Archive for the ‘Tax’ Category

Casey Mulligan: How ObamaCare Wrecks the Work Ethic

By: admin
Published: October 4th, 2013

From WSJ

Mr. Mulligan is a professor of economics at the University of Chicago and the author of “The Redistribution Recession” (Oxford, 2012).

The health-care law, starting Jan. 1, will begin driving up marginal tax rates—well above 50% for many.

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A new wave of redistribution will arrive in America on Jan. 1, primarily thanks to the Affordable Care Act. The president’s health-insurance plan forces those who hire, work and produce to pay full price for health care, while creating generous discounts for practically everyone else.

…In the years 2015 and beyond, full-time workers with median incomes will keep only half of the compensation created by their decisions, with the other half going to the government in the form of additional taxes and savings on subsidy payments. By keeping 50% rather than 60%, workers will find that the reward for holding a job will have fallen a damaging 17%

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Links 04-15-2013

By: admin
Published: April 15th, 2013

I sold home in Cyprus when my husband died…and bank kept my money

The £155,000 proceeds from the sale of her villa in Paralimni, near Ayia Napa, hit her account two hours before close of business on March 15. The next day, EU officials announced that to qualify for a bailout the bankrupt island must enforce draconian measures, including an unprecedented tax on depositors with more than 100,000 euros (£85,000).

Sharon’s two accounts at the Bank of Cyprus, one set up especially for the transaction, were immediately frozen. The 55-year-old, who fears she could lose £42,000, said: “On the same day that the money went into the bank I sent an e-mail. In it I instructed them to transfer the funds, some of which were in euros and some in sterling, to the UK but on Saturday morning the news broke that Cypriot banks were in major financial difficulty.”

Dad Furious After Finding This Crayon-Written Paper in Florida 4th-Grader’s Backpack: ‘I Am Willing to Give Up Some of My Constitutional Rights…to Be Safer’

“I believe in our Constitution. I am a veteran, I served for six-and-a-half years proudly and I served to protect our rights,” he said. “Now whenever I have someone coming in and trying to pollute my child’s mind with biased opinions…there’s no education in that.”

How 1960s Radicals Ended Up Teaching Your Kids

On the same day ESPN broadcast the Rutgers tape, The New York Postreportedthat Kathy Boudin, a professor at Columbia University, was named the 2013 Sheinberg Scholar-in-Residence at NYU Law School. In 1984, Boudin, a member of the Weather Underground, a violent, oafish association of upper-class “revolutionaries,” pled guilty to second-degree murder in association with the infamous 1981 Brinks armored car robbery in Nyack, New York. Babbling in the language of anti-racism and anti-imperialism, Boudin assisted in ending the life of three people, including Waverly Brown, the first black police officer on the Nyack police force, and left nine children fatherless. She was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison. In 2003, Boudin was released; by 2008 she had landed a coveted teaching position at an Ivy League university.

Indeed, Boudin’s Columbia University biography doesn’t mention her violent past, describing her simply as “an educator and counselor with experience in program development since 1964, working within communities with limited resources to solve social problems.” Neither does an official NYU press release announcing her new gig, instead explaining that Boudin “has been dedicated to community involvement in social change since the 1960’s.” Well, that’s one way of putting it.

‘We’re being inundated’: Vigilante Group uses secret cameras to record the flow of illegal immigrants across the border

VIDEO  ‘Drug smugglers’ show just how easy it is to cross into US

 Where Did Your Tax Dollar Go?

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Your Tax Dollars at Work: Subsidizing the Security of Wealthy Allies

It’s Tax Day, and for millions of Americans that means ponying up to the IRS. The federal government does many things these days—most of which would be more efficiently carried out at the local level, or in the private sector. But Uncle Sam also engages in a particular form of charity that many Americans overlook: spending many tens of billions of dollars to defend wealthy, developed nations.

A new Cato infographic puts it all in perspective. It shows how much American taxpayers spend to subsidize the security, and to defend the interests, of other nations that are more than capable of defending themselves.

9 dark omens show U.S. growth will fall near zero

Bulls love bull markets. History’s most famous bull, Yale economist Irving Fisher, loved the Roaring Twenties of the Great Gatsby.

Remember, weeks before the Crash of 1929 this brilliant Yale professor told investors: “Stock prices have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau. I do not feel there will be soon, if ever, a 50 or 60 point break from present levels, such as bears have predicted. I expect to see the stock market a good deal higher within a few months.”

 The Disability Scam: A Great Government Freebie

When asked why he robbed banks, Slick Willie Sutton famously answered, “Because that’s where the money is.” Today, millions of Americans appear to have jumped onto our disability rolls for the very same reason. Today, 8.8 million Americans – nearly 6 percent of our workforce – claim they are physically incapable of working.

