• Tag Archives Tax
  • BAT Is Dead: Republicans Kill Border Adjustment Tax

    The Trump fiscal agenda – which these days really means tax reform – may be dead, but that does not mean it can’t reemerge as a zombie every now and then. That’s precisely what happened moments ago when Paul Ryan just announced that after months of speculation whether border adjustment tax will or won’t be implemented to help offset Trump’s proposed tax cuts, it is now officially dead.
    RYAN IS SAID TO BE TELLING REPUBLICANS BORDER TAX IS DEAD: BBG As Reuters adds:
    “BIG SIX” REPUBLICANS IN CONGRESS, TRUMP ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCE BORDER TAX PROVISION HAS BEEN SET ASIDE IN ORDER TO ADVANCE TAX OVERHAUL A statement Thursday from the so-called Big Six – Ryan, Brady, White House economic adviser Gary Cohn, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch – said due to the unknowns associated with the border-adjusted tax, the group ‘had decided to set this policy aside in order to advance tax reform.”

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 27, 2017.


  • This Miner’s $190 Billion Tax Bill Would Take Centuries to Pay

    Tanzania sent Acacia Mining Plc a tax bill equal to almost two centuries worth of the gold producer’s revenue.
    The government issued the company, which mines all of its gold in the African country, with a $40 billion tax bill and another $150 billion in interest and penalties, Acacia said in a statement Monday. The charge covers alleged under-declared export revenues from the Bulyanhulu and Buzwagi mines over periods between 2000 and 2017.
    Acacia reiterated that it has fully declared all revenues. The stock sank as much as 17 percent on Tuesday to the lowest since December 2013. In just three days, the company has lost 42 percent of its value.
    The giant tax bill is the latest twist in an increasingly ugly spat between the government and Acacia. In March, Tanzania banned exports of unprocessed gold and copper, a move Acacia said is costing it about $1 million a day in lost revenue. The situation escalated when the government accused the firm of operating illegally in the country and said mine operators had been evading taxes.
    ‘The company is considering all of its options and rights and will provide a further update in due course,’ Acacia said in the statement.

    This post was published at bloomberg


  • The Toxic Fruit of Financialization: Risk Is for Those at the Bottom

    Those who have pushed the risk down the wealth-power pyramid are confident the Federal Reserve will continue to limit the risks of speculative financialization.
    One of the most pernicious consequences of financialization is the shifting of risk from the top of the wealth-power pyramid to the bottom: those who benefit the most from financialization’s leveraged, speculative credit bubbles protect themselves from losses while those at the bottom of the pyramid (the bottom 99.5%) face the full fury of financialization’s formidable risk. Longtime correspondent Chad D. and I recently exchanged emails exploring how the higher debt loads and higher interest payments of financialization inhibits people at the bottom of the wealth-power pyramid (i.e. debt-serfs) from taking risks such as starting a small business.
    But this is only one serving of financialization’s toxic banquet of risk-related consequences. Chad summarized how those at the apex of the wealth-power pyramid protect themselves from risk and losses.
    At the top levels of the pyramid, members in those groups collect way more interest than they pay out and at the very top, they get a ton of interest and pay little to none. The people at the top can take all sorts of risk, because of this dynamic and further, they also usually have a heavy influence on the financial/political machinery, so they get bailed out by taxpayers when their investments go bad. In addition, because their influence extends to the criminal justice system, they are able to commit fraud and at the same time neutralize regulators and prosecutors, thereby escaping any ramifications from their excessive risk taking and in many cases massive fraud.

    This post was published at Charles Hugh Smith on WEDNESDAY, JULY 26, 2017.


  • Spot The Outlier – Seattle Home Prices Go Vertical As Laundered Chinese Money Flows In

    Last summer we declared that “China’s favorite offshore money laundering hub is officially no longer accepting its money” after the city of Vancouver slapped a 15% tax on foreign real estate buyers. The tax was intended to curb a massive real estate bubble which had resulted from an influx of Chinese money over the preceding years. The move seemingly worked as it resulted in a staggering and immediate 96% drop in foreign buyers (see: Foreign Buying Plummets In Vancouver: Sales To Foreigners Crash 96%).

