Home / taxation without representation / This tax cut will pay for itself!

This tax cut will pay for itself!


More leaderpship from the USA’s MAGAnate.

President Trump said he would release new details about his plan to overhaul the tax code on April 26, a sign that he is accelerating one of his most ambitious campaign promises even though key details remain very closely held.

As much as one can closely hold something that doesn’t exist.

“We’ll be having a big announcement on Wednesday having to do with tax reform,” Trump said Friday while visiting the Treasury Department. “The process has begun long ago but it really formally begins on Wednesday.”

Addressing Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Trump said, “So, go to it.”

tRump’s management style in a nutshell – Walk into the room, babble, tell an underling to start doing something they’ve been doing in a terse word blurt, and then go play golf.

Earlier Friday, Trump told the Associated Press in an interview that the tax cuts he would propose would be “massive” and perhaps the biggest of all time.

Just like his yuge bigly hands.

Wednesday’s announcement isn’t expected to be a specific legislative proposal, but the plan is to provide more details than what the White House has issued so far, a senior administration official said.

Republicans set subterranean bar for themselves. Water is wet, fire is hot, and so on and so on.

If the tRump administration had any semi-demi-hemi competent people on board, I’d be open to the argument that announcing a new tax plan the same week Congress edges closer to another government shut down was some sort of crafty political theater. But it doesn’t, so I know this is just another example of Napoleorange deciding to play at being president for a few seconds.

Trump has said a big tax cut will boost economic growth, help companies invest, and lead to more job creation.

Republicans claim giving more money to people who already have most of the money will make the Invisible Hand rub a thick layer of money all over America. Deserts are dry, ice is cold, and so on and so on.

And now, the punchline.

Mnuchin said on Thursday that the tax cuts would essentially pay for themselves because there would be so much economic growth that it would bring in new revenue to the Treasury Department.

Just like the invasion of Iraq would pay for itself and the promised border wall would be paid for by Mexico.

I suppose if tRump’s attempts to force through funding for the wall doesn’t work out, the biggest tax cut ever in the history of tax cuts will include a Wall Tax.

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  • Well, as we all know, the Republicans are the fiscally responsible party. So the tax cut will definitely eliminate the federal debt. That much is assured, at least.

    • Tzimiskes

      Default is the quickest way to eliminate any debt.

      And one Trump has experience with.

      • Nobdy

        And Trump IS the defaulter in chief. Defaulting on debt is one thing that Trump actually does have a lot of experience doing, and is very very good at (in that he manages to extract a lot of money from the defaulting entity before screwing over creditors.)

        He has also seriously proposed defaulting on the national debt or at least asking debt holders to take a haircut.

        Does that include things like the social security trust fund? Because if so…how does that work exactly? I guess having the social security trust fund forgive a bunch of debt and then cutting benefits because they’re unaffordable would be an A+ Republican move. Even better if they can give tens of billions to private banks for brokering the deal between the government and itself!

  • keta

    Mnuchin said on Thursday that the tax cuts would essentially pay for themselves because there would be so much economic growth that it would bring in new revenue to the Treasury Department.

    Don’t you love it when these assclowns channel their inner Clark Griswold?

  • Jackson87

    I’m no accountant, but it seems to me that if tax cuts are going to pay for themselves, then either unemployment has to drop a lot as more people work, or wages have to go way up.

    There’s precious little room for unemployment to drop any lower, so I imagine a large increase in wages must be imminent, begun by a federal $15 an hour minimum wage bill, which is coming Any.Day.Now.

    • N__B

      There’s precious little room for unemployment to drop any lower

      When they deport some eleven million undocumented, which probably includes some eight or nine million workers, think of how many jobs will be available!

      • Hogan

        And really good jobs, too. Tremendous. The best. Trust me.

        • efgoldman

          And really good jobs, too.

          You forgot the “and at great, yooge wages” part.

          • Also needs more “bigly” and “classy”. Though I haven’t heard him use “classy” as much lately.

            • efgoldman

              Though I haven’t heard him use “classy” as much lately.

              It’s hard when you’re the head of the royal family of tacky.

