Posts Tagged ‘Income Tax’

Schemes of the Rich and Greedy

Courtesy of Michael Hudson

Tax-Avoidance – The Worst is Yet to Come

“Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me.”
“The Rich Boy,” by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The 30-year campaign of the wealthy to rig our economic system – especially the tax component – for their own benefit will accelerate with the GOP capture of the House of Representatives and the likely capture of the presidency and Senate in two years. For a foreshadowing of what is to come, a dress rehearsal has been conducted in Latvia, Iceland, Ireland and other financially strapped countries. Latvia has been burdened with the world’s most regressive tax system, while Iceland and Ireland have become record setters in tapping taxpayers to bail out financial crime syndicates, a.k.a. banks. 

The Irish bailout will encumber its people with perhaps as much debt as a $9 trillion bailout would be here in the United States. The Irish also are expected to also gut unemployment insurance, their minimum wage and similar social safety nets while boosting interest rates and home property taxes to pay tribute to the European creditor agencies that have “rescued” them. They will relinquish ownership of much of Ireland to their creditors, capped by ownership of government policy-making. The new banks will be owned by foreigners, who will put Ireland on a debt treadmill to transfer its taxable surplus to mainland Europe and Britain. 

Just as the U.S. taxpayer saved Goldman Sachs and the other high rollers from taking a loss, the Irish are being forced to “socialize” (that is, oligarchize) the losses of the banks. Think of how the Federal Reserve gave the banks 100 cents on the dollar for the some $2 trillion of toxic assets they took off the books of the banks and you get a sense of how the Irish bailout money will be used. It will keep the banks and creditors whole. 

Bad banking is going unpunished.  Shareholders, bondholders, large depositors and bank executives are not facing constraints on moral hazard. The European Central Bank (ECB) has cleaned up their mess, enabling and their wealth to grow on its trajectory as before – at the price of impoverishing the non-financial parts of society. Every effort will be made to re-inflate the property bubble putting off the day of reckoning. Taxes – like accountability – are for what Leona Helmsley referred…
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State Tax Revenues Slowly Rebound … But

State Tax Revenues Slowly Rebound … But

Courtesy of Mish 

The Nelson Rockefeller Institute reports State Tax Revenues Are Slowly Rebounding. However, as always, the devil is in the details. Let’s take a look.

Preliminary tax collection data for the April-June quarter of 2010 show improvement in overall state tax collections as well as for personal income tax and sales tax revenue. However, revenue collections remain significantly below peak levels and are still weak in a number of states.

The Rockefeller Institute’s compilation of data from 47 early reporting states shows collections from major tax sources increased by 2.2 percent in nominal terms compared to the second quarter of 2009, but was 17.2 percent below the same period two years ago.

State Tax Collections

Gains were widespread, with 30 states showing an increase in revenues compared to a year earlier. After adjusting for inflation, tax revenues increased by 1.4 percent in the second quarter of 2010 compared to the same quarter of 2009.

In terms of dollars, California reported the largest increase in personal income tax collections in the second quarter of 2010, where revenue collections rose by $1.6 billion or 11.5 percent. Such increase is mostly attributable to legislated changes. Without California, personal income tax collections for the second quarter of 2010 show a 1.1 percent decline nationally in the April-June quarter, compared to the same period of 2009.

Sales tax collections increased by 5.9 percent in the second quarter of 2010 compared to the same quarter of 2009, but were still 5.4 percent lower than two years ago. With 42 of 45 sales-tax states reporting so far, only seven states reported declines in sales tax collections compared with the same quarter last year.

Among the corporate income tax states, 19 of 43 early reporting states reported declines for the second quarter compared to the same quarter of the previous year, while 24 showed gains. Fourteen states reported double-digit declines, while seventeen states reported double-digit growth in corporate income tax collections in the second quarter of 2010. The large variation among states’ corporate income tax revenues is due to volatility in corporate profits and in the timing of tax payments.

Among individual states, California reported the largest decline in corporate income tax collections in the second quarter of 2010, where revenue collections declined by $2.7 billion or 42.3 percent. California’s corporate income tax


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2011: The Year Of The Tax Increase

These are some startling numbers, and, unfortunately, it seems if you have more than $1 million and plans to die soon, you may as well go before New Years (but WAIT till the last minute in case the rules get changed--and, yikes, they could be changed in retrospect as a cruel, cruel joke.) – Ilene 

2011: The Year Of The Tax Increase

Courtesy of Michael Synder at The Economic Collapse 

Unless the U.S. Congress acts, there is going to be a massive wave of tax increases in 2011. In fact, some are already calling 2011 the year of the tax increase. A whole host of tax cuts that Congress established between 2001 and 2003 are set to expire in January unless Congress chooses to renew them. But with Democrats firmly in control of both houses that appears to be extremely unlikely. These tax increases are going to affect every single American (at least those who actually pay taxes). But this will be just the first wave of tax increases. Another huge slate of tax increases passed in the health care reform law is scheduled to go into effect by 2019.  So Americans that are already infuriated by our tax system are only going to become more frustrated in the years ahead. The reality is that the U.S. government will soon be digging much deeper into our wallets.

