Tag Archives: taxation

Billionaire theater

Source: Common Sense
by Paul Jacob

“‘I need to pay higher taxes,’ Bill Gates told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria on Sunday. He was making a case against Republican tax cuts, but his actual argument? Insignificant. It’s just another unlearned, narrow-perspective ‘growing inequality’ farrago. But his conclusion intrigues … as a man-bites-dog story, because people have this goofy idea that rich people are somehow against government and for reduced taxes. They aren’t. Not even most of the richest.” (02/20/18)


Trump “strongly” favors imposing online sales tax, Mnuchin says

Source: Fortune

“President Donald Trump ‘feels strongly’ that the U.S. should impose a sales tax on purchases made over the Internet, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday. Mnuchin, speaking at a hearing before the House Ways and Means Committee, said he has spoken personally with Trump about the issue, and that the president ‘does feel strongly’ that the tax should be applied. The prospect of an online sales tax has been a long-standing point of contention between Internet-based retailers and their brick-and-mortar rivals. Trump has previously gone after Internet giant Amazon.com Inc., saying last year that it does ‘great damage to tax paying retailers.'” [editor’s note: That damage can be completely fixed by getting rid of sales for all businesses. Problem solved. You’re welcome, Don – TLK] (02/15/18)


Trump endorses 25-cent gas tax hike, lawmakers say

Source: Politico

“President Donald Trump endorsed the idea of a 25 cent-per-gallon gas tax increase at a meeting Wednesday with lawmakers, people who attended the session said — a move that could help pay for his big infrastructure plan but brought swift attacks from anti-tax conservatives. Trump’s support came just two days after the White House released a long-awaited, $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan that didn’t endorse such a politically perilous increase, and less than two months after he signed a mammoth tax code overhaul that would have provided cover for lawmakers supporting it. The last president to hike the 18.4-cents-per-gallon federal gas tax was Bill Clinton in 1993, a year before Democrats lost both chambers of Congress in a crushing midterm defeat.” (02/14/18)


The IRS is coming for your passports

Source: National Review
by Kevin D Williamson

“The U.S. government is building the world’s largest debtors’ prison: the United States. Beginning this month, the Internal Revenue Service will begin denying passports to some American citizens with unpaid taxes and, in some cases, revoking the passports of Americans with tax delinquencies. The government will in effect place those with unpaid taxes under arrest, effectively denying them their right to travel. To be clear: We are not talking about Americans who have been convicted of tax evasion or tax fraud, or who are awaiting a criminal trial on charges related to tax matters. These Americans have not been charged with a crime, must less convicted of one. … The right to travel is — like the right to free speech, the right to be free from unlawful search and seizure, and the right to petition the government for redress of grievance — a basic civil right.”


Roving bandit, stationary bandit, and income tax

Source: Independent Institute
by Robert Higgs

“When a mugger or a home invader accosts you, he points a gun at you or waves a knife in your face and demands your wallet or some other property. In most cases, if you surrender your property to him as he demands, he takes it and flees, and you will most likely never see him again. He is, in the classic phrase, the roving bandit. In contrast, the state is, in Mancur Olson’s classic term, the stationary bandit. It extorts your money constantly, ceaselessly, and no amount of plunder sates its appetite for what rightfully belongs to you. You are milked endlessly by people who have no rightful claim to loot you, but do have the power to take even more of your wealth in the form of interest or penalties or to place you in a steel cage if you make too much of a fuss about being looted. With income taxation, however, the matter is even more exasperating and outrageous.” (02/13/18)


Cryptocurrency users to IRS: Go f*ck yourselves, thieves


Source: CNBC

“A tiny fraction of Americans are reporting their cryptocurrency transactions to the IRS, according to a study from Credit Karma Tax. Fewer than 100 of 250,000 federal tax returns prepared and filed so far this year through the company have filed a Form 8949 for cryptocurrency gains and losses, Credit Karma said Tuesday. That’s less than 0.04 percent of filers. … A survey from LendEDU and conducted by Pollfish in November found that slightly more than a third of respondents were not planing to report their bitcoin transactions to the IRS.” (02/13/18)


Yes, tax cuts really are the reason for your raise

Source: Ludwig von Mises Institute
by Nathan Keeble

“Since Trump’s reduction of the corporate tax to 21%, workers across the country have been rejoicing. Companies like Wal-Mart, Apple, Bank of America, and many more have announced firm wide bonuses and minimum wage raises. To most, the tax cuts appear to be a clear success. However, some commentators, such as Dr. Veronique de Rugy at Reason, are saying not so fast. Dr. de Rugy claims that these announcements are not in line with economic theory. For wages to be affected by tax cuts takes an extended period of time. The newly freed revenue must be accumulated and invested into new capital equipment which boosts worker productivity and, consequently, their wages. Quite simply, Dr. de Rugy suggests that the tax cuts simply have not been in place long enough to be held directly responsible for these announcements, and she even ponders if they are nothing more than PR moves. In truth, these bonuses and raises are perfectly in line with what economic theory predicts.” [editor’s note: Except that there has been no tax cut since there’s been no spending cut … – TLK] (02/12/18)


America’s punishing worldwide tax scheme

Source: Reason
by Veronique de Rugy

“You know who’s really thrilled about American actress Meghan Markle’s engagement to Britain’s Prince Harry? Uncle Sam. Although Markle will live in the U.K., Washington will get a cut of her income, because Americans owe taxes on money earned abroad. Even if Markle becomes a British citizen, she will be required to file a tax return in the States unless she also renounces her U.S. citizenship. Depending on her levels of assets, she may have to share very private information about her holdings. There are some advantages to matrimony with a prince. If she were marrying a regular Jack, she would also find it hard to open a bank account in the United Kingdom: The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), which was enacted under Obama, deputizes overseas financial institutions to snoop on and collect taxes from Americans, making banks reluctant to take on U.S. clients. But she will still suffer under a tax regime that is all but unique to the United States.” (for publication 03/18)


Tax cut doomsayers need a history (and economics) lesson

Source: Independent Institute
by Mary LG Theroux

“Swamped by the legend that World War II ended the Great Depression are the facts that the U.S. domestic economy remained mired in depression until 1946—after the war had ended. The single measure by which many conclude that the Depression ended with the war is unemployment — which not surprisingly declined from a high of 9-15% in 1940, to 1.2% in 1944, when 16 million Americans were ’employed’ by the military. Those left at home continued to suffer low standards of living including rationing of almost everything, the pain of which was likely eased by the ‘spirit’ of shared privation for the war effort. It was only at the end of the war that the Depression truly ended, when following the death of FDR Truman abandoned New Deal economic policies and slashed federal spending by 40%. Despite warnings from his economic advisors that this would plunge the economy ‘back’ into Depression, the U.S. economy instead boomed, easily absorbing the 10 million newly ‘unemployed’ released from the military.” (02/07/18)


The sneaky, dirty truth about state and local taxes

Source: Liberty Unbound
by Jo Ann Skousen

“The sneaky, dirty little truth is about the deductibility of state and local taxes. High-taxing, high-spending states such as New Jersey, Minnesota, Oregon, New York, and California have been fleecing taxpayers in other states for years. How? By taking the federal taxes paid by Nevadans, Texans, Floridians, etc., and using it to refund their own state and local taxes. They could get away with their high tax rates (as high as 13%!) in part because taxes were deductible. In essence, federal taxes have been funneled into the state and local coffers of high-tax states for years.” (01/23/18)