Married? Middle class? Californian? Get ready to be a loser under Trump’s tax plan: Experts still have not sifted through the entire 500-page bill, nor fully grasped its ramifications. But the outlines are clear. Workers in California will pay more, and corporations and people living in low cost states will pay less (though only for a few years). And so the battle lines become even sharper in Election 2018.
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Shawn Hubler: Her house was, miraculously, still standing. Most of the rest of the neighborhood was – still is – gone. Now, the new normal confronts Jean Lindsay every time she steps out onto her front porch, which overlooks a moonscape. The retirees across the street have disappeared, nothing left of their little blue cottage but an American flag on a pole. Is living in a disaster zone now part of the California package?
Jeffrey Mount and Ellen Hanak: California is still dry and December is almost over. If we’re in for another drought, what’s the next step?
Markos Kounalakis: Christmas comes early for Vladimir Putin. Russian “elections” aren’t until March, but Putin’s popularity, unlike Trump’s, is relatively high in his country. And his only serious opposition is already dead or disqualified.
David Ulin: It’s the gift we give our children, not just during the holidays, but often daily. Yet does ‘I love you’ say all we want to say?
David Bekhour: My condition was untreatable. Then came a miracle drug, and a miraculous community.
Jack Ohman follows three wise...um...well, men bearing gifts. See them here.
Take a number: 8 percent
California policy makers no doubt will take a look at California’s corporate taxes as they try to ease the pain on taxpayers who take a hit under the federal tax bill approved by Republicans in Congress on Wednesday. California’s corporate tax rate is 8.44 percent, a rate set near the end of Gov. Pete Wilson’s tenure. Corporate taxes account for about 8 percent of the general fund, with the bulk coming from income taxes, about 65 percent, and sales taxes, about 27 percent. For most of the 1980s, corporate taxes generated 16 percent of the budget.
Miami Herald: Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran lives the high life. He’s raising big money for the state Republican Party and his political committee, and the cash is being spent on junkets to Napa Valley, charter planes and steak dinners. Lots of steak dinners. It’s revolting, and it reflects Tallahassee’s pay-to-play culture and the hypocrisy of a powerful lawmaker who portrays himself as a champion of the little guy.
Charlotte Observer: There’s nothing wrong with buying an expensive house, but taxpayers should not be forced to pick up part of the tab while lower-scale buyers are forced out of a market artificially inflated by a government handout to the wealthy. Had the GOP focused on more such changes and eliminating loopholes, such as carried interest, the law could have led to a drastically improved tax system.
LA Times: California has a debilitating housing shortage that is driving up rents and home prices, fueling an increase in homelessness and handicapping efforts to attract and retain businesses. The state needs another 3.5 million homes by 2025 to meet population and market demands, according to one analysis. But where to build? Just look at the news in recent days and it’s clear that as much as the state needs more homes, there are fewer and fewer good places to put them.
Kansas City Star: As a state, Kansas has latched onto a surefire way to maintain plausible deniability for just about any issue citizens want addressed: Pretend the problem doesn’t exist. Racial profiling by law enforcement is yet another example.
Jonathan Bernstein, Bloomberg View: Republicans are taking a radical approach to health care, and people will suffer.
E.J. Dionne: It will be remembered as the date when a government of, by and for the people became a government of, by and for wealthy campaign donors – and of, by and for wealthy Republican politicians themselves.
Dana Milbank: Republicans embrace a tax bill that could be their ‘Obamacare.’
”I hope you’re reading this, Tom (McClintock). You’ve not only lost my vote, you’ve lost my respect and I’m sure I’m not alone.” – Richard Tipton, Roseville
Tweet of the day
“For the first time in a generation, the American people will see real, tangible tax relief. Thanks to @POTUS for his leadership and steadfast support. #TaxCutsandJobsAct” – House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, @GOPLeader
Trump toasts the tax bill win. A 13th Diet Coke?