Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Tag Archives: Income Tax

As Expected, Former Florida Democrat Congresswoman Convicted of Fraud

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, May 12, 2017:

English: Official Congressional portrait of Co...

Official Congressional portrait of former Congresswoman Corrine Brown.

After 11 hours, the jury hearing the case against former Florida Democrat Representative Corrine Brown reached a verdict on Thursday: guilty on 18 out of 22 charges filed against her in federal court. The jury convicted her of conspiracy, five counts of mail fraud, seven counts of wire fraud, one count of scheming to conceal material facts in the case, one count of obstruction of justice, and three counts of tax fraud.

As The New American reported on the case last year, Assistant U.S. Attorney General Leslie Caldwell provided some of the details:

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Trump Floats Trial Balloon on Tax Reform; Wants Feedback

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, April 26, 2017:

Initially referred to as a statement of general principles, the one-page summary of the Trump administration’s tax reform plan looked more like a trial balloon. Said the White House, the administration “will hold listening sessions with stakeholders to receive their input … [in order to] develop the details of a plan that … can pass both chambers.”

Reiterating Trump’s goals of growing the economy, creating millions of jobs, simplifying the tax code, and providing tax relief to middle-income families, the trial balloon as summarized would

lower the corporate tax rate from 39.6 percent to 15 percent, including Subchapter S or “pass-through” corporations;

 

reduce the number of individual income tax brackets from seven to three: 10%, 25% and 35%, depending on income;

 

double the standard deduction, currently at $6,300 for individuals and $12,600 for married couples filing jointly;

 

expand tax relief to families with child and dependent care expenses;

 

eliminate various tax breaks that apply mainly to the wealthiest taxpayers;

 

keep mortgage interest and charitable deductions while eliminating deductions for state income taxes paid;

 

repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT);

 

repeal the 3.8% ObamaCare tax that hits small businesses and investment income;

 

allow a one-time “tax holiday” for international corporations holding trillions overseas; and

 

eliminate tax breaks for special interests.

Trump’s Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin called it “the biggest tax cut and the largest tax reform in the history of our country,” while his Chief Economic Advisor Gary Cohn said the plan represented a “once-in-a-generation opportunity to do something really big.”

What’s really big is the potential deficits Trump’s plan could cause, with at least one critic estimating that it would result in $6 trillion in deficits over the next 10 years.

The underlying goal of the administration being pushed by Trump is that by cutting these tax rates the economy would awake from its slumber and start generating three percent annual rates of growth of the nation’s GDP. Although the Laffer Curve was not mentioned by Mnuchin or economist Stephen Moore (in his recent critique of the government’s economic outlook), it’s the same principle: lower tax rates to result in higher economic growth which will (in theory) result in higher taxes collected by the government.

The increase in the standard deduction is also designed to allow an estimated 27 million Americans who file a long form listing their mortgage interest and charitable deductions to use a “big postcard” instead. This “simplification” of the tax code has long been a stated goal of Trump as candidate and his administration after he was inaugurated in January.

Wednesday’s announcement is just the opening salvo in what promises to be a long war before anything reaches Trump’s desk. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is calling it a gift for the already-wealthy Americans who don’t need any more tax breaks. And Mnuchin referred to the Senate strategy of “reconciliation” that is likely to be needed to pass the Senate without Democrat votes. He noted that he hoped that the bill that finally passes Congress and is signed into law by the president will be permanent, but “if we have them for [just] 10 years, that’s better than nothing.”

Reconciliation would allow Republicans to pass it without a single Democrat vote, but would also cause the plan to expire in 10 years if it generates deficits. This is what happened to the tax cuts enacted under President George W. Bush. When the projected revenue growth didn’t meet expectations, his tax cuts for the most part were automatically ended.

The obstacles are substantial, including determined if futile resistance from Democrats and complaints from the energy industry which might see its depletion allowance deductions cut or removed in Trump’s final bill. Those details will be revealed in June and could also negatively impact heavily-indebted public utilities and cable companies that might see some loss of their interest deductions.

On the other hand, winners could include companies that are currently most negatively impacted by high corporate rates in force, including engineering and construction companies, food wholesalers, publishers, and retailers.

The old proverb applies as Trump’s trial balloon gets translated into specific language in the tax reform bill in June: “There’s many a slip ‘twixt the cup and the lip.” A newer one is this from Isaac Boltansky, an analyst at Compass Point Research and Trading, who has been following these events closely:

The sugar high of tax cut headlines could turn into a nagging headache once stakeholders return to the painstaking consideration of process and pay-fors.

The Restoration of Liberty Begins with Budget Cuts

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, February 27, 2017:

English: Anti-United States Internal Revenue S...

For proof, look what’s happened to the IRS. A combination of pique and outrage has caused Congress to cut the agency’s budget each year since 2010, except for a slight uptick last year. As a consequence, it now employs fewer than 80,000 people, down from 94,722 in 2010, with its enforcement arm suffering the most, losing 30 percent of its field agents.

