David French reports at Patheos that the IRS has been targeting families who adopt children for audits.
Sixty-nine percent of all adoption credit claims during the 2012 filing season were selected for audit.
Congress created the tax incentives for adoption in order to make it possible for more families to be able to afford the process. The IRS, an organization that has all the appearance of corruption, needs to be abolished and replaced.
The tax gatherers and their facilitators among our betters in the Congress are bent out of shape because for-profit entities such as Apple don’t voluntarily pay more taxes than they owe under the tax code. Charles C. W. Cooke explains their reasoning thus:
Along with “loophole,” “gimmick” is the voracious Left’s newest way of describing “compliance with our rules.”
BTW, Apple is the largest single tax payer to the U. S. Treasury, paying around $16,000,000 per day. The government manages to spend its daily collection from Apple by 12:03 am.
These are the folks who want to run your health care.
Dan Riehl has a post up looking at the nonsense being floated by some on the left forecasting the demise of right wing talk radio. One reason cited by those hopeful lefties is that Rush Limbaugh might change syndicators. They note that Cumulus, the company that syndicates his show, is losing money, and their spin is that the Rush v. Sandra Fluke tiff spooked too many advertisers. The possibility that Cumulus might have management problems is ignored.
So while drinking my second cup of coffee this morning, I pondered this thought—if it’s only right wing media that’s seeing a slow down in ad revenue during a funky economy, why did the New York Times see its ad sales drop 11 percent and earning fall over 90 percent during the first quarter this year?
It’s reported that GE Capital is quietly getting out of the business of providing financing for gun stores.
By the way, here’s a video of a GE product in action.
That’s an M134 minigun. 7.62 mm NATO at 3,000 rounds per minute. My personal favorite door gun for a Huey.
UPDATE—The Navy nomenclature for the M134 is Mark 25 Mod 0, and the Air Force designation is GAU-2/A.
Prof. Jacobson at Legal Insurrection has been following the economic nonsense concerning Senator Elizabeth Warren’s claim that the minimum wage should be $22 an hour.
Let’s do some math.
There are roughy 135 million workers in the U. S. 22 bucks an hour works out to around $45,000 year, which would give a total U. S. payroll of a bit more than $6 trillion. That’s just about equal to the total of all wages and salaries paid in the country last year. In other words, in a struggling economy business would have to drastically reduce their unskilled minimum wage employment in order to have money left over to pay their skilled employees. One consequence of increasing the minimum wage is to outlaw jobs for workers with lower skills, increasing unemployment and slowing economic growth.
Or lying by euphemism. Stacy McCain calls out the President and his flacks in the press for the use of the term “new revenues.”
A business can generate “new revenues” by expanding sales. A government doesn’t have that opportunity, and it won’t find “new revenues” some magical, super-secret hiding place. They’re taxed out of our wallets.
In his essay, Politics and the English Language, George Orwell wrote that
one ought to recognise that the present political chaos is connected with the decay of language, and that one can probably bring about some improvement by starting at the verbal end.
He wrote that in 1946, but it’s also true today. Indeed, the time has come when we need to stop allowing the use of nonsense terms in our government’s financial planning. Not collecting a tax is not an “expenditure.” Spending more this year than last is not a cut just because you were planning an even larger increase. Etc.
Actually, there is a way that government can get new revenues. Over the long haul since WWII, the federal government has been able to take in about 19% of GDP as taxes. That’s been true regardless of how high or low the tax rates have been. When government gets out of the way of the economy so that it can grow, that 19% share grows with increasing GDP.
The federal government expects to take in about $2,900,000,000,000 in revenue this coming year. The interest due on the debt during that time will be roughly $246,000,000,000. That leaves around $2,654,000,000,000 to spend without adding a dime to the national debt.
To give you an idea of how much federal government that money would buy, consider that is 96% of what the government spent in FY2003 (corrected for inflation).
Could you get by with 4% less federal government than you had 10 years ago?
UPDATE–I could get by with 100% less TSA.
Stacy McCain has a post up about the negative economic growth reported for the last quarter of 2012. He wonders how the Main Stream Media will spin their reporting. I’ll bet they will claim that they were drinking heavily while celebrating the election results and blame Busch.
Mr. McCain’s post is entitled Obamanomics Fails–Unexpectedly! in a riff on the Main Stream Media’s continuing disbelief that The Lightworker is unable to defy the Laws of Economics.
Folks, there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch. Expect the “unexpected.”
UPDATE–For the past year, I’ve expected the economy to begin contracting if Barack Obama were reelected. Business that were putting off investing in expansion in hope of a Romney victory are now being joined by joined by other firms facing the costs of Obamacare and four more years of over-the-top regulation and irresponsible fiscal policy. More people are going Galt.
The next four years are going to be
The New York Times has an editorial up whining about the Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit ruling that presidential recess appointments have to be made during a period when the Senate is actually in recess. You see, the problem with following the requirements of Article II, Section 2 of the Constitutions is that to do so would invalidate the appointments that Barack Obama made to the National Labor Relations Board and negate all the decision rendered by the NLRB for the past year. It would also bring the appointment of Richard Corday as head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the ton or so of regulations that agency has promulgated into question.
So what’s wrong with that?
… using math. Patterico shows how the President’s 2013 budget gets to be over $1,000,000,000,000 in the red. He says that when he tries to explain the budget to Democrats they don’t seem to see what the problem is.
And they want us to believe that they are the reality-based community.
It doesn’t matter how many times they send me to Room 101, I still believe that 2+2=4.
It was several years ago that I first heard the suggestion that the debt could be monetized by minting platinum coins with huge face value, a trillion dollars, for example. The idea has reappeared recently as a possible response to the debt ceiling.
