The Tax Cut And Jobs Act aka The Third Act Of Betrayal

Whether you own a business, run one, or are an aspirant to one day have the pleasure and responsibility of entering this strata, one thing is assured: Your true understanding, along with outright bewilderment of just how much time, effort, and money you’ll devote to both taxes and regulatory adherence, along with the burdensome costs of all its complexity, was/is never fully understood until you finally, for lack of a better term, you become “The Boss.”

Yet, once you do? The immediate avalanche of an ever-increasing, never-ceasing, onslaught and landslide of regulatory paperwork and bills remind you just how burdensome, as well as costly, it all is just to keep the doors open. Never-mind trying to grow.

This example is applicable from the solo-practitioner, all the way up to the global conglomerate. The only difference is in size and scale, for the net effects are the same.

It doesn’t matter what side of the political aisle you stand, and this isn’t a rant about one political party or the other. This is about business, and the promises made to it under the guise of “Elect us, we’ll get it done!”, pure and simple.

The current party in power, along with a president, ran on a platform of bringing that relief, and here’s the key: with immediacy as the default. Had the results last November ended in reverse with Ms.”What Happened” winning via running on the same platform? My current ire would be the exact same. Period.

I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again, I never expected the president (actually, any, for clarification) to be a tax policy, or regulatory wonk. He is, for lack of a better term, the embodiment and the mouth piece to not only initiate the overarching idea, but also, to both sell the idea, as well as keep selling it.

Congress is where the minutia takes place. But (and it’s a very big but) this is where that minutia is supposed to not only support the directives, but also match it, in scope and scale. This latest tax plan does anything but, while making a complete mockery out of the entire business agenda.

We are currently hearing about “corporate rate cuts” and more. All sounds great. But if you look at the details of how this is supposedly going to get enacted, one has to wonder – if they’ll have to pay double, to get half. For as the details of what’s hidden within, as what’s not, continue to roll out, it’s now beginning to make the repeal debacle of Obamacare look downright masterful.

We keep hearing about how this, or that, has to be paid for. (i.e., estimated $1.5 Trillion) The arguments have merit. However, where were these arguments and their suddenly righteous stoic defenders when a budget was treated as something of an archaic idea over the last 8 years, all while adding some $10 Trillion with nothing more than a passing glance? (i.e., A doubling of the entire burden since the founding, in only 8 years.)

The only thing more offensive to this sudden self-righteousness of debt considerations are the ways being proposed as to pay for these so-called “cuts.” As always, they appear more and more like sleight of hand than anything proposed. Again, it’s a mockery to anyone who can add 2+2 and come up with the correct answer. (i.e., it’s 4 by the way in case you graduated after 2008)

Say what you want about needing to meet arcane rules (e.g., “Byrd rule”) in this body of congress, against the other. It may have made some form of sense in the beginning of the entire process after the election back in November. But now? This stinks to high-heaven similar to listening to a Facebook™ “by-golly-gee-whiz” apology tour for not being able to decipher the data for who paid or didn’t, for what advertising, when their raison d’être is to be the, and most, proficient at it in the world!

Now, suddenly, a “tax plan” has to be rethought, retooled, and resold because “by golly gee whiz” it’s not like they knew what might be needed, of let’s say, a year ago. You know, just like when they were going to repeal and replace Obamacare on day one – then they won – now it can’t be done. But they’ll just keep on trying by-golly. After all: It’s a very hard process getting things done when suddenly those pesky voters who voted you in actually want what they voted in enacted.

It’s beyond repugnant what we’re now hearing as “excuses.” We first heard it in responses to regulatory reforms, then healthcare, now its taxes. Three times a charm I guess, right?

The President has made some reforms on his own via executive action. Some have been quite needed, however, executive action is the worst way to run a nation. Businesses can not, nor will not hire, expand, or even look to stay in business if the rules can change at any moment via the stroke of a pen.

Without the surety of the rule of law, enacted through the understood legislation process, building in permanency – things are going to go from bad to worse, and quickly. “Hopium” only lasts so long. And the “hope” that was promised is now deflating faster than one from a lead balloon.

The entire run up aka “The Trump Trade” since the November election has been fueled by nothing more than hope. Yet, that hope, at that time, had a sense of not only surety, but also immediacy. Again, after all, now all three branches were controlled by the one party that ran on the idea: Give us the power – and we’ll give it back to you.

So far that’s been true, it’s just now those “voters” are being asked to bend over as to receive it. I’ll just say his: That’s not what the business community had in mind.

The GOP had pleaded for years “Give us the power, we’ll get it done.” And now they have it – and they’ve done everything in their power to throw monkey-wrenches, sand, and more into the gears. The only thing worse has been their utter refusal to actually put anything meaningful on the president’s desk to sign whether it was regulatory, healthcare, or tax related.

This president has been almost begging for anything, and I mean just that, anything. And not only has the GOP not delivered squat, but in actuality they’ve done just that, put it in a little brown paper bag, and left it on the doorsteps of the WH. Then rang the proverbial “bell” on national TV with fanfare and more. It’s been a stink bomb from the moment it was introduced, and the smell grows stronger by the day, appallingly so.

As always, there’s no need to just take my word for it. As I explained in a previous article, the double-dealing, Three-card Monte tactics that are being applied to this entire process came even more to light when one of the more in-the-loop tax advisors Steve Moore of the Heritage Foundation™ found himself out-of-the-loop after just meeting with congressional members, as they explained what was supposed to be in the bill.

Now, we have another: Steve Forbes. Regardless of what you think of him, or his views. What he is, is, much like Mr. Moore: an insider.

Yes, he has his political leanings, and has even run for office. However, with that said, he is an unapologetic business advocate. He is also one who leans, more often than not, as one who’ll give the benefit of the doubt to the GOP, especially when cutting taxes of any type are involved. And what does he think of this current tax plan? Hint:

“Steve Forbes destroys the GOP tax plan — and explains how Republicans ‘betrayed’ Trump”

Sometimes is not just the message, but who’s saying it, that matters just as much.

© 2017 Mark St.Cyr