Following Donald Trump’s election to the presidency, economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman issued a dire warning to the nation. In his eyes, the election of Donald Trump would spell global economic disaster. In a Times column, Krugman wrote: “If the question is when markets will recover [from the effects of Trump’s victory], a first-pass answer is never…We are very probably looking at a global recession, with no end in sight. I suppose we could get lucky somehow. But on economics, as on everything else, a terrible thing has just happened.” Krugman’s words of doom and gloom were alarming for a large number of people. Trump is, undeniably, a destabilizing figure, so for many it made sense that he would destabilize the global economy if elected to the presidency. Luckily, Krugman was completely wrong in his predictions. In fact, the opposite of Krugman’s predictions has become reality; under Trump, the economy is booming. Trump’s presidency has been a blessing for the stock market, which has long been cited as an indicator of economic health. Since election day, the S&P 500 has swelled almost 25 percent. Comparably, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has skyrocketed to near 25,000 points, a near 35 percent increase since election day . Both indexes have repeatedly reached all-time highs under Trump’s young presidency. Trump has promised to deliver at least 3 percent GDP...Read More
Over the past few weeks disturbing allegations of sexual misconduct have been levied against many public figures: movie producer Harvey Weinstein, actor George Takei, comedian Louis C.K., MSNBC contributor Mark Halperin, editorial director of Vox media Lockhart Steele, actor Kevin Spacey, CBS host Charlie Rose, Congressman John Conyers (D-MI) and U.S. Senator Al Franken (D-MN), just to name a few. America’s sexual assault problem is real, and larger than most are willing to accept. As it turns out, many of America’s beloved cultural and political figures are alleged to be among the perpetrators. If we wish for this poisonous trend to end, we must hold those at the very top accountable. We can’t allow fame, power and fortune to serve as a shield to true culpability. Many politicians – on both sides of the isle – are guilty of these kinds of grotesque transgressions. One of these politicians, Senate candidate Roy Moore of Alabama, has been accused of sexual misconduct towards young women. In a recent Washington Post story, multiple women went on the record to accuse Roy Moore of inappropriate actions. One woman, Leigh Corfman, asserted that Moore (then 32) inappropriately touched her and attempted to pursue a romantic relationship – Corfman was only 14 at the time. Three other women, then aged between 16 and 18, said that Moore pursued relationships with them as well. A former...Read More
Luke Schroeder, columnist Last Thursday, Congressional GOP leadership finally unveiled their plan for reforming the U.S. tax code. The 429-page bill is called the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). There are two major components to the TCJA – reforms to corporate taxes and reforms to individual taxes. First, let’s take a look at the corporate side. As I previously wrote in this publication, “the [current] corporate tax rates in the U.S. make our country one of the most hostile for business in the industrialized world.” Under current law, U.S. corporations are taxed 35 percent at the federal level, on top of an average 4.1 percent state rate. The resulting national rate is a whopping 39.1 percent, nearly 15% higher than the average rate paid by corporations in other member nations of the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Under the TCJA, the U.S. federal corporate tax is lowered to 20 percent, which would presumably result in an average 24.1 percent rate once state taxes are factored in. This corporate tax rate places the U.S. on par with most other industrialized nations. This is very good news – this will make the U.S. much more competitive in the global economy, and will lead to more domestic investment, more American jobs and less outsourcing. Even better news: the TCJA would make the new 20 percent corporate rate immediate and permanent....Read More
Luke Schroeder, columnist When President Trump introduced his now infamous “travel ban,” he acted under the authority of the federal Immigration and Nationality Act, a law that has been on the books since 1965. This act delivers broad power to the executive branch to set and implement immigration limitations. To best understand the act, read an excerpt of it for yourself: “Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.” Recent presidents haven’t exactly used the powers of this act sparingly – President Clinton used it 12 times and President Obama used it 19 times, according to the Los Angeles Times. While President Trump’s use of this power is not unprecedented, the scope of the order was sizable – it temporarily suspended immigration from seven countries: Syria, Libya, Sudan, Iran, Yemen, Somalia and Iraq. Later iterations of the order added restrictions to travel from Venezuela and North Korea, among others. Immediately after the original order was announced, backlash erupted – the talking point developed that...Read More
As it was once written by Benjamin Franklin, “in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Americans pay all sorts of taxes: federal income tax, state income tax, payroll tax, sales tax, excise tax and property tax, just to name a few. Nearly everything we do is impacted by taxes of some kind – for some, even their own death is a taxable event. Those who inherit estates worth more than about $5 million are forced to pay 40 percent of the estate’s value upon the death of the owner. Trust me, I know what you’re thinking. Five million? That’s a ton of money! Who cares if the government takes 40 percent? For some, especially progressives, this logic makes sense. However, here’s the reality: the death tax is a tax on success, a tax on hard work. It’s a perfect example of government greed. Often, the full burden of the death tax hits family farms and businesses the hardest. The death tax is wrecking entities like these all across America. Why? Farms and family businesses are often “asset rich” and “cash poor”. Basically, this means that a farm or business is worth a lot on paper (due to valuations of land, machinery, buildings, inventory and so on) while also being short on usable cash (they often operate on meager profit margins). For example, let’s...Read More
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