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: Taxes

Walmart Voluntarily Raises Its Minimum Wage

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, January 12, 2018: 

The world’s largest retailer, Walmart, announced on Thursday that it was voluntarily raising its minimum wage for new workers to $11 an hour starting next month. Included in the announcement were staged bonuses that will be paid to present workers based on their time with the company. Also included was a vast improvement in maternity benefits, with full-time hourly workers receiving 10 weeks of paid maternity leave and six weeks of paternal leave. Parents who adopt will get the same benefits plus a check from Walmart for $5,000 to help cover their adoption costs.

This is on top of the wage increases announced by the retailer in 2015 to be staged in over the next three years.

What’s notable is that this is taking place ahead of

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Trump Economy Making Democrats Look Increasingly Foolish

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, January 5, 2018:

The kept media dutifully reported California Democrat Nancy Pelosi’s disgust over President Trump’s tax reform program, even though it made her look foolish. Said Pelosi, “If this goes through, kiss life on earth goodbye. The debate on health care is life/death. This is Armageddon.” This was followed by the media quoting Democrat Chuck Schumer: “Tax breaks don’t lead to job creation … [this bill is a] punch in the gut for the middle class.”

It may be a little early to tell, but at the moment the middle class is doing just fine. Life goes on; if Armageddon occurred, the media missed it. That “punch in the gut for the middle class” is about to be caused by heavier wallets, thanks to tax cuts showing up in their February paychecks.

For hundreds of thousands, that punch in the gut was immediate:

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Dow Smashes Through 25,000; to Smash Dems in November?

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, January 4, 2018:

The surprising thing about the Dow’s volcanic eruption through the 25,000 level on Thursday is that it was matched by all-time highs in other key stock market indexes such as the S&P 500 Index, the NASDAQ, and the Russell 2000. Even more surprising is that this isn’t happening in an American vacuum: Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average hit a new 26-year high, rising above 23,000 for the first time since January 1992. The Hang Seng (Hong Kong) Index just touched a new 10-year high, while major stock market indexes in New Zealand, the Philippines, and Thailand also set new records on Thursday.

The reasons why aren’t surprising:

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Bah Humbug: The Left Is Unhappy with Year-end Bonuses Paid Following Tax Reform

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, December 27, 2017:  

Within hours of passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) on December 20, major American companies began announcing year-end bonuses, salary increases, and plans to expand capital investment. This was an unexpected but pleasant surprise to many, including House Speaker Paul Ryan, who tweeted: “It’s only been a few hours … and companies are already announcing new investments into the US economy & raises for their employees.”

Senator Tim Scott, Republican conservative from South Carolina, called its passage “a tremendous victory,” adding that it’s an “early Christmas present for the American people.”

Details of raises, bonuses, and capex expansion plans poured out of Comcast

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The GOP Tax Reform Bill Now Ready for Trump’s Signature

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, December 21, 2017:

Without a single Democrat vote in either the House or the Senate, the tax reform bill headed for President Donald Trump’s desk on Wednesday is likely to cost them dearly in the midterm elections. That is, if the bill works as intended: giving Americans “more take home pay” as the president expressed it, adding. “It will be an incredible Christmas gift for hardworking Americans.”

Most of those hardworking Americans won’t see a thing until

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November’s Federal Deficit 11 Percent Ahead of Last Year’s

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, December 13, 2017:

Buried in the latest report from the Department of the Treasury is this nugget: Through the first two months of the fiscal year, which began on October 1, the deficit (the difference between revenues and spending) was 11 percent higher than the same two months last year. And this despite revenues (taxes from individuals and corporations) setting records. The $433 billion the government collected in October and November was $13 billion more than it collected in the same period last year, and $11.3 billion more than it collected the year before.

In those two months,

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What’s in the GOP Tax Bill?

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, November 6, 2017:

The red "GOP" logo used by the party...

The GOP tax reform bill presented last Thursday attempts to be “revenue neutral” within 10 years. By giving most of the cuts to corporate taxpayers, there’s precious little left for the middle class to enjoy. The problem is not only the mathematics — trying to match the “give” with the “take” — but the politics: Democrats will work to scuttle any attempt to relieve fiscal pressure on entrepreneurs (i.e., capitalists) who are largely carrying the burden of supporting the government. Absent any attempt to cut spending — the tax bill’s 429 pages offer little help with that — what’s left, as has been said, is simply moving the chairs around on the deck of the Titanic.

