Why Did Walmart Raise its Minimum Wage?

Beginning April of this year, Walmart will bump its entry-level wage to $9 an hour, with an eventual increase to $10 an hour next year.  Protestors and living wage advocates are giddy – confident that their black Friday demonstrations, blocking traffic, yelling at shoppers and carrying misspelled signs frightened Walmart into paying up.  But this […]

MyRA : The IRA Wannabe

Hey, kids…are you in your 20s or 30s?  Earning a decent income but looking to save a little in a tax advantaged retirement account?  Your employer does not private a 401(k) plan?  Forget the IRAs of yesteryear.  Try the new MyRA.  For only $25, you can open your own MyRA account and contribute as little […]

Obama’s 2016 Budget Proposal: Eliminating the “Trust Fund Loophole”

Ben Franklin, in a letter to a friend written in 1789, famously stated: “Our Constitution is now established, everything seems to promise it will be durable; but, in this world, nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes.” President Obama appears to be taking things a step further. His 2016 budget proposal […]

The “Not-So-Secret” Secret

Last week, Gallup CEO Jim Clifton made headlines when he called the 5.6 percent unemployment rate stated by the BLS as a “big lie.”  While Clifton made it sound as though this was some type of cover-up, it really is no surprise.  The real unemployment (U-6) rate – including those who are working only part-time […]

The President’s 2016 “Budget”

President Obama’s $4 trillion FY 2016 budget request was submitted to Congress today.  It seems unlikely it will pass a Republican-controlled Congress, given the plethora of tax hikes and a few silly ideas.  But it is worth noting a few things: The president has never proposed a balanced budget, ever.  To wit, his FY 2016 budget proposes […]

Real “Middle Class Economics”

Despite President Obama’s calls for federal tax hikes for the rich (which do little to help the middle class), states are taking another path. Stephen Moore in the Wall Street Journal reports that twenty state governors are planning their own state tax relief initiatives, including a few who wish to eliminate their state’s income tax altogether, […]

My Take on the SOTU

See my commentary on the Federalist website.

Are Weekly Jobless Claims Numbers a Concern? Yes and No.

Economists’ predictions were a bit off this week pertaining to the number of applications filed for unemployment benefits, according to Shobhana Chandra in Bloomberg.  Forty-eight economists surveyed predicted 290,000 jobless claims for the week ending January 10.  But the actual count was 316,000, the most since early September.  Is this a cause for concern?  In and of […]

Tax News You Can Use

Now that President Obama has signed the 2014 Tax Extenders bill (H.R. 5771), it’s time to take a look and see what’s in it (to read H.R. 5771, click here): Charitable giving:  Seniors age 70 1/2 and older who are subject to an annual required minimum distribution from their IRA accounts can have the money paid (up to […]

Is Having a Job a Necessity or Simply an Option?

According to Josh Zumbrun in the Wall Street Journal, the improving economy is simply not enough to get people back into the labor force.  Zumbrun features three “nagging indicator” charts showing that a dramatic share of the unemployed are simply leaving the workforce (particularly since 2008), the rate of unemployed reentering the workforce is the lowest […]