Category Archives: Taxes

The Pernicious Income Inequality of Federal Employees

In an article from CNS News dated December 16, 2016, we have the new but predictable Census Bureau statistics on median income for households in counties of the United States.  The first four richest counties are, …, you guessed it, all in the Washington, DC area, and range from about $99,000 per year to $122, 000 per year (see  That is more that twice the United States Average of around $55,000.  Nine of the top twenty counties are in… Continue Reading ››

Trump’s Taxes & Election thoughts: Does he really want to be the President?

I think most of us can now certainly agree:  even if we give Mr. Trump his claim that he is the most brilliant businessman ever, and his paying low or no taxes is due to his incredible financial acumen, we cannot help but conclude either he is a particularly poor politician or he simply does not wish to win this election.  His debate performance was certainly sub-par, and his doubling down on a former Miss Universe and trying to defend… Continue Reading ››

Miscellaneous Interesting (and Weird) News

There are all sorts of interesting and disturbing issues and events out there in the news these days, some obscure and others more obvious and with greater implications.  Below I simply want to list a few I have been reading about in recent days, and then later perhaps write some longer blogs on some of them. The National Collegiate Athletic Association, known to all fondly as the NCAA, has decided to withdraw seven of its collegiate championship events from North… Continue Reading ››

Who Really Benefits from Internet Sales Taxes?

So it seems Bob Goodlatte, a Republican House member from Virginia has introduced for circulation among his Judiciary Committee colleagues a framework proposal for taxing internet sales transactions, something “brick and mortar” stores have wanted for some time.  Goodlatte’s aide says the plan is simple and fair.  As an article on the plan states, “Internet sales would be taxed according to the rules of the state in which the seller was located but would pay at the tax rate of… Continue Reading ››

The Obamacare Slow Leak

Maybe you have read some articles in the past weeks about insurance providers leaving the Obamacare market in some states (I just read another one today).  Well, it likely will get worse.  Here is what is happening.  First we need to understand how Obamacare works.  The entire scheme was predicated on the ability to tax (directly and indirectly) those with higher incomes and health care providers and redistribute this to poorer people and those who did not (often simply would… Continue Reading ››

Dueling Economic Proposals: Will They Sway Anyone?

I have so far avoided taking any position on the two main candidates for president.  For my colleague Mark Smith, don’t worry, I will.  I intend to continue the path of avoidance in this blog.  Today I would like to examine and evaluate each candidate’s economic program.  I say nothing about their personal morality, or personality, or anything except economic program as articulated formally.  Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have both now laid out their plans.  I will look first… Continue Reading ››

Why Job Growth is Stagnant (Not to Mention Other measures)

In a National Review article of June 21, 2016, Michael Barone explored the question of whether the United States economy has shown any growth, and if not, why not.  The article, entitled “Why We have—and Probably Will Keep Having—Sluggish Job Growth,” relies on a recently published book by the economist Arnold Kling, Specialization and Trade: A reintroduction to Economics.  Kling’s argument, supported by economic history and data, begins with this, according to Barone: “[The book is,] among other things, a… Continue Reading ››

Happy Tax Day (Late)

Below is a chart comparing categories of income tax between 1913 and 2016, published by Americans for Tax Reform.  Note the categories labeled “Top Tax Bracket Threshold” and “Family Standard Deduction,” both adjusted in terms of today’s dollars.  Our tax liability now begins at 25 times the amount it began at in 1913.  Our deduction has been reduced by a huge percentage.  This is illuminating information, assuming it is accurate (I have no reason to question the basic numbers).  It… Continue Reading ››

Taxes Versus Spending

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a DC group, had this to say about Ted Cruz’s campaign proposals: “Republican presidential candidate Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) has, by our count, put forward seven sets of policy proposals on his campaign website covering areas such as immigration, military spending, and tax reform. By our very rough and initial estimates, these major initiatives could add anywhere from $3 to $21 trillion to the debt over the next decade, with our central cost… Continue Reading ››

Frederic Bastiat as Prophet

I have been reading quite a few articles lately in which the individuals (politicians, bureaucrats and just ordinary citizens) are asked about various issues related to the presidential campaigns.  One answer I have heard quite a bit is simply that “the government” should do something.  Sometimes the issues are even cast in terms of a “crisis,” about which someone ought to take action now (or NOW!).  “Pass a law” is another common response.  While I realize that this is a… Continue Reading ››