    • Bill Murray

      There’s precious little room for unemployment to drop any lower,

      Is this true? The employment to population ratio is still 3% less than in 2007, so there would appear to be plenty of room

      • Denverite

        What is the change in 60+ and 65+ shares of the population from 2007 to 2017? Given the Baby Boom demographic (47-61 in 2007, 57-71 in 2017), I wouldn’t be surprised if the substantial majority of the difference in employment-to-population is due to retiring Baby Boomers.

        • eclare

          I logged on to say essentially the same thing. I have no actual data on the subject, but my initial reaction was that we’ve probably had a significant uptick in retirees since 2007.

          • Denverite

            Those of us educated at 60th and University think alike.

            • vic rattlehead

              Yes. For the 800th time: we get it. You went to Chicago.

          • Bill Murray

            What difference does that make to the ability of the economy to employ people? 10 years ago, the US economy could employ at least 63% of the adult population, now the economy can only employ 60%, especially with the level of youth un- and underemployment there is. Especially as the youth employment is often ascribed to older people not leaving the job market

          • los

            In late 2016, I saw a graph of non-participating rate. The overall non-participating was still increasing, but the band depicting the category excluding disabled (and excluding seniors still seeking work[1]?) narrowed suddenly in the last 2 or 3 years.

            1. I’ve since forgotten exactly how the graph labeled these older people, but the graph was consistent with normal expectations of unemployment rate of 4% +/-

        • Robespierre
          • howard

            the way we know the labor market is getting tight is when wages start to increase more meaningfully.

        • SIWOTI

          The difference in employment to population ratio is not at all due to retiring Baby Boomers.

          If you look at the seasonally adjusted Labor Force Participation Rate (LFPR), you see that people have left the labor force in recent years:

          We went from a high of 67.3% in February 2000 to our current 63.0%. These are historic lows. You have to go back to the 1970s to get LFPRs that low.

          The LFPR for 25-54 years old, the prime age for working, is below its historic norms as well:
          It took a hit in 2008 and has never recovered. The average for the 2010s so far is below that of the 1980s. People in their prime working years aren’t working, probably about a full percent of that population. And that’s a lot of people, over 1 million who could be working but aren’t.

          And people aren’t retiring. The LFPR for 55 yrs. and over has continued its historic plateau:
          That’s hovered around 40% since 2008.

          There is plenty of room in the unemployment figures for additional people to be employed. It’s just not in the headline U3 number. It’s in U6, in the LFPR, and all the discouraged workers out there.

      • Ask Me Gently

        Hasn’t Trump already claimed that the real unemployment rate is north of 40%? You know, if you include retirees, students, children and pets.

        Our newly flush billionaires will have no choice but to give these slackers high-dollar manufacturing and mining jobs.

        Anyway, deficits won’t matter until the next Democratic administration.

        • Even John Galt would have a hard time getting my cats to do any work other than killing small animals and birds, which they see as fun.

          • farin

            Tormenting and killing defenseless creatures is a fundamental part of Republican economic doctrine.

            • Does this mean cats are Republicans? And by contrast, are dogs therefore Democrats? They tend to be loyal and empathetic, which aren’t traits one would associate with Republicans.

              • farin

                Cats are orthodox libertarians, which is why their positions just happen to slot perfectly into the GOP’s and also why liberals aren’t embarrassed by sharing a house with them.

                • BubbaDave

                  My cats are monarchists. Their only dispute is which of them is actually the sovereign.

  • Yankee

    In related government-shutdown news, speculations that T might veto some barely-conceivable compromise spending plan because “our spending priorities are wall and agents”. Would an override stand a chance? Should progressives support?

    • ArchTeryx

      Not a chance. Let them own it all, including any shutdown. There is ZERO reason to bail out Republicans ever again – most Ds by now have realized that the only thing that gains them is to get thrown out in favor of more vandals. They iz finally learning. Let THEM come up with the votes. They own it all.

    • gupwalla

      Right now, Trump is so desperate for a win – any win – that he is threatening to negotiate himself out of even a tie. It’s not an especially smart negotiating strategy, but none of his advisers have the guts to tell him so to his face.

      Republicans have majorities in both houses of Congress. They can pass any Republican spending priorities they can get 50% to support. If the Republicans can’t support even their own priorities, that’s not a problem Progressives should spend too many calories trying to solve.

      • LosGatosCA

        60 votes needed in the Senate.

