Tax Bill Repercussions: Church, Watch Out!

Tax Bill Repercussions: Church, Watch Out! December 20, 2017

tax bill repercussionsBelow is my, admittedly limited, take on the repercussions of the tax bill.

Keep in mind that because of my husband’s occupation, when he is home, we watch a lot of business news. It is neither Republican nor Democratic–just questions and concerns about various aspects of the economy.

1. Of course, the bill benefits the uber-wealthy. They bought and paid for those currently in office. Just a fact of life. We might as well get over it. Money always talks.

2. It will probably be genuinely helpful for the already employed, those with skills and education: they will see their incomes go up and more job opportunities open. In other words, if a person already has a spot in the current economic world, or expectations of one because of a decent education and work skills, she or he will benefit. That’s how trickle-down economics efficiently works.

3. The aim of “trimming the social safety net” is to kick the able-bodied unemployed out of it and back into a more productive economic life. Since we are at nearly full employment, there are likely not too many of them out there.

4. The people who will be hurt: those outside the current economic system who lack skills, training, or background to get and hold a job. Those who are caught up in the opioid addiction world: expect more suffering here. I can’t even imagine the fate of the mentally ill. There will be a lot of collateral damage on those who already have health problems and who use Medicaid to access medical care. Women and children currently in poverty will find themselves increasingly desperate. Diabetes, already at a high, will affect even more as the poor turn to cheaper and cheaper foods (i.e., sugar-laden) with their detrimental effects on the body. Many will die too soon.

5. School systems in high property tax states are going to take a terrible hit. Get ready for that.

6. Churches and other charitable organizations that have significant overhead will find themselves struggling to survive because fewer charitable donations will be deductible. This may be the impetus that shoves the church to return to its earlier iteration: more house churches, more “tent-making” dual-career pastors, fewer top-heavy bureaucracies (like the UMC), far more lay leadership.

7. Higher education will have to change radically. The private schools that rely on huge donations to fund scholarships so anyone who is not way past substantial wealth can attend will have to figure out a different, more cost-effective way to deliver education.

8. There will have to be a drastic reduction in expensive end-of-life medical care and interventions. That reduction is not necessarily bad. However, some will die needlessly as gatekeepers will deny more procedures to those who are past a certain age cutoff.

9. Unquestionably, we are moving in the direction of a “survival of the fittest” economic culture. That is a cruel place for many. Churches, already lifting a lot of the load of caring for the least and lost of society, will have to figure out a way to do more. There’s not going to be any other place to go for many.

What other effects do you foresee?

Photo credit: Visualhunt

"I have kept my mouth shut while serving in the UMC ministry, simply because I ..."

Could Diverse and Especially Female Clergy ..."
"a) the mainlines are dying precipitously and have been for decades. "majority" is no longer ..."

The UMC Inquistion Arrived While The ..."
"Oh, brother! I get that you have little idea how conservative religion works within the ..."

The UMC Inquistion Arrived While The ..."
"No, I would not be interested in dodging the theological substance. But the notion that ..."

The UMC Inquistion Arrived While The ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!

TRENDING AT PATHEOS Progressive Christian
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • disqus_ZBXJDbYJHe

    You will see a lot more churches closing their doors because their patrons can no longer give money at the weekly collection plates every Sunday or Saturday depending on which denomination you belong to. Of course, when the recession of 2008 hit, you had churches closing their doors and declaring bankruptcy because their patrons had lost their jobs.

