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Mlle. Zabzie

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Everything posted by Mlle. Zabzie

  1. Mlle. Zabzie

    U.S. Politics: Phantom of the Emergency

    I believe you are correct, Sir. Should have added "another." Over under on how many will be passed and sent on? I think we have at least 2 more to go.
  2. Mlle. Zabzie

    U.S. Politics: Phantom of the Emergency

    House has passed a bill to reopen government. It will now go to languish on Mitch McConnell's desk.
  3. Mlle. Zabzie

    U.S. Politics: Phantom of the Emergency

    I think it is pretty complicated. Regulated utilities are weird. On the one hand they are public companies, with private investors. On the other hand, they have only a certain amount of profit that they can have each year because rates are set by the PUC, and my understanding is that they have to get capex approved as part of the ratemaking process (because a certain level of capex gets passed along to ratepayers in rates), and so are not particularly nimble. I think we are really going to have to dig into how much of this has to do with too much leverage, how much has to do with not enough approved capex, how much has to do with a lack of appropriate government oversight, and how much has to do with just sheer incompetence. I'm guessing there is a lot of blame to go around in each category (especially the last).
  4. Mlle. Zabzie

    U.S. Politics: Phantom of the Emergency

    Anyone want to take a break from our regularly scheduled shut down coverage and discuss PG&E's Ch. 11 filing? Because this is a Thing That Is Going To Happen. They are rate-regulated, which is interesting. I'm not sure their structure. When TXU/EFH went in, it was just the competitive side. The regulated side was in a bankruptcy remote entity, Oncor (Oncor's 80% ish parent filed). I think based on press coverage that this might be different. The TXU/EFH deal still needed PUC of Texas approval for the regulated side ownership change, and it caused chaos from a deal perspective, but electricity delivery wasn't impacted at all. I'm guessing that this will be a huge $hitshow with the California equivalent.
  5. Mlle. Zabzie

    U.S. Politics: Phantom of the Emergency

    Brackets make great headlines because people just don't understand them. And the problem, politically, with getting rid of the preferences, is the number of entrenched interests that benefit (or think they benefit) from the preferences. The Code was vastly overhauled in 1939, 1954 and 1986. We are LONG overdue for another overhaul. One might hope that the TJCA is really the 1984 to a later 1986, but I don't think so. (Also, btw, despite the headline grabbing corporate rate decrease, there's a lot to like in the TJCA's implementation of BEPS, but that's another story altogether). Part of the problem is that so many people have become accustomed to using the Tax Code to implement social policy, that dismantling what is there will have collateral consequences far beyond what it should. And any regime that is put into place needs to take into account the fact that commercial reality is much more complicated than it was in 1986, but a long margin. All that said, there is a lot of low hanging fruit that does not even need to touch tax brackets and would be huge revenue raisers.
  6. Mlle. Zabzie

    U.S. Politics: Phantom of the Emergency

    OMG yes this so hard. F8ck futzing with the marginal rates. Can I climb up on my soap box again? We really need to focus on getting rid of the capital gains preference. It is super stupid that we have it. There are also so many taxpayer and industry-specific gimmes in the form of various credits and deductions that should be DESTROYED. After that, I wouldn't necessarily have super high brackets at the top end (think combined with state somewhere in the 40s would do), but we MUST have a real and effective estate tax. You can't and shouldn't be able to take it with you, and the lack of an effective estate tax (and to be clear, what was there before the "repeals" was not real or effective) is a huge contributor to wealth concentration. I honestly have no sympathy for the non-existent family farm example. Also, I would be willing to discuss a corporate gross receipts tax. Also, we should have a discussion about pass-through businesses and where tax should be measured and collected. I think the problem is knowing what the center is anymore. I am significantly to the right of a lot of the people on this board, and to the left of the GOP by a long shot, but these days objectively that makes me a leftist, not a centrist.
  7. Mlle. Zabzie

    U.S. Politics: Phantom of the Emergency

    I agree with this. Easy for us more than two centuries later to say "shoulda woulda coulda", but in a sense, they were engaged in responding to the emergency at hand (the failure of the articles of confederation) and doing something pretty darn radical. The bigger failure is actually the inability to change some of the process failures that are baked into the document. We've fixed some of them (e.g., direct election of senators, electing president and vice president together), but the amendment process is (intentionally) so hard that other fixes to the plumbing haven't occurred. Yes - and it was an issue even in the drafting process. There have always been competing views for the future of this country which stem from more than realpolitik but from very different moral frameworks.
  8. Mlle. Zabzie

    U.S. Politics: Phantom of the Emergency

    Never said they would be proper.
  9. Mlle. Zabzie

    U.S. Politics: Phantom of the Emergency

    Yes, yes I do realize this. I also can understand how an acting someone might act differently than a confirmed someone, but I don't think that changes the analysis as to what happens with the investigation.
  10. Mlle. Zabzie