The following are some of the tax increases that are scheduled to go into effect in 2011…. 

1 – The lowest bracket for the personal income tax is going to increase from 10 percent to 15 percent.

2 – The next lowest bracket for the personal income tax is going to increase from 25 percent to 28 percent.

3 – The 28 percent tax bracket is going to increase to 31 percent.

4 – The 33 percent tax bracket…
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The Problem with “Tax The Rich”: It Won’t Work

The Problem with "Tax The Rich": It Won’t Work 

Courtesy of Charles Hugh Smith Of Two Minds 

The word tax in corroded and cracked letters

Many observers conclude our fiscal problems could be solved if only we "taxed the rich." There are structural reasons why this won’t solve our fiscal profligacy.

Calls to increase taxes on the rich are highly popular with people who are not rich. This is understandable; those of us who do pay income taxes naturally feel we already pay enough and some wealthier person could cough up a few more bucks without undue sacrifice.

And of course those who pay no Federal income tax at all--about half the populace--are also in favor of unnamed "rich people" paying more, though since they have no "skin in the game" because they pay no Federal income taxes, their views are somewhat detached from the entire debate.

As I took great pains to document in Tyranny of the Majority, Corporate Welfare and Complicity (April 9, 2010), the bottom 60% of U.S. households pay essentially no Federal income taxes while the top earners pay most of the taxes already:

After including earned-income tax credits, the bottom 60% of households paid less than 1% of all Federal income taxes, and the households between 60% and 80% paid 13%.

The top 20% paid 68.7% of all Federal taxes: Income taxes, Social Security and Medicare, excise and corporate taxes. The top 10% of households paid fully 72.7% of all Federal income tax, the top 5% paid 60.7%, and the top 1% paid 38.8%.

Here are the source documents:

Income Tax: John Bull

Historical Effective Federal Tax Rates, 1979 – 20065.

Nearly half of US households escape fed income tax .

A number of commentators have noted that the incomes of the super-wealthy (which I define as the top 1% who own most of the productive assets of the nation) have risen even more than their taxes. They also note that the Social Security tax of 7.65% (employee and employer each pay 7.65%) is regressive, as those making $500,000 a year only pay tax on the first $108,000 of income: 47% Of American Families Pay No Income Tax! Really?

So we have to be careful not to say that half of all wage earners don’t pay any tax whatsoever. On the other hand, as I documented in Will Delinquencies Trigger a New American Revolution? (April 7, 2008),…
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States in Deep Trouble Over Plunging Income Tax Revenues

States in Deep Trouble Over Plunging Income Tax Revenues

Courtesy of Mish 

The Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government has issued a State Revenue Flash Report discussing an across the board enormous drop in personal income tax revenues.

Total personal income tax collections in January-April 2009 were 26 percent, or about $28.8 billion below the level of a year ago in states for which we have data. In April 2009 alone (April being the month when many states receive the bulk of their balance due or final payments), personal income tax receipts fell by 36.5 percent, or $18.2 billion.

Personal income tax receipts in the first four months of calendar year 2009 were greater than in 2008 in only three states — Alabama, North Dakota, and Utah.

In FY 2008, personal income tax revenue made up over 50 percent of total tax collections in six states — Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, and Virginia. Personal income tax revenue declined dramatically in all six of these states for the months of January-April of 2009 compared to the same period of 2008. Among all 37 early-reporting states, the largest decline was in Arizona, where collections declined by nearly 55 percent.

In the month of April alone, 37 early reporting states collected about $18.2 billion less in personal income tax revenues compared to the same month of 2008.

This $18.2 billion is close to the $20 billion shortfall that states experienced in overall tax revenue collections in the first quarter of calendar year 2009. This is particularly bad news for the states that rely most heavily on personal income tax.

Given the ominous picture of personal income tax collections, deeper overall revenue shortfalls and further deterioration in states’ fiscal conditions are likely on the way for most states for the April-June quarter of calendar year 2009.

What a Bad April Does to State Budget Processes

An April income tax shortfall comes at the worst time of year for two reasons. First, by the time it is recognized in late April or mid-May, it is just 6-10 weeks before the end of the fiscal year for 46 states. For states without large cash balances, this can create a cash flow crunch or even a cash flow crisis. There is not enough time to enact and implement new legislation cutting spending, laying off workers, raising taxes,


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Phil's Favorites

The NRA's financial weakness, explained

 

The NRA's financial weakness, explained

Political clout doesn’t guarantee a healthy bottom line. AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Courtesy of Brian Mittendorf, The Ohio State University

The National Rifle Association’s political spending fell during the 2018 midterm elections. There’s talk of ending small perks like free coffee at its offices and even ...



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Zero Hedge

Attention US Millennials: Japan Is Now Giving Away Free Houses

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

There are over 8 million abandoned homes in Japanese suburbs, according to The Japan Times. 

