• Tag Archives Tax
  • Since Seattle Placed A Tax On Guns And Ammunition, The City’s Violent Crime Rate Has Increased

    In recent years, Seattle has developed a reputation for passing asinine laws. Recently the city tried to increase taxes on diet soda, because the drink is more popular among white people. In the past they’ve allowed 6th graders to receive IUDs without parental consent, and have enlisted garbage men to snoop through residential trash in search of compost that is illegal to throw out. Seattle was also the first American city to pass a $15 minimum wage law, which promptly hurt low wage workers.
    So it’s no surprise that sometimes the city passes laws that backfire in very predictable ways. In 2015 Seattle tried to place a tax on gun and ammunition purchases, in an effort to curb some of the costs the city pays for gun violence. However, these taxes didn’t have the desired effect.
    Seattle City Councilman Tim Burgess introduced the tax in 2015. It puts a $25 tax on every firearm sold in the city and up to 5 cents per round of ammunition. The measure easily passed and took effect January 1, 2016. Comparing the first five months of 2017 with the same period before the gun tax went into effect, reports of shots fired are up 13 percent, the number of people injured in shootings climbed 37 percent and gun deaths doubled, according to crime statistics from the Seattle Police Department.

    This post was published at shtfplan on June 21st, 2017.


  • Watch Live: Speaker Paul Ryan To Deliver “Major Speech” Calling For Permanent Tax Reform

    The @HouseGOP plan for tax reform will create more jobs & increase wages, putting American workers & families first. — Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) June 20, 2017

    In what is being hailed as a “major speech,” which means just about nothing to ordinary Americans living outside the D. C. bubble, House Speaker Paul Ryan is expected to call for permanent tax reform in 2017 in remarks to be delivered to the National Association of Manufacturers. According to the Washington Examiner, Ryan will report that the GOP intends to introduce and pass a joint tax bill in the fall of this year.
    “We are going to get this done in 2017. We need to get this done in 2017. We cannot let this once-in-a-generation moment slip.”
    “Transformational tax reform can be done, and we are moving forward. Full speed ahead.”
    One component of Ryan’s tax plan, the so-called border adjustment provision, has become very controversial even among his Republican colleagues. It has elicited fierce opposition from retailers and other industries that fear it would result in higher taxes on imported products. In effect, the border adjustment would work by exempting export sales from companies’ taxable income, but disallowing the deduction of the cost of imported goods from taxable income.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 20, 2017.


  • Dow Jones News Today: Stocks Flatten as Georgia Votes in Special Election

    The Dow Jones news today features stocks flattening ahead of a special election in Georgia that could signal a moment shift in Washington, just as the Trump tax agenda gets underway. Markets will continue to monitor the airline industry as manufacturers continue to unveil new products and strike deals at the Paris Air Show.
    Here are the numbers from Monday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:

    This post was published at Wall Street Examiner on June 20, 2017.


  • Philly’s Soda Tax Is Shaping Up To Be An Epic Flop

    It’s been six months since the city’s soda tax (or, more accurately, the sugary beverage tax) was implemented – and it’s off to a rocky start.
    The city is currently $20 million short of its projected $46 million goal to close out the 2017 fiscal year, and based on the most available month’s numbers, it doesn’t appear as though they will reach it.
    ***
    But I’m not surprised by any of this. By the time last June when Mayor Kenney pulled a fast one on City Council to strike the deal, I had already warned about the consequences in lower-income communities.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 19, 2017.


  • Martin Shkreli, Disclosing $70 Million Net Worth In 2015, Says “Doesn’t Have Any Cash” Left

    Ahead of Martin Shkreli’s fraud trial which begins next week, the disgraced biopharma executive appeared in court Monday, asking the judge to cut his bail from $5 million to $2 million, citing a lack of funds and the need to pay for his defense and back taxes. He faced were two problems: as prosecutor Alixandra Smith countered, Shkreli has plenty of cash as per his own relentless twitter boasts, and also his self-disclosed net worth.
    ***
    According to Reuters, Smith said at Monday’s hearing that Shkreli had reported his net worth at $70 million when he was arrested in 2015, although as Shkreli’s lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, conceded most of that is locked up in stock: while Shkreli still owned a share of Turing Pharma worth $30 to $50 million he could not sell it without the consent of the other partners in the company.
    And then there are the tweets. In addition to his self-reported assets, Smith said that Shkreli has plenty of cash citing a recent series of boasts he’s made on social media.
    Quoted by Bloomberg, Smith said that in a May 26 post, Shkreli offered a $100,000 bounty to find Seth Rich’s killer. She also said he flaunting purchases like a $2 million Wu-Tang Clan album, an unreleased Lil Wayne album, a Picasso, a World War II-era Enigma code breaking machine and had recently promised a Princeton University student $40,000 for solving a mathematical proof.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 19, 2017.