  • Reese

    Typical Democrat diatribe. Why not assume that there will be an increasing amount of available funds to address real needs after we:
    • Review and define what is a “safety net” and what has become a “hammock” to move some slackers out.
    • Seal our borders which will ease some strain on law enforcement but certainly reduce welfare, education, and healthcare expenses for non-citizens.
    • Stop subsidizing the arrogance, waste and inefficiency of 5 states which over-tax their people.
    • With luck, a reduction in college access might send more young into needed skills areas (electrician, plumbing, IT, nursing…) and less likely to waste years getting degrees in philosophy, art, archeology and other not-needed “skills”. When is the last time you needed a philosopher and paid him $150 an hour to pontificate at your house? How long did you have to wait?
    One truth on public healthcare: Counties and cities are obligated to set aside funds in every budget year for “indigent healthcare”. To state otherwise is typical liberal baloney.
    We can perhaps agree that church bureaucracies can stand some reduction, but the UMC will die sooner from the cancer of liberalism which is metastasizing even as we speak. Finally, “corporations” are the crown jewels of “capitalism” – with more capital, as a result of lower taxes, they can expand, modernize, R&D, compete, and with rising demand for their products HIRE and TRAIN MORE PEOPLE. We need that. Remember, over the last 10 years, many unemployed folks just stopped looking. Millions. The “unemployment rate” does not reflect them and we need to get them off of those sofas! But, you stay LEFT, I’ll be RIGHT with you.

    • Linda Coleman Allen

      What about the multi-billion dollar cut to Medicare? Something that we pay for. Are you in line with seeing millions of people die? I had one of those big corporate jobs in the 1990’s in the telecom industry. The long established company sold to another company, which then stole our 401k plans and some employee pension plans. The only people who did well were the corporate officers of the company that sold. I pray that some of your thoughts are true. But we would all be better off if we stopped the sarcasm and derision in our comments. They only serve to take the focus off of valid points.

      • Reese

        Oh, excuse me. This blogger compares President Trump to Hitler (a week ago) and I am being derisive? Some companies are run by some some bad people who have lots of lawyers to protect them. We have all been disappointed. But, no other system, certainly not socialism, has done so much to invent, build, employ, increase wealth. And, please don’t depend on the “government” – they sent 60,000 of my generation to die in an undeclared war and now they keep taking money out of social security. Say, ever ask yourself why they keep saying “social security is running out of money” but they never say “welfare is running out of money?” We who work put our money into social security. Those who have lived on welfare have never put in a penny! But, their fund has unlimited funds while our fund is going broke. Life can be unfair! Merry Christmas!

        • Judgeforyourself37

          Sorry, friend, but Listen, just LISTEN to Trump, and if you are old enough, as I am, to have witnessed and heard those old Newsreels of WW II and heard Hitler, you will know that Trump is just like Hitler.

        • disqus_ZBXJDbYJHe

          When you look at the record, it is the corporations that got more welfare from the government not the people and the CEOs have not put a penny back into the economy. As a matter of fact, the CEOs stated that they will use the tax breaks to buy back their stocks and will not use the money to invest in America nor give better wages to the workers.

      • Judgeforyourself37

        The inequality in this nation has been escalating since Reagan. Now, under Trump, it is full scale. Trump cares only about Trump, and maybe, his wealth minions.
        There is starting to be a swing of that, proverbial, pendulum. Cases in point, VA, NH, NJ, WA and AL. We just have to keep that momentum in full throttle.

    • Aw, Reese quit being such the jerk…as far as exclusive tribalism goes it is ingrained in today’s Republicanism. Ya prefer to live in a society, in which its root word is social. In societies ya have to share Reesey boy, I know that ya prefer attacking the poor instead of poverty, but the only society that succeeds is the one that aids its weakest link and not continually reenforcing its strongest link. Of course ya never whine about corporate welfare, where this tax bill and deregulation will even pile more of that onto the corporate rich in permanence and perpetuity. Why is it that right tribalism incessantly seeks out scapegoats, ya know like Latino immigrants are all racists and murderers, all Mulims are terrorists and Nigerians need to go back to their African huts. I don’t know what it says for you, but when the white nationalist parties, the alt-right groups and the KKK not only voted for Trump, they endorsed him, it says a lot about the Republican Party.

