Tuesday , August 11 2020
Home / Tag Archives: Taxation

Tag Archives: Taxation

‘Profit’ is a meaningless term

Most people believe they understand what the term ‘profit’ means. It’s a measure of revenue minus costs. Actually, however, profit is a pretty meaningless term, because there is no clear definition of “cost”. I was reminded of this when reading a debate in the Financial Times that discussed whether interest payments should continue to be tax deductible for businesses. The person opposed to ending the tax deductibility of interest made the following claim: No — Tax...

Read More »

The Biden tax plan

With Joe Biden now favored in the election betting markets (albeit far from a sure thing), it’s time to take a look at his tax plan. Here are some of his proposals to change the personal income tax: Imposes a 12.4 percent Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (Social Security) payroll tax on income earned above $400,000, evenly split between employers and employees. This would create a “donut hole” in the current Social Security payroll tax, where wages between...

Read More »

What does it mean to say a debt is “unsustainable”?

I often warn against countries running up excessively large public debts. Some people interpret my worry as a prediction of a future financial crisis, perhaps including default and/or very high inflation. They point out that countries such as Japan have run large deficits for many decades, with interest rates on long-term bonds remaining near zero. So are these worries overblown? For developed countries with their own currency my actual fear is not outright default,...

Read More »

Despite Trump’s Best Efforts?

“Despite Trump’s Best Efforts, Economic Freedom Declined in the U.S. Last Year.” So reads the headline of an article on pjmedia.com on March 17 by Tyler O’Neil. Despite? As regular readers of my posts know, I NEVER blame a writer for a headline if I don’t know that the writer supplied the headline. In this case, though, it doesn’t matter because here’s how Tyler O’Neil starts his article: Despite President Donald Trump’s best efforts, economic freedom in the U.S....

Read More »

Winners, Losers, and Interesting Aspects of the Dem Debate

The biggest winner Donald Trump. Reason: His numbers rose. The biggest losers (1) Mike Bloomberg. Reason: His numbers fell. (2) Telemundo senior correspondent Vanessa Hauc.  Reason: Hauc wouldn’t let go of a relatively trivial issue like a dog with a bone. Amy Klobuchar admitted she didn’t know the name of the president of Mexico but argued that she knew a lot about Mexico. But Hauc went back to it as if Klobuchar hadn’t said a thing. To her credit, Elizabeth Warren...

Read More »

Cass’s Cause

Oren Cass believes conservatives have blundered by outsourcing GOP economic policymaking to libertarian “fundamentalists” who see the free market as an end unto itself, rather than as a means for improving quality of life to strengthen families and communities. The former domestic policy director on Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign quit his job as a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute to launch a new group called American Compass that aims to reorient...

Read More »

Immigration Lawyer Nathan Brown Interview on Immigration Remittances

Last June I wrote an article for Hoover’s Defining Ideas titled “Immigrant Remittances Are Private Foreign Aid,” Defining Ideas, June 25, 2109. That led to Fresno-area immigration lawyer Nathan Brown contacting me for an interview. It just came out this week and is titled “David R. Henderson on Remittances.” I love the line underneath: “Immigrants Sending ‘Our’ Money Overseas?” because of course it isn’t ours except to the extent that we are the senders. It was nice...

Read More »

Calling a Tail a Leg

How many legs does a dog have if you call a tail a leg? Four. Saying that a tail is a leg doesn’t make it a leg. –Abraham Lincoln There is no determining who is definitively right in the debate. Income is complicated. Taxes are complicated. Accounting is complicated. But Saez and Zucman have shown how focusing only on federal taxes, and not state and local taxes, has skewed our understanding of the tax code. They have also powerfully demonstrated that the very richest...

Read More »

Second Richest Man Spouts Nonsense

In a New Year’s Eve blog post, multi-billionaire Bill Gates Jr. called for raising taxes even higher on rich people like himself. Here are some relevant parts of his post (in boxes) along with my comments. Although I’m not an expert on the tax code, here are some steps I think America should take to make its tax system more fair. We should shift more of the tax burden onto capital, including by raising the capital gains tax, probably to the same level as taxes on...

Read More »

NAFTA 0.0

“I have long contended that NAFTA was perhaps the worst trade deal ever made,” said President Trump at an October 1, 2018 White House ceremony where he touted its proposed replacement, the United States Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA). A little over 14 months later, we are close to having the USMCA replace the North American Free Trade Agreement. Some people are referring to the USMCA as NAFTA 2.0. When we use such a numbering system for software, the higher the...

Read More »