        8 Democrats needed to get their program past cloture.

  • Hells Littlest Angel

    What happens if tax rates are reduced so low that too much revenue is generated? Doesn’t that risk creating runaway inflation, with the money supply eventually becoming infinite? I sincerely would love to hear Donald Trump’s answer to those questions.

    • N__B

      Vast amounts of research remain undone in the growing field of homeopathic economics.

      • No Longer Middle Aged Man

        homeopathic economics

        + 0.0000001%

    • los

      That looks suspiciously like Running Government Like A Trump Charity.

    • howard

      i was once engaged in some dialogue with a right-wing acquaintance and he was spouting the usual “tax cuts create revenue and pay for themselves” babble, and i said “in that case, why don’t we cut taxes to .000000000000000001%? revenue should explode.”

      and i will give him the credit for saying “i never thought about that.”

    • Mike G

      The studies I’ve seen show the peak of the Laffer Curve at something like 68%.

      Economics is not the Trumpanzees’ strong suit. I’m still trying to visualize some positive trait that is, without success.

      • efgoldman

        Economics is not the Trumpanzees’ strong suit.

        So they bring in these brilliant Wall Street shitweasels like Mnuchin, all of whom used arithmetic not all that different from what we mortals learned by third grade, to make millions for themselves, and maybe some others. And they get into RWNJ govermenting, and all of a sudden their math is based on fantasies and literally impossible theories – and they say global warming is a hoax?
        Wall Street my ass. All these klowns should be outside the Port Authority running three-card monte or shell games, or selling phony Rolexes, .

  • Nobdy

    In a way the Republican ability to repeat their talking points even in the face of seemingly insurmountable evidence is almost cute. It’s almost like watching a young child attempt something over and over even though it can’t work because the kid doesn’t understand that if a plan fails repeatedly that means you need to change the plan.

    Of course it’s not cute because they know very well it won’t work and are just papering over their raiding of the treasury with lies that make it look…like something other than raiding of the treasury, but the old “tax cut will pay for itself” canard is almost comforting at this point, especially in these days of Trumpian unpredictability.

    Republicans are going to just repeat the same stories over and over and trust their base is too dumb and docile to do the math or look at any news outside of Fox, who will happily support the lies.

    It’s like Session’s stern letter to New York about how its soft on crime policies are leading to an epidemic of gang murders, even though New York has brought its murder rate down by 80%, now has fewer than one murder per day, and is now only a little more dangerous than Amsterdam.

    In the 70s through 90s Republicans could point to New York as a deadly place where godless urbanites killed each other in bloodbaths, and now that it’s much safer than places like Birmingham Alabama in Sessions own state they adjust by…continuing to pretend it’s 1991 and gangs are shooting up the place. Why adjust the story to fit the facts? It’s not the Republican way.

    • Hogan

      Those great documentaries The Warriors and Assault on Precinct 13 are as true today as they were then.

      • N__B

        The Google tells me that there were 456 episodes of vanilla Law & Order, 195 episodes of L&O:CI*, and 13 episodes of L&O:TbJ**, ***, so right there are over 650 murders blazoned on ‘Murica’s subconscious.

        * I want Vincent D’Onofrio to play me when they make N__B: The Movie.

        ** L&O Trial by Jury sucked, but it deserves some recognition.

        *** L&O: SUV SVU is omitted here because most of the crime victims on that show are not dead.

        • Nobdy

          There’s also NYPD Blue (261 episodes, though not all murders) and of course New York undercover. Recently there’s Blue Bloods and Shades of Blue.

          The media has a ton of portrayals of hard boiled deadly New York, and they definitely outlived the actual dangerous days of the city. And if the picture box shows you these documentaries who wouldn’t believe it was real?

          Of course if you want realistic cop shows there’s only one best choice.

          • Dalai Rasta

            I was really hoping your link would lead me to Barney Miller.

            • Scott P.

              Not sure if that was meant as a joke, but Barney Miller consistently got high marks for realism from practicing cops.

          • N__B

            Blind Justice makes me sad that Cop Rock was set in L.A.

        • Keaaukane

          But the murderers were all caught and convicted, save the odd one found not guilty and was then gunned down on the courthouse steps. Hell, they even locked up a few innocent people for good measure. NYC is the safest place in the nation!

