(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, MONDAY DEC. 4,  2017) — The U.S. Senate did what most citizens in Pittsfield desperately need and for which many folks clamor in vain: They cut taxes, for corporations, small businesses, and the middle class. Like everything else these days, the action gets explained in terms of politics. Democrats predict doom, while Republicans predict salvation. It will be neither, though it should on the large prove not only to be revenue neutral (not adding to the deficit) but a revenue maker (through economic growth and additional federal revenues). The $1.5 trillion dollar reduction could and should reduce the deficit.

Bottom line is this: When government does something for (and not against) people, that’s good news.

Take the politics out of it, come at it objectively, and you will see that for virtually all taxpayers, single or married, tax rates will drop a few percentage points. Nearly three of four people defined at middle class will see their taxes reduced.  Moreover, thanks to the late-hour work by Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, the bill will retain the state and local tax deductions for homeowners, up to $10,000. In other words, unless you are wealthy and your property gets taxed at more than $10,000, you still can deduct every cent. Moreover, the 70% of employed Americans who claim the standard deduction will find more money in their paychecks once the bill goes into effect.

The biggest outcry among opponents of the tax cut measure have focused on the drop in the corporate tax rate from 35% to 20%. That’s a generous break for companies, but, unless you have a death wish for America or want to adopt a socialist or communist model where the state owns companies, you realize that this decrease will free up money for growth, expansion, and employment. You either believe in the future of the nation or you don’t. That’s the only reason, for instance, why we have a stock market. A person invests in U.S. companies because they believe in the future. They don’t think that business will go bust. The 15% drop in corporate taxes will put more people to work because government will be able to confiscate less — “steal” might be a more fitting word.  Small businesses will enjoy having more money in the coffers, since the tax bill allows companies not set up as corporations to participate in the measure.

To call this a “giveaway,” a label used by tax-and-spenders, betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of tax revenues. People and companies earned that money, not government. When government lowers taxes, it’s merely giving you back more of what they took from you in the first place, and as Pittsfudlians know only all too well, government ALWAYS takes more than it should by taking way more than it needs. They do it via the legal larceny of a fiscal-year budget. They call that slush fund “free cash.” Free cash is never “free.” It’s YOUR dough, not government’s.

A small provision that may go unnoticed in the Senate’s tax cut is one fought for by Ted Cruz of Texas. This provision allows families with tax-protected “529 savings accounts” to use up to $10,000 a year for tuition at private and parochial schools as well as expenses for those who home-school their children.  Previously, “529” savings could only be used to pay for higher education. The provision allows families more choice in their kids’ educations, freeing them, if they wish, from local public schools. Again, as bedraggled Pittsfield knows the hard way, public school districts are often totalitarian, money wasters, ovetly political, against Mary Jane and Joe Kapanski, and, worst of all, provide a lousy product.

The bill is far from perfect. Then again, neither it nor the people who crafted it are Don Larsen on Oct. 8, 1956. The Senate’s action gave America a much-needed Good Day, Sunshine.


“It is what it is”Bill Belichick.



The Usual Disclaimer.



  1. dusty
    December 4, 2017 at 1:03 am #

    So Dan I wonder why so many democrats do not like this tax bill. Are they just too stupid to recognize how great it is? Bottom line is that even with a trillion dollars added to the national debt this money has to come from somewhere. A large part of the money the federal government taxes us is/has been distributed back to the states for a variety of uses. This money is going to be chopped big time and as states have less money for schools or to fix roads and bridges or for medical help for poor families we will all suffer the results.

    People with money who will benefit now from these tax cuts, will still eventually be drawn into the suffering as problems from lower income people mount.

    • Pat
      December 4, 2017 at 5:29 am #

      Job creation, those dreaded words for Progressives, would lessen the number of people living in poverty. Less people on food stamps and welfare would result from job creation. The whole idea of this tax cut bill is to stimulate the economy. The poverty rate here in Pittsfield has skyrocketed due in large part to a lack of good paying jobs. Progressives answer to the high poverty rate and lack of good paying jobs here in Pittsfield is to raise taxes on the struggling middle class.

