Tax The Rich

The chant goes up…Tax the rich….Tax the rich…..somewhere there will be villagers with pitchforks waiting on the arrival of the “tax man”…..

Enough fanciful stuff……there is a movement taking to the airwaves a proposal for a 70% tax on the ultra-rich…..and by damn the idea has got a majority approval in the polls…..

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) sparked a flood of hysterical and error-filled responses from the right when she suggested in a recent “60 Minutes” interview that America’s top marginal tax rate should be hiked to 70 percent to help pay for bold progressive programs, but a survey published on Tuesday found that the majority of Americans are on the freshman congresswoman’s side.

Conducted by The Hill in partnership with the market research firm HarrisX, the poll found that 59 percent of the U.S. public supports raising the marginal tax rate on the richest Americans to 70 percent. The poll also found a “surprising amount of support” for the proposal among Republicans, with 45 percent backing the idea along with 71 percent of Democrats.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/01/15/poll-shows-majority-

back-70-tax-rate-ultra-rich-ocasio-cortezs-radical-proposal

The media is not down with this proposal……however the economics of this are sound…looking at it without the bias of a political party……

Taxes impede economic growth and high taxes kill the economy, right?. This is the belief among many who criticize Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s proposal to raise taxes on the wealthy to 70% or more. But what does the evidence really tell us?

Do high taxes really hurt the economy as much as they believe, and will lowering them have much of an impact on stimulating it? The economic literature is clear — tax breaks to encourage economic relocation or investment decisions are inefficient and wasteful. Hundreds of studies reach this conclusion. When businesses are surveyed regarding factors important to their investment decisions, taxes often come in behind proximity to markets, suppliers, and the quality of the labor force. These other factors occupy a larger percentage of a business’s budget than do taxes, and all of them are far more critical to long-term success than are taxes. Businesses occasionally admit this. Nearly 62 percent of those interviewed in a California study on hiring tax credits indicated that they had never or rarely affected their decision to employ individuals.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/01/09/tax-the-rich-history-proves-alexandria-ocasio-cortez-may-be-correct/

I know this will not fly with the GOP for they think that tax cuts for the rich will solve all our economic problems…..wishful thinking….it has not done so in many decades and will not work now.

Time for the uber rich to start pulling their weight to society….they profit most from society then why can they not pay for their privilege?

Why Not?

As a matter of fact……the entire “progressive agenda” is fiscally  responsible….the agenda…..

  • We are currently planning to spend $45.2 trillion over the next decade on healthcare as a country.
  • A single payer Medicare for All system would cost $32.6 trillion over the next decade, saving us $13.2 trillion.
  • Freezing defense spending at 2017 levels would save us $780 billion over the next decade.
  • Reversing the Trump tax cuts would bring in an additional $1.9 trillion of revenue.
  • Reversing the Bush tax cuts would bring in an additional $3.3 trillion of revenue.
  • Closing three corporate tax loopholes (exclusion of rental income, capital gains, and deferral of controlled foreign corporations’ income) would bring in another $2.72 trillion of revenue.
  • If the entire “progressive agenda” is implemented, we would save $18.74 trillion over the next decade.

I approve of the agenda and will support it as long as too many changes are not included.

That is where it will not fly in DC….it is fiscally responsible…..the GOP has NO idea how to be fiscally responsible…..sounds good in sound bytes but the GOP just cannot find the on switch to fiscal responsibility.

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Siphon Off The Cash

Closing Thought–14Jan19

Well we watch the tube and the volatility of the markets….wild swings in losses and gains…..it is not normal.

And then there are the trade policies of our president…..his view of his tariffs are not anything like the views from financial pundits…..the news is not good from the tariffs…….out soy bean farmers think they are screwed even after the silly tariffs are removed….

With that said and reported……what about other sectors of our economy?

The financial magazine Forbes reports…..

President Trump likes to say that China and other countries are pouring money into the U.S. with the tariffs he has imposed. However, the countries that are sending goods to us aren’t paying the tariffs . The companies that import goods are paying them , which means U.S. companies need to raise prices (therefore a tax on consumers), lower their margins and have less profit (which also lowers the amount of taxes they pay to the government) or even go out of business.

The U.S. Treasury Department releases a monthly report, which provides how much in customs duties are received by the government (December’s is delayed due to the shutdown. so I have estimated that month’s result). Trump is correct that the payments have escalated in recent months. While they took a jump in the second half of fiscal 2018 (September) from the first half, they have almost doubled in the December quarter compared to the first half of fiscal 2018 before the additional tariffs were imposed.