Add in dependents, and the figure swells to nearly 10.9 million. The number has grown every month since January 1997, when there was a small dip, and has grown faster than the number of added annually to the workforce.  For the United States, this is an expensive proposition. The Social Security Administration spent $137 billion on disability last year; Medicare costs for this group tack on another $80 billion, since folks on disability automatically qualify for Medicare.

Why Home Prices Change (or Don’t)

WHAT prices will today’s home buyers get if they sell a decade from now?

Most people live in their home for many years. They don’t need to view it as an investment at all, but if they do, they surely need a long forecasting horizon.

The problem is that modern economics has a poor understanding of past movements in home prices. And that makes the task of predicting the state of the market in 2023 challenging, at the very least. Still, we can learn something by analyzing the factors that affect home prices in general.

Radiating Remnants: Nuclear Waste Barrels Litter English Channel

German journalists have discovered barrels of radioactive waste on the floor of the English Channel, just a handful of thousands dumped there decades ago. It was previously thought the material had dissipated. Now politicians are calling for the removal of the potentially harmful containers.

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Yahoo, Dell Swell Netherlands’ $13 Trillion Tax Haven

By: admin
Published: January 24th, 2013

From BusinessWeek-Bloomberg

By Jesse Drucker on January 23, 2013

Inside Reindert Dooves’s home, a 17th- century, three-story converted warehouse along the Zaan canal in suburban Amsterdam, a 21st-century Internet giant is avoiding taxes.

The bookkeeper’s home office doubles as the headquarters for a Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) offshore unit. Through this sun-filled, white- walled room, Yahoo has taken advantage of the law to quietly funnel hundreds of millions of dollars in global profits to island subsidiaries, cutting its worldwide tax bill.

The Yahoo arrangement illustrates that the Netherlands, in the heart of a continent better known for social welfare than corporate welfare, has emerged as one of the most important tax havens for multinational companies. Now, as a deficit-strapped Europe raises retirement ages and taxes on the working class, the Netherlands’ role as a $13 trillion relay station on the global tax-avoiding network is prompting a backlash.

The Dutch Parliament is scheduled to debate the fairness of its tax system today. Lawmakers from several parties, including members of the country’s governing coalition, say they want to remove a stain on the nation’s reputation.

“We should not be a tax haven,” said Ed Groot, a parliament member from the Labour Party, which along with the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy took power in November. Both ruling parties are “fed up with these so called PO Box companies,” he said. “If they go somewhere else we are not sorry at all because they spoil the name of Holland. Otherwise you can wait for retaliation measures and this we don’t want.”

War Declaration

Last month, the European Commission, the European Union’s executive body, declared a war on tax avoidance and evasion, which it said costs the EU 1 trillion euros a year. The commission advised member states — including the Netherlands — to create tax-haven blacklists and adopt anti-abuse rules. It also recommended reforms that could undermine the lure of the Netherlands, and hurt a spinoff industry that has mushroomed in and around Amsterdam to abet tax avoidance.

Attracted by the Netherlands’ lenient policies and extensive network of tax treaties, companies such as Yahoo, Google Inc. (GOOG), Merck & Co. and Dell Inc. have moved profits through the country. Using techniques with nicknames such as the “Dutch Sandwich,” multinational companies routed 10.2 trillion euros in 2010 through 14,300 Dutch “special financial units,” according to the Dutch Central Bank. Such units often only exist on paper, as is allowed by law.

Read the rest of this entry »

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The Tax System Explained….

By: admin
Published: December 7th, 2012

That is an old post going around the internet, but I think people need more examples like this one, to figure out, that we are on the path to kill the golden goose…

Our tax system explained with beer:

Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes. it would go something like this:

The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
The fifth would pay $1.
The sixth would pay $3.
The seventh would pay $7.
The eighth would pay $12.
The ninth would pay $18.

…The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.So, that’s what they decided to do.The ten men drank beer in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the bar owner threw them a curve. “Since you are all such good customers,” he said, “I’m going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20.” Drinks for the ten now just cost $80.The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes, so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men – the paying customers?How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his ‘fair share’?

They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But, if they subtracted that from everybody’s share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer. So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man’s bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.

And so:

The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).
The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33% savings).
The seventh now paid $5 instead of $7 (28% savings).
The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).
The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).
The tenth now paid $50 instead of $59 (15% savings).

Each of the six was better off than before. And, the first four continued to drink for free. But, once outside the bar, the men began to compare their savings.

“I only got a dollar out of the $20,” declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man, “but he got $9!”

“Yeah, that’s right,” exclaimed the fifth man. “I only saved a dollar, too. It’s unfair that he got nine times more than I!”

“That’s true!!” shouted the seventh man. “Why should he get $9 back when I got only $2? The wealthy get all the breaks!”