      • The school committee
        December 4, 2017 at 6:26 am #

        It will do nothing for Pittsfield ,Stockbridge, North Adams,Adams,Housatonic ,Great Barrington…..Corporations are not going to hire outside of regular business…….Wealthy and Wall Street…lets check poverty rate in Pittsfield ,Holyoke,New Bedford,Lawrence, Lynn every 90 days and you will see it getting worse

      • Mr. G
        December 4, 2017 at 7:15 am #

        Pat, what the people who jammed this tax measuredown Americans’ throats used for justification is the job creation/trickle down theory. If we cut business and the wealthy’s taxes, some of that money will find its way back to the pockets of the bedraggled average, struggling middle class American. It won’t. It never has, and it won’t this time. A survey of CEOs showed most companies would plan to buy back stock, not reinvest in expansion and jobs. Thisnis an insult, and ultimately perhaps a shotgun b,ast to the face ofmiddle class Americans and even more devestating to those below middle class which is, I fear, where mkst Pittsfudlians are today. Dusty nailed it. We are screwed. What good is an extra coupla hundred federal dollars in my pocket if my i surance rates double and my local taxes increase even more to pay for the shortfall this creates in schools, roads, services, etc.

        • Dennis
          December 4, 2017 at 9:03 am #

          Matt, enough. Great job by your President. We are not screwed.

        • Pat
          December 4, 2017 at 11:25 am #

          Great job by President Trump!!!

          Progressive have NO ANSWERS for helping the middle class. Let’s try Trump’s way.

          • dusty
            December 4, 2017 at 4:36 pm #

            Oh we are going to try it for sure Pat. Hope Trump does not turn your smile into a frown.

          • Pat
            December 4, 2017 at 4:40 pm #

            With all the poverty surrounding us in Pittsfield right now, I think we can only improve. It seems like we have reached the bottom under Progressive policies.

    • danvalenti
      December 4, 2017 at 8:16 am #

      You, COS, MR. G! and others raise valid concerns. I’m the first to recognize that. I have to thank you for raising the objections in a convincing way, in the manner of true debate. This tax measure is a gamble, no doubt, but one based on decent (though not great odds). It could well lead to the outcomes you and the others suggest. As I wrote, it’s far from perfect. My points in the column speak for themselves, but let me emphasize one that may slip by unnoticed. My biggest wariness over this issue is how it, along with everything else that comes out ofWashington, gets discussed (disgust) solely, and a-priori, in divisive political terms. Our polarized politics have prevented rational discussion as a whole (thank you 24/7 cable news cycle, Internet, and social media). At least we here are defying that trend. That along is a triumph. THE PLANET has great readers and thinkers.

      • Mr. G
        December 4, 2017 at 1:55 pm #

        Agreed Dan. Partisan thinking is just wrong thinking. Objectivity should rule the day in debates about governing, and I agree that you did make some valid points to the positive as well. It should be great for the stock market, at least in the short run as companies do buy back stock, and I am always pleased about that.

  2. Fritz
    December 4, 2017 at 4:32 am #

    Where do you get this “trillion dollars added to the debt” idea? Democrats are basically Socialists. Of course they are flipping out over reducing taxes!

    • dusty
      December 4, 2017 at 9:25 am #

      THE TRUMP TAX PLAN includes deductions for golf course owners and private jet owners while eliminating the $250 tax deduction teachers get for using their own money to buy supplies for their students…
      Hail Trump. Hail the GOP.

      • Pat
        December 4, 2017 at 4:45 pm #

        Here in Pittsfield at least, the teachers wouldn’t have to take money out of their salaries for kids school supplies if they would only give up their huge salaries. It’s very hard to feel sorry for teachers here in Pittsfield Dusty when the majority of the school budget goes toward their salaries with very little left over for the children. This is why every year in Walmart we have collections taken up for kids school supplies despite a school budget that increases every year. Where is the logic?

