http://www.zerohedge.com/fullrss2.xml/contributed/contributed/news/speaking-credibility-here-cbos-2001-forecast-which-predicted-negative-25-trillion-net-debt-2011 en Are The Swiss Going Crazy? $25 Minimum Wage Referendum In May http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-04-18/are-swiss-going-crazy-25-minimum-wage-referendum-may <p><em>Submitted by Pater Tenebrarum of <a href="http://www.acting-man.com/?p=29935">Acting-Man blog</a>,</em></p> <p><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family: verdana,geneva,sans-serif;">Most of our readers probably know what we think of minimum wages, but let us briefly recapitulate: <u><strong>there is neither a sensible economic, nor a sensible ethical argument supporting the idea.</strong></u></span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family: verdana,geneva,sans-serif;">Let us look at the economic side of things first: for one thing, the law of supply and demand is not magically suspended when it comes to the price of labor. Price it too high, and not the entire supply will be taken up. Rising unemployment inevitably results.</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family: verdana,geneva,sans-serif;">However, there is also a different way of formulating the argument: the price of labor <em>must not exceed what the market can bear.</em> In order to understand what this actually means, imagine just for the sake of argument a world without money. Such a world is not realistic of course, as without money prices the modern economy could not exist. However, what we want to get at is this: workers can ultimately only be paid with <em>what is actually produced</em>.</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family: verdana,geneva,sans-serif;">As Mises has pointed out, most so-called pro-labor legislation was only introduced after enough capital per worker was invested to make the payment of higher wages possible &ndash; usually, the market had already adjusted wages accordingly.</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family: verdana,geneva,sans-serif;">However, unskilled labor increasingly gets priced out of the market anyway, which is where the ethical argument comes in. If a worker cannot produce more than X amount of&nbsp; goods or services, it is not possible to pay him X+Y for his work. Under minimum wage legislation he is condemned to remain unemployed, <em>even if he is willing to work for less. </em></span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family: verdana,geneva,sans-serif;">In Switzerland, the unions have recently managed to get <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-04-13/world-leading-25-hourly-wage-floor-roils-swiss-businesses-jobs.html">the demand for minimum wage legislation</a> on one of the quarterly referendums in the country. An interesting point has been brought up by one of the opponents in the course of the debate, but first a little background information:</span></span></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family: verdana,geneva,sans-serif;"><strong><em>&ldquo;Jasmin Eicher has already axed her sole full-time employee to keep afloat her shop selling cards, candles and paper in a Zurich suburb. If Switzerland approves what would be the world&rsquo;s highest minimum wage, she says the only option would be to close her door.</em></strong></span></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family: verdana,geneva,sans-serif;"><strong><em>The Swiss will vote in a national referendum May 18 on whether to create a minimum wage of 22 francs ($25) per hour, or 4,000 francs a month. While about 90 percent of workers in Switzerland already earn more than that, employers say setting Switzerland&rsquo;s first national wage floor would push up salaries throughout the economy.</em></strong> When adjusted for currency and purchasing power, it would be the highest minimum in the world.</span></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family: verdana,geneva,sans-serif;"><strong><em>&ldquo;We couldn&rsquo;t pay it,&rdquo; said Eicher, standing behind the counter in her shop in Schlieren. The employee she let go earned 3,500 francs a month. Now she&rsquo;s by herself, working 10 hours a day, six days a week, and her hopes of hiring a cheaper helper would be dashed if the proposal passed.</em></strong></span></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family: verdana,geneva,sans-serif;">&ldquo;Of course I understand about people not earning enough, but not everyone is worth 4,000 francs. Here in Switzerland we&rsquo;re already so well-off,&rdquo; she said.</span></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family: verdana,geneva,sans-serif;">The chief backers of the proposal are Switzerland&rsquo;s biggest trade unions, which argue that pay levels need to reflect the country&rsquo;s prices &ndash;&nbsp;among the world&rsquo;s highest.&rdquo;</span></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family: verdana,geneva,sans-serif;">[&hellip;]</span></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family: verdana,geneva,sans-serif;">George Sheldon, professor of economics at the University of Basel, said the Swiss proposal would be counterproductive.</span></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family: verdana,geneva,sans-serif;"><strong><em>&ldquo;Unemployment among the unskilled is increasing,&rdquo; he said in a phone interview. &ldquo;The solution to their problem can&rsquo;t be to make them more expensive.&rdquo;</em></strong></span></span></p> </blockquote> <p><em><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family: verdana,geneva,sans-serif;">(emphasis added)</span></span></em></p> <p><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family: verdana,geneva,sans-serif;">So, 90% of all employees are already paid more than the proposed minimum wage. It turns out that virtually all the biggest companies pay salaries above what would be the world&#39;s highest minimum wage &ndash; but that is not the main problem.