The consequence was predictable.

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Good, Bad News From IRS: Audits Down Again; New Treasury Secretary Wants Larger Budget

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, February 23, 2017: 

Logo of the Internal Revenue Service

Seven years ago the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) audited one out of every 90 individual income tax returns. Last year it was one out of every 119. This year it is expected to be just one out of every 143. And for those who don’t include a Schedule C or other special (i.e., tax shelter, farm income) forms, the audit rate drops even further: one out of every 330.

Even high-income earners (over $1 million a year) can breathe easier, at least for the moment. In 2015, the agency audited nearly 10 out of every 100 of those returns while this year it’ll only be able to audit

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ALEC, United Van Lines Studies: People Moving to Lower-tax States

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, January 23, 2017:

State Seal of South Dakota.

State Seal of South Dakota.

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) just released its latest Rich States, Poor States study showing how states measure up in economic performance based on three variables, and then ranking them in a forecast based on 15 variables. Its conclusion is the same this year as in the past:

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LOL Illinois: Corporate Group Works to Keep State From Becoming a Laughingstock

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, December 28, 2016:  

English: 1987 Illinois license plate

The name of the group LOL Illinois can taken two ways: Land of Lincoln, or Laughing Out Loud. As Scott Santi, chairman of Illinois Tool Works, which employs 48,000 workers around the world, noted:

There’s a crisis of confidence in terms of a plan to address some pretty significant structural problems in the state. It’s challenging for Illinois to be competitive given the uncertainty around the fiscal crisis.

“Crisis of confidence”? “Challenging”? “Uncertainty”? Illinois was headed into oblivion until Bruce Rauner, the first Republican governor in 12 years, faced reality.

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Chuck Schumer Seeks “Common Ground” With Trump

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, November 21, 2016:  

Senator Charles Schumer

Senator Charles Schumer

During a press interview at his office on Friday, New York Democratic Senator Charles Schumer said that he had spoken two or three times with President-elect Donald Trump: “He’s called. He’s friendly. The word is that he thinks he can work with me, but we’ll see. The jury’s [still] out.”

Schumer, just reelected for his fourth term as senator, will become the Senate minority leader in the 115th Congress as Harry Reid, the present Senate minority leader, is retiring. The Wall Street Journal characterized the interview as an effort by Schumer to seek “common ground” with Trump. Other members of the press weren’t so charitable.

Schumer was feisty,

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Is Donald Trump “The Godfather”?

This article was published by  The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, November 21, 2016: 

Cover of "The Godfather, Part II (Two-Dis...

The Godfather, Part II

In a scene from The Godfather, Part II that resonates even today, Michael Corleone says: “My father taught me many things here. He taught me in this room. He taught me; ‘keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.’”

Is that what The Donald is doing in romancing the Senator Minority Leader to be, Senator Chuck Schumer? On Friday Schumer told the press that he has already received two or three phone calls from Trump: “He’s called. He’s friendly. The word is that he thinks he can work with me, but we’ll see. The jury’s [still] out.”

On Sunday Schumer said that the jury has returned with a verdict:

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Democrat Senators Pushing Muslim Keith Ellison to Chair DNC

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, November 14, 2016:  

English: Keith Ellison on 9-21-06, taken by user.

Keith Ellison

During an MSNBC conference call on Thursday night, Senators Charles Schumer, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren weighed in on their pick to replace Democratic National Committee (DNC) chair Donna Brazile: Representative Keith Ellison from Minnesota. Warren told MSNBC that Ellison would make a “terrific DNC chair.”

Ellison mouthed homilies about how the Democrat Party must

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Who Will Be the Next DNC Chair?

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, November 14, 2016:  

, member of the United States House of Represe...

With Debbie Wasserman Schultz out as DNC chair in July, and Donna Brazile’s temp job as interim chair ending shortly, top Democrats are searching for just the right person to bring the Democrat Party back from extinction following its near obliteration last Tuesday. He must be able to think on his feet, survive scandals, bury opponents, deflect accusations, accept high-risk endorsements, and vote against the Constitution. If he’s black, that’s a plus. If he’s a radical Muslim, even better.

Enter Keith Ellison (pictured above),

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Tax Foundation Rates Tax Plans of Trump and Clinton: Trump’s Plan Wins

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, October 20, 2016:

Tax Foundation

Tax Foundation (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Analysis by the Tax Foundation of all that is currently known about the tax plans proposed by presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton concludes that, if enacted, Clinton’s plan would expand government at the expense of a shrinking economy. On the other hand, Trump’s plan would grow the economy, shrink government’s revenues, raise wages, and expand employment.

