lower taxes, more pollution

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TPM reminds us that repealing Obamacare would mean a big tax cut for the rich:

Two taxes that will be presumably axed with the law affect only those making $200,000 or more. The break the ACA repeal will bring to those taxpayers will amount to a $346 billion tax cut in total over 10 years, according to the CBO report on the 2015 repeal legislation GOP lawmakers say they'll be using as their model next year. [...]

"That $346 billion represents about $1,000 for every man, woman, and child in the United States. Every cent will go into the pockets of people making more than $200,000 per year," [University of Michigan law professor Nicholas] Bagley wrote. [...]

The taxes in question are known as the Medicare tax on higher income individuals and the net investment income tax. The former is a 0.9 percent tax placed on those who earn $200,000 or more individually (or $250,000 for married couples who file jointly). It comes on top of the Medicare payroll tax employees pay together with their employers, but only applies to the income that exceeds the $200,000 threshold.

The net investment income tax is a 3.8 percent levy meant to complement the Medicare payroll tax, since investment income was not previously taxed in that way. It applies on investment income, such as such as capital gains, dividends and interest income, for those making $200,000 or more.

A Tax Policy Center report found that the repeal of the net investment income tax would equate to $154,000 in annual savings for earners in the top 0.1 percent.

Regarding another of Trump's impending disasters, Paul Krugman writes of his "Make America Gasp Again" nominee to head the EPA that "Trump can indeed restore the world of the 1970s:"

He can, for example, bring us back to the days when, all too often, the air wasn't safe to breathe. And he's made a good start by selecting Scott Pruitt, a harsh foe of pollution regulation, to head the Environmental Protection Agency. Make America gasp again!

"The key point," Krugman continues, "is that better air didn't happen by accident:"

It was a direct result of regulation -- regulation that was bitterly opposed at every step by special interests that attacked the scientific evidence of harm from pollution, meanwhile insisting that limiting their emissions would kill jobs.

These special interests were, as you might guess, wrong about everything. The health benefits of cleaner air are overwhelmingly clear. Meanwhile, experience shows that a growing economy is perfectly consistent with an improving environment. In fact, reducing pollution brings large economic benefits once you take into account health care costs and the effects of lower pollution on productivity.

Meanwhile, claims of huge business costs from environmental programs have been wrong time and time again. This may be no surprise when interest groups are trying to maintain their right to pollute.

AlterNet points out that "The only slim consolation Krugman can find is that dirty air is a lot more visible and obvious than climate change and Americans will know exactly who to blame for it."

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This page contains a single entry by cognitivedissident published on December 9, 2016 11:07 AM.

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