      I’m not in absolute certainty, but most likely you’re one of those in justifying turning this nation’s democracy into an oligarchy in belching out that everything you received ya solely worked for and earned it. Sorry cowpunch, but no one has gone it alone all by themselves in reaping their just rewards. Somebody, relatives or friends helped you along the way. If there are folks that have no relations that could aid them, then an entity such as a government should step in. Besides 64% of those folks on social programs work full time. For sure, if ya don’t like living in a society where one must share, then grab all your money and material things, pick ya out a nice secluded mountaintop somewhere and live out your days in truly going it alone…

      • Reese

        I have locks on my doors, do you? Even though I live on a few acres and my neighbors are good folks, I just never know who might come up the road and its almost impossible to tell the good from the bad until they do something bad. A wall and true vetting is just a lock on America’s door – the good ones, with a skill we need, will still be welcomed. That saying, “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…” did NOT say, “Give me your angry, your troubled, your misguided masses yearning to kill us or simply crawl into our hammock…” By the way, as you can see from the picture, I do live on a wooded hilltop and, except for occasional trips in the motorhome or excursions to the golf course and Wal-Mart, I do indeed go it alone…

        • Aw dang it all there cowpunch, you and I, we just might be the neighbor folk you’re speaking of, for I live on a few acres as well, except I have no door locks and where ya say, “it’s almost impossible to tell the good from the bad until they do something bad,” I say just the opposite in, its almost impossible to rate the good from the bad as they all mostly do good.

          Speaking of your slash of words in, “Give me your angry, your troubled, your misguided masses yearning to kill us or simply crawl into our hammock.” Why ol’ Reese, in your comments here, you’re coming off just like that…it fits ya to a tee, ya know…as angry, troubled and misguided, while I might add a bit on the self-righteous slant as well.

          Now I’m just supposing here, but I would put a stamp on it that ya call yourself a real upright Christian. Ya do know that back in the day Koine Greek for Christ followers was Christos…that is where the word, Christian came from…those that followed Jesus and his teachings. Now if ya really are the follower of Jesus, ya just got to sit down and think for a moment what Jesus would do…would he build that wall…don’t think so…Jesus was inclusive all the way and in no way did he believe in exclusive borders, much less walls.

          Say fella, ya should just be ever so thankful that the one and only true American…the Native American (ya see that’s why they’re the only ones that can have that title of native) might just pick up on your biased opinion and gather up all those white Europeans that falsely claim they are the true American and send them packing back to Europe from whence they’re immigrant ancestors came from…

          • Reese

            I’m just all about #Make America Great Again: Less taxes, less crime, less illegals, less unemployment… More business, more wall, more of all the good things. Make it a Happy and Pro$perou$ New Year!

          • Really…when was America so great that ya reference to in your right-wing caps…We pay less taxes/inflation now going all the way back to the early ’60s…I see you’re ever so thankful for Obama’s efforts in turning the economy around from the mess that he inherited and appreciate the Obama trend of 78 consecutive month unemployment drops and rising job creation. It’s certainly not very nice for Trump and the Trumpeteers to take credit for it. Trump inherited that from Obama and pray tell if ya disagree what in heavens has Trump actually done that created jobs…it most certainly wasn’t that Indiana scam he and Pence pulled over in Indiana. Yeah, it cost Indian taxpayers millions, but Carrier went ahead and shut down the plants anyway…laying off all those workers. Your perspective on what’s good kinda is lacking in reasonable thought with no factual content to back it up…

          • Reese

            With your logic and perspective, I understand why you would think the moniker “Texancoach” would be appropriate. Arn’t they 4 – 11? In fact, a much higher score than I would give Obama, Hillary and liberals in general. I’m sure we’ll have fun in another post. Happy New Year and have fun.

          • I tell ya what, since you’re the big man with the little britches…pick any political topic…the deficit, national debt, healthcare, the new tax law, Trump’s and Obama’s golfing status…anything ya want, then we’ll give a quick debate over it with substantive facts.

            Make my New Year happy. So it’s your choice cowpunch; fire away…

          • Reese


          • Ya know ol’ Reese…stray dogs that live on the highway walk on three legs, they’re just too slow to get the message. Your belligerence is telling of your ignorance in never giving a statement with some kind of substance to back it up. Go ahead and sleep l’il fella for eagles pay no mind to vultures opinions anyway…

            Go head on…worship and follow your semi-deity, Trump…and as ya do in thinking of him as your savior, as in line of the true savior, Jesus…if this is truly your Christian brand, then forget your heaven, the other place is more befitting for the ilks…

            Night, night now…

          • disqus_ZBXJDbYJHe

            in the 1950s and early 60s, corporations and wealthy people pay the highest taxes and we had more government regulations; however, the economy did not go bust, and you did not see wealthy people go homeless nor did you see corporations go bankrupt. due to high taxes. Instead, what we got was a prosper large middle class with good paying jobs.