  • ‘When I say cut taxes, I don’t mean fiddle with the code. I mean abolish the income tax and the IRS, and replace them with nothing’

    The quote in the headline comes from Ron Paul, and it should be the goal of every conservative lawmaker in the entire country. When professional politicians tell you that they are in favor of reforming the tax code or reducing taxes a little bit, essentially what they are telling you is that they are perfectly fine with the status quo. They may want to tweak things slightly, but in general they are content with big taxes, big spending and big government. I spent an entire year getting a Master of Laws in Taxation at the University of Florida Law School, and in my opinion the best thing that Congress could do to the tax code would be to run it through a shredder and put it in a dumpster. As I noted the other day, the tax code is now more than four million words long and it takes Americans about six billion dollars a year to comply with it. Those that believe that they are offering the American people a ‘solution’ by proposing to tinker with this abominable mess are just fooling themselves.
    The only long-term solution that is going to work is to get rid of the entire steaming pile of garbage. Ron Paul understood this, and we would be very wise to take his advice. The following is the full version of the quote from the headline above…
    ‘By the way, when I say cut taxes, I don’t mean fiddle with the code. I mean abolish the income tax and the IRS, and replace them with nothing.’

    This post was published at The Economic Collapse Blog on June 19th, 2017.


  • Suicide Over European Banking Crisis

    The European ‘bail-in’ rules have been cheered claiming taxpayer money will be spared. However, many seniors bought bank bonds for their retirement. In the rescue of the small Banca Popolare d’Etruria, a retiree who had lost more than 100,000 euros worth of bonds lost everything and committed suicide. There have been many such events that do not always make the press. In Italy, the death of a pensioner who also committed suicide after losing his life savings as a result of a controversial move by the government to rescue four banks. The 68-year-old hung himself at his home in Civitavecchia, a port town near Rome, after the so-called ‘save banks’ plan wiped out 100,000 in savings held at Banca Etruria, one of the four lenders included in the government rescue deal announced on November 22nd, 2015. There was the 23-year old who committed suicide over 8000 in debts for student loans. A Greek pensioner who was 77-years old committed suicide in central Athens shooting himself with a handgun just several hundred meters from the Greek parliament building in apparent despair over his financial debts.

    This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Jun 19, 2017.


  • Cab Drivers Union Says Chicago Taxi Industry Near Collapse

    In addition to repaying loans on their medallions, taxi operators also have to pay thousands of dollars each year in city expenses, like the ground transportation tax and medallion license renewal fee – expenses that rideshare drivers are not subject to. (Cab Drivers United/ Twitter)
    Ghana-born John Aikins has been a cab driver in Chicago for two decades. About 15 years ago, he decided to go into business for himself by taking out a loan with his wife to purchase a medallion – a city-issued license to operate a taxi – for $70,000. Paying it off within a few years thanks to a steady stream of passengers, they took out loan for a second medallion five years ago, using the first as collateral. Watching his medallions appreciate in value over the years, Aikins planned to eventually sell or lease them to other drivers, a common practice in the industry. ‘I hoped it would be my retirement investment, and I had planned to retire this year,’ Aikins told In These Times.
    But with the introduction of Uber and other rideshare companies to the city – which can operate without the expensive, city-issued medallions – Aikins has seen his clientele plummet over the past three years, making it increasingly hard to keep up with his medallion loan payments.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 18, 2017.


  • Fear of Contagion Feeds the Italian Banking Crisis

    At first, deny, deny, deny. Then taxpayers get to bail out bondholders.
    By Don Quijones, Spain & Mexico, editor at WOLF STREET.
    Spain’s Banco Popular had the dubious honor of being the first financial institution to be resolved under the EU’s Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive, passed in January 2016. As a result, shareholders and subordinate bondholders were ‘bailed in’ before the bank was sold to Santander for the princely sum of one euro.
    At first the operation was proclaimed a roaring success. As European banking crises go, this was an orderly one, reported The Economist. Taxpayers were not left on the hook, as long as you ignore the 5 billion of deferred tax credits Santander obtained from the operation. Depositors and senior bondholders were spared any of the fallout.
    But it may not last for long, for the chances of a similar approach being adopted to Italy’s banking crisis appear to be razor slim. The ECB has already awarded Italy’s Monte dei Paschi di Siena (MPS) a last-minute reprieve, on the grounds that while it did not pass certain parts of the ECB’s last stress test, the bank is perfectly solvent, albeit with serious liquidity problems.

    This post was published at Wolf Street by Don Quijones ‘ Jun 16, 2017.


  • Gangsters, Grandmothers and Gold: Japan’s New Crime Wave

    Sometimes the perpetrators are gangsters. Sometimes they are rather less accustomed to the criminal life. In one case, the ringleader of a middle-aged, female crime ring was said to be a 66-year-old woman.
    An old-fashioned crime is experiencing a resurgence in Japan: gold smuggling. The authorities say they are contending with a startling rise in the amount of gold being brought illegally into the country. The smugglers – an array of professional criminals and enterprising amateurs – profit by dodging import duties and taxes, in some cases worth millions of dollars. Arrests have jumped 40-fold in just a few years.
    The smuggling has gained national attention because of a spate of high-profile episodes, including a brazen gold robbery by thieves dressed as police officers; the seizure of multi-million-dollar gold cargoes from fishing boats and private jets; and the foiling of the smuggling ring the police have said was organized by a 66-year-old housewife.
    Crime rates in Japan are among the world’s lowest and have been falling further as the population ages. But some nonviolent crimes, like shoplifting or embezzlement, have remained more common than other offenses – say, murder or armed robbery.