          • nixnutz

            It seems to me there were a lot of times where the judge threw out the key piece of evidence because Briscoe and his partner did something fishy so McCoy prosecuted somebody else instead. That’s why I like to call it Law & Order: Depraved Indifference.

        • Colin Day

          What about CSI:NY? Also, I thought L&O:Tbj was Law and Order: The Blow Job. But you seemed to complain that it sucked.

      • Dennis Orphen
      • Bruce B.

        Not to mention the even greater documentary, Streets of Fire.

        • LosGatosCA

          Were you one of the six people who saw that movie in the theater?

          What were you wearing?

          ETA – thank the edit button god.

          • N__B

            I’m one of those six. I have a soft spot for Walter Hill.

            • LosGatosCA

              I saw that movie in the theater on two points:

              – Diane Lane (who I’ll watch in anything)
              – soundtrack by Ry Cooder (who I’ll listen to anytime)

              Pare/Moranis were terribly miscast but I never get tired of listening to Dan Hartman’s song.

              • N__B

                Also, the two songs by the Blasters with extra bonus live performances. Watch the sweat drip down Dave Alvin’s face!

                • I hate Phil Alvin’s voice so much that I cannot listen to The Blasters, even though I love Dave.

                • N__B

                  I don’t think Phil has any vocals on Blue Shadows or One Bad Stud, but I could be wrong.

              • Humpty-Dumpty

                All that, plus young Amy Madigan biting off every line and chewing it up like licorice candy.

                Seriously, that movie is like the absolute perfect Platonic ideal of that kind of movie.

                However, the location shots are mostly Chicago, not NYC.

      • Woodrowfan

        And Escape from New York

      • Snuff curry

        Also, Jason Takes Manhattan.

    • fledermaus

      Well they also get a big assist from the media who know that tax cuts are good for growth and jobs anywhere and everywhere. No need to check. This also goes for the resulting deficit, which is a very grave problem if a Democrat is in the white house, but no biggie for the GOP, who are, by definition, fiscally responsible

    • Once again, I feel that people’s inability to ascertain that sources they regard as authority figures are untrustworthy is a major explanatory factor here. People are very bad at determining that sources they trust are either malevolent or full of shit. We’re not entirely immune here, either; remember how many of us were certain the shitgibbon couldn’t win? Regardless, it seems to be much worse on the Republican side.

      I think this is because, in general, we do tend to try to back up our world views with evidence, while the Republicans seem to have just outright rejected the entire concept of empiricism. It doesn’t help, either, that their leaders just figured out they could lie shamelessly and their base wouldn’t care, or might even like it. Because, as it turns out, if you appeal to the “benevolence” of an ideology as a reason to do something questionable, a lot of people will follow along with you. Like lying.

      And, of course, there are also the lies told to benefit an in-group at the expense of an out-group – that is, “blue lies”. Which, of course, are exactly what’s going on here. They may have actually convinced themselves we’re an existential threat to them, so that could explain some of it, but it just sort of feeds on itself. And the only people who can reliably convince them their leaders are full of shit appear to be other people they regard as part of our group.

      This is a major reason I’ve just written a lot of these people off. If we can somehow get them out of the Fox News bubble there might be some hope of engaging with them again, but until that happens, they’re just not going to deal with reality. We might be able to do that in some cases; there was a good article in Rolling Stone that pointed out that if you cut someone off from the right-wing puke funnel, they can be returned to normal within time. But that’s probably not practical unless they’re old and don’t understand technology much works.

      Apart from those edge cases, I think we need to focus on the persuadable remainder who haven’t been captured by the paranoia and fear on the right. I simply don’t see any hope for these other people. We just have to find a way to make sure we outnumber them going forward.

  • Derelict

    Look, Reagan cut taxes and the deficit exploded, which is why he had to raise taxes 8 times over his two terms.

    “No, St. Ronnie just cut taxes. He cut and cut and cut and we had boom times!”

    Well, Dubya cut taxes and not only did the deficit explode again, but we also had a serious recession–and that was before the banking people blew up the economy.

    “Who’s this ‘Dubya’ you’re talking about? Never heard of him. Here, I have this graph drawn on the back of a napkin that proves tax cuts pay for themselves. We really need to try this.”

