Author Archive

Busy Week In Congress on a Number of Tax Bills

This week, the House of Representatives is working on a number of tax-related bills (in celebration of April 15).  Two of them, in particular, will directly affect future tax returns: H.R. 1105 – Death Tax Repeal Act of 2015:  Would “repeal the estate and generation-skipping transfer taxes for estates of decedents dying or for transfers made on […]

Let’s Not Talk About Those Unemployment Numbers…

Last week, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released their unemployment statistics for March –  on a Friday, of course, without much fanfare.  The first paragraph of the press release reads: Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 126,000 in March, and the unemployment  rate was unchanged at 5.5 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.  […]

Constitutional Challenge to FATCA

Earlier this month, Jeff Lerner wrote about the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, a pesky law that requires foreign financial institutions to report to the IRS on bank accounts (not just income, but transaction records) held by Americans in their countries.  Reporting requirements have evidently forced many overseas financial institutions to drop American bank accounts due to […]

Piketty Backtracks a Bit

Last year, French economist Thomas Piketty’s book on the causes of income inequality became the rallying cry by people on the left for a tax on the wealthy.  However, many intelligent and thoughtful individuals (including NCPA blogger Jeff Lerner) disagreed on what Piketty pointed to as the cause of income inequality – mainly, that as the return on capital […]

Weekend at Bernie’s Spent Thinking of Ways to Raise Tax Revenue

Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) recently penned a letter to President Obama urging him to use his (ahem) executive powers to close six corporate tax loopholes. According to Sanders, these loopholes are “egregious” and, by putting a stop to them, the Treasury could rake in $100 billion over 10 years. I am not an expert in Constitutional law, so this […]

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 […]

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, […]