</span></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3><span style="font-size:16px;"><span style="font-family: verdana,geneva,sans-serif;"><strong>Who Would Lose Out?</strong></span></span></h3> <p><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family: verdana,geneva,sans-serif;">The point we actually wanted to get at is touched upon in the following excerpts:</span></span></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family: verdana,geneva,sans-serif;"><strong><em>&ldquo;Despite being home to multinational corporations such as KitKat-candy-maker&nbsp;Nestle SA&nbsp;and drugmaker&nbsp;Novartis AG, Switzerland gets two-thirds of its employment from small and medium-sized enterprises.</em></strong></span></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family: verdana,geneva,sans-serif;">The Association of Swiss Cleaning Companies, Allpura,&nbsp;opposes&nbsp;the minimum wage, saying it would lead to job cuts and worse working conditions. It says employees in the sector earn between 18.50 francs and 26.50 francs per hour.</span></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family: verdana,geneva,sans-serif;"><strong><em>Big companies including Nestle, Novartis and&nbsp;Swatch Group AG&nbsp;are against the measure too, saying it will hurt the economy.</em></strong></span></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family: verdana,geneva,sans-serif;">&ldquo;State intervention in the liberal economic system also goes against the market economy principles of our society that have been so successful to date,&rdquo; Novartis spokesman&nbsp;Dermot Doherty said via e-mail.</span></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family: verdana,geneva,sans-serif;"><strong><em>At Nestle, the wages of all Swiss employees are above the proposed minimum, spokesman Philippe Aeschlimann said. &ldquo;A higher cost of labor would however affect companies in our supply chain and our Swiss customers,&rdquo; he said via e-mail.</em></strong></span></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family: verdana,geneva,sans-serif;">[&hellip;]</span></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family: verdana,geneva,sans-serif;">&ldquo;A minimum wage won&rsquo;t stop poverty,&rdquo; Economy Minister&nbsp;Johann Schneider-Ammann&nbsp;said at a press conference in Bern in February. &ldquo;This new system could be counterproductive.&rdquo;</span></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family: verdana,geneva,sans-serif;"><strong><em>According to&nbsp;Boris Zuercher, head of the Employment Directorate at the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, the uniform wage would get passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices and will ultimately result in job losses among low-wage earners. Workers earning between 4,000 and 6,000 francs a month &mdash; 40 percent of the full-time workforce &mdash; will seek higher pay too, he said.</em></strong></span></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family: verdana,geneva,sans-serif;">&ldquo;The main criticism is that it&rsquo;s an enormously high minimum wage &mdash; it would be the highest internationally,&rdquo; Zuercher said, speaking by phone from Bern. <strong><em>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s not a question of Novartis or UBS not being able to afford to pay 4,000 francs, but some little company in a remote valley.&rdquo;</em></strong></span></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family: verdana,geneva,sans-serif;"><strong><em>By contrast, the Swiss Federation of Labor Unions says a minimum wage wouldn&rsquo;t lead to higher unemployment because it would mostly affect domestically-oriented sectors where outsourcing isn&rsquo;t possible.&rdquo;</em></strong></span></span></p> </blockquote> <p><em><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family: verdana,geneva,sans-serif;">(emphasis added)</span></span></em></p> <p><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family: verdana,geneva,sans-serif;">The first salient point is the fact that once this new minimum wage law is introduced, upward pressure on all wages would likely ensue. Note in this context that Switzerland is awash in newly created deposit money due to the ministrations of the SNB, which is manipulating the Swiss franc&#39;s exchange rate (a few charts on Swiss monetary inflation over recent years can be seen in our article &#39;<a href="http://www.acting-man.com/?p=25168">How Safe is the Swiss Franc?</a>&#39;. The article is slightly dated, but it still serves to illustrate the point). So there is no brake on prices and wages due to&nbsp; a lack of money supply inflation &ndash; rather the opposite. Naturally, wages would not be the only thing rising under these circumstances &ndash; prices would be adjusted accordingly, and in the end the purchasing power of the higher wages would not be greater than before.