GOP tax reform will change my life
I just read the 79-page summary of the 429-page House GOP “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” partly because clinical masochistic psychopathology runs in the family. But mostly for the same reason I read my future horoscope: To get a sense of what I should do.
While every swamp-money interest in Washington goes into DEFCON 1, making final passage of the House GOP tax plan less likely than Harvey Weinstein receiving the 2018 National Organization for Women Intrepid Award (or Kevin Spacey getting a GLAAD Media award), I’m thinking ahead and changing my financial and personal plans.
Ever since my ceaseless disorientation and dithering drove my life coach to quit his career in existential ennui and move to a hand-built cabin in the Canadian Boreal forest to examine his life and avoid my calls (no cell service), I’ve let tax considerations be my guide.
So, tax-wise, I see three main challenges:
1. Plan my middle-class spending spree
If miracles do happen and Congress passes this tax plan and President Trump signed, I’ll need to figure out how best to invest, aka waste, my huge middle-class tax cut.
This is fun but not self-serving. Instead of LOLing at the Laffer curve, I need to do my part to start growing the economy so the tax cut pays for itself instead of exploding the federal deficit and down the road giving Millennials something else to whine about when their Social Security and Medicare dies before they do.
FYI, my Middle-Class Tax Cut Wish List starts with fresh mango. I’m too lazy and busy writing this meaningless article to peel and cut the mango myself, so I’ll hit Whole Foods for a $6.98 pint of mango chunks. Then it’s over to Target to splurge on two-ply instead one-ply bathroom tissue and Tide Boost Vivid White Bright instead of my usual regular (classic) Tide that leaves my clothing and sense of self bereft. While out, like a sailor on payday, I’ll stop at Wendy’s for an $8.09 Baconator Combo and then Walgreens to pick up my $4 monthly antidote of atorvastatin.
After more tax-cut splurges, I’ll start making my 2018 health insurance payments that jacked up 40 percent because of Trump’s executive order killing the insurer cost-sharing subsidy and disrupting the market. Like God Himself, Trump giveth and Trump taketh away. And I need those statins to not die sooner.
2. Adjust for elimination of tax deductions
To pay for the corporate, billionaire and middle-class tax breaks, the GOP plan eliminates a welter of tax deductions.
Important to know: Behind every tax deduction is a screaming Dothraki hoard of lobbyists who fought hard to enthrone it unto the IRS code.
Now the lobbyists will slaughter, maim, decapitate and disembowel — not to mention work nights and weekends, live on delivery bagels and sandwiches, and hear their kids accidentally call their nanny “mom” or “dad” — to protect their beloved tax spawn.
For planning purposes, I shan’t wait for the outcome of the GOP Tax Reform Game of Thrones. Based on the many tax deductions the plan would reduce or eliminate, I’m already shelving a number of plans I had.
For tax reasons, I won’t:
· Buy a lavish estate. And plan to reinvest the mortgage interest savings — now reduced — into a giant gilded sign emblazoning my name on the property to remove any doubt I’m a successful man with big hands and whatnot, and billionaire with the most beautiful self-esteem.
· Adopt children. Sigh. This is painful. Obviously I could have been such a great father. Also, there goes the landscaping crew for my lavish estate. What’s more, it’ll take too long to benefit from the new GOP “family tax credit” to have my own kids and put them to work landscaping my estate.
· Buy an electric car. The killing of the EV car credit will help ease the pain from the otherwise loss of Fahrvergnügen and agony over choosing the most spit-take, drop-dead trenchant yet hilarious environmental bumper stickers such as, “Get off my ass, I’m saving gas,” or “There is no Planet B,” or “May the forest be with you.”
· Get a divorce. You can write off alimony payments? Who knew? That’s moot for me since I’m neither married nor paying for any previous lifelong emotional fulfillment of blessed matrimony. But the tax deduction loss makes me wonder: Should I have married my high school sweetheart who would have left me long ago for someone a lot nicer, better looking and more sensitive to her needs, someone who didn’t hole up and waste time writing ridiculous pieces for Medium.com? Or torture her with my “humor”?
· Open a foreign subsidiary. Unless it’s a margarita shack in Cancun.
· Hold liquid assets overseas. Unless the tequila and mixer in my Cancun margarita shack count as liquid assets. Also, I’m assuming this reduced tax break has nothing to do with my ability to hold my margaritas and not dance herky-jerky like St. Vitus with the eponymous fever.
· Donate $10 million. With tax breaks for charitable and nonprofit contributions in jeopardy, I’m relinquishing my naming rights for the new Arts & Humanities Building I planned to finance at my alma mater as a big fat middle finger to the English Department faculty who never believed I would self-publish unedited Medium.com pieces like this. Yes, I know, there was no Medium or any .com then, but still.
· Finance a stadium. The killing of tax-free bonds to save multi-billionaires and corporations almost one million dollars when they build a new ego-snack or brand-enhancing stadium is tragic for cities, teams and fans. It’s also tragic for non-fans like me who planned to buy the squalid Washington Redskins FedEx Field, enjoy leveling and returning it to farmland, and build a modern, fan-friendly new stadium nearer the city that’s much easier for people to get there and enjoy on game day. I also planned to name my new stadium Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Field just to mess with the NFL and possibly protect future lives. And also, change the Redskins name to something more appropriate. I was thinking the Washington Scandals, Ridiculous Losers, Dung Beetles or Dan Snyder’s Victims Of His Bad Juju, but I would have taken better suggestions.
3. Fire my tax accountant
The GOP tax plan will end tax breaks for tax preparation. As the above demonstrates, I have my own tax plan and won’t need him anymore.
Jeffrey Denny is a Washington writer