Space travel, for example is possible for us only because of our application of "the laws of math". One of the key equations needed to understand spacecraft navigation is Newton's inverse square law of gravity: We learned this in Physics 101 in the university as engineers.
Josh Barro has written about the various deceptions involved: deceptions of language and deceptions of math. See his details of the specific lies at the end of this blog.
"It's Very Hard Not to Give Tax Cuts to the Wealthy"
"Guy who wrote Trump's tax plan says that the laws of math basically forced him to give rich people a huge cut."
from Common Dreams by Jake Johnson
For weeks President Donald Trump and the Republican Party have been peddling the demonstrable lie that their tax proposals are primarily geared toward helping the middle class, not the wealthiest Americans. But in an interview with Politico's Ben White published Wednesday, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin gave away the game, admitting: "It's very hard not to give tax cuts to the wealthy."
"The math, given how much you are collecting, is just hard to do," the treasury secretary added.
But as The Huffington Post's Arthur Delaney notes, the math is not hard at all. In fact, the White House's own tax framework, released last month, had a useful suggestion: add in a higher top marginal rate.
"An additional top rate may apply to the highest-income taxpayers to ensure that the reformed tax code is at least as progressive as the existing tax code and does not shift the tax burden from high-income to lower- and middle-income taxpayers," the framework says.
When asked about Mnuchin's comments during Wednesday's press briefing, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders didn't deny that the rich would benefit enormously from Trump's tax plan. Instead, she claimed that cutting taxes for the middle class remains "the focus and the priority."
Mnuchin's comments came as the Senate debates a GOP-crafted budget proposal that Republicans need to pass in order to pave the way for a tax plan that non-partisan analyses have shown would almost solely benefit the top one percent, while increasing taxes on some low-income and middle class families.
On social media, critics mocked Mnuchin's claim, suggesting that it exposes the tax "scam" Trump and the GOP are attempting to ram through Congress—despite the fact that an overwhelming majority of Americans disapprove of the plan.
...a provision to cut and simplify taxes for the middle class: doubling the standard deduction that people who pay income tax may take.
"You have to look at the plan in its entirety. It doubles the standard deduction, so in the end, even the lowest rates get a tax cut," Rep. Jim Renacci, a Republican who sits on the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee, told Reuters.
But a document published by Jonathan Swan of the news website Axios shows this is badly misleading — the plan would increase the standardized deductions available to taxpayers by 15% or less.
Meanwhile, taxpayers who still wouldn't take the standard deduction under the Republican plan — those who would instead deduct things like mortgage interest — would pay tax on more of their income than they do now.
Here's the important fine print: "To simplify the tax rules, the additional standard deduction and the personal exemptions for taxpayer and spouse are consolidated into this larger standard deduction."
Here's how that math works. Let's say you are single with no dependents, and you have a moderate income. Currently, you get to take the standard deduction ($6,350) and one personal exemption ($4,050). If you are 65 or older, you also get to take an additional standard deduction ($1,250). That adds up to $10,400, or $11,650 if you're over 65.
The Republican plan would replace all these provisions with a single deduction of $12,000 ($24,000 for married couples.) That's a 15% increase — except for seniors, who get a 3% increase.
And then your first dollar of taxable income would be subjected to a 12% tax rate, instead of the current 10%. But don't worry — the framework says "additional tax relief," as yet unspecified, will emerge for you during the committee process.
For married couples, all the relevant amounts are doubled under the current tax code and under the Republican proposal, so the percent changes would be the same.
If you have children, your fate is uncertain. The plan would abolish the $4,050 exemption you get to take for each of your dependent children. But it would also increase the child tax credit — by an unspecified amount. Once that amount is specified, you'll be able to figure out whether you face a tax increase or a tax cut or what.
Meanwhile, taxpayers who itemize their tax deductions for things like mortgage interest and state and local taxes would pay tax on more of their income under the Republican plan. The proposal says "most" itemized deductions would be abolished anyway, but those for mortgage interest and charitable giving would be retained.
Currently, you get to take the personal exemption even if you also itemize deductions, but you get to take the standard deduction only if you forego itemized deductions. Combining these provisions into a single, standard deduction would mean itemizers lose their personal exemption and get nothing back — meaning they'll typically pay tax on an extra $4,050 of income if they're single, or $8,100 if they're married.
...independent budget wonks, on the left and right, who have concluded that Trump’s plan would create a gusher of red ink. “No individual tax cut pays for itself,” says Alan Cole, an economist at the right-of-center Tax Foundation. “There has to be a strong mix of tax cuts and revenue-raisers—a good mix of both candies and vegetables. Right now I see things as a little short on vegetables.”
There’s a reason Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin keeps insisting that his boss’s tax-cut plan will fully pay for itself through faster economic growth. Politics make it hard for him to say anything else. But math is not on their side. The fact is, the tax plan just doesn’t add up.