</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family: verdana,geneva,sans-serif;"><u><strong>The second important point is the one about which enterprises would suffer the most on account of such legislation. </strong></u>When the union official cynically comments that &#39;only businesses that cannot be outsourced will be hit&#39; (i.e., those who cannot vote with their feet and simply flee), he forgets to mention that small and medium-sized companies as a rule cannot &#39;outsource&#39; their operations either, almost regardless of what they are producing. We felt reminded of something a friend of ours mentioned to us recently: &ldquo;The problem of today&#39;s form of capitalism is that there are not enough capitalists:&rdquo;</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family: verdana,geneva,sans-serif;"><u><strong>Indeed, an individual entrepreneur running a small business has a very difficult life already, as every new imposition is much harder to overcome for a small business than it is for a large corporation. </strong></u>This is also why we often find that big corporations don&#39;t resist new regulations: they reckon they are likely to keep competition from upstarts at bay. It is laudable that several big Swiss corporations are evidently not following this trend.</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family: verdana,geneva,sans-serif;"><u><strong>If Swiss voters agree to introducing a new minimum wage law, they would end up doing incalculable damage to Switzerland&#39;s entrepreneurial culture. </strong></u>At the moment, Switzerland is still one of the freest economies in the world. It has been extremely successful so far and its achievements would clearly be put at risk. Hopefully Switzerland&#39;s voters won&#39;t be swayed by union&#39;s arguments.</span></span></p> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-04-18/are-swiss-going-crazy-25-minimum-wage-referendum-may#comments HIGHER UNEMPLOYMENT Money Supply Purchasing Power Swiss Franc Switzerland Unemployment Zurich Sat, 19 Apr 2014 00:33:30 +0000 Tyler Durden 487476 at http://www.zerohedge.com Democrats Told "Don't Mention 'Economic Recovery' - It's A Political Loser" http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-04-18/democrats-told-dont-mention-economic-recovery-its-political-loser <p>Democratic strategists have made a blunt declaration in an election-year memo, <a href="http://news.yahoo.com/advice-democrats-dont-recovery-073618756--election.html">according to AP</a>, "<strong>Don't talk about the economic recovery. It's a political loser</strong>." Stan Greenberg, James Carville and others wrote that in head-to-head polling tests the <span style="text-decoration: underline;">mere mention of the word "recovery" is trumped by a Republican assertion that the Obama administration has had six years to get the economy moving and its policies haven't worked</span>. <em>But, but, but... stocks are at all-time highs?</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://news.yahoo.com/advice-democrats-dont-recovery-073618756--election.html"><em>As AP reports</em></a>, Election-year memo to Democratic candidates: <strong>Don't talk about the economic recovery. It's a political loser</strong>.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>"<strong>As a start, Democrats should bury any mention of the recovery. That message was tested ... and it lost</strong> to the Republican message championed by Karl Rove," they wrote.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>So say Democratic strategists in a blunt declaration that <strong>such talk skips over "how much trouble people are in, and doesn't convince them that policymakers really understand or are even focusing on the problems they continue to face</strong>."</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In addition, Stan Greenberg, James Carville and others wrote that <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>in head-to-head polling tests the mere mention of the word "recovery" is trumped by a Republican assertion that the Obama administration has had six years to get the economy moving and its policies haven't worked</strong></span>.</p> </blockquote> <p>Coincidentally or not, Democrats have largely shelved the "R" word.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>President Barack <strong>Obama's only utterance of it in recent weeks was on April 8</strong>, and it was in the context of accusing Republicans of blocking progress on issues that "would help with the economic recovery and help us grow faster."</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Additionally, at a news conference on March 26 where they announced a campaign-season agenda, <strong>neither Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., nor most of the other five lawmakers present uttered the word "recovery."</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>By traditional measurements, an economic recovery has been underway since partway through Obama's first year in office.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>The economy was shrinking when he was sworn in but turned positive in the third quarter of 2009. It has been growing since, although barely so at times. Unemployment, measured at 7.8 percent when Obama took office in January 2009, rose to 10 percent in October of that year until it began declining. It now stands at 6.7 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>At the same time, though, <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>many of the jobs that have been created are lower-paying than the ones that preceded them</strong></span>. Long-term unemployment is at historically high levels, another factor that does little or nothing to reassure hard-pressed men and women that any recovery is helping their own pocketbooks.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Page Gardner of Women's Voices, listed as a co-author of the memo, said in an interview that for unmarried women and other key parts of the Democratic coalition, "<span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>a message about the benefits of a recovery doesn't really reflect their lives currently</strong></span>. The power of the women's economic agenda and talking about equal pay for equal work, paid sick leave, and messages that go to their ability to make it themselves and help their families make it is very powerful, and that's what they want to hear."