    • Judgeforyourself37

      When the UMC dies, and it will, it will be due to the fact that they want to go backward in time. You seem to cling to an infantile form of Christianity, the kind that you were taught to believe when you were seven or eight. Adults, who are educated, learn that God loves all of us. Yes, even those who are LBGTQ+ and would never say that they could not marry the person whom they loved, or be ordained in His Church, as some branches of the UMC want to do. When the UMC dies it will be killed by the far right wing.
      You seem to think that if someone is old, and worked all their life, as did I, that I no longer have value. My, what a “Christian” attitude.
      You seem to think that if someone is disabled, they should just die.
      You seem to think that the top 1% are they only ones who dare inhabit this nation.
      You must either be very young or if you are an educated adult, you go to church and use that “brain rack,” It is the shelf above where you hang your coat. The Brain Rack is where you hang up your brain, listen to, and believe the preacher, and then at the end of the service go to get your coat, and reach up and retrieve your brain from the shelf above where you hung your coat. Most people quickly forget the babbling of that preacher, but sadly for you, your brain absorbed that babbling, pontifical preacher and thus you think as you do.

      • Reese

        Is English your native language? Nothing I wrote says or implies the things you wrote. You liberals are so funny; you are sure that you are smarter than everyone else. You are sure that those who go to the meg-churches are not as smart as you. Me? I sometimes went to the local Methodist, not too much. Work washard and long and it was always too hard to leave bed on Sunday morning. But, we recently quit the Methodist church rather than endure another 2 years of the endless debate over sexuality. I really don’t care what people do, but I’m tired of hearing about it and will never accept some things in my world. I never went to a meg-church mostly because I never wanted to drive that far or park that far away from the door…

  • Linda Coleman Allen

    It sounds like we will see an end to mega churches. And maybe my life!

    • Reese

      The non-denominational, generally conservative, Bible-based churches are growing. Churches like the Episcopal, Lutheran (liberal), UMC have embraced liberalism and are dying by the numbers, closed churches, empty plates and empty pews, broke budgets…Google the numbers on dying churches and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.

      • doninkansas

        And they have nothing to do with Christianity, they are merely the Republican Party with a very thin Christian veneer.

      • Judgeforyourself37

        Why do you think that Mega Churches are full?? Don’t you realize that they give easy answers to complex problems, and solve nothing, but fatten the bank accounts of those preachers who probably have all of six weeks of “preaching school.”

    • doninkansas

      Mega church I would love to see gone, they are a perversion of Christianity, the same with the type of Christianity they espouse.

  • Timothy Weston

    “9. Unquestionably, we are moving in the direction of a “survival of the fittest” economic culture.

    more at

    This law builds a double wall, reinforces it, and widen the space. This is evidence that they listen to their donors, not voters. They obtain the votes by converting their constituencies’ ignorance of the outside world into fear. The sad thing is that it works.

  • Reese

    I am so glad that I found this location of convoluted liberal logic! 2018 will be a great new year of fun and laughter reading socialist thought, anti-common sense pontifications and capitalist condemning tirades. Now that I am fully retired, I have more time to enjoy languishing liberals, sniffling snowflakes and Demoralized Democrats – in between rounds of golf. Life is good. Happy New Year everyone!

    • Judgeforyourself37

      So you think that capitalism, as it is today under Trump is good? Capitalism, as it is written, can be good, but unbridled Capitalism, leads to what we have today, Reese, obscene greed, both corporate greed and individual greed. Greed will bring our nation, as we knew it, to an inglorious end.
      As for “demoralized Democrats,” don’t you read? Didn’t you see the Resistance? Didn’t you read or hear about VA, WA, and AL? People, especially women, have had enough and that pendulum of greed, misogyny and prosperity for only the few at the top may be starting to swing left. Capitalism that has turned to mere obscene greed may be in its death throes.

