Archive for the ‘taxes’ Category

Trump Erects Trade Barrier With Canada

April 28, 2017

US Erects Trade Barrier With Canada
Developer-in-Chief Donald Trump just increased the cost of America’s new homes and decreased US construction jobs. How? putting a punitive tariff on imports of wood from Canada. “We’re going to be putting a 20 percent tax on softwood lumber coming in — tariff on softwood coming into the United States from Canada,” tweeted the president.

Canadian softwoods — pine, spruce, fir — are used to frame most new home construction in the USA.

More:

“In New Trade Front, Trump Slaps Tariff on Canadian Lumber,” Peter Baker and Ian Austen, New York Times

“Why Is Trump Bashing Canada All of a Sudden?” Joshua Keating, Slate

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Image (“Scott Walker’s Northern Border, after Alex Anderson, Jr.”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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It’s Magic! Trump’s Tax Cut Will Pay for Itself.

April 27, 2017

It's Magic! Trump’s Tax Cut Will Pay for Itself.

On Wednesday the Trump Administration rolled out its Tax Plan, less a ‘plan’ than a plutocrat’s wet dreamCorporate tax rate slashed, huge new pass-through business loophole opened, giveaways to wealthy heirstaxes for the rich slashed and their nannies and mansions subsidized through tax deductions.

This won’t produce a federal revenue shortfall, the Tax Fairy promises; tax cuts for the wealthy will pay for themselves.  How? Magic! The same magic that worked so well during the 30 years of the GOP’s trickle-down, deregulating, big-corporate, no-taxes-for-the-rich philosophy, the failed policies that crashed the world economy when Republican leadership was last inflicted upon the nation, making the rich even wealthier at the expense of the rest.

More:

“Trump’s treasury secretary: The tax cut ‘will pay for itself,'” Damian Paletta and Max Ehrenfreund, Washington Post

“Mnuchin: Our Tax Cuts for the Rich Are Not About Cutting Taxes for the Rich,” Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine

“The New GOP Math: ‘Dynamic Scoring’ Doesn’t Add Up.” NotionsCapital

Update:

“37 top economists all say Trump’s tax plan won’t pay for itself,” Alexia Fernández Campbell, Vox

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Image by Mike Licht (with apologies to The Great Karlini, Ludwig Trinka). Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Cash-Strapped Palm Beach Considers ‘Mar-a-Lago Tax’

April 20, 2017

Cash-Strapped Palm Beach Considers 'Mar-a-Lago Tax'

Palm Beach County gave Donald Trump tax breaks when he bought Mar-a-Lago, but his weekend trips to the “Winter White House” are breaking the county’s budget. A typical Donald Trump visit costs the county more than $60,000 a day for police overtime, and the county estimated its costs for Trump’s visit with Chinese President Xi Jinping at over $250,000. That’s why County Commissioner Dave Kerner is proposing a tax on Mar-a-Lago to cover the costs. It’s that or increased taxes for local residents, whose lives are already disrupted by the president’s weekend golf jaunts.

Of course the Trump Administration could reimburse the county and add that to the $3 million in federal tax dollars each Mar-a-Lago trip costs all of us.

More:

“‘He’s baaaack!’: Trump’s visits to Mar-a-Lago are stretching Palm Beach’s budget and locals’ patience,” Abby Phillip and Lori Rozsa, Washington Post

“Palm Beach official proposes Mar-a-Lago tax to pay for Trump visits,” Brooke Seipe, The Hill

Related:

“Trump has spent one out of every five minutes of his presidency in Palm Beach,” Philip Bump, Washington Post

“GOP Senator: ‘I Do Wish’ Trump Would Host State Visits In DC, Not Mar-A-Lago,” Esme Cribb, TPM Livewire

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Trump’s Taxes: He Screwed His Investors, Not Just Uncle Sam

October 5, 2016

Trump's Taxes: He Screwed His Investors, Not Just Uncle Sam

Donald Trump paid no personal income taxes for 18 years by deducting the $916,000,000 he lost in 1995, reported the New York Times in a story based on leaked information from state tax returns. To do this Mr. Trump had to forgo the depreciation deductions on his properties, which included his Atlantic City casinos. Donald Trump formed a public corporation and funded his casinos with securities he sold to ordinary investors impressed with his celebrity and a promise of 14 percent interest who were unaware of the tax burden The Donald had imposed on the properties by taking personal deductions on them. As the company collapsed and the bond value plummeted 70 percent, the CEO paid himself a $5 million bonus and bought a private jet. So much for Mr. Trump’s sense of “fiduciary duty.”

