Category Archives: Taxes

Everyone was watching the girl in the teeny bikini, just like the public is now looking for a big tax cut

As I entered the general manager’s office in the Gimbel’s Cheltenham department store, the mood was surly. Picking up an ad for my Philadelphia newspaper was usually pleasant. Sometimes conversation about merchandising for the 250,000 square foot emporium. Other times small talk and smiles, but not today.

It was a Spring afternoon in the late 1970s, and two hours earlier a tall blonde, wearing only a string bikini and high heels, strolled into the store and began walking from department to department, finally covering all three floors in about 45 minutes. She did not go unnoticed by the store staff or customers, and more than a few males seemed to wander after her at a safe distance, pretending to be interested in this or that sale display.

Ten minutes after she left, the Fine Jewelry department reported items worth several thousand dollars had been shoplifted. Then, other managers began counting goods and finding shortages.

It seems that while the blonde was walking, two accomplices were taking the goods. Continue reading →

If your family was as rich as the Waltons, you could easily buy Buckingham Palace over and over again

Some one million Walmart employees in the United States will have their meager pay supplemented this year with a bonus averaging $400, thanks to the lapse of usual parsimony by the owners of the world’s largest retailer – the Walton family. That total $400 million is $71 million less than the cost of the bottom two estates ($222 million and $249 million) in the above video of the five most expensive homes in the world.

Half of all workers in the United States make less than $30,500 a year, and half earn more, so $400 is meaningful, even though a flat 25% ($100) will be lost to income tax under an odd IRS ruling, leaving $300.

But $300 could buy you and the spouse a motel room for two nights, and have some money left over for lunch one day. That would be a one-room accommodation. Hotel rooms with multiple rooms charge much more than $100 to $200 a night.

While you are pinching pennies to pay for this $300 getaway, how would your benefactors – the Waltons of inheritance fame – entertain themselves? Since “all men are created equal”, but allowing for some being more equal, you would expect the gang of seven to perhaps rent an entire floor of a Best Western or splurge at a Hilton.

Actually, the poorest member of the Walton family, Nancy Walton Laurie, could afford to not just rent a room, but buy all five of the properties listed in the above video – including Buckingham Palace – and still have nearly $2,000,000,000 left of her fortune. Continue reading →

Trickle, trickle, fools we are, to trust the rich, now flush with cash, will share with us their bounty

The inlaid walnut table in the corporate boardroom held 12 on either side and two or three at each end, and the execs were all perched, prepped to pounce, when I dragged in my 2001 budget – 1015 pages of spreadsheet and other sheet.

As division CEO of a NYSE-listed publishing company with nearly a billion dollars sales, my pitch was explain how I would increase sales, restrain costs and improve the value of the newspapers I published.

What could go wrong? In the past year sales were up, but more important, the bottom line jumped from about a $200,000 loss to an $860,000 profit before taxes.

Since most of my employees were salaried – meaning they worked long hours without overtime compensation – my proposed budget included a four percent average pay increase. That four percent, I was told, was a big mistake. Continue reading →

Middle class seniors forced to pay for that 40% corporate tax cut with reductions to Medicare

Happy holidays came a few days early for big corporations and rich shareholders. Their income tax rate in 2018 will drop from 35% to 21% – exactly a 40% decrease.

Next year, Medicare premiums will go from $109 to $134 per month – a 23% increase in one year. This additional deduction from Social Security benefits wipes out the proposed minimal 2% cost of living increase for most seniors, leaving them with no increase, just inflation losses.

The argument goes that most corporations deserve a tax decrease, because they pay higher income taxes (35%) here than in some other countries. Concerned about the tax burden on our “job creators”, I put together this list of the top 30 largest companies (sales) and what they paid in income tax in 2016.

All told, these firms paid $114.9 billion of income tax on $4,108 billion in sales, or 2.76% rate on sales. Continue reading →

Ryan thinks he is John Galt – defender of the rich, enemy of the poor, not a denizen of the swamp?

Ayn Rand’s novel, Atlas Shrugged, begins with a simple question: Who is John Galt?

The answer comes in the last third of that 1957 book, where Galt emerges as the champion of capitalism and defender of Rand’s Objectivism philosophy, which has opposed:

  • Child and Adult Care Food Program
  • Federal Housing Assistance
  • Food Stamps
  • Head Start
  • Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program
  • Medicare & Medicaid
  • Nationalized Health Care
  • School Lunch and Breakfast Programs
  • Social Security
  • Special Supplemental Nutrition Program
  • State Children’s Health Insurance Program
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
  • The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation
  • Title XX Social Services Block Grant Program
  • Trade Adjustment Assistance
  • Workers’ Compensation

Galt was not real, but he was a hero to the children of many wealthy families. These sheltered capitalists-in-training saw Ayn Rand as a hero, because she espoused that caring for nobody but yourself was not selfish, but a virtue. Continue reading →

Center for American Progress and CATO both want to invest our Social Security funds in stock market

When the right and left political wings agree, you can bet middle-class Americans are in trouble.

