the badly needed New York-New Jersey Gateway rail project designed to keep Amtrak, New Jersey Transit and the whole Boston-Washington rail corridor from suffering a catastrophic collapse.
.. when it comes to comparing what they send to Washington with what comes back, New Jersey, Connecticut, New York and Massachusetts are the four biggest losers
.. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, like me, is linking farmer handouts with the lack of Gateway funding
.. If farmers support politicians who don’t want to help pay for mass transit infrastructure in my part of the country, it’s hard to see why I should pay for the damage farmers have suffered because the guy they helped elect has caused them problems that they could have protected themselves against.
.. Farmers could have sold their crops forward; they could have hedged in the futures market; they could have done any number of things. But they didn’t. And now, they’re lining up for a handout.
.. Pre-Trump, I would have been happy to help make them whole. (Though pre-Trump, they wouldn’t need help.) Now, I would like to get something in return for helping them.
.. If politicians from Trump enclaves decide to help fund the Gateway project that is vital to my part of the country (and to the country as a whole) and let me start deducting real estate and state income taxes again, I’ll be happy about helping farmers and blue-collar people in Trumpland.
I would much rather be part of a unified country than a member of a warring faction. I hope you feel this way, too.
when this bill leads to these predicted deficits, Republicans will return to their sidelined deficit rhetoric armed with a sickle, aiming the blade at the social safety net, exacerbating the egregious imbalance of the tax bill’s original sins.
.. That’s the strategy: Appease the rich on the front end; punish the poor on the back. Feed the weak to the strong.
.. No matter how folks try to rationalize this bill, it has nothing to do with a desire to help the middle class or the poor. This is a cash offering to the gods of the Republican donor class. This is a bill meant to benefit Republicans’ benefactors. This is a quid pro quo and the paying of a ransom.
.. Last month at a rally in Missouri, Trump said of the tax bill, “This is going to cost me a fortune, this thing, believe me.” He continued:
.. “This is not good for me. Me, it’s not so — I have some very wealthy friends. Not so happy with me, but that’s O.K. You know, I keep hearing Schumer: ‘This is for the wealthy.’ Well, if it is, my friends don’t know about it.”
That, too, was a lie.
.. It also lines the pockets of people like Senator Bob Corker, who mysteriously “coincidentally” switched his vote from a no to a yes on the bill after the language was added.
.. Donald Trump is a plutocrat masquerading as a populist. He is a pirate on a mission to plunder.
.. Republicans in Congress rushed the bill through for other reasons: to combat the fact of their own legislative incompetence, to satisfy their donors and to honor their long-held belief that the rich are America’s true governing force.
.. They are simply a veneer behind which a crime is occurring: the great American tax heist.
one thing that changed was the insertion of a provision that wasn’t in the Senate bill: Real estate companies were added to the list of “pass-through” businesses whose owners will get sharply lower tax rates. These pass-through provisions are arguably the worst feature of the bill. They will open the tax system to a huge amount of gaming, of exploiting legal loopholes to avoid tax.
But one thing they will also do, thanks to that last-minute addition, is give huge tax breaks to elected officials who own a lot of income-producing real estate — officials like Donald Trump and, yes, Bob Corker.
If you change the boards of a ship one plank at a time, and replace all boards, is it the same ship?
- Ship of Theseus, described by Plutarch
- meriological: identity is sum of its parts
- Spacial Temporal Continuity: the ship moves smoothly through time. There is no point in time when you can say you have a new ship
- but what if you steal the ship piecemeal?
- the problem is unresolvable, only resolvable by using some external principle