First,

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The GOP Tax Reform Bill: Sausage-making on the Titanic

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, November 6, 2017:

John Godfrey Saxe. Library of Congress descrip...

John Godfrey Saxe

The oldest attribution isn’t to Otto von Bismarck, the Iron Chancellor of Germany, but to an American poet, John Godfrey Saxe. Back in 1869, he said it best: “Laws, like sausages, cease to inspire in proportion as we know how they are made.”

Imagine, then, making sausages on the deck of the Titanic just after it hit an iceberg on the glassy sea of the North Atlantic in the early morning hours of April 15, 1912. The wonderful smells might have distracted the passengers from the reality that within two hours and forty minutes the unsinkable ship would disappear beneath the surface of the icy waters, taking 1,550 passengers with her.

That picture may be too dramatic for our purposes. But

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Combined Social Security Spending for 2017 Tops $1 Trillion for First time

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, October 27, 2017: 

The Monthly Treasury Statement issued on Wednesday from the Social Security Administration showed that total spending for the three social welfare programs administered by the agency — the Old Age and Survivors Insurance program, the Disability Insurance program and the Supplemental Security Income program — topped $1 trillion for the first time in history in 2017.

The program first hit $600 billion in spending in 1997, and it took nine years to hit the next benchmark, $700 billion. From there it took between three and four years to hit subsequent $100 billion spending benchmarks. Accordingly, the agency estimates that it will spend $1.6 trillion in 2026. From there it will be just a few short years before all funds are exhausted.

Most sensible observers have been warning for years that the program is in dire jeopardy, with all manner of schemes being proposed to rescue it from oblivion:

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This Thoroughbred is Just Beginning to Feel His Oats

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, October 20, 2017:

English: Thoroughbred racing at Churchill Down...

Thoroughbred racing at Churchill Downs.

It’s tempting to push the analogy comparing the U.S. economy to a Thoroughbred horse too far. But it is tempting. The Thoroughbred breed began around the time of the Industrial Revolution, when an English mare was crossbred with an imported Oriental stallion with Arabian, Barb, and Turkoman breeding. All Thoroughbreds can trace their pedigrees to three stallions imported into England in the 17th century. They were exported to Australia, Europe, Japan, and South America during the 19th century, and today an estimated 100,000 Thoroughbred foals are registered worldwide every year.

A Thoroughbred is tall, slender, athletic, and built for competition, usually on racetracks. Among the most famous are Citation, Phar Lap, Old Rosebud, Whirlaway, Roamer, Seabiscuit, and Man o’ War.

And, of course, the United States economy.

Starting at around 1800, the U.S. economy grew at such a rate that

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Many Surprises in Latest Jobless Claims Report

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, October 19, 2017:

The first surprise from the latest jobless claims statistics is that new claims for unemployment insurance benefits last week fell to the lowest level in 44 years, according to the Department of Labor (DOL): “The advance figure … was 222,000 … the lowest level for initial claims since March 31, 1973.”

The second surprise is that the number of continuing claims (those lasting more than a week) also fell to levels not seen since 1974.

The third surprise is

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Tax Reform: The Sausage-Making Begins

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, September 29, 2017:

Otto von Bismarck is credited, rightly or wrongly, with two famous quotes about laws and sausages: “Laws are like sausages. It’s better not to see them being made.” And “To retain respect for sausages and laws, one must not watch them in the making.”

One of the more insightful comments on the whole business in today’s Washington comes from the President’s son, Donald J. Trump, Jr., (shown above) who said:

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Tax-reform Plan Called “Tremendous” by Trump, “Fake Math” by Schumer

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, September 28, 2017:

In unveiling the tax reform “framework” cobbled together by the Trump administration, the House Ways and Means Committee, and the Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday, President Trump called it “tremendous”: “This is a tremendous change, and the biggest winners will be the everyday American workers as jobs start pouring into our country, as companies start competing for American labor and as wages start going up [to] levels you haven’t seen in many years.”