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 26, 2017.


  • Foxconn To Get $230,000 In Incentives For Every Wisconsin Job Created

    To much fanfare, President Donald Trump on Wednesday announced that Taiwanese electronics giant Foxconn, best known for making the iPhone, will build a new plant producing LCD panels in Wisconsin that will bring thousands of jobs to the state. On the surface it’s a great deal: in what’s being called the largest economic development project in state history, Foxconn plans to build a $10 billion plant that will eventually employ as many as 13,000 people, according to the White House and Gov. Scott Walker.
    “It starts today with this investment in Wisconsin,” Foxconn chairman Terry Gou said at announcement in Washington D. C. on Wednesday.
    The plant is expected to open in 2020 and be on a 20 million square-foot campus on at least 1,000 acres, a campus Walker’s office has dubbed “Wisconn Valley” according to the Wisconsin State Journal. The plant could be the first of several facilities the company intends to build in the United States and will start with 3,000 employees, a staff that could eventually grow by 10,000.
    Furthermore, Walker’s office projected the project would create at least 22,000 “indirect and induced jobs” throughout Wisconsin and will generate an estimated $181 million in state and local tax revenues annually, including $60 million in local property taxes.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 26, 2017.


  • Why Illinois Is In Trouble – 63,000 Public Employees With $100,000+ Salaries Cost Taxpayers $10 Billion

    The ‘Big Dogs’ of local government in Illinois.
    Illinois is broke and continues to flirt with junk bond status. But the state’s financial woes aren’t stopping 63,000 government employees from bringing home six-figure salaries and higher.
    Whenever we open the books, Illinois is consistently one of the worst offenders. Recently, we found auto pound supervisors in Chicago making $144,453; nurses at state corrections earning up to $254,781; junior college presidents making $465,420; university doctors earning $1.6 million; and 84 small-town ‘managers’ out-earning every U. S. governor.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 26, 2017.


  • North Carolina Governor Signs Bill Eliminating Sales Tax on Gold and Silver

    North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper has signed a bill into law exempting the sale and purchase of gold and silver from state sales taxes. This removes one barrier from buying gold, silver and platinum. It will also help encourage their use and take the first step toward breaking the Federal Reserve’s monopoly on money.
    Rep. Dana Bumgardner (R-Gastonia) and Rep. Jeff Collins (R-Rocky Mount) introduced House Bill 434 (H434) in March. The legislation exempts precious metals in various forms from state sales tax, including investment metal bullion, US Mint-produced gold and silver, investment coins and non-coin currency.
    The House passed H434 on second reading by a 104-8 vote in May. It then gave final approval on the third reading by a voice vote. The Senate concurred with a vote of 35-13 on June 27. With the governor’s signature, the law went into effect retroactively to July 1, 2017.

    This post was published at Schiffgold on JULY 26, 2016.


  • Hecho En Mexico: 2017 Auto Production In Mexico Surges Despite Trump Attacks

    Earlier this year, before then President-elect Trump even moved into the White House, he picked several very public fights with auto manufacturers over their increasing reliance on Mexico for incremental production volumes.
    In a January 3rd tweet, the President-elect said ‘General Motors is sending Mexican made model of Chevy Cruze to U. S. car dealers-tax free across border. Make in U. S. A.or pay big border tax!’
    General Motors is sending Mexican made model of Chevy Cruze to U. S. car dealers-tax free across border. Make in U. S. A.or pay big border tax!
    — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2017

    Then, on the same day, Trump took a victory lap after apparently convincing Ford to walk away from a new $1.6 billion production facility in Mexico. Of course, we’ve since noted that the production volume intended for that abandoned Mexico facility has instead been shifted to China…but who can keep track (see: Remember When Ford ‘Cancelled’ That Plant In Mexico? Well, They’ve Just Moved It To China).