      • Reese

        Greed, indeed! Makes you want to get up earlier and work harder to do better than the competition! Socialism makes you want to do minimal because you’re going to get about the same no matter what. Socialism has not proven to be very good, and in many cases, requires an oppressive government to keep things going. Capitalism is best served by minimal government interference. Well, we might be headed to an inglorious end, but most people don’t think so. Home sales UP, consumer confidence UP, stock market UP. All these investors would be hoarding their moneyd if they thought the end was near. Think positive – join in the game!

        • disqus_ZBXJDbYJHe

          Socialism has done very well in Northern and Western Europe. Denmark, Sweden, Finland, and Norway are rank in the top 5 when it comes to standard of living. You can’t say that about the USA in the last 37 years.

          • Reese

            They do not have the wide variety of ethnic origins we deal with, nor do they have to fund protection of the planet like we do. Have you been to South Texas, South Chicago or South Bronx? They ain’t Denmark or Sweden or the rest.

          • disqus_ZBXJDbYJHe

            What does having a wide variety of people from ethnic origins have to do with ensuring that people in society have a decent life? The answer is none. People are people no matter where they come from and they have needs. Do you think that Afro-Americans came willing to America, the answer is no. Lot of other ethnic, racial groups came to America due various reasons like the wars in Europe, right wing regimes that America supported from the 1950s to up today, the drug wars in Central and South America or they were brought here legally or illegally by American CEOs to undercut the American worker. Blame the wealthy people and the CEOs for allowing this country to have a wide variety of people from all over the world because they would not give the workers a decent living plus interfering in other countries’ affairs because it threaten their own political, social, and economic agendas.

            What do you mean by fund protection of the planet?

  • Reese

    Capitalism is not perfect, but let’s look at liberal/socialist/Democrat policies. Most of our big cities have been run by left leaning Democrats most of my life. Phily, Baltimore, Newark, Cleveland, Chicago and more are broke and failing examples of what liberalism brings. And, school systems which send a significant % of students out with a chip on their soldier over social issues, some grasp of the damage done by corporations to the environment, but not one marketable skill that would lead them to income above minimum. We can’t find a plumber at less than $100 per visit, but Democrats want to create more minimum-wage labor for fast food, plus allow more illegals in to compete for the lowest level jobs. It makes no sense!!! Many “graduates” can’t even read or write! Meanwhile, the feds SUBSIDIZE the creation of more inner city poor by subsidizing poor women to have children they cannot afford and the cycle continues. Capitalism focuses on profit and to gain profit, they generally must invent, build, create value by offering goods and services that markets want. The two philosophies are 180 degrees and the hard working, risk-taking people on my side generally live better. Why don’t Dems try focusing on that?

    • RustbeltRick

      People like this can’t define their own beliefs. The only thing they know is that they hate those awful libruls.

    • disqus_ZBXJDbYJHe

      No the cities were destroyed when conservative business leaders took all the good paying jobs overseas and/or imported illegal and legal workers to take the place of the American workers. Those are the failures of an unregulated, conservative capitalism.

      . “Capitalism focuses on profit and to gain profit, they generally must invent, build, create value by offering goods and services that markets want.”

      Wrong, Capitalism focuses on too much profit and do not invent, build let alone offer goods and services. As Mike Papantonio stated on the TV/radio show Ring of Fire, the people on Wall Street only make money by creating paper money. They no longer build stuff anymore. Furthermore, you look at American companies, they tend to make products that kill or injury people and then, they want immunity from being sue.

      If you want to look at broken economic systems, look at Kansas and Wisconsin when those Republican politicians de-regulated their rules and regulations of doing business with the state. Kansas went bust and Wisconsin in the first year under Walker rank 49th out 50th states when it came to job growth.

