Daily Must-Reads November 29
The Telegraph: Two-thirds of millionaires left Britain to avoid 50% tax rate
Almost two-thirds of the country’s million-pound earners disappeared from Britain after the introduction of the 50% top rate of tax, figures have disclosed.
CNBC: How the ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Could Hurt Married Couples
There are many financial perks that come with being married. Filing taxes generally isn’t one of them. If a complex, arcane tax code leaves singles confused and frustrated, try doubling the confusion associated with credits, deductions and income.
Crain's Chicago Business: Labor the biggest donor to state lawmakers — by far
As Springfield Democrats begin to flex their growing legislative muscle, some new campaign disclosure data say a lot about who the winners owe — and who they can forget.
The data come from the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform. While the group is still crunching for a bigger report to be issued soon, it says that by far and away the biggest donor to legislators in the just ended general-election season was — who else? — organized labor, which dropped a stunning $10.7 million on House and Senate candidates from March to November. And that's only direct contributions, excluding "independent" expenditures.
CBS: Michigan governor won't rule out dissolving City of Detroit
It would no doubt be controversial, but the idea of dissolving the fiscally struggling city of Detroit and absorbing it into Wayne County is being tossed around in Lansing.
How technology and misguided legal reasoning have made your life an open e-book.
In 1986 The American Banker defined E-mail as "a trademark of CompuServe," Computerworld noted that sending a single message required a 10-minute phone call, and InfoWorld described "a pilot scheme that will allow users of one system to send messages to mailbox holders on another." That was the year Congress enacted the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), so it is hardly surprising that the once forward-looking law seems antiquated today.
The Daily Caller: Teacher test fraud opens the door to school choice in Arkansas
Prospective teachers in three southern states paid stand-ins to take their licensing exams, according to a federal investigation that uncovered 15 years of mass fraud in the public school licensing system.
Cal Watchdog: California's Wealthy Likely To Flee Tax Hike
During the recent campaign, Gov. Jerry Brown insisted that people would not try to avoid his Proposition 30 tax increase by halting investments and “hiding” their money. Prop 30 boosts the top state income tax rate on millionaires to 13.3 percent from 10.3 percent.
US Today: Obama uses Twitter in 'fiscal cliff' PR campaign
President Obama's campaign for his "fiscal cliff" plan includes the Twitter-verse.
The White House has set up a new Twitter hashtag: "My2K," a reference to the extra $2,200 in taxes it says the average family will pay if all the George W. Bush-era tax cuts expire at the end of the year.
McClatchy: Government weeks away from hitting debt ceiling
While official Washington is focused on potential tax hikes and automatic spending cuts, another fiscal crisis looms on the horizon. A report released Tuesday warned that the federal government is likely to hit a ceiling on issuing new debt come late December and could begin defaulting on obligations by mid-February.
WSJ: The Great 2012 Cashout
Perhaps you've heard from various economic sages that tax rates don't matter either to economic growth or taxpayer behavior. Don't tell that to the companies and individuals who are busy cashing out their investments or paying dividends to get ahead of the Obama tax scythe in January.
Forbes: How Much Tax Would You Owe On A $550 Million Powerball Jackpot?
With talk of the fiscal cliff and tax hikes for the rich dominating the news, you might be worrying about how much you’ll really get to keep after you win tonight’s record-setting Powerball jackpot.
Daily Must-Reads November 28
WirePoints: Does Illinois violate its own budget and accounting laws? The state itself says yes
reason why Illinois is a fiscal wreck is that the state’s budget and
accounting are muck, and they are prepared — according to the state
itself — in open violation of state law.
Points and Figures: ObamaCare health exchanges won’t work
is a debate right now about whether to establish a state run health
care exchange, or let the federal government administer the exchange.
It’s a poor Solomon’s choice. Neither will work.
Huffington Post: High School Graduation Rates By State: U.S. Department Of Education Releases First-Ever National Data
The U.S. Department of Education has released a first-ever list detailing state-by-state four-year high school graduation rates.
Daily Herald: Khan Academy on Illinois pensions
The free online school of everything has taken on the Illinois pension crisis.
video is from Khan Academy, the heralded online video series that can
teach you about algebra, physics or whatever else you want to learn
when you have nothing else to do.