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 25, 2017.


  • 25/7/17: Of Corporation Tax: An American Lesson

    Yes, 35% statutory tax rate in the U. S. is delivering magic results… and yes, corporations do pay taxes…

    Source: Meanwhile, taxes on labor and income share of total tax take is climbing up primarily due to the ‘invisible’ (to households) payroll tax. Which, of course, goes hand-in-hand with lack of take home pay growth. Now, extend this picture into the foreseeable future.

    This post was published at True Economics on Wednesday, July 26, 2017.


  • Seattle’s Minimum Wage Supporters Ignore the Facts

    In what has become a running joke amongst those skeptical of the claim that minimum wage increases have no effect on unemployment, a recent report by the Employment Policies Institute showed that 174 of the 184 co-sponsors of a bill to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour hired unpaid interns.
    My personal favorite example of this type of this is when the Freedom Socialist Party, which was pushing for an even more ridiculous $20 minimum wage, posted ads for new employees offering $13 an hour.
    The party’s national secretary doused himself in irony to defend his organization by saying ‘We’re practicing what we’re preaching in terms of continuing to fight for the minimum wage… But we can’t pay a lot more than $13.’
    Hmmm, perhaps some of the unemployment a higher minimum wage would bring might actually be beneficial. Maybe we’ve gotten this whole debate wrong…
    At the federal level Nancy Pelosi promised to pass a $15 an hour minimum wage if the Democrats take control of the House in 2018. Increasing the federal minimum wage across the nation is far more vulgar than increasing a state or city minimum wage. Having spent some time in New York recently, I can definitely understand the desire to increase wages. When a 350 sq. ft. studio that lacks enough space for anything more than a mini fridge rents for $2500 a month, taxes are through the roof and a pack of cigarettes costs $13, it can be hard to get by. Artificially raising the minimum wage isn’t going to fix that, but the desire to is understandable.

    This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on July 25, 2017.


  • Wall of Optimism Cracking? IMF Lowers US Economic Growth Forecast

    Over the last several years, mainstream analysts have built a wall of optimism about the US economy. ‘Everything looks great,’ they say. ‘Look at the jobs numbers!’ ‘Look at the stock market!’
    A number of contrarians have said things aren’t so great and a massive crash is on the horizon. The mainstream has pretty much ignored the naysayers. But a recent report by the International Monetary Fund shows some cracks in the wall of mainstream optimism. And in the current political climate, it may not take much to cause the wall to crumble down.
    The recent collapse of Republican efforts to reform healthcare has rekindled doubts about Trump’s ability to push through his ambitious economic agenda. The real concern is if enough people lose faith in the Republican’s ability to fix healthcare, reform the tax system, and pass a significant infrastructure spending bill, it will prick the stock market bubble and set off a crash.
    It seems we’re beginning to see signs of doubt. On Monday, the IMF released its World Economic Outlook, featuring a downward revision in the economic growth forecast for the United States. The IMF estimated US growth at 2.1% both this year and next. In the April World Economic Outlook, it had forecast US growth of 2.3% in 2017 and 2.5% in 2018.

    This post was published at Schiffgold on JULY 25, 2017.


  • BoJ Keeps Rates Unchanged, Postpones 2% Inflation Deadline

    The Bank of Japan kept its monetary stimulus program unchanged even as it pushed back the projected timing for reaching 2 percent inflation for a sixth time.
    The downgraded price outlook will raise more questions about the sustainability of the BOJ’s stimulus at time when other major central banks are turning toward normalizing their monetary policy. The European Central Bank, which is said to examine options for winding down quantitative easing, concludes its own governing council meeting later on Thursday.
    By again delaying the timing for hitting its price goal, the BOJ acknowledged the need to continue easing for at least several more years, probably beyond 2020 because of a sales-tax increase scheduled for late 2019, said Hiromichi Shirakawa, chief Japan economist at Credit Suisse Group AG and a former BOJ official.
    “Going forward, there will be even more attention on the sustainability of the stimulus from market participants and lawmakers,” Shirawaka said.
    BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said it was regrettable the central bank needed to push back its inflation goal again, saying it hadn’t intentionally made its forecasts too optimistic. He noted that central banks in the U.S. and Europe had also overestimated inflation.

