In a blue county, financial professionals unwittingly reveal that the tax bill is “bad” because California loses its free ride on the back of poorer states.
I was at a party during which I ended up speaking to a CPA and a personal financial adviser. They both assured me that the tax bill was a disaster. Of all the terrible things Trump has done, it is the worst. There is nothing more terrible than this tax bill.
I put on my ingenuous face. “I don’t really know much about it. What’s wrong with it?”
Said the CPA, “Well, I’m retired, so I actually don’t know the details. But it’s right up there with what he’s done to climate change and the national parks.”
“Oh, okay,” I replied. As far as I’m concerned, any intelligent conversation with that person was dead in the water.
I turned to the personal financial adviser, who had begun to offer his two cents.
“It’s a disaster. I mean, it’s what you would expect from Trump and the Republicans. It rewards rich people and hurts poor people.”
“As I said, I haven’t paid attention to the specifics. What does it do?”
“Well, I don’t really know yet, but I know it’s going to hurt poor people in California. It takes away the mortgage tax deduction and it no longer allows us to deduct our state income taxes from taxable income for our federal income taxes. It’s so destructive.”
Further inquiry revealed that, when he said “poor people in California,” he actually meant that it was going to be a problem for him, personally. For laudatory reasons that I won’t divulge here, he’d extended himself financially to live in our middle-class-by-Marin-standards neighborhood, so he has a large mortgage compared to someone in, say, Bakersfield or Abilene. I appreciate his personal problems and the sacrifices he’s making, but his personal financial issues, standing alone, are not a global indictment of a tax policy that simplifies (somewhat) an insanely complicated system and that lowers taxes across the board.
The same duo also castigated the tax bill because it reduces the corporate tax. I put on my ingenuous face again. “But won’t that help bring more business to the U.S. and create more jobs?”
“No,” both these financial professionals assured me. “It will simply reward Trump and his cronies.”
The party moved on. I would loved to have heard more, but it was not to be.