</p> </blockquote> <p>But that makes no sense? Initial jobless claims are at pre-crisis levels? </p> <p>Oh yeah this... For all those curious why layoffs and departures are so low, the<br /> answer is simple: hires are 1 million lower than they should be:</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2014/02/Hiring%20Chart.jpg" style="text-decoration: none; color: #666666; font-family: 'Lucida Grande', Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 13.333333969116211px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 17.333332061767578px; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; background-color: #ffffff;"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2014/02/Hiring%20Chart_0.jpg" width="600" height="412" style="border: 0px; max-width: 100%; height: auto;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>And stocks are at record highs?</p> <p>Oh yeah this...</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2014/04/20140416_EOD11.png"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2014/04/20140416_EOD11_0.png" width="600" height="319" /></a></p> <p>Still keep BTFD as it's all gonna be great soon - just wait until the weather is all hot and lovely across the US...</p> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-04-18/democrats-told-dont-mention-economic-recovery-its-political-loser#comments Bureau of Labor Statistics Initial Jobless Claims Obama Administration recovery Unemployment Fri, 18 Apr 2014 23:48:17 +0000 Tyler Durden 487475 at http://www.zerohedge.com The Real 'Reset' Button http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-04-18/real-reset-button <p>It's too late now...</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2014/04/20140418_rest.png"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2014/04/20140418_rest.png" width="575" height="384" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://news.investors.com/photopopup.aspx?id=697611"><em>Source: Investors</em></a></p> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-04-18/real-reset-button#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2014 22:52:37 +0000 Tyler Durden 487474 at http://www.zerohedge.com Hyper-Sensitive Illinois Mayor Orders Police Raid Over Parody Twitter Account http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-04-18/hyper-sensitive-illinois-mayor-orders-police-raid-over-parody-twitter-account <p><em>Submitted by Mike Krieger of <a href="http://libertyblitzkrieg.com/2014/04/18/hyper-sensitive-illinois-mayor-orders-police-raid-over-parody-twitter-account/">Liberty Blitzkrieg blog</a>,</em></p> <p>Just yesterday, I wrote a post about how a <strong><a href="http://libertyblitzkrieg.com/2014/04/17/charleston-man-receives-525-federal-fine-for-failing-to-pay-for-a-0-89-refill/">South Carolina construction worker was fined $525 and lost his job for not paying $0.89 for a drink refill</a></strong> while working at the&nbsp;Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center in downtown Charleston. The point was to emphasize how the law comes down with a devastating vengeance when an average citizen commits a minor crime, yet allows the super rich to loot and pillage with zero repercussions. There is now <strong><a href="http://libertyblitzkrieg.com/2014/01/27/some-money-launderers-are-more-equal-than-others-part-2-ceo-of-bitinstant-is-arrested/">a systemic two-tier justice system</a></strong> operating in these United States, and the result will unquestionably be tyranny if the trend continues unabated.</p> <p>The latest example of a <strong>lowly citizen being subject to a disproportionate use of the law</strong>, is&nbsp;Jon Daniel&nbsp;of Peoria, Illinois.&nbsp;Jon was behind a parody Twitter account that mocked Peoria mayor&nbsp;Jim Ardis, and his biggest mistake was not making it clear that it was a parody. As a result, Twitter had already suspended the account weeks ago. Problem solved, right? Wrong.</p> <p><strong>The tough guy mayor was so offended that a plebe would dare criticize his royal highness that he ordered a police raid on the home of Jon Daniel and his roommates</strong>. Peoria native,&nbsp;Justin Glawe wrote an excellent article on the subject for <em>Vice</em>. He writes:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em>Jon Daniel woke up on Thursday morning to a news crew in his living room, which was a welcome change from the company he had on Tuesday night, when the Peoria, Illinois, police came crashing through the door. <strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">The officers tore the 28-year-old&rsquo;s home apart, seizing electronics and taking several of his roommates in for questioning; one woman who lived there spent three hours in an interrogation room. All for a parody Twitter account.</span></strong></em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Yes, the cops raided Daniel&rsquo;s home because they wanted to find out who was behind @peoriamayor, <strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">an account that had been shut down weeks ago by Twitter.</span> </strong>When it was active, Daniel used it to portray Jim Ardis, the mayor of Peoria, as a weed-smoking, stripper-loving, Midwestern answer to Rob Ford. The account never had more than 50 followers, and Twitter had killed it because it wasn&rsquo;t clearly marked as a parody. It was a joke, a lark&mdash;but it brought the police to Daniel&rsquo;s door. The cops even took Daniel and one of his housemates in for in-depth questioning&mdash;they showed up at their jobs, cuffed them, and confiscated their phones&mdash;because of a bunch of&nbsp;Twitter jokes.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>So the police raid on Daniel&rsquo;s house wasn&rsquo;t an isolated incident; it was just another case of the cops acting shady&mdash;and naturally, many in this town are raising serious questions and concerns over the use of taxpayer resources and manpower to find out who ran @peoriamayor.