators to sign off on, without so much as a single hearing.

One thing's for sure: Much of what the President wanted to do with the tax system is out the window now. And although he wanted an infrastructure deal in his pocket before flying off on his diplomatic trip, it's virtually certain that he won't be getting the tax side of it in time. I hope his hotel lays in some extra towels for all the flop sweat he'll be exuding over there.

You start to wonder what Biden's finally going to get by way of taxes. It looks like less and less every day.

And truth be told, as much as I support what the Democrats are trying to do, they don't deserve to accomplish much. If the party had strong, smart leadership, they would have started serious internal negotiations on taxes the day after the election was called, almost a year ago. And strutting peacocks like Manchin and Sinema would have been paid a visit by some rough-looking party enforcers along about last Thanksgiving. By now the two of them would be singing their 50th round of "Kumbaya."

But instead, for leadership the progressives get a couple of New York milquetoasts, Wyden and Chuck Schumer. The two of them couldn't scare a cat and don't seem to know how to cut a deal. Contrast them with Mitch McConnell – and with Orrin Hatch, who I understand is currently back working his old gig as a model at a funeral home in Salt Lake City. Those two ate Schumer and Wyden's lunch every day for years. When it came time to ram home a tax bill, they did it without a single sign of internal dissent. They knew how it's done.

UPDATE, later Thursday morning: The White House just announced that they'll be revealing a "framework" agreement on the spending side of infrastructure before the President leaves the country. If such a deal acually exists and holds, it will determine how much revenue is needed. But I don't believe the how-to-pay-for-it part is anywhere near even a "framework" (whatever that is).


  1. the tax law professor dishing it out here. I'm glad you're not grading my papers! :)

  2. Infrastructure used to mean roads, bridges, ports, factories. But we don't need that anymore because the rich sold us out to China. So now is it free stuff to retain your voting base and harsh penalties if you make an attempt to protest the pillage.


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