Congressional Republicans sure have a hard time with math. In the most recent House budget, they included massive cuts to the Pell Grant program, which allows millions of students each year to better afford a college education, all in the name of fiscal responsibility. We can’t afford it, they say. It’s a sign of how quickly things change, I guess, that we suddenly can’t afford … Continue reading Bye Bye Pell Grants, Hello Even More Student Loan Debt
Since our country’s founding, dynastic wealth has threatened to upend the democratic principles promoted in the constitution. The influence of money in politics was first seen in the three-fifths compromise, and its pervasive nature has not been fully challenged since. Tax Day provides us with a moment to reflect on how our democracy is funded, and with the ruling in Citizens United v. FEC, the … Continue reading Tackling Dynastic Wealth will be the Challenge of Our Generation
Last year, when the GOP passed their $1.5 trillion tax bill, they announced it would put $4,000 back in the average American’s paycheck. If this were true, this Tax Day, which is 15 weeks into the year, the average American should have an extra $1,153.85 of the $4,000. Do you? If your answer is an emphatic no, you’re not alone. Across the country, there has … Continue reading Are You Still Waiting on that $4,000 raise?
The 16th Amendment, which was ratified in 1913, granted Congress the power to collect income taxes. About a year later, Congress named March 1st “Tax Day.” This became the deadline to file and pay personal income taxes, as well as make any IRA contributions to be attributed to the following year. By 1918, Tax Day was moved to March 15th, then eventually April 15th in … Continue reading What is Tax Day?
With Tax Day approaching, now is as good a time as any to examine what the results of the GOP tax cuts have been. Thus far, the economic boom supposed to be felt across the country has been delayed, perhaps indefinitely. Here’s the proof: Job growth is achieving the same three-month average the country has been seeing since January 2015. As predicted by the Center … Continue reading Where’s the Economic Boom We Were Promised?
In his feud with yet another country, Trump has jeopardized the quality of life of millions of Americans already living paycheck to paycheck. His trade war with China will not end well, and it doesn’t appear to be wrapping up anytime soon. In the meantime, the working and middle class will suffer. For those who know little about trading and tariffs, Trump’s boisterous approach to … Continue reading Tariffs are a Tax on the Middle and Working Classes
Many Americans’ first time hearing of the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) may have been last March, when a partial tax return showed that it was chiefly responsible for the taxes Trump owed in 2005. Now, only 200,000 filers will be required to pay the tax, which is significantly fewer than the over 5 million who qualified before the Republican tax scam passed in December. So … Continue reading The Alternative Minimum Tax is No Longer as Effective as It was
Last December, when Republicans passed their tax bill full of perks for their donors and corporations, another loophole dodged scrutiny and remained in the tax code. The stepped-up loophole, sometimes called the stepped-up basis loophole, is a huge advantage for families not quite rich enough to qualify for the estate tax (which has been raised to $10 million for an individual). Even estates which are … Continue reading How the Stepped-up Loophole Creates an Escalator to Riches–For Those Who are Already Wealthy
In December, when Congress passed the GOP tax bill, they didn’t close the carried interest loophole like Trump promised. In fact, they took the grey area that the loophole thrived in and made it black and white. Rather than manipulate the tax code, hedge fund managers can now point to specific language in the tax bill that allows them to pay a lower tax rate … Continue reading How the GOP Tax Bill Gave Us Double the Carried Interest Loopholes
This time last year, Gov. Dannel Malloy of Connecticut advised deferring to Trump on the elimination of the egregious carried interest loophole. A year later, it appears the Democratic governor is going to have to take a firm stance on how he will either defend or upend the loophole that benefits hedge fund managers as if they themselves were the investors. The carried interest loophole … Continue reading Why Connecticut Should Get Onboard with Closing the Carried Interest Loophole
Within the next few weeks, the average millionaire will be done paying into Social Security for the year because the payroll tax is zero on income above $128,400. 10,000 “Baby Boomers” become eligible for Social Security benefits everyday, and if our legislators continue to insist that their social security benefits must be tied to the FICA tax, our tax system can not adequately provide for … Continue reading Another Instance of Higher Tax Rates For the Working Poor
It is important to recognize changes in the seasons. Our country is undergoing a significant metamorphosis, which is likely to last several years, but we have an opportunity to help ensure that what emerges from this turmoil is more beautiful than what preceded. While there are plenty of problems we can dwell on, at the same time there are a number of very positive changes … Continue reading Reframe the Debate
Let’s talk about the incentives in the new tax bill for employers to raise workers pay. Here is a concrete example. Say I own a small bar where people come and drink beer after work. Suppose I gross (on average) $1,000 per day in sales, the bartender gets paid $4,000 per month, I spend $10,000 per month on other fixed costs and $8,000 per month … Continue reading Does the New Tax Bill Provide More Incentives to Give Workers Raises… or Less?
For the first time ever, closing the carried interest loophole has been added to a state budget. Governor Cuomo of New York revealed this egregious aspect of the tax code is on the chopping block in his Tuesday, January 16 address. The carried interest loophole is “a federal tax that allows some hedge fund managers to pay a lower tax rate on revenue from investments,” … Continue reading Gov. Cuomo’s Proposed Budget Takes First Steps Towards Closing Egregious Loophole
After weeks of late night revisions and rushed votes, congressional Republicans have passed the final version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Here are a few of the most egregious aspects of the bill that made the final cut: The #CorkerKickback. This provision would allow income on real estate LLCs to be taxed at a lower rate. It was added during the reconciliation process, and … Continue reading Republicans Passed a $1.5 trillion Payoff to Their Donors
Since the final version of the congressional Republicans’ tax bill was released last Friday, Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) has been the focus of conversations. This is because the fiscal hawk would personally benefit from a last minute provision to the bill, and having recently backtracked on his decision to vote ‘no’, the timing is curious. The new provision would lower taxes on income from real-estate … Continue reading What’s the #CorkerKickback and Why Does it Matter?
While the Republicans reconcile the two versions of the tax bill that passed each chamber, it’s important to remember exactly what about each was so contemptible. Surely removal of the SALT (state and local taxes) deduction is at the top of the list. On the surface, removing the tax deduction that chiefly benefits high tax states makes some sense. Why, after all, should the federal … Continue reading Republicans Want to Make All of the States More Like Kansas
In a bill full of boondoggles to the 1%, few other amendments are as egregious as the graduate student tax. The aforementioned tax has been championed as a way to increase tax revenue in the wake of mounting special interest pressure to remove the estate tax. Thus, it is simply a shifting of the fiscal burden onto hard-working, less privileged citizens in order for the … Continue reading The #GradStudentTax is the End of Equal Opportunity
I was watching a video of a recent discussion between Senator Hatch and Senator Brown and I got to thinking about Senator Hatch.
Gary Cohn, the director of the National Economic Council was just on CNBC talking about the necessity of repealing the estate tax. Mr. Cohn said: Well, look, we want that farmer to go out and buy the next piece of land, and the next piece of land, and the next piece of land, and create the economies of scale and be able to compete in … Continue reading Pearls of Wisdom: Does Gary Cohn Even Understand the Estate Tax