    • NeonTrotsky

      I’ve had people tell me with a straight face that George W. Bush wasn’t a real Republican

      • Nobdy

        They’ll definitely say the same about Trump.
        The Republican party does not and can not fail. It can only be failed by RINOs!

        MAKE THE PIE HIGHER YOU #[email protected]#!

        • jim, some guy in iowa


          so your tax plan would involve legalizing marijuana?

          • nlowhim

            I’d be all for that: federal taxes on ’em

    • howard

      i do not believe there is a single republican who would acknowledge that reagan raised taxes after the initial cut didn’t pay for itself: bruce bartlett got himself thrown out of conservative circles for, among other things, making that point.

    • daves09

      The Reagan tax cuts didn’t work because stupid democrat libtards didn’t cooperate.
      Dubya tax cuts-see above.
      Trump tax cuts-trust us, stupid democrat libtards, we got this figured out.

    • IS

      If you cut off the series in October 2008, you get unemployment having risen by about 2% from the lows of 4.5%–comparable to the mild early 2000s recession. Some mild GDP contraction through 2008Q3. And that’s bearing in mind some big financial stuff going on before Lehman (the slow motion build to “bl[owing] up the economy”), and super high energy prices. I don’t think it’s really the case that there was a serious recession before Lehman hit/was causing problems before actually failing, unless there’s no difference in content between “serious recession” and just “recession.”

      • catclub

        I don’t think it’s really the case that there was a serious recession before Lehman hit/was causing problems before actually failing,

        Well there was serious enough concern about recession that Congress had already voted for cash payments to everybody – and Bush had signed that, in the spring of 2008.

  • Jake the antisoshul soshulist

    If you ask, W. was neither a real Republican, nor a real conservative.
    And they opposed “compassionate conservatism” as just being socialism. But, Gore was even worse.

  • c u n d gulag


    Tax cuts for the rich, which will pay for themselve.

    It’s like a political/economic “Groundhog Day” – sans laughs, and lesson(s) to be learned.

    Also, too – OY! OY!!

    Also, three – OY! OY!! OY!!!

    • Nobdy

      Also, four – Guv’nor?

    • LosGatosCA

      Let’s see – you run a con and you win the presidency.

      You run it again and you get re-elected two more times.

      Then you don’t run it (Bush I) by trying to do the semi-responsible thing and you lose 2x.

      Re-package it as ‘compassionate conservatism’ and you win 2 more times.

      Then a freak event causes white nationalists to temporarily lose their minds and vote for a ni-clang.

      What’s your next step? Go back to the basics – racism and tax cuts.

      Why abandon a strategy that has provided Supreme Court control for 40 going on 65 years plus permanent pressure on economic, social, and political equity and justice?

      • twbb

        At least some of that strategy relies on facing a party which finds taking advantage of your past failures too ungentlemanly to countenance.

        • LosGatosCA

          Of course, a good con always relies on easy marks.

          The other part of the con is gaslighting the people who could help the marks to the point that they think appointing the con artists to the top jobs in the administrations they aren’t in charge of.

          ‘Of course you should re-appoint an Ayn Rand acolyte to the Fed job and trust him to protect your outstandingly prudent fiscal legacy.’

          ‘And you’ll reciprocate by puttting the labor lawyers in charge of the Labor department and minorities in charge of the DoJ civil rights division?’

          ‘We’ll consider it – if you do a couple other things, too. Let us run DoD at least half the time and put an avowed Clinton hater in charge of the FBI.’

          ‘Sounds pretty fair to me. So we have a deal then?’

          ‘If you let us steal your Supreme openings and a presidential election every now and then.”

  • I wish news reports would bother to do the basic research necessary to see if economists believe that tax cuts pay for themselves. They don’t. Not even conservative economists (assuming they’re still working economists and not just pundits). Most conservative economists are willing to admit that cutting taxes reduces revenue; the quibble is over how much it reduces revenue, and of course whether reducing revenue is a desirable end in itself.

    • efgoldman

      I wish news reports would bother to do the basic research necessary to see if economists believe that tax cuts pay for themselves.

      You mean, with actual basic arithmetic and stuff?
      And base 10?
      With dollar signs, and decimals?
      They can barely tell if their paychecks are off.

  • Lurking Canadian

    At this point. I think the best thing would be for Democrats to get behind the stupid Laffer curve and push.