First half of fiscal 2018: $3.1 billion per month

Second half of fiscal 2018: $3.8 billion per month

First quarter of fiscal 2019: $6.0 billion per month

Increase of 95% from the first half

Delta between $6.0 and $3.1 billion is $2.9 billion  The $2.9 billion monthly increase in customs duties over a full year is $35 billion, which is either passed on to consumers in higher prices or eats into company profits. This can potentially drive a company out of business such as a South Carolina TV manufacturer laying off 126 employees or a Missouri nail manufacturer laying off 200 of its 500 employees.

None of this “news” tracks with the bullsh*t fed to us by the “warrior from Wharton”……..(I still say this person did not get his degree legally…Daddy bought it for him)……these policies are doing NOTHING to make America Great again….NOTHING!

Closing Thought–09Jan19

In the last twenty years of operation the Pentagon has lost about $10 trillion….yes Irene that is trillion with a “T”……and NO ONE has any idea where it went…at least it is their story and they are sticking to it…..

Over a mere two decades, the Pentagon lost track of a mind-numbing $10-trillion — that’s trillion, with a fat, taxpayer-funded “T” — and no one, not even the Department of Defense, really knows where it went or on what it was spent.

Even though audits of all federal agencies became mandatory in 1996, the Pentagon has apparently made itself an exception, and — fully 20 years later — stands obstinately orotund in never having complied.

Because, as defense officials insist — summoning their best impudent adolescent — an audit would take too long and, unironically, cost too much.

https://www.mintpressnews.com/department-defense-loses-track-10-trillion/226307/

Now look at the national debt that the GOP always goes on about when Dems are in control but seldom a word when they hold the seats of power……the national debt is about $21 trillion……

Think about that……I know where about half of that total, the national debt, has gone……it has gone MISSING!

Where oh where has taxpayers money gone?

The Pentagon is usually out of control and yet every president, party matters not, has increased their funds…..increase so that it can go missing….someone needs to step up and take the Pentagon by the cajones and find our money…..when did accountability become a dirty word?

Turn The Page!

Be well, be safe………

The Rich Get Richer

A Sunday and I feel like the idle rich……sitting in my garden sipping wine….eating cheese and nuts and fruit…..and enjoying the day without a care……

I try to make IST an entertaining blog and a little FYI thrown in……

Today I want to try and explain the saying “the rich get richer and the poor get poorer”……..this article in VOX will help one understand what is happening here in the US…..

Something massive and important has happened in the United States over the past 50 years: Economic wealth has become increasingly concentrated among a small group of ultra-wealthy Americans.

You can read lengthy books on this subject, like economist Thomas Piketty’s recent best-seller, Capital in the Twenty-First Century(the book runs 696 pages and weighs in at 2.5 pounds). You can see references to this in the campaigns of major political candidates this cycle, who talk repeatedly about how something has gone very wrong in America.

Donald Trump’s motto is to make America great again, while Bernie Sanders’s campaign focused on reducing income inequality. And there’s a reason this message is resonating with voters:

It’s grounded in 50 years of reality.

https://getpocket.com/explore/item/this-cartoon-explains-how-the-rich-got-rich-and-the-poor-got-poor

This article tells the tale that few can grasp……to massage the rich then the poor must pay…it is that simple and to pretend anything other is a LIE!

There are so many people that cannot grasp just how this system works….hopefully this will help in some small way…..

A new Congress and a Congresswoman has proposed, AOC, a 70% rate of the uber rich…..I have NO problem with that…..will not fly because most of those in our Congress are uber rich…..they will not vote to tax themselves….I give her an “A” for the try…..but disappointment waits.

And now the old professor will just sit and smile at the day…..I found an excellent Malbec from Argentina…..

May you be well and safe…….chuq

Repatriation Of The Dollar

When Trump was running as a GOP candidate he made a few promises that I thought I could get behind (that does not mean that I would have voted for him just that I thought they were good policies)……most of these policies were in the field of diplomacy and international relations….but there was one that I thought was excellent but did not think he could accomplish…..the promise of the return of funds held by American corporations in offshore accounts…..

But I was mistaken….there seems to be a bunch of cash returning to our shores……

U.S. companies have sent home over half a trillion dollars of cash they held overseas in 2018 to take advantage of tax changes, but data suggest the pace is slowing, potentially removing a key source of support for Wall Street.