</em></p> </blockquote> <p>Fortunately, this story does have a silver lining. Daniel&rsquo;s original Twitter account was actually pretty unsuccessful, with only 50 followers by the time it was shut down. Mayor Jim Ardis should&rsquo;ve just left well enough alone, but he couldn&rsquo;t do that, and as a result of all the attention this story has received in the&nbsp;blogosphere, new parody accounts have emerged. The most successful one is&nbsp;<strong><a href="https://twitter.com/NotPeoriaMayor">@NotPeoriaMayor</a>&nbsp;</strong>and the avatar is Jim Ardis with a Hitler&nbsp;mustache. See below:</p> <p><a href="https://twitter.com/NotPeoriaMayor"><img alt="Screen Shot 2014-04-18 at 2.02.57 PM" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-12344" src="http://libertyblitzkrieg.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Screen-Shot-2014-04-18-at-2.02.57-PM.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 451px;" /></a></p> <p>The best part is this account already has 7x the followers of the other one.</p> <p><u><strong>Lesson Learned: Don&rsquo;t fuck with the Internet.</strong></u></p> <p>Full Vice article <a href="http://www.vice.com/read/the-police-raided-my-friends-house-over-a-parody-twitter-account">here</a>.</p> <p>The LA Times also covered the story, <a href="http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-fake-twitter-account-peoria-illinois-mayor-20140417,0,1819537.story#axzz2zGVwzONM">here</a>.</p> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-04-18/hyper-sensitive-illinois-mayor-orders-police-raid-over-parody-twitter-account#comments Ford Illinois South Carolina Twitter Twitter Fri, 18 Apr 2014 22:24:14 +0000 Tyler Durden 487473 at http://www.zerohedge.com De-Escalation Off: US Deploys Troops To Poland http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-04-18/de-escalation-us-deploys-troops-poland <p>So what part of <em>&quot;All sides must refrain from any violence, intimidation or provocative actions,&quot;</em> did the US not understand when they decided that deploying troops to Poland was in keeping with the <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-04-17/full-geneca-statement-ukraine-de-escalation">four-party deal</a>? As <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2014/04/18/u-s-ground-troops-going-to-poland-defense-minister-says/">WaPo reports</a>, <strong>Poland and the United States will announce next week the deployment of U.S. ground forces to Poland</strong> as part of an expansion of NATO presence in Central and Eastern Europe in response to events in Ukraine.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Polish minister: U.S. troops are being deployed to Poland. <a href="http://t.co/42sifm1GsK">http://t.co/42sifm1GsK</a></p> <p>&mdash; Washington Post (@washingtonpost) <a href="https://twitter.com/washingtonpost/statuses/457273034089721856">April 18, 2014</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script><p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2014/04/18/u-s-ground-troops-going-to-poland-defense-minister-says/"><em>Via The Washington Post,</em></a></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>Poland and the United States will announce next week the deployment of U.S. ground forces to Poland </strong>as part of an expansion of NATO presence in Central and Eastern Europe in response to events in Ukraine.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>That was the word from Poland&rsquo;s defense minister, Tomasz Siemoniak, who visited The Post Friday after meeting with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel at the Pentagon on Thursday.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Siemoniak said the <strong>decision has been made on a political level and that military planners are working out details.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>There will also be intensified cooperation in air defense, special forces, cyberdefense and other areas. <strong>Poland will play a leading regional role, &ldquo;under U.S. patronage,&rdquo;</strong> he said.</p> </blockquote> <p>So is that an escalation? or a de-escalation? or is it different when the US moves troops towards another nation&#39;s borders?</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>As a reminder, <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-12-14/russia-stations-tactical-nuclear-capable-missiles-along-polish-border">we noted in December,</a> Russia&#39;s placement of tactical nuclear-capable weapons near the Polish border which at the time sent a very clear message of escalation (despite the, at the time, lack of New Cold War headlines). We wrote at the time,</p> <p>Russia quietly has come through on its threat issued in April 2012, when it warned it would deploy Iskander missiles that could target US missile defense systems in Poland. <a href="http://en.ria.ru/world/20120424/173017483.html">From RIA</a> at the time:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>Moscow reiterated on Tuesday it may deploy Iskander theater ballistic missiles in the Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad that will be capable of effectively engaging elements of the U.S. missile defense system in Poland.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>NATO members agreed to create a missile shield over Europe to protect it against ballistic missiles launched by so-called rogue states, for example Iran and North Korea, at a summit in Lisbon, Portugal, in 2010.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The missile defense system in Poland does not jeopardize Russia&rsquo;s nuclear forces, Army General Nikolai Makarov, chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, said.<strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>&ldquo;However, if it is modernized&hellip;it could affect our nuclear capability and in that case a political decision may be made to deploy Iskander systems in the Kaliningrad region</strong>,&rdquo; he said in an interview with RT television.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;<strong>But that will be a political decision,&rdquo; he stressed. &ldquo;So far there is no such need.&rdquo;</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>Looks like a little over a year later, the &quot;political decision&quot; was taken as the need is there. But why does Russia need to send a very clear message of escalation at a time when the Cold War is long over, when globalization and free trade, promote game theoretic world peace (or &quot;piece&quot; as the Obama administration wouldsay), oh, and when Russia quietly has decided to reestablish the former USSR starting with the Ukraine.</p> <p>We&#39;ll leave the rhetorical question logically unanswered.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2013/12/Iskander%20summary.jpg"><img height="577" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2013/12/Iskander%20summary_0.jpg" width="500" /></a></p> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-04-18/de-escalation-us-deploys-troops-poland#comments Eastern Europe headlines Iran North Korea Obama Administration Poland Portugal Ukraine Fri, 18 Apr 2014 21:59:12 +0000 Tyler Durden 487472 at http://www.zerohedge.com What Collateral Shortage? Collectible Cars Used As "Hard Assets" http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-04-18/what-collateral-shortage-collectible-cars-used-hard-assets <p><em>You know it's bad when... </em>The central bank inspired nominal price surge in everything expensive has not quite exhausted the greater fool trend-chasing muppet "wealth-builders" yet. As <a href="http://www.hedgeco.net/news/04/2014/hedge-fund-launch-classic-auto-funds-to-capitalize-on-collector-car-investments.html">HedgeCo reports</a>, Classic Auto Funds Limited <strong>(CAF) is launching several investment partnerships using collectable classic cars as the "hard asset"</strong>. Forget oil-wells, real estate, or precious metals, as Robert Minnick (senior managing partner at CAF) states confidently, "<strong>many investors are recognizing the rising returns in specific classic cars as a low-risk asset</strong>." A "low-risk" "investment" indeed... what could possibly go wrong?</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.hedgeco.net/news/04/2014/hedge-fund-launch-classic-auto-funds-to-capitalize-on-collector-car-investments.html"><em>As HedgeCo reports,</em></a></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>“Many investors are recognizing the rising returns in specific classic cars as a low-risk asset,” </strong>said Robert Minnick, Senior Managing Partner of CAF. “But they do not have the expertise to buy the right cars, nor do they wish to store and maintain them. W<strong>e’re providing the investment vehicle for any individual who wants to own a piece of an Italian sports car, German sedan, or American muscle car as part of their financial portfolio</strong>.”</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Similar to hard asset investments like fine art or wine, CAF operates by acquiring, storing, maintaining, and then selling the classic cars for its fund stakeholders. The first fund is already underway and is called “CAF/1: The Italian Restoration Fund”. CAF’s restoration team is currently hard at work refurbishing a 1971 Ferrari Dino 246 GT, a 1964 Ferrari 330 2+2, and a 1964 Maserati Mistral 3.5.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Company also plans on having additional benefits for its members and fund investors by providing insider access to a wide range of car rallies, vintage racing, concours car shows and other special events that support the classic car lifestyle. <strong>“Regardless of your net worth, it takes time to become an insider,”</strong> said Michael Crenshaw, Executive Editor and Special Projects Manger for the Company. “CAF will provide a concierge-like service for members who want to enjoy their investments as a lifestyle and culture.”</p> </blockquote> <p>Greatest Fool yet? Collateralized Tesla Obligations? Perhaps this is what Draghi intends to use to juice the European economy out of deflation? <strong>There's always some collateral left to bundle, securitize, and pitch to a willing (and incapable) investor community jealously regarding the 0.001% "wealth" gains...</strong></p> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-04-18/what-collateral-shortage-collectible-cars-used-hard-assets#comments Ferrari Precious Metals Real estate Fri, 18 Apr 2014 21:15:56 +0000 Tyler Durden 487471 at http://www.zerohedge.com Russia Confirms Troop Build-Up Near Ukraine; Warns West, More Sanctions "Absolutely Unacceptable" http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-04-18/russia-confirms-troop-build-near-ukraine-warns-west-more-sanctions-absolutely-unacce <p>For the first time, Russia has confirmed that it has built up its military presence on the Ukrainian border (<a href="http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/world/2014/04/18/U-S-warns-Russia-of-more-sanctions-over-Ukraine.html">according to Agence France Presse</a>). On the heels of the de-escalation and the West's threat of tougher sanctions (if Russia failed to abide by the new 'deal'), Kremlin spokesman Dmirty Peskov told Rossiya TV that "<strong>we have troops in different regions, and there are troops close to the Ukrainian border</strong>. Some are based there, others have been sent as reinforcements due to the situation in Ukraine." Reuters also reports that Washington statements "are unlikely to help dialogue," and <strong>further sanctions would be "absolutely unacceptable.