      • Reese

        Be of good cheer and hope! Look at the record after only one year:
        Trump: Our economy’s BUMP!
        Stocks SOAR. More workers makin’ MORE.
        Capitalism EXHAULTED. Socialism HALTED.
        Illegal entries SLUMPIN’. Coal now HUMPIN’.
        Bad EPA Regs wane. Vets feelin’ less pain.
        New pipelines COMIN’. New homes HUMMIN’!
        Swamp? Sleazy! Drainin’ ain’t easy!
        Them be the fact-ces. P.S. LOWER TAXES!
        If you measure progress by numbers rather than liberal emotions and fantasies, there is every reason to believe we will #MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!

        • disqus_ZBXJDbYJHe

          No, the jobs have not come back to America and anyone who support unregulated Capitalism is a fool. You need to measure the progress by the numbers in the Western and Northern European countries regarding their socialist programs and their countries are make great because of it.

          Coal humpin. Yet, Trump has not brought back mining jobs nor has he brought back his own manufacturing jobs from China.

          Workers are not making more and you have businesses trying to prevent cities and counties from passing laws that raise wages by lobbying the state and federal politicians.

          • Reese

            or orYou need to watch Fox News, not fake news. My investments are measured in real U.S. currency and they are up. Home values are measured in real U.S. currency and they are up. Christmas sales were really up. We do need to stop protecting Europe and let them spend their own money on it. We need to kick out the UN, let them meet in Uganda or Indonesia or some other awful place. Let Europe foot that bill, too. America First!

          • disqus_ZBXJDbYJHe

            Fox News is fake news. Houses are too expensive even if you are well-paid. America First? You must mean American corporations and wealthy people first not the poor American ordinary citizen. Just wait for the American economy to crash to unregulated capitalism and the foolish, stupid tax cut bill that was passed and sign into law.

          • Reese

            Poor Democrat… You just don’t understand our system. I am just an average person, no special connections, did not make great grades, but served my country, then went to work. Worked hard over many years for several different corporations. Saved hard, but had fun with the family. Now, I’m retired and loving golf, grand-kids and stuff, but not foolishly. That’s the way it works: work hard, save hard, play hard, spend smart at Wal-Mart. Its just too easy.

          • disqus_ZBXJDbYJHe

            Poor Republican never will understand the system how it is rigged against the ordinary citizen. So what if you serve your country? It doesn’t mean a thing to the corporations and wealthy people who foolishly use their power and wealthy (from the American taxpayers) to destroy the country and the world. That the way it works? From the end of World War II, it work find until Reagan got into office, and then it went downhill after that.

          • Reese

            You need to travel more. Work took me to 25 different countries and I never saw the middle class people like me live as well. Including Euros who live in cramped little apartments, drive cramped little cars, must often use public transportation to get around and don’t have the affordable alternatives we take for granted. And the poor! Lord I’ve seen poverty we never see here! Took my wife with me to South America once on business and she spent much of the trip crying.

          • disqus_ZBXJDbYJHe

            You need to open your eye when you travel and know more about the political, social, and economic history of the countries you had visited. At least, the Europeans don’t have to rely on their cars so much when getting to work or traveling to other parts of their countries. They also have huge parts of the cities where cars are not allowed inl; therefore, people have to walk or ride a bicycle in those areas so they least they are getting physical exercise They also have bicycle trails that go into several European countries so people can view the countryside and visit the cities without having to travel by car. They have better education systems, more diverse political parties in their government, have better unions and labor protections, have better unemployment and job retraining programs than in the USA plus better and free/affordable medical care along with free/affordable education. They don’t have the kind of extreme poverty and income inequality compare to the USA. Norway doesn’t have bankruptcy laws and don’t believe in it. Regarding poverty in South America, you can blame both the wealthy people in that area and American business leaders for not wanting to improve the ordinary people’s working and living conditions because they don’t want the people to have a decent lifestyle. Everytime, some progressive, socialist, populist leaders trying to do something for the people, you have the CIA and the American business people trying to take them out.

