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It started innocently enough. A Facebook friend (and an actual friend) given to occasionally posting memes of a political nature, chose to post one I have seen countless times before. I am sure you have as well. It is the one that makes light of the “fact” that the federal government took over operation of the Mustang Ranch for back taxes and failed in the process. This time, however, Facebook was offended, blocking the view because “independent fact checkers” had declared it false.
Well, maybe. This particular meme has circulated for some time. It is amusing and innocuous whatever the accuracy. One more posting will not push civilization off a cliff. Nor is it the fact that Facebook chose to block it this time around. One can hardly criticize them for wanting to keep false claims off their website. No, it is the matter in which this meme, and one has to assume many other such items, was handled.
This week on Hubwonk, host Joe Selvaggi talks with Heritage Foundation senior research fellow Rachel Greszler about the $80 billion investment in the Internal Revenue Service, focusing on the promise to limit enhanced enforcement to high earners and whether the IRS will likely need to expand its net.
“The taxpayer – that’s someone who works for the federal government but doesn’t have to take the civil service examination.” – Ronald Reagan
With the almost-certain passage of the Manchin-Schumer Bill, it appears they are raising our taxes again. But don’t worry, the new taxes will only be paid by people making more than $400,000 annually and corporations. Except it does not work that way. Those making more than $400K each year generally got there because they are smart. They will hire accountants and tax preparers to find ways to shelter that money and make less than $400K/year. As for corporations? They will pass the costs of the extra taxes to their customers in the form of increased prices. That results in inflation.
Join Jim and Greg as they find a glimmer of hope in Sen. Sinema’s silence thus far on the Manchin-Schumer bill. They also wince as another reports high inflation is here for at least several more months. And they shake their heads as Dr. Oz is polling at just 36 percent in Pennsylvania and is badly trailing an opponent who hasn’t campaigned in more than two months.
Join Jim and Greg as they cheer the latest announcement from Sen. Joe Manchin that he will not support the left’s climate agenda or tax increases in the latest attempt to revive what’s left of the Build Back Better agenda. They also dig into reports that text messages from Secret Service devices are missing from January 5-6, 2021, and that is sparking fierce condemnation from all political angles. And they hammer Arizona Rep. Ruben Gallegos for saying a congressional candidate in his state is not an authentic Latina because she took her husband’s last name.
This week on Hubwonk, host Joe Selvaggi talks with Greg Sullivan, Senior Fellow at Pioneer Institute and author of Back to Taxachusetts?, about the link between Massachusetts’s decision to reduce tax rates and a generation-long economic renaissance – and the reasons why new taxes such as the proposed, so-called “Fair Share Amendment” risk taking us back to economic stagnation or decline.
Zacchaeus: Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold. (Luke 19, ESV)
The text of the New Testament does not tell us that Zacchaeus stopped being a tax collector for the Romans. He just becomes a more honest one, a penitent one. “Render unto Caesar.”
The wealthiest of the wealthy support Democrats. Not only voting for them, not only donating millions to them, not only funding dark money PACs to swing elections for them, but perhaps actually buying elections for them including the presidency. Now, the president they elected wants to stick them with a big tax bill. Dubbed the […]
Join Jim and Greg as they cover President Biden’s State of the Union address, its contradictions, and Biden’s insistence on doubling down on failed policies. They also discuss the problems at the pump many Americans are facing and how the White House’s current strategy to bring down costs doesn’t work. And Ukrainian forces have eliminated an elite Chechen assassination unit, keeping President Volodymyr Zelenesky alive in the face of the imminent Russian siege of Kiev.
Join Jim and Greg as they cheer the decision of Americans to leave high-tax blue states like New York, California, and Illinois and move to free states like Idaho, Utah, Texas, and Florida. But they do have one request for these new arrivals! They also cringe as the evidence seems to pile up that Russia is preparing to invade Ukraine early next year. And they discuss President Biden’s bewildering response to a question about whether his administration was unprepared for the Omicron variant.