    Not even Laffer claimed that tax cuts always raise revenue. His claim was that there is a revenue maximiing rate, which is probably true at steady state (and it’s somewhere like 70%).

    Since everyone in Washington (claims to) worship at the feet of Laffer, our side should say “The Republicans are absolutely right! There is a revenue maximizing tax rate. Let’s bring in some experts in optimization to help us find it!”

    • Mike G

      The Republican fairy-tale version of the Laffer Curve peaks at 1%. Repeating over and over “Cutting taxes always raises revenues” is as thoughtful as they get.

      The entire party’s reason for being is generating excuses for moral cowards who don’t want to think.

    • catclub

      (and it’s somewhere like 70%).

      And I think that is TOTAL tax rate, not marginal tax rate.

      • Redwood Rhiadra

        Nope, that’s marginal according to the Diamond and Saez study.

  • keta

    At an IIF session earlier in the day, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a conservative economist and a former director of the Congressional Budget Office, warned against assuming that tax cuts would pay for themselves. Interest on the national debt continues to mount, he said — and if those costs increase, they could cancel out the benefits of reducing taxes.
    “I would start drinking earlier every day, yes, absolutely,” Holtz-Eakin said, if the administration proposed a plan that would increase federal borrowing and relied on optimistic assumptions about increased economic growth. That type of plan might not win support among Republican lawmakers, either, Holtz-Eakin said.

    • LosGatosCA

      Move over Bruce Bartlett, we have another excommunicated economist from the Republican cult.

  • daves09

    And, once again we have the amazing disappearing Speaker.
    Didn’t Paul Ryan make his rep. with ab. fab. tax plans that would bring on the millenium?
    Where is that guy, or is this some weird repub. scam to destroy the Speakership?
    Seriously, why isn’t the MSM covering what seems to me to be a very important and very interesting story?

    • efgoldman

      Where is that guy

      Last I heard, he’s in the UK (for real). My theory is, he knows he’s not gonna’ be speaker much longer (he hasn’t been in any real sense, anyway) so he’s enjoying a nice trip on congress’ dime while he can.

      Seriously, why isn’t the MSM covering what seems to me to be a very important and very interesting story?

      Shirley, you jest.

      • daves09

        There’s a book in there for someone. The complete breakdown of the House. Not just abandonment of regular order-remember when that was a Ryan thing-but abandoning the entire committee process.
        The White House negotiates with individual members-the craziest ones-while the Speaker and the committee chairman don’t even comment.
        Who could have guessed the Hastert Rule would end by blowing up the power of the repub. caucus?

    • catclub

      ab. fab. tax plans…?

      Nope, it was actually fabulous Abs, and a backwards hat.

  • Warren Terra

    There’s something special about having spent all morning Marching For Science and then seeing that the Republicans are once again insisting that, no matter what has happened every other time anyone’s tried the experiment, this time the tax cuts will pay for themselves.

    • Hogan

      It’s come to this–we have to march for science.

      While I’m up, does anyone else want a drink?

      • N__B

        I blame Colbert. Had he not pointed out that reality has a liberal bias, the Rs wouldn’t have declared war on reality quite so hard.

        • Karl Rove had already dismissed the “reality-based community” by then, I’m pretty sure.

          • N__B

            Yeah, but it stings coming from our side.

  • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

    Certainly we here in KS can testify to the economic miracle that results from cutting taxes, and especially on the wealthy.

    So much winning we’re positively exhausted.

    • efgoldman

      So much winning we’re positively exhausted.

      They’ve proved that schools. roads and courts are just so much frippery.

  • DAS

    Tax cut? If they take out the deduction for state income taxes, my taxes will go up bigly. It’ll be huge.

    • LosGatosCA

      But if you already live in Kansas or Mississippi that’s not a problem.

      • DAS

        Or FL, America’s wang (/Homer Simpson).

        Making noises about raising taxes for those paying state and local income tax AND making noises about cracking down on sanctuary cities in the same week is a yuuuuge FU to NYC.

        And yet, even as wingnuts get to use cities as punching bags, if a liberal says a not so nice thing about any rural person, all liberals are responsible for Trump? Also, cities are yuuugely successful. Bigly. Why do reactionaries hate success?

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