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Updated from 9:41 a.m. EDT

The nation of flippers lives! That's my takeaway from these changes in the tax law .

I will make no bones about it, I am not a believer in lowering the capital gains tax. In fact, I think that capital gains should be taxed at a higher rate, not lower. What I liked about the dividend tax deduction was that it would change behavior both at the corporate and the individual level. If you knew that you could get great gains by holding on to dividend stocks instead of by flipping growth stocks, you would do so.

But this new plan makes dividend and growth stocks equal. Yes, it looks like short-term capital gain will still be taxed at the higher rate. Still, it will not change corporate behavior, because the managers simply will say, "Hey, it is neutral, capital gains vs. dividends, so we will keep buying back stock and not increase the dividend." Shareholders will think that flipping's still the best way to go.

Do we accomplish nothing? No, it makes no sense to tax dividends twice, and I know that the rate decline in the dividend tax will change some behavior.

But I can only say that given how horrid the stock market has been, how few capital gains there are to be had and how unneeded that cut was, it was simply wrongheaded of the House to mess with the president's original plan, which would have given you a terrific break for holding and changed corporate behavior, which would return profits to shareholders, not sellers. But that latter scenario will be the case now.
James J. Cramer is a director and co-founder of TheStreet.com. He contributes daily market commentary for TheStreet.com's sites and serves as an adviser to the company's CEO. Outside contributing columnists for TheStreet.com and RealMoney.com, including Cramer, may, from time to time, write about stocks in which they have a position. In such cases, appropriate disclosure is made. To see his personal portfolio and find out what trades Cramer will make before he makes them, sign up for Action Alerts PLUS by clicking here. While he cannot provide personalized investment advice or recommendations, he invites you to send comments on his column to jjcletters@realmoney.com. Listen to Cramer's RealMoney Radio show on your computer; just click here. Click here to buy Cramer's latest book, "You Got Screwed!" Click here to order Cramer's autobiography, "Confessions of a Street Addict."

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