New York Post: ‘Poverty’ like we’ve never seen it
federal government now considers a family of four in New York City to
be poor if its pre-tax income is below $37,900.Even with full medical
calculation helps explain why newly revised Census Bureau figures hike
the number of poor Americans to 49 million as of last year, further
widening an already yawning gap between ordinary perceptions of poverty
and how the government sees it.
ABC News: Durbin Wants No Entitlements in ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Deal
and Medicaid savings should be part of future debt-reduction efforts,
but not on the table in talks regarding the impending “fiscal cliff,”
the second-highest ranking Democrat in the Senate said.
Zero Hedge: America's Lost Decade In One Simple Chart
the stock market's dismal decade of much-ado-about-nothing and ignore
the USD Dollar's declination; when it comes to reflection on what this
once great nation has 'created' since 2001, the following chart from
Pennsylvania's Department of Public Welfare sums it up better than most.
Daily Must-Reads November 27
USA Today: Are we living in the Hunger Games?
know the story: While the provinces starve, the Capital City lives it
up, its wheeler-dealer bigshots growing fat on the tribute extracted
from the rest of the country.
don't live in The Hunger Games yet, but I'm not the first to notice
that Washington, D.C., is doing a lot better than the rest of the
country. Even in upscale parts of L.A. or New York, you see boarded up
storefronts and other signs that the economy isn't what it used to be.
But not so much in the Washington area, where housing prices are going
up, fancy restaurants advertise $92 Wagyu steaks, and the Tyson's
Corner mall outshines -- as I can attest from firsthand experience --
even Beverly Hills' famed Rodeo Drive.
Chicago Tribune: CPS boss proposes 5-year moratorium on school closings
to help sell drastic school closings this year, Chicago Public Schools
is planning to commit to a five-year moratorium on shuttering schools
starting in fall 2013. New schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett announced
the commitment to a moratorium Monday at a City Club luncheon.
The New York Times: Norquist Says Some Republicans Are Having ‘Impure Thoughts’ on Taxes
Norquist on Monday found a new way of dismissing a handful of
Republican lawmakers — including the House majority leader — who are
now publicly wavering about the pledge they signed to never vote for a
tax increase.WSJ: Republicans and the Tax Pledge
of the more amazing post-election spectacles is the media celebration
of Republicans who say they're willing to repudiate their pledge
against raising taxes. So the same folks who like to denounce
politicians because they can't be trusted are now praising politicians
who openly admit they can't be trusted.
The New York Times: Mortgage Interest Deduction, Once a Sacred Cow, Is Under Scrutiny
A tax break that has long been untouchable could soon be in for some serious scrutiny.
Reuters: Warren Buffett calls for a minimum tax on the wealthy
Buffett, the legendary investor who changed the debate about U.S. tax
reform in 2011 with a call for the rich to pay more, is now calling for
minimum tax rates for millionaires.
Forbes: The U.S. Supreme Court Allows New Challenge To Obamacare To Go Forward
the heading of “it’s not over until it’s over”, the United States
Supreme Court has vacated a decision by the Fourth Circuit Court of
Appeals, ordering the appellate court to hear arguments on the
constitutionality of two key provisions of the Affordable Care Act.
Reason: Treat the Tax-Me-More Crowd to a Voluntary Additional Tax
the clock ticks toward a tax increase scheduled to take effect at year
end, expect to hear a lot from the “tax me more” crowd.
are wealthy individuals who profess to favor increases in their own tax
bills. A series of recent articles help define the genre, which was
pioneered by Warren Buffett last year in his New York Times op-ed piece
that ran under the headline “Stop Coddling The Super-Rich.”
The Hill: Obama faces huge challenge in setting up health insurance exchanges
Obama administration faces major logistical and financial challenges in
creating health insurance exchanges for states that have declined to
set up their own systems.
Daily Must-Reads November 26
Crain's Chicago Business: Unions have a new enemy — their own members
Multinational corporations have a new ally in their battles with organized labor: unionized workers.
organized labor loses leverage in a race-to-the-bottom global market,
some workers are becoming so disillusioned by what their unions can, or
rather can't, do for them that they want out. The disaffected include
dozens of machinists at Caterpillar Inc.'s plant in Joliet who crossed
the picket line during a strike last summer and are planning unfair
labor practices complaints against the union.