          • Reese

            My 2018 year has already started with a big Blessing – that you and I will never be seated together at a dinner party. Oh, I do take note of politics, like the abysmal failure of socialism. I cheered when the wall came down (and I will cheer when our own goes up!). I take note of the Euro union coming apart now as the money to prop it up is running out. That open borders is causing crime once unheard of – even in Denmark! And, to most of us, riding a bike or a bus is not a pleasure. We Americans are a free people who want to go anywhere when we want to go. My wife and I went thru 5 vans raising 3 girls and showing them America. Now retired, we have a motor-home and a convertible and a pick-up – whatever mood I am in, I have the wheels for it! Freedom! And, I earned it through hard work and investments in corporate stock (“evil corporate profits” go to stockholders like me). That is my America! Yours does not sound like very much fun – especially if it is like Europe. Although, I must admit, Ireland was a great place to play golf!

          • disqus_ZBXJDbYJHe

            I would not want to be seated with you and I do take note of the abysmal failure of capitalism here in the USA, because now you got young people involved because it has failed to give them the good paying jobs not to mention seeing how their parents and grandparents had their jobs, their health insurance, and their pension have taken away from them. The American dollar is not is what it used to be anymore. You now got conservative Republicans finally waking up on how they been dupe by their own parties for years.

            “I earned it through hard work and investments in corporate stock ?” Yeah, like lying, cheating and stealing from the American public. America was a lot more fun back in the 1950s and 1960s than your America of today because people back then had good paying jobs, strong unions, better government regulation of the economy, good tariff barriers, etc. Most Europeans don’t think that America is very fun at all in the last 37 years and believe that we are sicko. You obviously have not been talking to the Europeans and even if you had, you refuse to listen to what they had to stay or your listening fell on deaf ears.

            Most of us riding a bike or bus is not a pleasure? Have you ever taken a survey of Americans that taking a bus or a bicycle in Europe is not a pleasure?

            .”We Americans are a free people who want to go anywhere when we want to go”

            No we can’t go anywhere we want because of all these ICE checkpoints 100 miles inside the US borders. Many cities, counties, and business people are complaining that because of these checkpoints, people wouldn’t come to their areas to spend their money. Crime is far lower in Europe than it is in America and the public don’t have to worry about getting shot by the police compare to here in the USA.

            Corporate profits still need to go back into the company into order to give workers better salaries and benefits, more money to do research and development to create products, etc., not just to the stockholders.

          • Reese

            Wow! My guess is that you are a college professor. Few other professions are as disconnected from the realities of America… Do I dare ask how you think this current record freeze is caused by global warming? – no, wait, I’m 69 so I would not probably have enough time for the answer. Well, gotta go burn some hydrocarbons in comfort…

          • disqus_ZBXJDbYJHe

            No, it is the conservatives, wealthy people, and business people who are disconnected from the realities of America. Your grandkids will be getting the answer about global warning soon enough.

          • Reese

            Dow today hits 25,000! 250,000 new workers hired! Lots of great economic news. We CAPITALISTS are having a ball. Life is good. Join us.

          • disqus_ZBXJDbYJHe

            What comes up, does come down. Are these workers going to be allowed to join unions and get good pay and benefits? Are these workers American workers or are they foreign workers? Are the jobs full-time, permanent ones or are they part-time, temporary jobs and are the If the economy is doing well, it because of Obama, not Trump.

            What great economic news? Tell that to the workers at AT&T: and the CEOs have stated that they are not going to hired workers nor give them any raises:

            Yeah and when the economy goes bad or gets misuse and abuse like what happen under Bush, Jr., you capitalists are going to demand that the government bail you out or you will let the economy crash. At least Iceland send their bankers to prison for what they did to their economy. Did the USA did that to its own bankers? No.

            Great news Iceland will be the first country to have a law and enforce it where there will be equal pay for both sexes. Can you say that about the USA?

            If capitalism is so great, then why Americans’ life expectancy has decline to due to corporations creating the opioid crisis:

          • Reese

            Because of the stupid open borders policies of the government, both Dem and RINO, unfortunately some of these workers will not be as American as you and me, and where we go from here is up to market forces. But, I am as confident as all those investors who are risking their capital by investing in American corporations. They believe so I believe. My opinion is that unions will continue to become less relevant continuing their slide over the last 40 years. Market forces. Right-to-work states and foreign competition require competitiveness. As a former oilfield roughneck and construction laborer, I am concerned that OSHA and EPA continue to insure safety, but within common sense. Safety contributions of unions have been overtaken by government.