    • Shakes His Head
      December 4, 2017 at 1:15 pm #

      The US is basically taking out a giant loan, funding the Military with IOU’s to Trump’s handlers in Russia and China.

      • 12 Gauge
        December 4, 2017 at 7:56 pm #

        The nitwit returns

        • Dustin
          December 6, 2017 at 11:56 am #

          exactly 12 gauge. Thief is a better word

  3. Shelly Liver
    December 4, 2017 at 5:18 am #

    Will there even be a deficit increase?

  4. Shelly Liver
    December 4, 2017 at 6:38 am #

    Hell no,Just appeasing knuckle fritz ridiculous comments.

    • Fritz
      December 4, 2017 at 9:23 am #

      The only knucklehead is the person who reads ( without comprehension) Dan’s well-written column & has nothing intelligent to add to the conversation.
      I am optimistic that the final tax reduction bill will be a step in the right direction – unless, of course, amnesty for dreamers becomes part of the deal cut between the House & Senate. Call your Congressmen & state your opposition to DACA amnesty.

      • Shelly Liver
        December 4, 2017 at 11:38 am #

        If I were you I’d get my refund back from Trump U.

      • Pat
        December 4, 2017 at 4:48 pm #

        Far too many in Pittsfield think Rachel Maddow and Mika and Joe and Chartok speak only the truth. Too many in Pittsfield cannot think for themselves.

  5. Unwanted Carl
    December 4, 2017 at 7:25 am #

    I hope my Private Jet exemption will be maintained in the tax plan.

  6. Cos
    December 4, 2017 at 7:32 am #

    If you currently do not pay taxes you’re screwed. I currently pay taxes and am screwed. Wall Street will continue to go up for a while before Corporations raid there own investments,currently, they’ll take the mega millions that Kapanski is paying for and buy there own stock, sell it, and retire into the wilderness and when the recession comes, and it will, they’ll remember how great a President Mr. Trump really was.

  7. h
    December 4, 2017 at 7:34 am #

    Go Trump Go. Greatest President ever.

  8. Ed Check
    December 4, 2017 at 8:25 am #

    Reduction in corporate tax rate will allow money to come back home. Some will result in investment which will create jobs. Even if it is used to buy back stock, that will increase values of retirement plans, investors assets, banks, etc. This will also allow more assets for loans to small business.

    Any time there is less taken by government, it is a step in the right direction. Next step…address fraud and abuse in welfare, Medicare and Medicaid, then eliminate the earned income tax credit. The EIC is another program wrought with fraud.

    As for the local problems in the county…blame that on wasteful programs and spending. both at local and state level. All states have been increasing programs banking on federal dollars. It looks like the gravy is being cut off.

    In Pittsfield, parking meter system, trash cans, new toter program, funding private businesses with no real return, and so on.
    Why is there never a way to cut anything?

    • Shelly Liver
      December 4, 2017 at 12:06 pm #

      Another that should get their refund from the U.

      • Ed Check
        December 4, 2017 at 4:05 pm #

        Shelly, my undergraduate and graduate degrees were earned well before Trump University was even a gleam in your eye.

        I just never bought into the progressive bull feces of my college professors. I just hope you and your good socialists keep paying into social security to pay my retirement.

  9. The school committee
    December 4, 2017 at 8:45 am #

    You cant beat greed and Trump sells greed and people here a buying.Good Luck….Pittsfield is going to be raising fees ,realestate taxes ,dog tags,permit fees,.

    • 12 Gauge
      December 4, 2017 at 9:04 am #

      The greedy ones are those who want something for nothing.

      • LoneGunMan
        December 5, 2017 at 6:34 am #

        Greed, for lack of a better word… is GOOD

  10. Sum Ting Wong
    December 4, 2017 at 9:03 am #

    Many on this blog watch way too much “I refuse to CNN” and PMSNBC.