If you are a struggling American millennial: you could theoretically move to Japan because the sushi’s fresh, cost of living is low, and the government is giving away free homes. 

What is driving the government to give away these homes? Well, there is a mass...



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Digital Currencies

Crypto Bull Tom Lee: Bitcoin's 'Fair Value' Closer To $15,000, But He's Sick Of People Asking About It

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Listening to the crypto bulls of yesteryear continue to defend their case for new new all-time highs, despite a growing mountain of evidence to suggest that last year's rally was spurred by the blind greed of gullible marginal buyers (not to mention outright manipulation), one can't help but feel a twinge of pity for Mike Novogratz and Wall Street's original crypto uber-bull, Fundstrat's Tom Lee.

Lee achieved rock star status thanks to ...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Bank Tank Part II Could Start Here, Says Joe Friday

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

This chart looks at the Bank Index (BKX) over the past 25-years on a monthly basis, reflecting that currently, the 9-year trend in the index remains up.

The index may have created a double top this year, at the same level the financial crisis started unfolding back in 2007.

This index has created a bearish divergence in 2018 when compared to the S&P 500. This divergence has it testing 9-year rising support at (1).

As mentioned earlier, the trend in the banking index remains up and support is support until broken.

Joe Friday Just ...



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Insider Scoop

Economic Data Scheduled For Friday

Courtesy of Benzinga.

  • Data on retail sales for November will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET.
  • Data on industrial production for November will be released at 9:15 a.m. ET.
  • The flash Composite Purchasing Managers' Index for December is schedule for release at 9:45 a.m. ET.
  • Data on business inventories for October will be released at 10:00 a.m. ET.
  • The Baker Hughes North American rig count report for the recent week is schedule for release at 1:00 p.m. ET.

Posted-In: Economic DataNews Economics ...



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Biotech

Those designer babies everyone is freaking out about - it's not likely to happen

Reminder: We're available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

Those designer babies everyone is freaking out about – it's not likely to happen

Babies to order. Andrew crotty/Shutterstock.com

Courtesy A Cecile JW Janssens, Emory University

When Adam Nash was still an embryo, living in a dish in the lab, scientists tested his DNA to make sure it was free of ...



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Members' Corner

Blue Wave with Cheri Jacobus (Q&A II, Updated)

By Ilene at Phil's Stock World

Cheri Jacobus is a widely known political consultant, pundit, writer and outspoken former Republican and frequent guest on CNN, MSNBC, FOX News, CBS.com, CNBC and C-Span. Cheri shares her thoughts on the political landscape with us in a follow up to our August interview.

Updated 12-10-18

Ilene: What do you think about Michael Cohen's claim that the Trump Organization's discussions with high-level Russian officials about a deal for Trump Tower Moscow continued into June 2016?

...

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Chart School

Weekly Market Recap Dec 09, 2018

Courtesy of Blain.

Bears are certainly showing the type of strength we haven’t seen in a long time.   A week ago at this time futures were surging on news of a “truce” for 90 days between China and the U.S. in their trade spat.  But the charts were still not saying lovely things despite a major rally the week prior.   And by Tuesday, darkness had descended back on the indexes, with another gut punch Friday.    A lot of emphasis was put on a long term Treasury yield dropping below a shorter term Treasury.

On Monday, the yield on five year government debt slid below the yield on three year debt, a phenomenon which has p...



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Mapping The Market

Trump: "I Won't Be Here" When It Blows Up

By Jean-Luc

Maybe we should simply try him for treason right now:

Trump on Coming Debt Crisis: ‘I Won’t Be Here’ When It Blows Up

The president thinks the balancing of the nation’s books is going to, ultimately, be a future president’s problem.

By Asawin Suebsaeng and Lachlan Markay, Daily Beast

The friction came to a head in early 2017 when senior officials offered Trump charts and graphics laying out the numbers and showing a “hockey stick” spike in the nationa...



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ValueWalk

Vilas Fund Up 55% In Q3; 3Q18 Letter: A Bull Market In Bearish Forecasts

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

The Vilas Fund, LP letter for the third quarter ended September 30, 2018; titled, “A Bull Market in Bearish Forecasts.”

Ever since the financial crisis, there has been a huge fascination with predictions of the next “big crash” right around the next corner. Whether it is Greece, Italy, Chinese debt, the “overvalued” stock market, the Shiller Ratio, Puerto Rico, underfunded pensions in Illinois and New Jersey, the Fed (both for QE a few years ago and now for removing QE), rising interest rates, Federal budget deficits, peaking profit margins, etc...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of September 11th, 2017

Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...



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Promotions

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Phil has a chapter in a newly-released eBook that we think you’ll enjoy.

In My Top Strategies for 2017, Phil's chapter is Secret Santa’s Inflation Hedges for 2017.

This chapter isn’t about risk or leverage. Phil present a few smart, practical ideas you can use as a hedge against inflation as well as hedging strategies designed to assist you in staying ahead of the markets.

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