On cue, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) expressed her concerns about deficits, perhaps for the first time in her political career:

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The IRS Continues to Hire Repeat Offenders

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, August 23, 2017: 

Following its investigation in 2014, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA, shown above) concluded that the IRS was hiring previously employed thugs with known criminal backgrounds, including backgrounds of failing to file or pay their income taxes, falsifying documents, accessing private records of American taxpayers in order to harass them, disruption while at work, and taking time off without permission.

It made various suggestions to the IRS, which were ignored. When an unnamed Senator asked the TIGTA to do an update, the IG found that nothing had changed: thugs were still hiring thugs at the IRS.

From the update released in July:

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Inspector General Says the IRS is Rehiring People Who Were Fired for Illegal Behavior

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, August 22, 2017: 

Seal of the United States Internal Revenue Ser...

Seal of the United States Internal Revenue Service.

The IRS ignored a report issued in December 2014 by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) that revealed that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) was rehiring people it had previously fired for misconduct. That misconduct included failure to file and pay their own income taxes, falsifying documents, and theft of and illegal use of sensitive taxpayer information. What’s to keep the IRS from ignoring that report’s update, released in late July?

The latest report from the TIGTA scorned the IRS for continuing the practice:

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Debt Ceiling Debate Charade Begins, Again

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, August 2, 2017:

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin warned Congress in a letter sent Friday that they had precious little time to raise the federal government’s debt ceiling before his department ran out of money. He even put a date on when that would happen if the ceiling wasn’t raised: “Based upon our available information, I believe that it is critical that Congress act to increase the nation’s borrowing authority by September 29.”

That’s the day before the end of the government’s fiscal year, and closely coincides with the moment when the Treasury will be unable to pay the government’s bills. The Treasury’s cash balances are expected to drop close to $25 billion in September, dangerously low when compared to the government’s budget of $4 trillion.

Mnuchin no doubt is referring to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report released in June that reminded citizens that

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Democrats and Fiscal Reality Present Roadblocks for Trump’s Budget

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, August 1, 2017:

speaking at CPAC in Washington D.C. on Februar...

Deciding to move on following the failure of the Senate to pass the “skinny” ObamaCare repeal bill, the Trump administration announced on Monday its accelerated plans for passing its budget bill. According to Marc Short, President Trump’s director of legislative affairs, background work on the budget will take place in August in preparation for committee action in the House in September. Assuming little resistance there, Short hopes for a floor vote in October, a Senate vote in November, and the president’s signature on it immediately thereafter.

It’s good to dream big.

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Texas Grows 3.9 Percent in First Quarter. California? 0.1 Percent

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, July 28, 2017: 

This map shows the incorporated areas in Colli...

This map shows the incorporated areas in Collin County, Texas. McKinney is highlighted in red.

Melissa, a resident of San Diego with degrees in psychology and Spanish, could find work only at a fast-food restaurant, recounted an article in (of all places) the Los Angeles Times about how some conservatives fed up with California are looking to Texas for greener pastures — and not just economically. The final straw for Melissa was when her daughter came home from public school one day with a “young adult” novel as homework. The book celebrated the use of cigarettes and pills to cope with stress, and Melissa decided it was time to leave the Golden State.

She found Conservative Move, a website just launched to help Californians

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Will Mulvaney Have Any More Success with MAGAnomics than Stockman did with Reaganomics?

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, July 17, 2017:

English: Official portrait of US Rep. Mick Mul...

Mick Mulvaney.

After serving in the House as a Republican representative from Michigan, David Stockman served as President Ronald Reagan’s OMB director from January 1981 until he quit 4½ years later in frustration. He got half of Reaganomics passed – the tax reduction part. He failed in getting the other half passed – the government spending cut part.

Mick Mulvaney is now Trump’s OMB Director after serving in the House as a Republican from South Carolina. And his job is likely to be as difficult and frustrating as was Stockman’s.

It’s far too soon to speculate about Mulvaney.

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Illinois Republicans Override Governor’s Vetoes, Stiff Taxpayers in Budget Deal

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, July 7, 2017:

Lisa Madigan, Illinois state attorney general,...

Lisa Madigan. step-daughter of Michael Madigan, and, not surprisingly, Illinois’ state Attorney General. Just a coincidence.

When House Speaker Michael Madigan finally engineered the override of Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner’s veto of his budget bill on Thursday, he called it a victory:

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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.