    • acheshirecat
      December 4, 2017 at 11:07 am #

      Don’t forget Fox news also Sum Ting. There is nothing wrong with watching them as long as you know that their content is more entertainment than news.

  11. Jonathan Melle
    December 4, 2017 at 12:04 pm #

    When is Donald Trump going to release his tax returns to the public?

    What is the sitting U.S. Prez hiding in his finances?

    Did the Russians bankroll his businesses?

    Why were there NO public hearings on the Republican “tax reform” legislation?

    What is the rush to pass the Republican tax bill into law?

    How come Dan Valenti doesn’t address any of the above issues?

    – Jonathan Melle

    • UAlbany
      December 4, 2017 at 12:44 pm #

      He will never – no law says he has to either – you have 2 1/2 years to hollow at the moon – keep chasing that windmill son….

    • Paul
      December 4, 2017 at 4:17 pm #

      Jonathan Melle, you do realize that no President of the United States is under any obligation to release their tax returns.
      People need to get over that foolishness.

      • 12 Gauge
        December 4, 2017 at 7:51 pm #

        I want 0bama to release his college transcripts

        • Joe Blow
          December 5, 2017 at 1:50 pm #


  12. Unwanted Carl
    December 4, 2017 at 12:09 pm #

    Madman Trump is now talking to himself.

  13. Bill Q
    December 4, 2017 at 12:37 pm #

    The crowd in Utuh fell asleep during your Preseidents speech. He looked over to his cornermen to see what happened to it? Funny stuff.

  14. Shakes His Head
    December 4, 2017 at 1:18 pm #

    I would like to hear Professor Chuck’s take on the proposal, I was off grid for my vacation and haven’t read much commentary.

  15. dusty
    December 4, 2017 at 1:28 pm #

    Even if these tax cuts for the rich take place as planned, and the stock market goes up even more, there will still be a market correction and probably sooner rather than later. And then the dancing in the streets will see a significant down tempo. And it WILL correct. Law of gravity.

    • Dilly Dally
      December 4, 2017 at 1:37 pm #

      Dusty, you are a true economist. Pleasure to have you on the Planet. To tell you the truth, I think there all in it together, including the media. I admire Bob Corker from Kentucky, he stuck to his guns. Imagine the conversation between Sen. McCain and his greedy wife, Oh,you will vote for it John, it will save us millions. Do you think he will vote against, hell no.

    • Pat
      December 4, 2017 at 4:50 pm #

      Dusty, there has been NO dancing in the streets in Pittsfield for years about the state of the Berkshire County economy.

  16. mi
    December 4, 2017 at 1:51 pm #

    Wonder how much the Koch Brothers will benefit from this plan.

  17. h
    December 4, 2017 at 1:54 pm #

    Come on mi, they only made a couple humdred billion in the last years, there due for a T I F.

  18. amandaWell
    December 4, 2017 at 3:06 pm #

    Rob Gronkowski needs a tax break. After he gets sued for the Brain Injury he caused yesterday. Has anyone seen that?

  19. CosbiesLadies
    December 4, 2017 at 3:19 pm #

    With his own injury history he had to know what pain he be
    Was inflicting on the poor Buffalo Bill dude. But one thing that has not been mentioned ironically was the injury sustained by the infamous Jack Tatum hit on former Pat Darryl Stingly years ago. Also ironic that a Patriot player would do this. Guess Gronkowski lost it for a second. He definitely deserves more than the one game suspension handed out by Commisior Badeal.He literally could have killed the player yesterday, vicious hit. Gronkowski will be a Target himself, now.

    • Fritz
      December 5, 2017 at 5:25 am #

      He should have been thrown out of the game & suspended for the rest of the season after that intentional “payback” hit. A one- game suspension isn’t going to stop this kind of behavior.

    • Joe Blow
      December 5, 2017 at 1:56 pm #

      The NFL is in a death spiral…..Goodell needs to go, he is toxic. I haven’t watched a single game this year because of the disrespect to the flag.