</strong>" It seems the 'deal' has done little to calm anything but the US equity market as Peskov blasted "<strong>You can't treat Russia like a guilty schoolboy</strong>."</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Daily Mail's latest update on suspected (now confirmed) Russian troop build-up</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2014/04/20140418_russia.png"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2014/04/20140418_russia_0.png" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/world/2014/04/18/U-S-warns-Russia-of-more-sanctions-over-Ukraine.html"><em>As Al Arabiya reports,</em></a> a Kremlin spokesman confirmed Friday that Russia has built up its military presence on the Ukrainian border, Agence France Presse reported, as the United States warned that Moscow would face tougher sanctions if it failed to abide by a new international deal on Ukraine.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>"<strong>We have troops in different regions, and there are troops close to the Ukrainian border. Some are based there, others have been sent as reinforcements due to the situation in Ukraine</strong>," spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Rossiya 1 television, AFP reported.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>...</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Peskov said Russia would not be the only party held responsible for implementing the agreement on easing tensions in Ukraine, according to AFP.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>He added that threats of <strong>further sanctions by Washington were "absolutely unacceptable.”</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"Our <strong>Western colleagues are trying to push responsibility [for implementing the deal] toward our side. But it must be underlined: it is a collective responsibility</strong>," Peskov said.</p> </blockquote> <p><a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/04/18/us-ukraine-crisis-russia-accord-idUSBREA3H0PO20140418">Reuters adds </a>that President Vladimir Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said, "Statements like those made at a high level in Washington that the United States will follow in detail how Russia fulfils its obligations ... are unlikely to help dialogue," </p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>"<strong>You can't treat Russia like a guilty schoolboy</strong> who has to put a cross on a piece of paper to show he has done his homework," Peskov said in an interview with Russia's First Channel. <strong>"That kind of language is unacceptable."</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>Russia's Foreign Ministry accused U.S. officials of seeking to whitewash what it said was the use of force by the Ukrainian government against protesters in the country's mainly Russian-speaking eastern provinces.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>"The <strong>blame for the Ukrainian crisis and its current aggravation is unreasonably being placed on Russia</strong>," the ministry said in a statement.</p> <p>"The <strong>American side is once again stubbornly trying to whitewash the current actions of Kiev's authorities</strong>, who have embarked on a course for the violent suppression of protesters in the southeast who are expressing their legitimate indignation over the infringements of their rights."</p> </blockquote> <p>De-Escalation off...</p> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-04-18/russia-confirms-troop-build-near-ukraine-warns-west-more-sanctions-absolutely-unacce#comments France Reuters Ukraine Fri, 18 Apr 2014 20:25:24 +0000 Tyler Durden 487470 at http://www.zerohedge.com 18 Stats That Prove That Government Dependence Has Reached Epidemic Levels http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-04-18/18-stats-prove-government-dependence-has-reached-epidemic-levels <p><em>Submitted by Michael Snyder of <a href="http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/18-stats-that-prove-that-government-dependence-has-reached-epidemic-levels?utm_source=feedly&amp;utm_reader=feedly&amp;utm_medium=rss&amp;utm_campaign=18-stats-that-prove-that-government-dependence-has-reached-epidemic-levels">The American Dream blog</a>,</em></p> <p>Did you know that the number of Americans getting benefits from the federal government each month exceeds the number of full-time workers in the private sector by more than 60 million?<strong>&nbsp; In other words, the number of people that are taking money out of the system is far greater than the number of people that are putting money into the system.</strong>&nbsp; And did you know that nearly 70 percent of all of the money that the federal government spends goes toward entitlement and welfare programs?&nbsp; When it comes to the transfer of wealth, nobody does it on a grander scale than the U.S. government.&nbsp; Most of what the government does involves taking money from some people and giving it to other people.&nbsp; <strong>In fact, at this point that is the primary function of the federal government.</strong></p> <p>Just check out the chart below.&nbsp; It comes from&nbsp;<a href="http://blog.heritage.org/2014/04/15/taxes-2013-2014-where-did-your-tax-money-go/?utm_source=twitter&amp;utm_medium=social" target="_blank" title="the Heritage Foundation">the Heritage Foundation</a>, and it shows that 69 percent of all federal money is spent either on entitlements or on welfare programs&hellip;</p> <p><a href="http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/18-stats-that-prove-that-government-dependence-has-reached-epidemic-levels/heritage-foundation" rel="attachment wp-att-4205"><img alt="Heritage Foundation" class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-4205" src="http://endoftheamericandream.