    This post was published at NY Times


  • The foreign business incentives in this country can help double your income.

    Yesterday I spent all afternoon meeting with government officials here in the Philippines, and I’m still in shock. I’ll explain –
    About a year and a half ago I purchased a fairly large manufacturing business that is oddly enough based in Australia.
    It’s been a fantastic investment so far, primarily because it generates so much cashflow relative to the price I paid.
    With big public companies listed on a major stock market, it’s not uncommon to pay 20x, 50x, even more than 100x a company’s annual profits.
    For example, as I write to you early in the morning here in Manila right now, Amazon’s stock sells for 180x its annual profits.
    In other words, if you were theoretically to acquire 100% of Amazon’s shares, at current levels it would take you 180 years to recoup your investment.
    (This presumes you put all the profits in your pocket, but doesn’t account for the effects of dividend taxation.)
    Obviously most investors expect Amazon to keep growing.
    But even if Amazon’s earnings were to grow at an annual rate of 25% per year (which would be unprecedented), it would still take almost two decades to recoup your investment.

    This post was published at Sovereign Man on June 16, 2017.


  • JPMorgan’s Kolanovic: “$1.3 Trillion In S&P 500 Options Expire On Quad-Friday”

    With Nasdaq ‘VIX’ reaching 15-year highs relative to S&P ‘VIX’ in the last week, we suspect Friday’s quad-witching will be a little more noisy than normal as traders scramble to cope with $1.3 trillion of expiring S&P options…
    ***
    JPMorgan’s Marko Kolanovic lays out the details…
    In our view, it will be difficult for the market to go much higher from these levels (~2,450) unless there is meaningful progress on US fiscal reform (i.e. tax cut).
    Current positioning of various investors is already quite high and that poses additional risk going into weak seasonals.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 16, 2017.


  • How We Should Name Business Cycles

    Economists have long played semantic games with business cycles. In particular, they try to downplay the significance of the crisis and to obfuscate its cause.
    First of all, bubbles and economic crises are initially denied and then usually not named until after they end and particular sectors of the economy are revealed to be what Lionel Robbins called ‘a cluster of entrepreneurial errors.’
    The housing bubble was an exception because it was obvious to Austrian economists that there was a bubble as early as 2002 and that it was concentrated in housing due to various government subsidies, tax breaks, and regulations.
    Murray Rothbard explained that economists have played semantic games regarding the naming of business cycles. Up until the Great Depression an economic crisis typically started with a boom, followed by a ‘panic’ and concluded with a ‘depression.’
    After the disaster of 1929, economists and politicians resolved that this (i.e., a ‘depression’) must never happen again. The easiest way of succeeding at this resolve was simply to define ‘depression’ out of existence. From this point on, America was to suffer no further depressions.

    This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on June 16, 2017.


  • What If Taxpayers Could Choose if Taxes Went to the State Level or Federal Level?

    In recent years, we’ve examined any number of ways of decentralizing the American political system. These step-by-step moves can include decentralizing the monetary system, decentralizing the military, decentralizing immigration policy, and decentralizing elections.
    Most recently, we looked at decentralizing the welfare state, and found that each US state is more than wealthy enough and big enough to run its own welfare state at the state level without any need of planning or centralization through Washington, DC. Whether or not one thinks a welfare state is a good or necessary thing, the fact remains the US government is not an essential part of the equation.
    One piece of information that stood out the state-level analysis of tax revenue: the amount of taxes collected by the federal government far outpaces that collected at the state level. Nationwide, state-level tax bills are 28 percent the size of the federal tax bill. In a midsize state like Georgia, for example, residents pay 21 billion in taxes to the state government. However, those same residents pay a total of 86 billion to the federal government. The federal tax bill for Georgians is more than four times the size of the state tax bill.1

    This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on June 16, 2017.


  • Merkel Wants G20 Global Taxation of Internet

    Markel is calling upon the G20 to regulate the internet. While she if pretending to be concerned about cyberattacks, which no regulator can prevent, you have to look into the finer details. Chancellor Angela Merkel called for a global regulation sayying: ‘Industry 4.0 will have to go through the process that we have already gone through at the World Trade Organization (WTO) with real trading operations that we have gone through in the G20 process with financial market regulation.’
    She noted that the ‘concerns’ include ‘cyberattacks, the responsibility of social platforms to tax issues in international trade, and growing concern in the world Of policy. ‘

    This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Jun 15, 2017.


  • Federal Debt Ceiling Amid No Growth in Federal Tax Receipts (Nothing Has Been The Same SInce TARP)

    What is the US Treasury to do? They are bound (sort of) by the Statutory Debt Ceiling and a Congress that works together like a mink and chickens.
    Federal tax receipts have been disappointing and below the Congressional Budget Office’s forecast.
    And the US Treasury’s cash position has never been the same since the Bush announcement of TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) on September 19, 2008.

    This post was published at Wall Street Examiner on June 13, 2017.