Right now, Washington’s fevered political atmosphere is abuzz with taxation proposals to plug the funding gap created by President Biden’s slimmed-down $1.85 trillion Build Back Better program. Biden has no modest fiscal ambitions: he wants to introduce a huge new system of transfer payments to those at the bottom of the income scale, paid for by taxes that are imposed solely on the richest segment of the population, leaving just about everyone else untouched. His two major policy options—in an on-again-off-again fashion—appear to be a tax on the unrealized appreciation targeted to those who have more than $1 billion in assets or $100 million in income, and a 15 percent minimum corporate tax that Biden asserts will make big business pay its “fair share.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi touts this program as “something major, transformative, historic, and bigger than anything else” that Congress has ever attempted—which is exactly why a thumbs-down verdict is warranted, even before its details are laid out. One key classical liberal requirement for good government is the stability of key social institutions, including, prominently, taxation. Stability does not entail total stasis; after all, government must be able to respond to a changed global environment which, whether anticipated or not, may require rapid revisions in revenue needs. But stability does caution against making major structural changes in short time periods, without anticipating the range of complications bound to follow sudden social transitions.
The new system’s administrative costs, the high likelihood of technical error, and the nonstop, evasive maneuvers of targeted taxpayers to avoid or minimize the new tax regime make it a virtual certainty that tax revenues will fall short of projections. Overall economic growth, meanwhile, will likely falter, often with unanticipated distributional consequences that make both the rich and poor worse off.
The movie Gladiator gives snapshots of social life during the Roman Empire. Whether in Rome or around its territories, Roman leaders would organize games for the entertainment of the local population. It is recorded that ahead of gladiatorial fights, bread would be tossed into the crowds. Feeding hunger for food and hunger for entertainment, Roman […]
Join Jim and Greg as they welcome news that congressional Democrats are still far apart on a framework for their massive spending bill. They also explain the absurdity of the “billionaire tax” and how it would soon impact a lot of people who are not billionaires. And they roll their eyes as the State Department drops the ball on countless problems but celebrates the launch of the gender neutral passport.
Ricochet.com Editor-in-Chief Jon Gabriel is in for Jim today. Join Greg and Jon as they welcome Sen. Sinema’s demands of no tax hikes on corporations, individuals, or capital gains. They also hammer Pres. Biden for pushing for the guaranteed boondoggle of high-speed rail, but Biden also admits the real goal is to get your car off the road. And they cringe as Democrats in Virginia take another swing at loosening absentee ballot rules.
This week on Hubwonk (our debut video & audio edition), Host Joe Selvaggi talks with research analyst Andrew Mikula about the findings from his recent report, A Timely Tax Cut, in which he explored the relationship between state tax rates and policy and the direction of interstate migration.
Join Greg and Rob Long as they try to figure out exactly what’s causing hundreds of Southwest Airlines flights to be cancelled for the third day in a row. The airline is clearly lying but is this resistance to the vaccine mandate or something else? And if it is about the mandates, what happens next? They also shudder as the Biden administration joins most other countries in supporting a global minimum tax for corporations. And they cry foul as some Virginia Democrats look to loosen absentee voter requirements now that the Virginia governor’s race might not be going their way. They also touch on Columbus Day and the latest insane law in California.
Join Jim and Greg as they welcome a new poll showing Americans are far more negative towards President Biden’s big government spending binge once they know tax hikes would be part of it. They also cringe as China repeatedly threatens Taiwan by sending dozens of fighters and bombers over the island. And they discuss the leftist activists who chased Sen. Sinema into the bathroom to air their political grievances with her and how the activists are receiving virtually no condemnation in the media or elsewhere on the left.
Apparently, the 2021 Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute Fashion Gala that raises money for the costume industry caused a raucous, which I guess is ok if you are trying to raise money. With so much crap going on in our government, our country and The World Over (shout out to Raymond Arroyo), I should […]