      • Fritz
        December 5, 2017 at 3:03 pm #

        I agree, Joe. Did Goodall get his new contract?

  20. The school committee
    December 4, 2017 at 4:46 pm #

    You just knew Trump was a wealthy weasel stealing middle class tax relief and giving it to the poor ooops rich

    • Pat
      December 4, 2017 at 4:57 pm #

      No, it’s the Progressives who have done NOTHING for the middle class for the past 8 years. How much more poverty do you need to see in Pittsfield before you realize how bad things are here? One hundred more families needed a free Thanksgiving meal this year. Many of these families used to be middle class. This is before Trump’s tax cut even takes place.

      Please tell me how the Progressives have helped the middle class and how they are working to pull people out of poverty here in Berkshire County?

      • The school committee
        December 5, 2017 at 3:17 am #

        Pat will you address the complete financial meltdown just 8 years ago that republicans handed Obama.The world was hours away from complete meltdown and it took 8 long years and Obama got America up and running again and he handed his very healthy economy that needed some responsible people to start raising interest rates and that not happening so Trump and republicans borrowed 1.5 trillion to send to corporation who dont believe in America but want it security.Trump economy will explode and infastructure building wont take place without reaching into SS and you will blame dems when that does not happen……they need your SS

        • Pat
          December 5, 2017 at 5:02 am #

          The complete financial meltdown was caused by the Democrats who insisted that every American should be able to own a home even if they couldn’t afford one. Bank standards for getting a home loan were not followed and we ended up with the financial meltdown. In my opinion we still haven’t recovered which is why Trump’s tax plan is needed to stimulate job creation by getting companies to hire again. It’s all about JOBS school committee. Too many people continue to be unemployed or underemployed.

          • The school committee
            December 5, 2017 at 11:59 am #

            Home ownership for every American was a George Bush policy and a good one,put the blame where it belongs …the banks on Wall Street who made tons of money repackage worthless mortgages.

  21. The school committee
    December 4, 2017 at 7:25 pm #

    According to Pat and Dan ,letting corporations not contribute to Americas poverty driven society is good for the poor.

  22. The school committee
    December 5, 2017 at 3:21 am #

    What the heck happened to Republicans who spent money slowly and responsibly.

  23. The school committee
    December 5, 2017 at 3:35 am #

    Federal goverment has pittsfield going to 33,000 and Tyer Yon White Kroll,Taylor spending like we are going to 60,000.If B Clairmont flew into town and did not know the player what would he determine about Pittsfield Schools cost to educate 5300 kids and shrinking without a plan for 1 high school.We have 1/2 a million square feet bricks to teach 1500 high schoolers.Tyer,Yon,built Taconics 121 million dollar school with no plan….Bouvier,Amuso,Eberwien,Masimiano,Mele,Ward all pland the future.Bouvier then supported selling masterpieces at the museum.

    • Ed Check
      December 5, 2017 at 7:23 am #

      Here is a plan for the high school.

      Consolidate vocational and college prep students into the new taconic high school building. Put an alternative high school on the second and third floor of PHS. Relocate police station to first floor and basement. They will be right there to deal with any issues without the visibility of swarms of patrol cars in case of an issue. Bonus..holding cells in the basement. Convert some field in back to additional parking.

      Then, relocate the building inspectors to old police station. Save $$$ in rent on their current offices in the old bank building.

      Many issues solved using existing facilities.

      • NIB
        December 5, 2017 at 9:34 am #

        How do you plan on paying for all that?

      • JimM
        December 5, 2017 at 10:13 am #

        I agree completely, please put your plan in a letter and send it to the mayor and every city council member.

        But since they didn’t think of it I’m sure it will be ignored but it’s worth a try.

        • dusty
          December 5, 2017 at 3:29 pm #

          Put it in a letter and sign Krols name to it. You need to think like a fox to get one to play with you

        • Fritz
          December 5, 2017 at 6:14 pm #

          Ed Check for Mayor!