          • disqus_ZBXJDbYJHe

            It was the business people that got the border and immigration policies loose not to mention hiring illegal workers. Sorry, but the CEOs are not going to invest in American corporations and they have said so. In addition, capitalist investors in the last 37 year have been buying up American corporations and then selling them off. That is not investing.

            You can’t be competitiveness when the corporations and wealthy people have rigged the system to prevent any kind of meaningful competition.

            “I am concerned that OSHA and EPA continue to insure safety, but within common sense. Safety contributions of unions have been overtaken by government.”

            Yeah and when Rick Perry, the governor of Texas got rid of safety regulations, it blew up in his face at the plant in Texas that had been cited for safety violations and the governor was pissed off when the Sacramento Bee did a cartoon of him mocking. During the Reagan Administration, you had more construction workers killed or injured because Reagan did not do a thing about enforcing the OSHA rules.

          • Reese

            I can’t compete with your hate and misunderstanding of a capitalist system. Yes, business has been more welcoming to illegals for cheap labor, but Democrats are much more welcoming for easy votes. Our system is by no means perfect, but I believe the Trump common sense will improve it, but as it is, is better than any system the world has and so hate is not understood. But, I’ll close this. Enjoyed the discussion. Happy New Year.

          • disqus_ZBXJDbYJHe

            It is people like you that hate and misunderstand a socialist system nor have no understanding of how a capitalist system needs to be regulated so people have an equal say in it not wealthy people and corporations. In addition, corporations should not have the same rights as people and need to be kept in their place. They are not human beings. You have no history of how cities, counties, and states used to have laws on the books enabling them to abolish corporations if they had misuse and abused their power but slowly over corporations manage to get those laws overturn.

            Misunderstanding of the capitalist system? You want to tell that to the people of Mexico, Guatemala, Puerto Rico, Ecuador, Chile, etc. and see want kind of response you will get from them. Same thing in Europe.

            Where is your proof that Democrats welcome illegal immigrants for easy votes? If the conservatives and Republican Party didn’t want illegal immigrants to vote, then they should not have brought them in the first place to undercut the American worker. Where is your proof of voter fraud by the Democratic Party with illegal immigrants? Bush, Jr., wasted three years of taxpayers’ money trying to proof it and found nothing. Trump has no common sense and now even the Republicans are realizing it; however, they should have realized it a long time ago. Furthermore, CEOs never had any kind of common sense because almost all of them come from the upper middle/rich class and hardly any of them started their own companies or if they did, they had political, social, and economic access to start one up compare to most ordinary citizens.

            The socialist system in Western Europe and Northern Europe is far superior and better for the ordinary citizen than the capitalist system in the USA and people like you have such vicious, cold blood hatred for it that it is beyond belief. Look at the number of homeless people in America or the number of people particularly kids in America who go to bed hungry every night. Are you accusing them of being lazy people even though many of them work two or even three years?

            People like you have run out of scapegoats for your mishandling of the economy and can no longer blame the government, American workers, liberals, progressives, socialists, communists, labor unions, minorities, young people, and poor people for it because they are not the ones in the driver’s seat when the economy comes crashing down and never have been in the driver’s seat since this country was founded.. It has already start off as a bad New Year and the next few years will be bad or worse. Count on it.

  • zbicyclist

    The change in the standard deduction and tax deduction rules will likely heavily affect the donors who are the backbone of church operating budgets. Small donors won’t be affected because they likely weren’t itemizing (although they might be giving generously relative to their income). Rich people tend to give more to universities and museums, as a general rule, and they likely won’t be affected anyway since they will still be itemizing. But those who used to itemize but won’t anymore (many of the donors in the $2500-$5000 a year to the church level) will find they won’t get any tax benefit. Will they scale back their donations so they are giving the same amount (post-tax) but the church gets less? Or, will they give the same and take the hit on their own income? We’ll find out in a year or so.