Separating reality from ideology and political agendas is difficult, but essential, if we are to revitalize our economy and help the world’s poorest families take their rightful places among Earth’s prosperous people. Energy reality is certainly in our favor. But ideological forces are powerful and persistent.
If you want more of something, mandate it, subsidize it and exempt it from regulations. If you want less of something, punish it with taxes and regulations. Put more bluntly, the power to tax and regulate is the power to destroy. This is the First Rule of Government.
The news is filled with the everyday zigzags of those competing against each other for the Democrat and Republican Party nominations to run for the presidency of the United States. But one of the most important issues receiving little or no attention in this circus of political power lusting is the long-term danger from the huge and rising Federal government debt.
Any and every tax, law and regulation – is government placing itself between you and the free market. And, conversely, between the free market and you. And, of course, it makes the market less free. It’s inherent. The bigger the tax – the less money you have for the market, and the less money marketeers have to operate. The bigger the laws and regulations – the less freedom we and the marketeers have to maneuver.
The Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act (PITFA), receiving a large bi-partisan approval in the House of Representatives earlier this year, is supposedly going to be taken up in the Senate this week. The provision has been added into the conference report (the final version of a bill to be considered by both chambers of congress) of the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015.
America’s abysmal 0.7% economic growth during the fourth quarter of 2015 meant the annual growth rate was an anemic 2.4% … and average annual growth for the six-year Obama era a pathetic 2.2 percent.
In today’s edition of The Heartland Daily Podcast, managing editor of Budget & Tax News Jesse Hathaway talks with Jonathan Williams, Vice President of the American Legislative Exchange Council’s (ALEC) Center for State Fiscal Reform, about how welfare reform and economic reform go hand in hand, and what states can do to help the needy back onto their feet and into society.
Today’s protesters calling for free higher education are just the latest in a long line of people engaging in destructive behavior in the name of egalitarianism, the concept of equal treatment for all. The 1960s brought a wave of destruction in opposition to the Vietnam War. In a rather silly echo of that impulse, Trenton Oldfield, a fanatical egalitarian from Australia, ruined the famous Oxford-Cambridge rowing race on the Thames River a few years ago by jumping in the river and blocking the competitors in the name of resisting the elitism. He was dubbed in the United Kingdom the “anarchist swimmer” and has mounted other guerrilla strikes to promote his agenda. He is urging, for example, cabbies to take well-to-do passengers on long detours and cleaners not to place toilet paper where they are expected to serve rich folks.
In a situation only the out of touch, inside the Beltway crowd could love, added into the conference report (the final version of a bill to be considered by both chambers of congress) of the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015, is a provision adding the legislative language from H.R. 235, the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act (PITFA), as widely approved by the House of Representatives earlier this year.
Suppose you’ve been using some creative data, accounting and legal interpretations for years to reduce your tax bill – and the IRS suddenly flags you for a full-blown audit. Instead of trembling in your boots, shredding your records, calling a top-flight lawyer, and preparing for an extended jail visit, just do this:
Instead of kicking the can down the road once again and causing uncertainty in the one economic sector experiencing economic growth in good times or bad, lawmakers in Washington, D.C., should take the issue off the table and pass a permanent version of the Internet Tax Freedom Act.
California lawmakers are proposing to increase taxes on cigarettes by $2 per pack in order to fund increased entitlement spending. Instead of placing faith in the morality of their cause, lawmakers would do better to place their trust in economic and public health realities.
Chicago faces a significant and growing public pension problem. Instead of tackling the problem head-on by holding down cost increases, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel proposes several new or expanded taxes, which he says will slow down the debt growth from the revenue end. Emanuel’s half-billion-dollar property tax hike is getting most of the headlines, but he has also been pushing for taxes on e-cigarettes, ridesharing, and cloud computing.
With the stated purpose of improving public health by making politically unpopular behaviors more expensive, Chicago City alderman Proco Moreno (D-Ward 1) is proposing to add $1.25 to the price of e-cigarette cartridges and $0.25 per milliliter of e-cigarette liquid.
Chicago’s Netflix tax took effect on September 1st and already Chicagoans are seeing the ill effects. Nine plaintiffs have filed a lawsuit challenging Chicago’s authority to tax a streaming Internet service with the 9% surcharge it typically reserves to other forms of entertainment.
In today’s episode of The Heartland Daily Podcast, managing editor Jesse Hathaway talks with Mercatus Center monetary policy program director and Bentley University economics professor Scott Sumner about the American stock market’s recent up-and-down volatility, the increasing threat of an international economic recession, and how our country’s centralized banking policies make the problem worse.
In today’s edition of The Heartland Daily Podcast, Budget & Tax News managing editor Jesse Hathaway speaks with Reason Foundation director of criminal justice reform Lauren Galik. Galik and Hathaway talk about criminal justice reform and the growing “ban the box” campaign.
Six of the largest oil companies in the world, all from outside the United States, have released a joint statement to the United Nations calling for governments to impose a global “price on carbon” by levying a tax or fee on the carbon dioxide emissions generated by power plants. Liberal groups have been fawning over the news, trumpeting that “Big Oil” has taken up the mantle of fighting climate change. Those groups are overlooking – or more likely intentionally ignoring – the fact this announcement is nothing more than classic cronyism, not a sudden concern for the climate.