RUSH: Tim in Buffalo. Tim, great to have you, sir. How you doing?
CALLER: Rush, it’s a great honor to be speaking with you today.
RUSH: Thank you.
CALLER: I want to thank you for what you’ve done for the country for all these years. I’ve been a listener since 1990.
RUSH: I appreciate that very much, sir. Thank you. You sound sincere with that. I believe you.
CALLER: I am. Rush, the reason I’m calling is, I fall into that 50% that is not liking this tax bill, and I wanted to share with you just a couple of quick reasons.
RUSH: Sure! Fire away.
CALLER: To credentialize, I’m a CPA, tax-savvy, 35 years in business, and CFO of one publicly traded and two private companies. So just to kind of let you know I’m coming from. My concerns are this. One is that the Republicans fail to, as George Bush did… They’re not addressing the $20 trillion in overall debt and the continuing deficit. Number two: I feel that this tax cut is very disproportionate to corporations versus individuals. Number three, I think it’s aspirationally dubious.
I think that the notion that give the money to the corporations and then that will make its way down to the people is… I appreciate all what corporations do, but I’d rather see the money go to the people. Number four and lastly, I mean, this has all the markings of the swamp, right? So the tax cuts for the corporations are permanent. Individuals, no. AMT gone for corporations. Individuals, no. They didn’t close a number of the loopholes that they were talking about. It’s got the swamp markings all around this, and so I don’t like what’s before us, and I feel like it’s a wide-right field goal. I really do.
RUSH: All right. I appreciate your call. I appreciate your comments. Your comments have a decidedly left-wing flavoring to them, the focus on corporations and how they’re supposedly getting away with nothing and how whatever benefits accrue to them, they do not share. They do not trickle them down. That simply… You’re gonna find that that is just not the case. I don’t know how you’re measuring that, but the simple act of repatriation is gonna add a genuine stimulus to this economy.
Whether it’s in the hands of corporations or individuals, it’s still gonna grow the economy. Corporations growing benefits the economy. It happens with people getting hired. It happens with wages increasing. In terms of the debt, the national debt and the deficit, I don’t think this thing’s being scored properly. I think this thing, if it works as conservative theory says, there is gonna be far more growth than anybody in that town is willing to predict or understand.
Just like when the capital gains tax was cut way back when in the Bush administration. They let it was nothing, a little add-on. It ended up being the primary driver of new revenue to Washington that none of these eggheads had even counted on. And I think this entire tax bill — since they’ve cut the marginal rate on the top earners from 39.6% to 37%. It may be shekels to people, but it’s gonna matter. And I think the opportunity for growth that this tax cut presents is gonna do far more this time, too.
RUSH: I regret that I ran out of time there right in the middle of my own point. But, you know, the focal point of his opposition was to the corporate side of this, and admittedly the corporate rate reduction is far greater than any of the personal rate reductions. But you’ve gotta keep in mind the personal rate reductions have already happened in terms of great percentages. In 1981, when Ronaldus Magnus took office, the top marginal rate, folks, was 90%!
Now, nobody ever paid it, but it was there. They had all kinds of shelters and deductions. You paid 90% on the last dollars you earned, but nobody ever reported those dollars. It was complicated. It was hodgepodge. Also the talk of “tax loopholes.” Conservative don’t speak of “tax loopholes.” There’s no such thing as a tax loophole. There are tax provisions. There are tax laws. When you start throwing around the term “tax loophole,” you’re trying to make people think that people are escaping the tax code, that they’re finding a way around the tax code, that they’re able to break the law!
That’s not what tax “loopholes” are. There aren’t any such things. There may be unintended consequences. The tax writers enact a bill that doesn’t account for certain activity that happens as a result, that happens because they fail to dynamically score these things at the CBO or the Joint Committee on Taxation. As I said, the greatest example is when they cut the capital gains rate in the Bush tax cut in the early 2000s. They had no idea why all the money was flowing into the Treasury. They cut the capital gains rate practically in half!
What that meant was that people were selling stocks instead of rolling them over or donating them to charity. People were selling appreciated stock. If you get to keep 85¢ out of every $1 you earn, you’ll sell the stock and you’ll reinvest it and buy more. That started happening. People started paying the capital gains rate instead of avoiding it. It caused all kinds of new money to flow to the Treasury that these eggheads who are the supposed experts never counted on, and I think this bill has all kinds of possibilities in it like that.
But the personal rate reduction… By the time Reagan left office in 1988, the top marginal rate was down to 30%, from 90% to 30%. Since then, since the late eighties, the tax rates have basically been from 10% to 12% to 15% to 24% to 28% to 30%, and then they jumped up to 39.6% to 35%, 29%, something like that. The corporate rate, however, stayed at its inexplicably stupid figure: 35%. So the personal rate reductions have happened long ago, and they’re happening again here.
But there isn’t that much room to reduce them, because they have been reduced so much over the past 20 or 30 years. The corporate rate has remained ridiculously high, and I’m just gonna tell you: When the corporate tax rate is reduced from 35 to 21%… You’ve heard the old adage that corporations don’t pay taxes; you do? And you know what that means, right? It means whatever a corporation’s tax bill is, they amortize it by building into the price of every product or service enough to cover what their tax payments are. So at the end of the day, they don’t pay ’em.
I mean, they file returns and they send checks to Washington, but it’s not a net loss for them. So what happens if you lower a corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%? You open up all kinds of possibilities. What happens when you have a 7% or 8% repatriation rate? Like Apple has $190 billion overseas, and the amount of money other corporations have added to that (which is doing us no good over there), if they’re allowed to bring it all back or a portion of it back and only pay 8%, what are they gonna do?
