The super cool 529 expansion was stripped from the final tax bill. Also, better tax plan calculator

I was going to do a effort post on the whole thing, but I just can’t.  I’ve vented enough about how it’s shocked me that so many Republicans are against more flexible spending of education dollars by parents.  But they are.  Some of them are even whiny that it wasn’t RESTRICTED MORE to homeschoolers only.

Congratulations, Dems.  Y’all play to win and know when to hold ’em.

That is a better tax plan calculator.  Only about 1 in 20 taxpayers will see an increase in their taxes, nearly all on the higher income side.



Homeownership in America is just renting on steroids.

This is why the whiny left-wing arguments about how people who can reliably pay rent should be able to get a mortgage are not that ridiculous.  In practice people have completely abandoned the idea of staying in a house for decades and they’ve abandoned that idea for decades.  And yeah, the Boomers started it, with their tiny starter homes and then a bigger one to raise kids in and then the comfortable home for entertaining.  That’s three right there.

So many people do sell frequently that it’s just a special, perks-laden version of renting where you even get access to massive amounts of consumer credit and tax breaks, but you’re totally leaving in three or four years.



The Contraceptive Divorce Protectant

I mention it a lot in comments, and it occurs to me it’s worthy of a post, since I know a lot of not-contraceptive-using Christians IRL and online.  But essentially part of the fallout from the WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE DIVORCE IS SO GREAT epidemic in the 1970s and even 1980s is that people who are 35-50 now were told by older people who’d been burnt that the problem wasn’t marrying young, it was not party animal-ing young together.  And with contraception, this was now on the table.

The belief among quite a few older folks is that marrying young and then jumping into “adulting”  and parenting all at once was the source of their or their divorced friends/neighbors/relatives’ woe.  For all the talk of how women/men are encouraged to live it up singly during their 20s, there is definitely a pro-marriage strain among evangelical and conservative-living secular people that living it up ~together~ and then settling down as older, financially solid boring types is the way to keep a marriage together past when the kids are 18, or even just school-aged.

It is something I didn’t really notice among secular types, although it was certainly there.  It started jumping out at me when we got married and started hanging around married Christians who did it before age 25 and seeing this play out over the years.  And then, of course, it’s not uncommon online either.

For both religious and health reasons we’re not really on Team Contraception, but I do think it’s important to know why people make use of it, because there are people still trying to live out the promises and claims that it would help marriages stay love matches and all that.

Under the new tax plan, people pay more taxes and get more cash back.

It is extremely counterintuitive, but it is pretty much what they did.  You pay 10k or whatever in taxes instead of 8k or 9k, and after the new system of credits and revised deductions is applied, you end up with more money in your pocket.  This is primarily true for parents, married ones  with children under 18 more so than married with college aged kids (unless the 529 stuff is adopted) and those more so (due to higher income) than single parents.

The basic structure is less true for high-earning married couples without kids and high-earning singles in particular.

I was hoping to do a post or two of examples, but I am not likely to have time for that.  If I do get time, I will run through some typical examples.

This calculator was just put up.  It overstates tax paid by EITC eligible people and also leaves out some common deductions and doesn’t apply the tax credits properly, but it’s a decent starting point and you can tweak the finished numbers from there.