Sunday, December 3, 2017

Tax Bill

Some random thoughts:

1. There was an opportunity to greatly simplify the tax system. Based purely on the length of the bill that didn't happen.
2. Historically business reacts to tax cuts in three steps:
(1) Executives feather their own nests.
(2) Money goes into dividends (raising the value of your 401(k)) and stock buybacks (raising the value of your equity investments and stock index funds.)
(3) Money finally gets to the workers as the economy heats up (3.9% 3rd quarter growth.)
3. 2027 is an interesting year. By then we will have had 5 new Congresses, potentially 2 new Presidents (President Trump gets 2 more, next President gets 4, next President gets 4, Next President gets 4 or 8,) and very possibly 3+ new Supreme Court Judges. So from the government side a lot of change (even seesawing) is possible.
4. Also in 2027 half of the first year baby boomers (born in 1946) will be dead. (That is my birth year so I am hoping I am not one of them.) For the next 20 years (until 2047) each year will see half of that age cohort already dead. And of course the previous cohorts will continue to die off. Since boomers are the largest consumers of government health care and pensions the outlays should start to drop. (Actuaries could give us a chart, I am just mussing.) Since pensions and health care are consuming more than 50% of the total Federal budget this is a big deal.
5. Interest on the Federal debt will become a big problem even if this tax cut fails to pass. The economy has been growing above the 3% rate. That means interest rates are going up no matter what. And the interest on the debt (not to mention paying back the principal) is a big number.
6. The Defense Budget will go up (or other Government "entities" will be created and funded.) Cyberwarfare is real. And as we are seeing every day it costs money to secure the Internet. (The original Internet was designed by academic geeks with no concern for security. The whole thing is built on mud.) It is going to take big bucks to police it and even bigger bucks to fix it.
7. There will be a continuing clash of the four major civilizations: Russia, China, radical Islam, and Euro-American. See Henry the K "World Order" for background. How this plays out with respect to expenditures is anyone's guess.
8. There will be major advances in "simple AI" and workplace automation e.g. ordering kiosks at Micky "D's." This will result in many more "unemployables."

In summary I have no real idea what the impact of this tax bill will be. Nor does anyone else.

I just depressed myself. Time for a beer and watching the sunset.

Fair winds and following seas  :)

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