But it’s not tax “reform,” claims the study’s author, Kyle Pomerleau,

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Hypocrisy Reigns as New York Times Pays No Income Taxes Yet Attacks Trump’s Taxes

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, October 3, 2016:  

The New York Times claimed on Sunday that the front page of Trump’s state income tax returns filed in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut in 1995 prove that the man came close to being a tax cheat:

Donald J. Trump declared a $916 million loss on his 1995 income tax returns, a tax deduction so substantial it could have allowed him to legally avoid paying any federal income taxes for up to 18 years.

The mainstream media trumpeted the storyline incessantly without mentioning simple truths buried in the Times’ report: The hit piece was based on just three pages of the voluminous tax returns Trump filed in that year;

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Would Trump’s Corporate Tax Cut Help the Economy?

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, September 28, 2016:  

 Removing the noise and the histrionics from Monday night’s presidential debate, there is a clear division between the two major-party candidates on the state of the economy and what to do about it.

The Democrat candidate said that the economy is on the mend, that jobs are being created, that real incomes have just recently increased, and that the outlook for the economy is sanguine.

The Republican candidate held the opposite view: after seven years the economy is still struggling, the recovery is the weakest in recent memory, and the outlook is bleak.

The Wall Street Journal noted that Trump’s case is the stronger,

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Trump: Repeal Johnson Amendment That Muzzles Pastors

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, September 9, 2016: 

English: Anti-United States Internal Revenue S...

On Friday, at the Family Research Council’s convention in Washington, D.C., Donald Trump is expected to reiterate his call to repeal the Johnson Amendment, in line with a similar call in the GOP platform.

During his acceptance speech, Trump thanked the evangelical community for their support, adding:

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The Coming Puerto Rican Bailout

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, August 29, 2016:  

On or before September 1, President Obama will complete the eight appointments to the oversight board created when he signed PROMESA (Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act) into law on June 30. Those already on the board include Republican Senators Orrin Hatch and Marco Rubio, Democrat Senator Bill Nelson and Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez.

In theory the board will have the power to override the island’s government, delay litigation, fire government workers, and “suggest” other ways the island can begin to recover from its present economic implosion. It has been described as a “de facto” Chapter 9 bankruptcy. In practice it is likely that,

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Vulture Funds Expecting to Profit Handsomely from Puerto Rico’s Problems

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, August 29, 2016:  

English: Map of Peuto Rico, with inset showing...

Map of Peuto Rico, with inset showing it’s position in relation to American continents.

George W. Plunkitt was not the world’s first dishonest politician, but he might have been one of the first ones to be honest about his dishonesty. Plunkitt was a Tammany Hall pol who served in the New York State Assembly and then in the New York State Senate around the turn of the 20th century. He called what he did – and what made him wealthy – “honest graft.” He defined “dishonest graft” as efforts to work solely for his own interests. “Honest graft,” on the other hand, was graft that worked for the interests of his own party.

He made his money by

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Trump’s Plan for “Winning the Global Competition”

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, August 9, 2016:  

During his hour-long speech on Monday at the Detroit Economic Club, Republican Party presidential nominee Donald Trump was serious and reasonable, avoiding histrionics and the temptation to push back against protesters who interrupted him several times. He followed his script and peppered the economic landscape with his wish list of actions he would take as president to “Make America Great Again.”

It was a very long list:

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Latest CBO Report “Grim”; Offers No Solutions to National Debt

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, July 15, 2016:  

Ida May Fuller, the first recipient

Ida May Fuller, holding the first check from the Social Security Administration

On Tuesday, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) published its annual report on the country’s long-term budgetary and financial outlook. One need only to see the chart on Page One of the report to see why CBO’s Justin Bogle said the outlook was “grim”: It shows government spending growing so much more quickly than anticipated revenues that annual deficits will likely triple in the next 30 years, if not sooner. Bogle called this scenario unsustainable.

For the first time, the CBO built into its assumptions the projected impact of ObamaCare, the country’s declining birth rate, the explosion of Baby Boomers demanding benefits from Social Security and Medicare over that period, plus Boomers’ increasing life expectancies and the increasing costs of providing them healthcare along the way.

It also assumed that government debt will

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Something is Wrong When A “Fine Arts” Major Has to Defend Social Security

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, June 6, 2016:  

Following President Obama’s statement last Wednesday that Social Security benefits ought to be expanded and made more “generous,” someone at the Washington Post thought it would be a good idea to tout the wonders of that welfare state program. Rather than pick someone with some credentials as an economist, even a liberal one, the Post instead picked Jared Bernstein (above) to do the honors. Which he did:

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Treasury Rules Axe $160 Billion Merger; Obama Calls it Good

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, April 7, 2016:  

Map of USA highlighting states with no income ...

Map of USA highlighting states with no income tax on wages (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

New Jersey’s wealthiest resident, David Tepper, decided to move himself and his business, Appaloosa Management, to Florida in order to take advantage of Florida’s much more favorable tax climate.

It’s going to make a big difference.

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Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.