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Posts Tagged ‘president trump’

First drafts are notoriously difficult. Beethoven’s Fifth initially included an ill-conceived three-minute guitar solo. In his original sketch of the Mona Lisa, da Vinci had her giving the double thumbs-up. And Frances Bellamy’s first run at the Pledge of Allegiance regrettably concluded with the phrase “party on.”

Eventually, all three of these seminal works got it right. And so President Trump shouldn’t feel so bad about missing the mark with his first draft of a tax reform plan. He’s got ample time to turn mess into masterpiece.

That process begins now. Late last week, the Senate passed its budget for the 2018 fiscal year, calling for $1.5 trillion in tax cuts over the next decade. An initial analysis of the plan President Trump released on September 27th, however, revealed that his first stab at tax reform would amount to $2.5 trillion in cuts. And while many might blindly believe that more cuts = better, this excess, as described below, poses no shortage of procedural and political hurdles if not corrected.

So how can the President fix his plan, making it economically feasible and politically palatable? Let’s take a look, beginning with gaining a better understanding of the shortcomings of the current proposal.

Continue reading on, Forbes.com

Authored by Tony Nitti, Withum Partner and writer for Forbes.com.

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On September 27, President Trump and the “Big 6” Republican tax leaders laid out their plan for tax reform. Withum partner and nationally known Forbes columnist Tony Nitti conducted a complimentary one-hour long webinar separating fact from fiction helping listeners understand the proposal and what is slated to change.

If you did not have the opportunity to tune in, you can listen to the podcast by clicking the play button below:

Webinar presented by Tony Nitti, Withum Partner and writer for Forbes.com.

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Yesterday, President Trump and the “Big 6” — Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee Kevin Brady, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel, National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, and Senate Finance Chairman Orin Hatch– released the GOP’s latest plan for tax reform. Hours later, the President gave a speech in Indiana to formerly introduce and promote the plan.

Now, some might suggest that the President is often prone to hyperbole. Or half-truths. Or outright lies. I’m not going to opine on that, because the reality is, there are many shades to the truth, and as George Costanza once said, “it’s not a lie if you believe it.”

But this is tax reform we’re talking about; a topic so foreign and frightening to most people that they need an advocate. Someone to parse through the empty rhetoric and leading language and tell them what’s real and what’s not. And when it comes to the President’s speech on tax reform, that someone is me.

So here’s what I’ve done. I’ve copied much of the text from yesterday’s speech below, with all of the President’s words in italics. I haven’t presented the entire speech, of course, because it would run for pages and pages, and also because no one really needs to read the word “tremendous” that many times in one sitting.

After the President’s comments, I have added my commentary, in regular type. My hope is to cut through the sales pitch and give it to you straight, so that you might understand what this plan really means to you and this great country. I hope it helps.

Continue reading on, Forbes.com

Authored by Tony Nitti, Withum Partner and writer for Forbes.com.

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First thing this morning, I was scheduled for an upper endoscopy. As the anesthesiologist prepared to put me under, he asked what I did for a living and I explained that I was a CPA who also writes about tax law, and that today was a critical day in the tax reform process. He then asked me about what I though the GOP’s plan would be, and as I got into the finer points of budget reconciliation, deficit-neutral tax reform, and dynamic scoring, sleep finally set in.

Ok, on to what you came here for. Last week, President Trump, in his preferred manner of speaking in absolutes, said the following when pressed on the pace of tax reform:

We have a tax plan that’s totally finalized.

Earlier today, the President, along with the so-called “Big 6” — Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee Kevin Brady, National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, Senate Finance Chairman Orin Hatch, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Republicans all — unveiled their tax plan, and lo and behold, it IS in fact finalized, if by “finalized” you mean, “Seven pages of general highlights and a disturbing absence of detail.”

But hey, don’t be too hard on the Commander in Chief and the Big 6 (excellent band name); after all, tax reform is hard. To illustrate just how hard it is, let’s take a look at the parts of the plan that were made public today, and how each one presents significant challenges, both in regard to being politically palatable and economically feasible.

But first, let’s understand the biggest of all the challenges facing tax reform: fitting $5 trillion in tax cuts into a $1.5 trillion budget.

Continue reading on, Forbes.com

Authored by Tony Nitti, Withum Partner and writer for Forbes.com.

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After enduring the healthcare debacle, Charlottesville nightmare, and a seemingly endless string of natural disasters, the White House is desperate for some good PR, and revamping the nation’s tax law is where it aims to find it.

Over the past year, many promises have been made and modified, proposals floated and abandoned, and timelines established and extended. And while I’d like nothing more than to use this space to get you caught up on the details of where we stand today — projected tax rates, a review of what deductions will be eliminated or survive, etc… — the reality is, those details simply don’t exist. In fact, we know far less today about what tax reform might look like than we did seven or eight months ago.

So instead, I’d like to take a look at the big picture: what are the five biggest questions that must be answered before the GOP can fulfill one of its biggest promises to the American public: a more simple, more fair tax system that leaves additional cash in the hands of businesses and families? Let’s take a look.

Continue reading on, Forbes.com

Authored by Tony Nitti, Withum Partner and writer for Forbes.com.

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As you may have read in one of your uncle’s late-night Facebook missives, President Donald Trump stands accused of having colluded with Moscow to make America not Great Again, but rather the largest province in the Russian empire.

There are more to these accusations than the social media ramblings of a distraught family member, however; the FBI found enough smoke around the Trump campaign to convince the Bureau there may well be fire, launching a federal investigation into possible collusion by the current administration in early 2017.

In May, former FBI Director Robert Mueller was tabbed as special counsel to head the investigation, a sign that things had turned towards the serious. The decision to bring in Mueller was made in response to the President’s dismissal of the standing FBI Director, James Comey, a move that came as Comey was reportedly intensifying his investigation into Trump’s affairs.

Continue reading on, Forbes.com

Authored by Tony Nitti, Withum Partner and writer for Forbes.com.

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A few summers ago, my wife and I marked our ten-year wedding anniversary with a three-day getaway to Block Island. Our first night on the island, we went out to dinner, and while we awaited the arrival of our food, my wife shared the story of friend who had recently gotten a new job, and when she and her husband arrived at the restaurant that night to celebrate with dinner, the husband had thoughtfully arranged to have a bottle of champagne waiting at the table with a note that read, “Congratulations!”

Maybe my wife meant that as a hint; maybe she didn’t. That’s when it dawned on me: Ten years is a big deal. There are expectations involved. I should probably live up to them.

In recent days, President Trump found himself in the same uncomfortable situation I endured at that table in Block Island. Soon to mark his 100th day in office, he realized that he had done nothing to fulfill his promise to deliver a “phenomenal tax plan.” So as I did during dinner with my wife, the President scrambled for the best solution he could: a rushed, half-hearted gesture meant merely to meet his minimum obligations. There was no plan. There were no details. There was, quite literally, a one-page release with a handful of bullet points, that only served to raise more questions than answers.

But before we get to those questions, let’s take a quick look at the “plan.”

Continue reading on Forbes.com

Authored by Tony Nitti, Withum Partner and writer for Forbes.com.

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