I wonder if those making the suggestion are basing their wishful thinking on a certain story by Mark Twain.
Stephen Green lays out an excellent set of reasons why it doesn’t matter what the President and the Congress do over the next few days; the federal budget and deficit won’t be fixed by any of the proposals now being offered.
I have one factoid to throw out in addition. It doesn’t matter what tax rates are. Since WW2, federal tax collections have always been more or less 19% of GDP. Because people, especially rich people, plan their affairs with tax consequences in mind, riaising rates slows economic growth so that collections invariably fall short of expectations. Lowering rates stimulates growth so that the feds get 19% of a bigger pie.
Mr. Green seems to understand this basic law of economics.
Stephen Green points out that the federal government doesn’t have a revenue problem but that It’s the Spending, Stupid! Or as Wilkins Macawber put it:
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.
Erika Johnsen writes at Hot Air:
Whether it’s because we end up going over the fiscal cliff or because Republicans agree to President Obama’s plan of not extending the Bush tax cuts on America’s wealthiest earners, the possibility of an effective tax hike means that higher-income Californians may be in for a whopping aggregate marginal tax rate. The super-liberal state already succeeded in approving their own rate hike with Proposition 30 in the November election, and combined with the potential federal raises, they could be looking at a top bracket with a marginal income tax rate of just under 52 percent …
Of course, moving to the Democratic Peoples Republic of Maryland hasn’t been much of an improvement.
Wow. Unemployment is up.
Whoda thunk it? I mean it’s not like employers are concerned about steep increases in the cost of employee benefits such as health care or businesses are worried about economic instability leading to a recession.
The Hill reports that Senate Democrats say that the deficit reduction package must include stimulus spending. (H/T, TOM)
That’s right, folks. We need deficit spending to reduce the deficit.
And Harry Reid says that the Senate doesn’t need to pass a budget for the next fiscal year either.
Is it 20 January, 2017, yet?
… I do not think it means what you think it means.
How is keeping the current tax rate in place (for the rich or anyone else) a tax cut?
The moonbats on Twitter are ranting about the evil revenge business owners are taking on their employees because Barack Obama has been reelected. (H/T, Twitchy) Sure, layoffs are probably coming as the economy worsens. Even if Washington decides not to drive off the economic cliff, the politicians will most likely veer off into a deep ditch. Obamacare and other restrictive regulations are no longer a possibility to be hedged against. They’re a sure thing, and many companies are now faced with the choice of contracting to handle the expected economic downturn or simply giving up and cashing in while their assets still have value.
Let me give you an example of the kinds of consumer choices that will drive the economic contraction. I don’t get a chance to go hunting every year, but this year both Mrs. Hoge and I will be in the field harvesting deer for our freezer. Since we already have rifles, the incremental cost to us will be around $100 for hunting licenses and a couple of boxes of ammunition. Compare that with what we would spend on an equivalent amount of meat at Safeway, and you can see how our family’s economizing will help shrink the overall economy. Hornady (maker of the ammo we use) and Safeway will have to make their staffing decisions based on how they believe my family and millions of others will be making our spending decisions.
One wonders if any of these moonbats took Econ 101. Or if they all took it from Paul Krugman.
UPDATE–While I use a Tikka T3 Lite in .270 Winchester or a Marlin Model 1895 in .45/70 for deer, Stacy McCain seems to favor a Hyunai Sonata.
The stock market is down today on the news of Barack Obama’s reelection. The market will go up and down day by day, but some stocks will, on average, do better than others. Here are four companies that I think will do well during the adverse economic climate I expect for the next few years.
Amazon AMZN NASDAQ Amazon sells a lot more than books these days. The last item I bought from them was a telescope. With the economy tight, folks will be looking for bargains, and as Amazon gets closer to next day delivery for many items, delay recedes as an issue in the potential buyer’s mind. And most of us can use online shopping to avoid sales tax.
Apple APPL NASDAQ Apple almost went bust as a computer company. They’ve become a giant by being a consumer electronics/entertainment industry company that also sells computers. Companies like RCA with its NBC entertainment subsidiary grew during the Great Depression. Apple is similarly poised for growth during the coming hard times. It’s too late to get in on the capital appreciation of the last decade, but it still looks like a smart buy to me.
Ruger RGR NYSE Ruger makes guns. Barack Obama makes gun owners and potential gun owners nervous. Ruger has seen outstanding growth and profitability for the past four years. Expect four more good years for Ruger.
Smith & Wesson SWHC NASDAQ See above.
No guarantees. YMMV.
There’s a prototype Obamacare tax form (“The efficiency of the Post Office and the bedside manner of the IRS …”) designed by Americans for Tax Reform. (H/T, Kate Pavlich)
Read the Instructions and then go vote.
Princeton economist Harvey Rosen says that the Obama campaign is misrepresenting the conclusions of his analysis of the Romney/Ryan tax plan.
I can’t tell exactly how the Obama campaign reached that characterization of my work. It might be that they assume that Governor Romney wants to keep the taxes from the Affordable Care Act in place, despite the fact that the Governor has called for its complete repeal. The main conclusion of my study is that under plausible assumptions, a proposal along the lines suggested by Governor Romney can both be revenue neutral and keep the net tax burden on taxpayers with incomes above $200,000 about the same. That is, an increase in the tax burden on lower and middle income individuals is not required in order to make the overall plan revenue neutral.
You can check out the math behind the Romney plan at this post at the Weekly Standard.
A guy in a brown coat explains the basic principles of the Law of Contracts (H/T, Instapundit).
Image Credit: Sinjun45 via Vodkapundit