    U.S. Politics: Phantom of the Emergency

    I think he plays a good hand of poker. I think more broadly (i) he doesn't have to prove anything to anybody, (ii) he's confirmable - I mean he's done the job before, (iii) crucially, he knows how the DOJ is set up internally and how everything "works" and (iv) he's well aware of the current and future scrutiny on his role. How he plays his hand is an entirely different question. But to somehow think that he is not capable of independent action or will definitively act as a rubber stamp is too crude an analysis. I do not doubt that many (most) of the participants in this forum will disagree with a lot (all) of the things he does, but I also think that he's playing chess, not checkers here, and possibly 3D chess. He will not be ineffective whatever he does, and I would guess he will be more inclined towards laser surgery rather than a sledgehammer. So, you know, I don't personally see a Mueller removal, because that's a sledgehammer, and a checkers move. What he does do (whatever it is) may well be way more effective in terms of defending the executive branch.
  11. Mlle. Zabzie

    U.S. Politics: Phantom of the Emergency

    Well, we don't know, but I'm not sure Trump does either....
  12. Mlle. Zabzie

    U.S. Politics: Phantom of the Emergency

    I know Bill professionally. Bill is a smart guy and nobody's puppet. I can't tell you what he's going to do in any way, shape or form, but Bill is certainly more than qualified for the job, not a dumb dumb bear, and must be perfectly conscious of the gestalt of the situation.
  13. Mlle. Zabzie

    U.S. Politics: Phantom of the Emergency

    gonna nitpick here, you really should have gone with Goering.
  14. Mlle. Zabzie

    U.S. Politics: Phantom of the Emergency

    Didn't you? Didn't you? All hail Fox & Friends?
  15. Mlle. Zabzie

    U.S. Politics: Oh Donnie Boy, the Feds are calling...

    Yeah, if it is, who is going to oppose it? Political PR deathwish.
  16. Mlle. Zabzie

    U.S. Politics: Oh Donnie Boy, the Feds are calling...

    Well, they found a way to pay tax refunds.
  17. Mlle. Zabzie

    U.S. Politics: Oh Donnie Boy, the Feds are calling...

    Oh for sure. I meant get the nomination. Honestly, I've had enough of boomers in charge.
  18. Mlle. Zabzie

    U.S. Politics: Oh Donnie Boy, the Feds are calling...

    Lord, I'd love to see a "young" (meaning 50 ish (lol)) run. The contrast would be amazing.
  19. Mlle. Zabzie

    U.S. Politics: Oh Donnie Boy, the Feds are calling...

    Yeah, I know, but my version is actually good tax policy
  20. Mlle. Zabzie

    U.S. Politics: Oh Donnie Boy, the Feds are calling...

    Actually think this is a terrible idea as applied to ordinary wage/business income. What needs to happen is getting rid of the stupid-a$$ capital gains preference immediately. Also, roll back the corporate tax to something between 26-30%, get rid of immediate expensing and the stupid-a$$ pass-through deduction. Also, get rid of preferences for oil and gas (buh BYE percentage depletion). Also, restore the estate tax IMMEDIATELY, remove the ridiculously high exempt estate level, and remove all exemptions but the spousal exemption. I might also be able to get behind removing lots of the trust exemptions, except for with respect to disabled children. Rates that high IMMEDIATELY incentivize shady planning. Anyhow.
  21. Mlle. Zabzie

    U.S. Politics: Oh Donnie Boy, the Feds are calling...

    And I'm guessing you file estimated taxes? There might have been ways to futz with your estimates so that you didn't have such a long time value drag, but it happens sometimes (and sucks). I am more focused on people (and there are a lot of them) who purposefully or lazily allow over-withholding because they like the certainty of a check from the government showing up sometime between March and May. And people have reasons for doing it - they just aren't U of Chicago-style "rational." (But, Chicago-system "rational" behavior doesn't really exist in the real world, so there's that).
  22. Mlle. Zabzie

    U.S. Politics: Oh Donnie Boy, the Feds are calling...

    Maybe that's right? The W-4 system encourages people to set it and forget it, and if you are both salaried in that bracket, I could see it happening.
  23. Mlle. Zabzie

    U.S. Politics: Oh Donnie Boy, the Feds are calling...

    They will accept returns and estimated payments and they will be treated as timely filed (mostly electronic at this point anyhow). People who are writing TJCA regs are also exempt to that limited extent for a little longer too.
  24. Mlle. Zabzie

    U.S. Politics: Oh Donnie Boy, the Feds are calling...

    I have a small soapbox about using the US Treasury as your savings mechanism that I would like to climb on for a second. Someone up thread said that the GOP will start getting nervous when the wealthy don't get their refunds. THE WEALTHY DON'T GET REFUNDS*. Seriously. Really really rich people are averse to providing the government with an interest free loan, and because marginal dollars are worth less to them, they moan about paying actual tax, but would rather do that (and have use of the money during the year) than overpay and get a refund. As long as you are hitting your estimated tax safe harbors, you are good to go. If you CAN, you are better off trying to do the same (that is, not relying on the whims of the refund process to do your saving for you). I realize that this isn't realistic for everyone (especially if each paycheck matters), but if you can, it is probably worth spending some time with a financial professional/advisor/yourself, to figure out the correct withholding levels and amending your W-4 appropriately so that any refund or payment you have to make is (hopefully) de minimis. *Obviously not always true, but in an ordinary course year will tend to be true, and if they do have refunds, then they tend to apply it as a prepayment against the next year's income tax liability rather than to take it in cash.
  25. Mlle. Zabzie

    U.S. Politics: Oh Donnie Boy, the Feds are calling...

    Yeah, also agree with that. Just think right this moment is the wrong moment to do it.
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