    This post was published at bloomberg


  • A Pro-Growth Move

    When President Trump was elected last November, the stock market threw a pro-growth party that resulted in a robust year-end rally for the major indices. Stock market participants were enthused by the prospect of reduced regulations, increased infrastructure spending, the repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), and, most importantly, tax reform.
    That enthusiasm manifested itself in the outperformance of value stocks, but in more recent months, growth stocks have flexed their muscle and have been leading the major indices to new record highs.
    The shift in leadership has been plain to see and it plainly suggests that the stock market isn’t as hopeful as it once was that the assumed pro-growth legislation will come to pass.
    That has been discouraging in an economic sense because the real-time economic data have served as a reminder that the US economy is still stuck in its low-growth rut.

    This post was published at FinancialSense on 07/24/2017.


  • Technical Scoop – Weekend Update July 23

    It was another quiet week for the markets even as the S&P 500 hit new all-time highs less than 25 points from 2,500. Investor focus continued to be on Trump and the goings-on at the White House. For months, years even, Republicans and Trump vowed that there would be health care reform by ending Obamacare and bringing in their own version. Tax reform was another part of the agenda that was top in investors’ minds. By week’s end, health reform lay in tatters and tax reform is becoming doubtful. Despite a number of iterations of repeal-and-replace Obamacare, in the end they did not satisfy enough Republican senators to push it through the Senate. It went either too far or not far enough. In desperation, they went for a straight repeal and that one proved to be dead on arrival.
    After six months of Republicans controlling the White House, Congress, and the Senate they have not been able to pass one piece of major legislation. While seemingly it has not weighed on the stock markets, it does appear to be weighing on the US Dollar as the US$ Index sunk to new 52-week lows. As to tax reform, well, that appears to be going nowhere either and deadlines loom at the end of the fiscal year September 30, 2017. The debt ceiling is looming once again as the Treasury is poised to run out of money in early October – unless, of course, they agree to extend it once again. The debt ceiling debate is becoming increasingly rancorous, but not between Republicans and Democrats – instead, between Republicans and Republicans. The White House is on one side and Congress on the other, with one wanting and recognizing the need to raise the debt ceiling while the other wants to slam on the brakes for their own agenda.
    Things continue to heat up on the Russian investigation front. Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, and Jared Kushner, the principals at the heart of the Russian meeting that was initially denied, are due to meet a Senate judiciary committee on July 26. Things continue to whirl around the investigation with constant implied threats from the White House leveled at special counsel Robert Mueller if the investigation expands into Trump’s finances. It ought to be interesting given Mueller’s authority especially if it clashes directly with the President. The President also slammed his Attorney General for recusing himself in the Russian investigation and if he had known that in advance, Jeff Sessions would never have been appointed. Something about throwing your report under the bus it seems. Finally, the President said that since he has the power to grant pardons he could pardon himself. Nothing said about the ensuing constitutional crisis.

    This post was published at GoldSeek on 23 July 2017.


  • Macron’s Approval Rating Plunges, Only Chirac Was Worse

    Macron, deuxime plus forte chute de popularit en trois mois aprs Chirac pic.twitter.com/MGqywBGCic
    — Le JDD (@leJDD) July 23, 2017

    A Ifop poll released on Sunday showed that the approval rating of France’s new President Emmanuel Macron tumbled by 10 points, hitting 54% in his third month in office, as voters were “either confused by plans for the tax system, shocked by a dispute with the head of the army or unsettled by upcoming labor laws reform”, according to Journal dy Dimanche.
    According to Bloomberg calculations, the 10 point slump for Macron, elected in early May, was the second-biggest decline for a French president so soon after election. Jacques Chirac dropped 15 points from his May 1995 election to July, the Paris-based pollster said. The survey for JDD was conducted by phone and online July 17-22 among 1,947 respondents.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 23, 2017.