They’re gonna bring it back, and what happens to it? Well, here now we’re up against what the brainwashing of the American people on corporations has led people to believe, and this is really a crime. I know that there are bad actors. There are bad actors as individuals. There are bad actors as small businessmen. There are sports athletes that are cheaters. I mean, every group of people has its renegade malcontents in it, and corporate CEOs and corporate executives are no different.
The difference is that the left has done their best to convince everybody that every American industry made up of the corporations within it is out to harm them, to screw them, to the cheat them — or even kill them in the cases of the pharmaceutical industry and other places. And so there are many people who believe that corporations don’t do a single damn thing that’s any good, that all they do is deny people health care. “They deny people their civil rights. They deny people vacation time! They deny people personal time to go to the vet with the sick cat. They deny people this, and they do not have any tolerance or patience whatsoever — and they just fire you, and they don’t pay people enough!”
This is what people have been led to believe because the left has been pounding this kind of thing for decades. The liberal Democrat enemies list is topped by industries. Big Auto. Big Pharmaceutical. Big Box Retail. Big Oil. Big Tobacco. They are hated and despised. But in truth, all they are is groups of people, and many of them are traded publicly and so have fiduciary responsibilities to show a profit. Corporations are not in business to provide people health insurance.
They’re not in business to provide people jobs. Those things are necessary when competing for employees, but that’s not why people go into business. You think Steve Jobs said, “You know, I want to create the Macintosh, and I want to set the computer world on fire, because I want people to have corporate health care insurance”? Do you think that’s why he did it? Do you think Henry Ford automated the automobile assembly line because he wanted his people to have health care? No.
But once you make a decision to go into business, and then once you start hiring people, it takes competition to get the best people, and if the going rate is a health care plan and this or that, then you offer it. But if corporations paying 35% now see a reduced rate to 21%, what happens? Well, the negative reaction is, “They keep the money, Rush! They’re gonna get all that money and they’re gonna keep it! They’re gonna keep gouging us like the cable companies do and the cellular companies.
“They’re not gonna cut our prices! They’re gonna continue to deny us service, and they’re gonna continue to deny us health care and they’re just gonna keep the money! They’re gonna get richer and richer.” Is that what they’re gonna do, or are they gonna become more competitive? Are they going to be able to offer better employment packages, better pricing packages for the products and services they sell? This whole notion that, “I don’t like the corporate side because, you know, it never proves that the corporations getting a tax cut benefits the little guy.”
Who hires the little guy? Who manufactures things and makes ’em available for purchase for the little guy? Who is in competition with other businesses for the little guy’s business? So if a corporate tax cut results in greater job opportunities, if it results in corporations lowering prices in order to expand their customer base… Because remember this tax cut’s gonna give everybody more money. Everybody’s gonna have a little bit more disposable income. They’re gonna have more money to spend.
Corporations do like separating people from their money. And, of course, the left hates that too. The left calls that “donations” and “funding.” Corporations call it “sales” and “profits.” But it’s the same thing. Everybody is out to get your money, and you’re out to get anybody else’s money you can, however you can. You’re out to get the corporation’s money, people you work for, small businesses. It’s all the same. And if there’s more money, significantly more money circulating in the U.S. economy, then there theoretically is more of it for you to get a share of. It’s all good!
Now, the things that this guy didn’t mention are curious to me. Because the things, aside from the corporate rate, the left is fit to be tied over that. But that’s institutional. If the corporate rate were cut from 35 to 33, they’d be just as mad as they are now. The fact that evil corporations are even getting a cut, doesn’t matter how much, is enough to send ’em to the moon. But the guy didn’t talk about the loss of deductibility for state and local taxes. And that has them just as upset.
In fact, there is a story in the Stack here about that very thing and about how it is an onslaught, it’s an attack, unfair attack on mostly liberal Democrat states. And would you be surprised — let me ask you something. You know what this is? State and local taxes are gonna be capped. The amount you can deduct is, what, $10,000. That’s the max.
Now, this is gonna hit people in states who have high, high personal income tax rates, like California and New York, Illinois, Connecticut. And it’s gonna expose. Those people have not been paying those tax rates because you and me, you and I have been subsidizing them by allowing them to deduct those taxes. Now they’re gonna have to pay what their states are charging them!
And now for the first time they’re gonna find out what Governor Moonbeam is charging ’em and what Governor Whoever in Illinois is charging them and what Governor Whoever in New York, Cuomo, is charging ’em! These people are gonna find out. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if there is some strategy on the part of the Republicans to expose this. And if there is, I, El Rushbo, applaud it! You live in a high tax state, there’s no way you should be subsidized by other people.
If you live in California and your tax rate there is 14%, pay it! You liberals are always telling us that everybody else is trying to avoid paying taxes, that the rich are not paying their fair share. Well, get in on the game now. You haven’t been paying your fair share because you get to deduct all that. “Rush, Rush, not all these people are liberal Democrats.” I know. I know. I’m speaking theoretically and generically here.
This proves that people are a lot different when it’s their gore getting goosed or goose getting gored, when they’re getting caught up in it and start squealing like pigs as a result of it. If this thing was done strategically to expose high-tax states, then I’m all for it. “But, Rush, but, Rush, I thought you hated taxes and I thought you’re for everybody having to cut –” Yeah, generically I am. I think everybody’s overtaxed. But I also don’t like the hypocrisy of these leftists running around claiming that the people paying 90% of the federal tax take are not paying their fair share.
I’m fed up with hearing this! I’m fed up with hearing about how the rich are not paying their fair share! Okay. If the rich aren’t paying their fair share, here’s a chance for you in California, New York, Illinois, Connecticut, to finally start paying your fair share and shut up about it.