And if you are talking about Social Security, a new bipartisan plan spells major cuts in benefits, as the establishment is set to privatize our public retirement system after the mid-term elections next year.

John Podesta – Trilateral member

About $2.8 trillion (2,800,000,000) has been borrowed since the 1980s from your Social Security contributions to pay for bureaucratic wars on poverty. to fight real wars on ungrateful Arabs, to sweetheart deals to campaign contributors, and to create a war machine larger than all other countries combined.

But the political class has decided it should not pay back this money, but will instead cut your Social Security benefits enough so they you only get benefits from FICA taxes paid in the current year, and receive none of the money borrowed from the Trust Fund, which will be dissolved. Continue reading →

Lies about “repatriation” from the media and elites. Most of the targeted cash is already in U.S. banks.

Stagnant wages. Windfalls for the politically connected. A new tax plan primarily for the rich.

Just 13 years have passed since the 2004 tax repatriation holiday, which created nearly no new jobs for American workers, but was instead used almost entirely by multinationals for stock dividends and buybacks. Many corporate execs and shareholders became instantly rich from this tax holiday, while workers’ wages were stagnant.

The GOP’s new plan is more of the same for one simple reason:

That $2.6 trillion, which every politician and media pundit loves to cite as a boon to America,  cannot come back to the United states, because the vast majority of the money is already here.

This cash is invested in U.S. Treasury notes, U.S. agency securities, U.S. mortgage backed securities, or U.S. dollar-denominated corporate notes and bonds. And no corporate income tax has been levied on these trillions of dollars. Continue reading →

Some seniors will pay a 296% tax increase under “Deep State” deal with media and politicians

Remember the promise of a tax cut primarily for the middle class?

For many Americans that will be a lie, and retired seniors will be hit the hardest, despite the attempted sleight of hand numbers game that “gives” you about double the standard deduction, but doesn’t mention the loss of personal exemptions.

Even worse, the so-called reform means that a couple that used to itemize deductions above $12,700 (under 65) and $15,200 (over 65) will now have to wait until the itemization exceeds $24,000.

The table below shows the current income tax formula for a senior couple with the average Social Security benefit, plus a part-time job, and an RMD. (At age 70 1/2 the government forces you to take out part of your IRA and pay income tax on it every year. If you have stocks or bonds, they must be sold to satisfy the IRS, even if they lost value.)

This average senior couple will pay $1,506 income tax under current law without itemization.

Some might wonder about that tax on Social Security Continue reading →

$4,000 Wage hike “Fake News” from the White House – whatever happened to Trump promise of “no taxes for a couple earning less than $50,000”

UPDATE to April 2017 post, Russian Dossier with complete text: DNC and Clinton campaign paid for Fusion GPS  report used by FBI to investigate President.

The following was emailed to me on Saturday from the White House.


President Trump is working harder than ever to bring tax reform to middle class Americans, including the biggest tax cut in American history. This week, the President took his case to conservative leaders, seeking their support in pushing Congress to pass a tax reform bill, he said, “We need…help…to get our tax cuts through the house, through the Senate, and to my desk for signature.” Now is the time for all Republicans in Congress and maybe even patriotic Democrats to come together and support major tax reform that will boost wages and deliver families a $4,000 annual pay raise. We must get Congress on board, in order to deliver tax relief to hard-working Americans. Call and remind your Representative and Senators to support the President’s Middle Class Miracle today.

Although I am retired and there is no boss to give me a pay raise, I imagined that, at least, my children and grandchildren would benefit, and perhaps send me a fancier birthday card or buy me a funny hat with all the extra cash in their checking accounts.

And after learning that I am a “Real American”, according to this government email, I wondered: “could this $4,000 pay raise be real?” I turned to YouTube, where your computer screen seems to come alive with the voice of Mr. Trump and Bill Nye, among others, and found the President making this same promise: Continue reading →

Fake campaign promise by Trump to lower taxes has reduced his Presidency to swimming in the swamp

“If you’re single and earn less than $25,000 per year, or married and jointly, and jointly earn less than $50,000 – so very important – if you’re single and make less than $25,000 or married and jointly earn less than $50,000, you’ll not pay any income tax. Nothing.” – Donald Trump

September 29, 2015

@2:00 – Less than $25,000 or jointly less than $50,000, pay no taxes

February 3, 2017

In January President Trump took office and almost immediately lowered the benefits of his “middle class” tax plan. Suddenly, the $25,000 and $50,000 standard deductions promised on the campaign were slashed 40% to just $30,000 and $15,000. Continue reading →

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