  24. The school committee
    December 5, 2017 at 3:40 am #

    Like Republicans Pittsfield know we can solve todays budget by getting our WW2 veterans to pay for Pittsfields schools financial irresponsibly in leadership in the School department.Schools need a new budget director who can count

    • 12 Gauge
      December 5, 2017 at 2:51 pm #

      Behnke, McCandless and Yon are democrats……republicans have no say about spending in Pittsfield.

  25. Pat
    December 5, 2017 at 6:21 am #

    Joy Behar jumping up and down proclaiming, “We got him”,. Did anybody else think she was talking about Kim Jong-un in North Korea who wants to nuke us? No, she was talking about Trump on Friday when she thought he could be impeached. These people are crazy!!!

    • The school committee
      December 5, 2017 at 12:04 pm #

      Trump jetted around our country making fake accusations the Senator Obama was not born in America,Trump also spread fake news that McCain was not a war hero.Trump lies 20 times a day.

    • Pat
      December 5, 2017 at 11:44 am #

      Does the Berkshire Eagle and all of these radicals ever think that by setting people up against each other they are making things worse?

      • LoneGunMan
        December 5, 2017 at 11:55 am #

        Anyone with the internet and a few minutes can see how biased these reporters are. I give iberkshires credit, they not only have better coverage, you can clearly see the stories aren’t (AS) edited as the eagles to perpetual the progressive agenda

        I won’t give names, but it’s kind of funny how many of the reporters live in the Pioneer Valley. I’d want distance if I was doing what they do too.

        • CosbiesLadies
          December 5, 2017 at 11:56 am #

          Thats where numnutz state sen is from.

        • Where should reporters live?,*
          December 5, 2017 at 12:06 pm #

          Reorting would be better if the lived in Alabama

  26. CosbiesLadies
    December 5, 2017 at 11:57 am #

    And Paul Mark.

  27. CosbiesLadies
    December 5, 2017 at 11:58 am #

    He was a lacey negotiator over in the middle east, kept the sand rats in check.

  28. Cos
    December 5, 2017 at 1:22 pm #

    They need Hinds over in the Middle East. Trump wants to move the embassy to Jerusalem, what a dope. Sarah, the Presidents spokeswomen has been brainwashed.

    • dusty
      December 5, 2017 at 3:33 pm #

      Now that Trump is going to move the embassy I imagine that little war will ramp up and the Jewish people will have to sleep in their bunkers at night. Great move Donnie!

    • 12 Gauge
      December 5, 2017 at 6:53 pm #

      A good place for him.

  29. dusty
    December 5, 2017 at 1:31 pm #

    Ivanka Trump thinks child molesters have a special place in hell. Her daddy thinks they should be politicians. Was Ivanka s message coded?

    • 12 Gauge
      December 5, 2017 at 2:46 pm #

      What does she think of Ted Kennedy drowning that girl?

      • dusty
        December 5, 2017 at 3:31 pm #

        That Girl? What does Marlo Thomas have to do with this?

        • 12 Gauge
          December 5, 2017 at 6:52 pm #

          Marlo never took a ride in Ted’s assault Buick.

        • Dilly Dally
          December 5, 2017 at 8:40 pm #

          Wasn’t her name Kapanski? Who’s Ted Kennedy?

    • Unwanted Carl
      December 5, 2017 at 8:37 pm #

      Fake news, oh wait.

  30. RobEM
    December 5, 2017 at 1:45 pm #

    Pittsfield wants to raise taxes and give tax breaks to companies.
    Congress wants to cut taxes and give tax breaks to companies.
    Who should I be upset with?

    • Cos
      December 5, 2017 at 1:57 pm #

      Yourself becaused you are confused. Another who should get the Trump U refund.

  31. h
    December 5, 2017 at 3:26 pm #

    Agree with cozy, Trump U should have a refund slush fund.

  32. Dilly Dally
    December 5, 2017 at 8:47 pm #

    Gee dusty, the stock market was down today? What gives? Fake news.