“Wait a minute.” yelled the first four men in unison. “We didn’t get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!”

The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

The next night the tenth man didn’t show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But, when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn’t have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!”

And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

David R. Kamerschen, Ph.D.
Professor of Economics
University of Georgia 

For those who understand, no explanation is needed.

For those who do not understand, no explanation is possible.

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Employment, Italian Style

By: admin
Published: June 26th, 2012

From WSJ
Updated June 25, 2012, 7:27 p.m. ET

The rules and burdens that explain Europe’s economic crisis.

Prime Minister Mario Monti has issued a new “growth decree” to revive Italy’s moribund economy. Among other initiatives, the 185-page plan proposes discount loans for corporate R&D, tax credits for businesses that hire employees with advanced degrees, and reduced headcount at select government ministries.

Will any of this solve Italy’s economic problems? Only in the sense that one could theoretically drain Lake Como with a ladle and straw. Allow us, then, to illustrate why Italy’s economy stagnates.

Imagine you’re an ambitious Italian entrepreneur, trying to make a go of a new business. You know you will have to pay at least two-thirds of your employees’ social security costs. You also know you’re going to run into problems once you hire your 16th employee, since that will trigger provisions making it either impossible or very expensive to dismiss a staffer.

But there’s so much more. Once you hire employee 11, you must submit an annual self-assessment to the national authorities outlining every possible health and safety hazard to which your employees might be subject. These include stress that is work-related or caused by age, gender and racial differences. You must also note all precautionary and individual measures to prevent risks, procedures to carry them out, the names of employees in charge of safety, as well as the physician whose presence is required for the assessment.

Now say you decide to scale up. Beware again: Once you hire your 16th employee, national unions can set up shop. As your company grows, so does the number of required employee representatives, each of whom is entitled to eight hours of paid leave monthly to fulfill union or works-council duties. Management must consult these worker reps on everything from gender equality to the introduction of new technology.

Hire No. 16 also means that your next recruit must qualify as disabled. By the time your firm hires its 51st worker, 7% of the payroll must be handicapped in some way, or else your company owes fees in-kind. During hard times, your company may apply for exemptions from these quotas—though as with everything in Italy, it’s a toss-up whether it’s worth it after the necessary paperwork.

Once you hire your 101st employee, you must submit a report every two years on the gender dynamics within the company. This must include a tabulation of the men and women employed in each production unit, their functions and level within the company, details of compensation and benefits, and dates and reasons for recruitments, promotions and transfers, as well as the estimated revenue impact.

The system does allow certain exemptions—provided your company stays small, or you hire the right gender or in certain areas. Industrial and security firms are exempt from paying into the national fund for temporary unemployment if they have 15 employees or fewer; retail and tourism companies don’t have to start contributing until they hire their 51st worker; and trade companies are exempt until they hire their 201st employee.

Here’s another loophole you might try to jump through: Businesses currently receive tax credits worth up to €15,200 per year per new permanent-contract hire—that being for new employees who are also women or under the age of 35 and live in the regions of Abruzzo, Molise, Campania, Basilicata, Puglia, Calabria, Sardinia and Sicily.

Businesses with no more than 250 employees may also still be enjoying their three-year profit-tax holiday, which was granted in 2010 for small and medium-sized firms that reinvest their profits in forging “networks” for “innovation” with other small businesses nearby.

All of these protections and assurances, along with the bureaucracies that oversee them, subtract 47.6% from the average Italian wage, according to the OECD. Two-thirds of that bite comes before payroll, meaning many Italian workers are unaware of their gross cost to employers.

But you as the employer are aware of them, which may explain the temptation to stay small and keep as much of your business as possible off the books. This gray- and black-market accounts for more than a quarter of the Italian economy. It also helps account for unemployment at a 12-year high of 10%, and GDP forecast to contract 1.3% this year.

Still, who knows: With any luck, you may discover a loophole in Mr. Monti’s new growth decree that will allow you to hire a few more employees without incurring too many costs—provided, one assumes, that all of the new hires are disabled, blue-eyed Sardinians under the age of 35.

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MAP – Case Study of Federal Inefficiency and Overlap

By: admin
Published: June 18th, 2012

FINAL Final_MAP Report

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Daily Readings 05-08-2012

By: admin
Published: May 8th, 2012

How Mitt Romney’s Campaign Put A Damper On Obama’s Big Day

Romney Deputy Press Secretary Ryan Williams was in the audience at the OSU rally, and tweeted a picture of the empty seats — which instantly got picked up by conservative blogs. After Obama’s remarks he was swarmed by local reporters, and after giving them a standard response to the speech, he commented on the empty seats.