As Drew Harwell explained in the Washington Post:

“Many of those who lost money were Main Street shareholders who believed in the Trump brand, such as Sebastian Pignatello, a retired private investor in Queens. By the time of the 2004 bankruptcy, Pignatello’s 150,000 shares were worth pennies on the dollar.

‘He had been pillaging the company all along,’ said Pignatello, who joined shareholders in a lawsuit against Trump that has since been settled. ‘Even his business allies, they were all fair game. He has no qualms about screwing anybody. That’s what he does.’”

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GOP Extortionists Push Hostages to Edge of Fiscal Cliff

January 1, 2013

GOP Extortionists Push Hostages to Edge of Fiscal Cliff

Republicans in the House of Representatives, angry that a pending deal would tax their millionaire masters, are holding America’s working families hostage and threatening to heave them off that Fiscal Cliff. We suspect their rage is really because this crisis (of their own making) forces them to watch college bowl games on TV instead of on the 50 yard line with their wealthy donors.

More:

“G.O.P. Anger Over Tax Deal Endangers Final Passage,” Jennifer Steinhauer and Jonathan Weisman, New York Times

“Cliff deal hits a new snag with House Republicans,” Rosalind Helderman, Ed O’Keefe and Jerry Markon, Washington Post

“House GOP threatens to scuttle fiscal cliff deal,”  Ryu Spaeth, The Week

“Fiscal cliff reveals how dysfunctional Republican nihilism makes US politics,” Michael  Cohen, The Guardian

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A Nation of Tea Drinkers Shames Starbucks Into Paying Taxes

December 14, 2012

A Nation of Tea Drinkers Shames Starbucks Into Paying Taxes

Starbucks makes billions in the British Isles but reduced its UK tax bill to near zero by using accounting tricks that, while arguably legal, are avoided by good corporate citizens, including other U.S. chain eateries. Brits were outraged, and boycotts were organized. At first, Starbucks responded to the bad publicity by cutting employee lunchbreaks and sick leave, but finally made a voluntary token payment. Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal scolded the java giant for caving in to the Twittering mob.

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Image (“Urban Breakfast, after William Harnett”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Two-and-a-Half Minutes

December 5, 2012

Eight principles to guide Democrats through the fiscal cliff showdown, from Robert Reich.

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Adam Smith Endorses Obama Tax Plan

November 30, 2012

Adam Smith Endorses Obama Tax Plan
“It is not unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.”

– Adam Smith, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, 1776

Related:

“Let the Bush Tax Cuts for the Wealthy Expire Already,” Senator Bernie Sanders, Truthdig

“How to raise taxes on the rich,” Jeanne Sahadi, CNN Money

“Tax hike for wealthy won’t kill growth, CBO says,” Reuters via NBC News

“The Great Capitalist Heist: How Paris Hilton’s Dogs Ended Up Better Off Than You,” Gerald Friedman, Naked Capitalism [caution: numbers n’ stuff]

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Mitt Romney’s America

September 19, 2012

Mitt Romney's America

Ex-financier Willard Mitt Romney was whoopin’ it up at an intimate $50,000-a-plate dinner-for-150 at the palatial estate of kinky fellow plutocrat Marc Leder when some class traitor secretly recorded the GOP candidate’s run-down on the “Other Ranks.” 47% of Americans pay no Federal Income Tax, he confided, and it’s not because they’re compensated in capital gains or have elaborate off-shore bank accounts like real Americans. Our U.S. corporations simply pay them too little to cover their family upkeep, and those wretched, gummint-dependent ingrates won’t vote GOP in November anyway, so screw ’em.

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Tax Returns? Romney Won’t Even Reveal His Real Name.

September 9, 2012

Tax Returns? Romney Won't Even Reveal His Real Name.

According to CNN, sleazy magazine publisher and free speech activist Larry Flynt is “offering up to a million dollars in cash for documented evidence concerning Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s unreleased tax returns and/or details of his offshore assets, bank accounts and business partnerships.”  Mr. Romney, Republican Presidential candidate, has only released one complete year of tax returns, refusing to reveal more unless he’s elected. Details about the candidate’s offshore bank accounts in Switzerland, Luxembourg, and the Cayman Islands have prompted calls for more complete tax record disclosure, most recently by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

It’s unlikely Mr. Romney will reveal more tax returns; he won’t even reveal his real name. He’s been telling us his first name is Mitt, but it’s really Willard. Don’t believe that? Okay, ask to see his birth certificate.

Related:

“2 Percent of Voters Thought Mitt Romney’s Real Name Is ‘Mittens,'” Dino Grandoni, The Atlantic Wire

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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