CNBC: Morgan Stanley’s Doom Scenario: Major Recession in 2013
global economy is likely to be stuck in the “twilight zone” of sluggish
growth in 2013, Morgan Stanley has warned, but if policymakers fail to
act, it could get a lot worse.
Points and Figures: The Keynesian Way To Rebuild America
mayor, Rahm Emanuel penned an editorial for the Washington Post. In
it, he advocates bringing the Chicago way to the rest of America. I
would disagree. Say what you will about the corruption in Chicago-and
it’s rampant-but the logic behind the Chicago Way is not the way
forward. The Chicago Way is not out of the box thinking. It’s more of
WSJ: The Fiscal Cliff Drama, in Infographics
“fiscal cliff,” when a package of spending cuts and tax increases is
set to go into effect unless the White House and Congress negotiate an
alternative, is fast approaching. Here’s a look at the players, their
positions and the fallout if a deal isn’t reached.
NBC: Feds say teachers hired stand-in to take their certification tests
was a brazen and surprisingly long-lived scheme, authorities said, to
help aspiring public school teachers cheat on the tests they must pass
to prove they are qualified to lead their classrooms.
NBC Chicago: Lawmakers Face Gambling, Prisons, Assault Weapons
will be staring down some of the higher-profile issues in Illinois when
they begin their fall session Tuesday. But resolution of gambling,
state facility closures, immigration and medical marijuana proposals
could come in the form of dramatic confrontation, negotiating-table
settlements, anticlimactic if symbolic votes, or no decisions at all.Do You Live in a Death Spiral State?
about buying a house? Or a municipal bond? Be careful where you put
your capital. Don’t put it in a state at high risk of a fiscal tailspin.
states make our list of danger spots for investors. They can look
forward to a rising tax burden, deteriorating state finances and an
exodus of employers. The list includes California, New York, Illinois
and Ohio, along with some smaller states like New Mexico and Hawaii.
Daily Must-Reads November 25
CNBC: The Millionaires Who Pay the Highest Tax Rate
Buffett and Mitt Romney have managed to create one of the enduring
myths of our tax debate: that the rich pay a lower rate than the rest
The Washington Post: How to rebuild America
Emanuel, a Democrat, is mayor of Chicago and represented Illinois’ 5th
District in the U.S. House from 2003 to 2009. He was White House chief
of staff from January 2009 to October 2010.
much post-election analysis has focused on voter demographics and
campaign mechanics, leaving Democrats in danger of drawing the wrong
lessons from our electoral success.
Northwest Herald: Quinn could play Santa Claus by reforming state tax code
If Gov. Pat Quinn is looking to moonlight during the holiday season, he ought to consider becoming a gift wrapper at Sears.
all, the governor promised the retail giant $150 million in subsidies
within the last year. He might as well have tied it with a bow on top.
Welcome to the goofy world of Illinois corporate welfare.
Examiner Editorial: If top 5% paid 40% of taxes, what is their 'fair' share?
income taxes, taken in isolation, do not tell the whole story, because
lower-income Americans do pay payroll taxes. But even taking into
account all forms of taxation, the top 1 percent still paid 22 percent
of federal taxes while earning just 13.4 percent of household income.
The top 5 percent paid 40 percent of all federal taxes, despite earning
only 26 percent of all income. No matter how you slice the numbers,
it's hard to understand why anyone would think the wealthy aren't
already shouldering a burden commensurate with their blessings.The Economist: Poking Walmart, choking Twinkies
Why America’s private-sector unions are in declineBuilt in Chicago: Tons of tech jobs and not enough takers
lined up near the TV cameras, waving signs that read “On Strike”. Many
wore the lurid T-shirts of OUR Walmart (Organisation United for Respect
at Walmart), the group organising the protest.
of Americans are unemployed and businesses are looking to cut costs by
letting people go. But in this tough economic climate, there is one
industry starving for talent and fresh workers: web and technology
development. Brandon Passley, founder and owner of Vokal, a Chicago
application engineering company, is one of the many entrepreneurs and
managers struggling to fill positions in his field.