Author Archives: Bob Lord

Another Million Video Views

Another Sanders team video, another million viewers. They’re now 4 for 4 in the videos in which I’m included. All at over a million views, and the total pushing six million. This one was inspired by my piece on the Mars family. I’m loving this:

Thucky on Double Secret Probation, Again

Nearly four years ago, back when most didn’t know Thucky’s true identity, I had to place him on double secret probation. That occurred because Thucky was playing it fast and loose with his “facts.” But it was mostly in jest, because I knew the world would want to know who our friend Thucky was.

Well, he’s returned to old form, and this time his double secret probation is not a joke. We all know the carnival barker behind the curtain. There’s no need to play along any further.

Here’s what ole Thuckarooskie tried to pass off as fact in a comment:

Compare that 10% to the crushing burden you all advocate on small business women. 39.6% federal, 12.4% social security, 2.4% medicare, 5% state and 8% sales tax = 67.4%. Not enough left to drive business growth.

There’s not a grain of truth in those two sentences.

I’m going to give Thucky one week to identify each and every element of intellectual dishonesty in those two sentences, and apologize for them, in a comment to this post. Should he fail to do so, he’s outta here.  Continue reading

This Year’s Real Halloween Horror

[Cross-Posted from Inequality.org]

The family that has made billions off trick-or-treat candy has gone generations without paying any appreciable tax on its enormous fortune. And the Trump tax plan, if adopted, would ax a huge chunk of the tax on the family’s income!

The Mars family has made billions selling us M&Ms, Snickers, and countless other Halloween treats for a century now.  But when it comes to paying tax, the Mars family seems to be all tricks and no treats.

In fact, the family’s latest tax trick may have cost the U.S. Treasury a whopping $10 billion. What could $10 billion do? That’s the cost of delivering prenatal care to hundreds of thousands of expectant moms under Medicaid, an essential program that President Trump and the GOP Congress plan to cut by up to $1 trillion.

According to the current U.S. tax code, any American worth $25 billion can expect 40 percent of that, or $10 billion, to go to Uncle Sam in estate tax, the federal levy on the personal fortunes of deep pockets who kick the bucket. Forrest Mars Jr. had a $25-billion fortune when he died in July 2016. But the Mars family has apparently been able to avoid estate tax on that entire $25 billion.

Continue reading

More Viral Videos

I may have figured out how to embed videos. Or I just got lucky.

The Sanders team went up with a few more viral videos over the weekend. There was another in which I was featured, now over 1 million views, which brings my cumulative total to 5 million views. Not bad for an obscure Phoenix tax lawyer.

But the bigger splash was this one featuring my IPS colleague, Josh Hoxie, about the plight of millennials in America. Josh kills it in this video. I was there when they were shooting and had no idea he was doing so well. If you’re a millennial, you’ll want to see this. If you’re not a millennial, you need to.  Continue reading

No, Mr. President, the Deduction for State Income Tax Is Not a Loophole

[Cross Posted from Inequality.org]

The one “loophole closing” Trump has proposed would actually reduce tax revenue — state tax revenue, that is.

The Trump-GOP tax plan, based heavily on tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy, would cost $2.4 trillion in lost federal revenue over 10 years, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center. And the only “loophole” the plan closes to offset this enormous revenue loss is the deduction for state income tax paid by individuals.

Is that a loophole? Hardly. A loophole is a tax code provision that allows taxpayers and their advisers to game the system, typically through the generation of artificial deductions or credits that reduce tax. The deduction for state income tax doesn’t fit that description.

Your state income tax bill is a cost of producing income, just like the expenses a business pays to produce its income. And, unlike most business expenses, you have no control over your state income tax liability.

Above all else, the deduction for state income tax is fair. Continue reading

An Independent Thinker’s Guide to the Tax Debate

[Distributed via OtherWords.org]

Note to Readers: Chuck Collins is one of my colleagues in the Inequality and the Common Good group at IPS. Some of you may have met him when he was here on his book tour. His book, Born on Third Base, is a great read

There’s a heist coming. Arm yourself with the facts!

By Chuck Collins

For 40 years, tax cutters in Congress have told us, “we have a tax cut for you.” And each time, they count on us to suspend all judgment.

In exchange, we’ve gotten staggering inequality, collapsing public infrastructure, a fraying safety net, and exploding deficits. Meanwhile, a small segment of the richest one tenth of 1 percent have become fabulously wealthy at the expense of everyone else.

Ready for more?

Now, Trump and congressional Republicans have rolled out a tax plan that the independent Tax Policy Center estimates will give 80 percent of the benefits to the richest 1 percent of taxpayers.

The good news is the majority aren’t falling for it this time around. Recent polls indicatethat over 62 percent of the public oppose additional tax cuts for the wealthy and 65 percent are against additional tax cuts to large corporations.

Here’s the independent thinker’s guide to the tax debate for people who aspire to be guided by facts, not magical thinking. When you hear congressional leaders utter these claims, take a closer look. Continue reading