Monday, December 18, 2017

Bought Off

Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) was going to be a man of integrity and vote against the tax bill because it was a budget-buster and since he wasn’t going to run for re-election, he didn’t have to worry about defending his vote against the party at the polls in November.  But then he realized that he needed some money to keep him in the lifestyle he was accustomed to as a real estate mogul, so when the GOP came along with a nice little present in the form of a tax break, he was all aboard.

Trump has made tens of millions of dollars of a specific kind of income that could be subjected to a last-minute tax break inserted into the Republicans’ tax legislation released Friday, according to federal records reviewed by International Business Times. The same is true for Tennessee GOP Sen. Bob Corker — a commercial real estate mogul who suddenly switched his vote to “yes” on the tax bill after the provision was added to the legislation. Previously, Corker was the only Republican to vote against the Senate version of the bill.

Trump told a Missouri crowd on Nov. 29 that he would personally take a hit from the GOP tax plan. “This is going to cost me a fortune, this thing, believe me…I have some very wealthy friends. Not so happy with me, but that’s OK,” Trump said. But a variety of experts have concluded that the tax bill overwhelmingly favors the wealthiest Americans — especially those with complex real-estate investments.

The reconciled tax bill includes a new 20 percent deduction for so-called “pass-through” entities, business structures such as LLCs, LPs and S-Corporations that don’t pay corporate taxes, but instead “pass through” income to partners who pay individual tax rates on that money. The Senate version of the bill included safeguards that would only allow businesses to take advantage of the new break if they paid out significant wages to employees. But the new provision, which wasn’t included in either version of the bill passed by the House and Senate, and was only added during the reconciliation process, gives owners of income-producing real estate holdings a way around that safeguard, effectively creating a new tax break for large landlords and real estate moguls.

Might as well cash in while they’re handing out the chips.