10 AM | 13 Sep

Trump Presidency 2018: The Year of Impeachment? Maybe Not.

There is no doubt that 2017 was one of the most tumultuous years in Washington’s history. And we have one person to thank for that, President Donald John Trump. He ran for the presidency on a platform of redefining the presidency and the state of the nation. His “Make America great again: campaign platform not only made him popular but won him a legion of diehard supporters. His brash leadership style has been out of decorum for a leader of his stature. His handling of foreign affairs matters has also been off the roof. Top it up with personal scandals and you get a potful of trouble. Which begs the question: Shall President Trump survive 2018?

A White House in Chaos

When Michael Wolff’s expose ‘Fire and Fury’ was released there was a lot that people expected to read a lot of it. One of the things it managed to point out was the shambolic state of the new administration’s inner house. First, it was the leaks by numerous centers of power. Then followed multiple ‘forced’ resignations and sackings which closed with Omarosa Manigault in late 2017. In total, Trump lost at least 14 senior members of his team within one year. Hopefully, this year won’t be worse. After all, these are the president’s guards against external attacks. Gladly, with General Kelly at the White House, things seem a little calmer. Members of his cabinets also seem likely to stay in place, especially after the easing of the relationship between Trump and his foreign secretary Rex Tillerson.

Sexual and Racial Allegations

Trump’s backyard seems supportive of lines that border on racism. That is why despite numerous verbatim quotes that appear pro-racist having come from the President, there has been very little quenching of the Trump fire. On a more personal level, Trump has time and again been called out for sexual misconduct accusations. These too he has survived and ducked. Recordings of �showbiz’ Trump confessing to his transgressions did very little to keep him off the presidency. The latest allegation, paying off a pornstar not to rat him out does not seem to have shaken the president or his handlers. If anything, it is already water under the bridge. So allegations of being a racist or a sexist do not seem to be a threat to the presidency. At least not for 2018.

The Russian Investigation Factor

If there is one true throne to the President, it is the investigation of Russian collusion within the Trump presidential election campaign. The Special Counsel, Robert Mueller has made headways including securing statements from General Flynn, Steve Bannon and most recently the Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The investigation that led to one of Trump’s most iconic goof-ups, the firing of FBI director James Comey, is still gaining steam. Meanwhile, the president claims the investigations are nothing more than a witch hunt pushed by Democrats and supported by the media. How long the president continues holding this stance is not given. The threat though seems likely to hold. Is it ending his presidency in 2018? Most likely not. Most policy and legal experts indicate that there are other key personalities who are likely to face Mueller before President Trump or the presidency is ever brought to trial.

Final Word?

Trump is the true form of the phoenix. His Knack for reshaping himself after each hurdle and scandal is impeccable. How far this goes is anyone guess. 2018 will definitely have a few more Trumpite bombshells, but we should expect a fight back for survival by the President. However, his luck will not run out in 2018. Not in the disjointed United States and global environment that we have today. Congressional support? Trump enjoys a strong support from the Republican majority in both Houses of Congress. Here lies his best defense against any impeachment attempts in 2018.

04 AM | 12 Jul

Will Trump’s Tax Plan Save Me Money? How Much?

Trump signed a new tax plan just before Christmas, formally referred to as the“Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.” This new plan is going to cut both the amount of taxes paid by big corporations and double the standard deduction of individual taxpayers. The cuts will take effect this year, and you can expect to see those new rates on your February paycheck. They’ll revert back to the 2017 rates in 2026.

What everyone really wants to know, however, is will the new tax plan save me money?

Income Tax Rates

The US tax system has seven different income categories, and the percentage of taxes you pay depends on how much you earn. If you make less than $9,525 a year, you won’t see any change at all. You’ll still be taxed at the rate of 10%. After that, the rate decreases for each tax bracket. Those making between $38,700 and $82,500 for instance, will drop from paying 25% to 22%. If you earn between $157,500 and $200,000, you’ll be taxed at the rate of 32% instead of 33%.

On the basis of the tax rate alone, you should save a little money if you earn more than $9,525 a year, or if you have a joint income of over $19,050.

Deductions and Exemptions

The new tax plan also doubles the standard deduction, which is claimed by about 94% of taxpayers. Before the changes, a single person could deduct $6,350 dollars and joint filers could take off $12,700. Those figures now stand at $12,000 and $24,000.

The problem for some, however, is that the new tax plan also eliminates personal exemptions. That’s the amount you could take off for dependants. Before the new plan, you could deduct $4,150 from your income for every person you claimed. If you have several children or other dependents that used to qualify for the deduction, the loss of this credit could wipe out any benefit you get from the increase in your personal deduction.

Some other itemized deductions have also been eliminated, including things like moving expenses (non-military) and alimony payments.

Who Benefits?

Most analysts agree that the new tax plan will help corporations and businesses more than individuals. Part of the reason for this is that the cuts are permanent for corporations but expire in eight years for individuals. It mostly benefits the wealthier, however, it should be noted that the wealthy already pay the vast majority of taxes in America.

Imagine that everyone paying taxes was put into five levels based on earnings. Those on the bottom level (earning the least) will see their income rise by 0.4%. The next level will get a 1.2 percent raise. The middle level gets 1.6, and the next-to-highest income earners would benefit from a 1.9% increase. Those earning the most will get the biggest increase of all – 2.9%.

So in the end, everyone gets a bit – but the more you earn, the more you’ll save in taxes.

Figuring out whether or not the new tax plan will save you money very much depends on how much you’re making, whether you have kids, and where you live. The more you earn, the more you will benefit from the new tax rates. If you don’t have children, you won’t feel the impact of losing the personal exemptions. Because there is a new provision for state and local tax deductions, however, you will lose some of your tax savings if you live in high-tax states like California.

The new plan is linked to jobs because President Trump hopes businesses will plow some of their savings into creating more employment opportunities. Whether or not that will happen has yet to be seen, but on an individual basis, the new plan is unlikely to save you much money. In the long-run, you probably won’t notice any difference to your tax bottom-line unless you’re among the top earners in the country.