  • The Never-Ending Woes of a Government “Enterprise”

    History is something one can try to escape, but sometimes you can’t as millions of train riders find out every day.
    They can’t escape Penn Station falling apart along with Amtrak, New York City commuter railroads, and the New York City subways. They all have the same problem: Every day they are reminded of the sordid history of government enterprise with derailments, delays and the billions of dollars of red ink of these dysfunctional systems. The bill is handed to the taxpayers whether they ride these trains or not.
    As the New York City subways, Amtrak, and other government enterprises continue to fail, mainstream media and our political class have consistently missed how we reached this point of rail disasters as the norm. That’s because few of them have time for history. The management of Amtrak, New York Subways is actually a story of generations of the limitless failures of government. Indeed, most of the analyses and criticisms of government ownership and management of the subways are hopeless.
    Among the lost are the Goo-Goo groups of the 1930s – who called for public subway ownership – and their scions, the Straphangers Campaign of today. And then there’s the allegedly laissez-faire Manhattan Institute. All reject the privatization discussion. That’s because they work from a proposition that Albany and Washington, owing to their ability to tax and spend, are omnipotent and should continue to run transit systems; that they are part the solution. History proves the opposite.

    This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on July 22, 2017.


  • Prepare for a 30-year bull market

    Heading into 2017, Wall Street was excited by the prospect of a U. S. president who sympathized completely with business. His promised tax and healthcare reforms were widely cheered by investors in the wake of his election. Yet the Congress has so far failed to deliver on those promises and investors are no longer giving the Trump administration a free pass based on the assumption that tax breaks are on the way.
    This loss of enthusiasm is reflected in the long periods of dullness the market has experienced since March. While the bull market leg which began with the November election remains intact, the market has proceeded in a halting fashion and has gradually lost some of its erstwhile momentum. The following graph illustrates this principle.
    Along these lines, a number of Wall Street economists have expressed the belief that if Trump’s promised reforms fail to materialize, the stock market’s current valuation precludes a continuation of the bull market. There are a number of reasons why this statement is likely false, however, not the least of which is that the market doesn’t need a political excuse to rally. Indeed, if that were the case then China’s equity market, in view of the country’s Communist government, would forever be stuck in neutral. The pace of innovation and productivity in countries with a market-driven economy is consistently high enough to always provide some justification for higher valuations and stock prices, regardless of the political climate.

    This post was published at GoldSeek on 21 July 2017.


  • India: The Lunatics Have Taken Over the Asylum

    Goods and Services Tax, and Gold (Part XV) Below is a scene from anti-GST protests by traders in the Indian city of Surat. On 1st July 2017, India changed the way it imposes indirect taxes. As a result, there has been massive chaos around the country. Many businesses are closed for they don’t know what taxes apply to them, or how to do the paperwork. Factories are shut, and businesses are protesting.

    Increases in administrative costs have made economics of trading and manufacturing unfavorable for many. Most lack access to accounting and IT skills to implement the new system – India simply does not have that many skilled people. As many as half of all transportation trucks are not operating. The media have ‘decided’ not to cover the demonstrations.
    The new indirect tax is a value-added tax, but as can be expected from the Indian government, it is chaotic, bureaucratic, extremely complicated, and full of loopholes. If you pay GST to your supplier but if he fails to deposit it, you cannot claim it as an input tax, making a businessman not only a collector of tax but an enforcer – this kind of draconian VAT system likely does not exist anywhere else.


    This post was published at Acting-Man on July 21, 2017.