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Taking a further look at the Trump, GOP tax bill

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As an accountant and student of economics at CUNY years ago, I was trained to view and measure the economy through an objectives prism and not base it on the popularity of a president or, in the case of Trump, his social tweeting skills.

That’s not to say there isn’t a real connection between the economy and what politicians do. Economic performance should be measured objectively, not emotionally.

In a recent On Point column I wrote that the Trump tax cuts will provide significant tax reductions to most New Yorkers. That was in stark contrast to what was being pedaled by partisan politicians. The tax plan was “Armageddon,” we were told, and “Republicans would rue the day they voted for it.”

Most analysts now concede that what I had written is true, and only high earners in heavily taxed states like New York would pay more. The fact is many wage earners have already seen significant increases in their net take home pay.

Even though most middle-class taxpayers in Queens will see significant tax relief, all of their congressional representatives voted against it. Calling bonuses and tax reductions “crumbs” is demagoguery of the worst kind. So, let’s cut through the partisan hyperbole and media bias and distinguish between objective reality and emotional rhetoric.

There has always been a direct connection between economic performance and the economic policies of a presidential administration. That is why we generally credit an economy’s performance to the president serving at the time. During the eight years of the previous administration, the economy struggled to grow at 2 percent and for the first time in any presidential term it never hit an annual rate of 3 percent GDP growth, according to CNN Money based on U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Trump critics cite the reason for eight years of flat GDP grow as due to the economic meltdown that the Bush administration handed over to Obama. These critics credit Obama’s policies for belatedly providing the dramatic economic growth of the past year.

Trump supporters call that wishful thinking, noting how Trump has systematically unwound almost every Obama business policy and has spent the last year completely dismantling the Obama-era regulatory framework. They cite this unprecedented shredding of business-choking regulations as fueling the economic turnaround that has brought unemployment among all segments of the population to its lowest levels on record and the consumer confidence index rising to levels unseen in decades.

GDP, unemployment and labor participation rates are well-established measures of economic performance. Anyone who views economic performance through an objective lens and not an emotional one sees a booming economy that is reacting to the Trump economic plan.

The Trump tax cuts have suddenly made U.S. companies competitive in a global marketplace. Manufacturing jobs by the thousands are coming back as plants re-open and new ones are planned.

Apple announced that it will be repatriating billions of dollars and creating thousands of jobs here in the United States over the next few years. It wasn’t long ago that we were told manufacturing jobs would never come back.

Was the talk of a “new normal” a lie, or did it reflect economic policies that we now can see in real-time choked the lifeblood of an economy by creating an economic climate antithetical to job growth?

We were told that manufacturing jobs of the past would never return as America’s “new” service-oriented economy was the future. But for thousands of Midwest and rust-belt families who witnessed the crushing collapse of their manufacturing and mining jobs, it was a bone-chilling reminder that a lifetime career of high-paying jobs that fed and educated their families was over.

To add insult to injury, they were told not to worry because they could easily be retrained as if the loss of their generational work was merely a bump in the road that federal bureaucrats and funding from Washington could ameliorate with a beltway crafted job training program.

When you live in an urban bubble, this is how you view the world. A divide that is more defined by regional differences than racial ones. These differences will only be bridged when as a nation, we begin to listen to each other rather than shouting past each other.

Bob Friedrich is President of Glen Oaks Village, a Civic Leader and former City Council Candidate.

Posted 12:00 am, March 9, 2018
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Reader feedback

Fred from Glen oaks says:
Bob is a bully and arrogant to begin with. No one can stand him in Glen oaks.
March 9, 7:58 am
Liliana from Glen Oaks says:
Nobody cares about your opinion Bob. How about giving fair election but you know people here will throw you out.
March 9, 11:55 am
Lynne Cohen from Fresh Meadows says:
You must be looking at this tax cut as a millionaire or corporation. The middle class may see an additional 800 in their checks over the course of a year, but the rich will see thousands and corporations will see billions and while some corporations are giving bonuses or raises, most, more than 85% of the tax cuts are for buying back stock, which benefits only stockholders and the corporations. The real estate industry gets a tax break, but student loans are no longer tax deductible, the state taxes, real estate taxes paid on your home are being limited, but estate taxes are being eliminated. Interesting the tax cut for most people expires in 5 years but the corporations have no such cut off date. Thre is so much more - listen to this guy and he also has a bridge to sell you.
March 9, 12:07 pm
LynneCohenIsDeadWrong from Flushing says:
The middle class, even in Queens are receiving a large tax cut percentage wise. She's busy railing against the rich without realizing they are not the only beneficiaries of increased stock prices. Anyone who owns a mutual fund stands to benefit. Also, the estate tax was not eliminated but the exemption was doubled from $5,000,000 to $10,000,000. Never let the facts get in the way of a chance to attack the President and Republicans.
March 10, 12:07 am
Corporations from Queens says:
I think the tax breaks for the corporations were necessary. Companies have been fleeing this country for YEARS. Every place overseas has gained tremendously over our loss. Yet, Americans are the biggest consumers of products. We needed to find a happy medium that would allow these companies to function in America and give Americans back their jobs. The only jobs we have here anymore is low wage jobs that are not enough to pay the bills or buy a house or a car. Yes, the top CEOs over the years have been so greedy and I believe that the CEOs need to be given a salary cap themselves. However, right now that will never happen so the next best thing to do is give them incentives to keep their operations running here so we can keep people working. Why do you liberals HATE America and American workers? Yet all you liberals LOVE the rest of the world but not your own neighbors! Stop crying liberals!
March 10, 10:20 am
Sandra from Glen Oaks says:
Bob is the president of the cooperative apartments in Glen Oaks and he does loots money. Everyone knows where Bob gets his money from.
March 11, 10:10 am

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