OBAMA LAUNCHES CAMPAIGN IN EMPTY ARENA

Barack Obama launched his campaign in unspectacular fashion today at Ohio State University, the largest college in the crucial swing state.  A photo posted to twitter by Mitt Romney’s campaign spokesman Ryan Williams reveals sparse attendance.  The above image, according to Williams, was taken during the President’s first official campaign speech.

MSNBC Host Calls Half-Full Stadium For Obama Rally “Filled Stadium” - video after the jump

MSNBC host Alex Wagner, who once said she would like to get rid of the Second Amendment, claimed that Obama gave a speech in a full stadium in Ohio this past weekend WHILE an image of the not-so-full stadium was displayed on the screen. “We have talked about attendance rates at campaign events. Mitt Romney also had a speech in Detroit at an unfilled stadium. Now this is OSU, a filled stadium. Although it was a capacity 18,300, the president had 14,000 folks out there,” Wagner said.

The awful April jobs report: Is the ‘real’ unemployment rate 11.1%?

Forward

The Obama Promise: Five Million New Green Jobs - That is a post from 2008

  • “We’ll create 5 million new, high-wage jobs by investing in the renewable sources of energy that will eliminate the oil we currently import from the Middle East in 10 years, and we’ll create 2 million jobs by rebuilding our crumbling roads, schools, and bridges.”
  • “It is time to protect the jobs we have and to create the jobs of tomorrow by unlocking the drive, and ingenuity, and innovation of the American people. And we should fast-track the loan guarantees we passed for our auto industry and provide more as needed so that they can build the energy-efficient cars America needs to end our dependence on foreign oil.”
  • “I won’t pretend this will be easy or come without cost. We’ll have to set priorities as never before, and stick to them. That means pursuing investments in areas such as energy, education, and healthcare that bear directly on our economic future, while deferring other things we can afford to do without.”

Source: Red Green & Blue (http://s.tt/12A0w)

Obama campaign inflates job numbers by 40 percent for pricey electric car - That is the reality in 2012 

President Barack Obama’s deputy campaign manager got her facts wrong while she was trying to support the administration’s $193 million subsidy for a luxury automaker.

“Hi, I’m Stephanie Cutter, I’m the deputy campaign manager here at Obama for America, and I wanted to arm you with the facts about the latest attack from ‘Big Oil,’” Cutter said in her May 2 video. “Let’s get the facts out, because it is important that you guys know the truth.”

Cutter’s speech appears to have been aimed at a new attack ad by Americans for Prosperity (AFP) that dinged Obama for sending “half a billion [dollars] to an electric car company that created hundreds of jobs … in Finland.“

That company is Fisker, whose auto-factory in Anaheim, Calif. produces a trickle of $102,000 Karma electric autos. Those autos are quite popular among Hollywood stars and other wealthy Democratic donors. The car made headlines in March when its sports car died on a Connecticut runway during a 65 mile per hour Consumer Reports test

America’s costliest disease

The United States is rushing toward a health and economic catastrophe, with significant repercussions on our global competitiveness and national security. The emerging obesity epidemic has no real parallel with any other health crisis in our history. In the past, we have met the challenges of epidemics and other serious diseases and emerged with new knowledge, new technologies and superior tools to better our nation’s health. We need to take the same approach with obesity, coming up with tested and reasonable programs that both address the problem and help inspire new life-saving and wealth-creating technologies.

Obesity could affect 42% of Americans by 2030

 A new forecast on obesity in America has health experts fearing a dramatic jump in health care costs if nothing is done to bring it under control.

The projection, released Monday, warns that 42% of Americans may end up obese by 2030 (up from 36% in 2010), and 11% could be severely obese, roughly 100 or more pounds over a healthy weight (vs. 6% in 2010).

U.S. health care spending ‘dwarfs’ that of other countries

The United States spends more on health care than 12 other industrialized countries, a new Commonwealth Fund study finds – but that doesn’t mean this country’s care is any better.

The U.S. spent nearly $8,000 per person for health care services in 2009, the study found, confirming that “health care spending in the U.S. dwarfs that found in any other industrialized country.

Americans Paying More in Taxes than for Food, Clothing, and Shelter

In 2012, Americans will pay approximately $4.041 trillion in taxes, which is $152 billion, or 3.9 percent, more than they will spend on housing, food, and clothing

Millions of illegal immigrants are getting a bigger tax refund than you - THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS!!!

One of the workers, who was interviewed at his home in southern Indiana, admitted his address was used this year to file tax returns by four other undocumented workers who don’t even live there. Those four workers claimed 20 children live inside the one residence and, as a result, the IRS sent the illegal immigrants tax refunds totaling $29,608.

13 Investigates saw only one little girl who lives at that address (a small mobile home). We wondered about the 20 kids claimed as tax deductions?

“They don’t live here,” said the undocumented worker. “The other kids are in their country of origin, which is Mexico.”

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