Dollar repatriation in the July-September period fell to $93 billion, around half of second-quarter volumes and less than a third of the $300 billion or so sent home from January to March, U.S. current account data shows.

The repatriation bonanza followed new regulations that allowed the U.S. government to tax profits accumulated overseas, regardless of where the money was held. Prior rules allowed companies to “defer” U.S. tax on worldwide profits unless they repatriated the money.

The change offered a powerful incentive to bring home some of the $3 trillion U.S. firms were believed to hold in jurisdictions ranging from Ireland to Switzerland, either in cash or in securities such as U.S. Treasuries.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-us-repatriation-companies-idUSKCN1OU0ME

A good start but I still do not see all that offshore cash coming home……do you?  Plus I have not heard a plan to stop this practice, have you?

The Markets Made Me Do It!

Christmas is in the rear view mirror…..shopping has replaced religious thoughts with the dreams of “deals”….so what has this world wrought?

In case you were too busy trying to decide what to buy for Uncle Cletus…..the financial markets have taken a beaten…..down 1600+ points just last week….and the news does not look any better for this week….

So much for the Santa rally on Wall Street. The stock market tanked again Monday in a short trading day, making for one of its worst Christmas Eves on record, per the Washington Post. The Dow fell 653, or 2.9%, to 21,792; the S&P 500 fell 65, or 2.7%, to 2,351; and the NASDAQ fell 140, or 2.2%, to 6,192. The day’s selloff worsened after President Trump took to Twitter to blast the Fed as “the only problem our economy has,” notes the Wall Street Journal. The bleak numbers also came after Treasury chief Steven Mnuchin tried to soothe the markets before they opened, but his reassurance might have backfired.

Our dynamite Sec Treasury….that Mnuchin dude tried to soothe the savage economic beast by calling around…..

Treasury chief Steven Mnuchin made an unusual move over the weekend in an attempt to soothe rattled financial markets. But based on the stock market’s open, it appears that Mnuchin’s call to the CEO of the six largest US banks didn’t help. In fact, one financial analyst tells CNN that the call—meant to reassure the banks that all was well—might have actually spooked markets even more. Whatever the reason, the Dow plunged more than 400 points in the first hour of trading, threatening to dip below 22,000. As of 10:20am, the Dow was down 332, or 1.5%, and the S&P 500 (1.5%) and Nasdaq (1.1%) were similarly in the red. (The market woes reportedly have President Trump wondering about firing the Fed chief.)

It appears that the blame is Fed Chair and now the Sec Treas Trump is ranting that these people are to blame…..

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin could become the latest White House official to get the boot. President Donald Trump has been souring on Mnuchin for some time now and the continued decline in the stock markets could be the final straw, reports Bloomberg. One source told Bloomberg that the president has considered firing Mnuchin while another said that whether he stays on or not will depend in large part on what happens to the markets.

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/12/trump-is-reportedly-considering-firing-mnuchin-over-stock-market-declines.html

Mnuchin is not someone that I would ever support but in this case this toad is NOT to blame…..it is the disgusting economic policies of a person that tells everyone he is a genius…..and the markets do not trust him either……his attempt to calm things cost the markets another 600 points.

And if that does not work then he is considering firing the Fed Chair…..another person that did not create a terrible market atmosphere…..

I love when egocentric slugs blame people around him for the problems the fool created…..

The markets will be a telling story….

How fast can Mr. Trump tap dance?

Closing Thought–18Dec18

The old say…”All’s well that ends well” may not be the best slogan to describe 2018…..

The one thing that Trump could point to in the past to keep his people in line is that the economy is doing well….in the last month the economy is tanking and tanking badly….from a high of 27000 to the plunge to around 23 and some change…..

The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 500 points, its second straight drop of that size and its fourth big decline this month, the AP reports. Longtime market favorites like Microsoft and Amazon took heavy losses Monday. Health care companies also fell sharply. A measure of small-company stocks fell into a bear market, a decline of 20% below their recent peak. The market is now well into the red for the year and the S&P 500 index is trading at its lowest level since October 2017. The S&P 500 fell 54 points, or 2.1%, to 2,545. The Dow lost 507 points, or 2.1%, to 23,592. The Nasdaq composite lost 156 points, or 2.3%, to 6,753. (Read more stock market stories.)

Is this a prediction of a recession coming true?