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Heritage-Foundation-460x343.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 447px;" /></a></p> <p>So when people tell you that the main reason why we are being <a href="http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/a-list-of-97-taxes-americans-pay-every-year" target="_blank" title="taxed into oblivion">taxed into oblivion</a> is so that we can &ldquo;build roads&rdquo; and provide &ldquo;public services&rdquo;, they are lying to you.&nbsp; The main reason why the government taxes you so much is so that they can take your money and give it to someone else.</p> <p>We have become a nation that is completely and totally addicted to government money.&nbsp; The following are 18 stats that prove that government dependence has reached epidemic levels&hellip;</p> <p><strong>#1</strong> According to an analysis of U.S. government numbers conducted <a href="http://www.cnsnews.com/commentary/terence-p-jeffrey/86m-full-time-private-sector-workers-sustain-148m-benefit-takers" target="_blank" title="by Terrence P. Jeffrey">by Terrence P. Jeffrey</a>, there are 86 million full-time private sector workers in the United States paying taxes to support the government, and nearly 148 million Americans that are receiving benefits from the government each month.&nbsp; How long can such a lopsided system possibly continue?</p> <p><strong>#2</strong> Ten years ago, the number of women in the U.S. that had jobs outnumbered the number of women in the U.S. on food stamps by more than a 2 to 1 margin.&nbsp; But now the number of women in the U.S. on food stamps <a href="http://cnsnews.com/news/article/terence-p-jeffrey/food-stamp-recipients-outnumber-women-who-work-full-time" target="_blank" title="actually exceeds">actually exceeds</a> the number of women that have jobs.</p> <p><strong>#3</strong> The U.S. government has spent an astounding <a href="http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/report-us-spent-37-trillion-welfare-over-last-5-years_764582.html" target="_blank" title="3.7 trillion dollars">3.7 trillion dollars</a> on welfare programs over the past five years.</p> <p><strong>#4</strong> Today, the federal government runs <a href="http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/over-100-million-now-receiving-federal-welfare_649589.html" target="_blank" title="almost 80">about 80</a> different &ldquo;means-tested welfare programs&rdquo;, and almost all of those programs have experienced substantial growth in recent years.</p> <p><strong>#5</strong> Back in 1960, the ratio of social welfare benefits to salaries and wages was approximately <a href="http://www.cnbc.com/id/41969508" target="_blank" title="10 percent">10 percent</a>.&nbsp; In the year 2000, the ratio of social welfare benefits to salaries and wages was approximately&nbsp;<a href="http://www.cnbc.com/id/41969508" target="_blank" title="21 percent">21 percent</a>.&nbsp; Today, the ratio of social welfare benefits to salaries and wages is approximately <a href="http://www.cnbc.com/id/41969508" target="_blank" title="35 percent">35 percent</a>.</p> <p><strong>#6</strong> While Barack Obama has been in the White House, the total number of Americans on food stamps has gone from 32 million to <a href="http://www.fns.usda.gov/pd/34snapmonthly.htm" target="_blank" title="47 million">nearly 47 million</a>.</p> <p><strong>#7</strong> Back in the 1970s, <a href="http://dailycaller.com/2012/12/09/food-stamp-use-reaches-another-high-in-september-47-7-million-participants/" target="_blank" title="about one out of every 50 Americans">about one out of every 50 Americans</a> was on food stamps.&nbsp; Today, about one out of every 6.5 Americans is on food stamps.</p> <p><strong>#8</strong> It sounds crazy, but the number of Americans on food stamps now exceeds <a href="http://cnsnews.com/news/article/food-stamp-rolls-america-now-surpass-population-spain" target="_blank" title="the entire population of Spain">the entire population of the nation of Spain</a>.</p> <p><strong>#9</strong> According <a href="http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/11/23/Exclusive-Food-Stamp-Recipients-Outnumber-Populations-Of-24-States-Combined" target="_blank" title="to one calculation">to one calculation</a>, the number of Americans on food stamps is now greater than the combined populations of &ldquo;Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>#10</strong> According to a report from the Center for Immigration Studies, <a href="http://cis.org/2012-profile-of-americas-foreign-born-population" target="_blank" title="43 percent">43 percent</a> of all immigrants that have been in the United States for at least 20 years are still on welfare.</p> <p><strong>#11</strong> Back in 1965, only one out of every 50 Americans was on Medicaid.&nbsp; Today, <a href="http://cnsnews.com/news/article/record-704-million-enrolled-medicaid-2011-1-out-every-5-americans" target="_blank" title="more than 70 million Americans">more than 70 million Americans</a> are on Medicaid, and it is being projected that Obamacare will add <a href="http://news.investors.com/Article.aspx?id=598993&amp;ibdbot=1&amp;p=2" target="_blank" title="16 million more Americans">16 million more Americans</a> to the Medicaid rolls.</p> <p><strong>#12</strong> The number of Americans on Medicare is projected to grow from a little bit more than 50 million today to <a href="http://theweek.com/article/index/231267/is-america-running-out-of-doctors" target="_blank" title="73.2 million">73.2 million</a> in 2025.</p> <p><strong>#13</strong> Medicare is facing unfunded liabilities of more than 38 trillion dollars over the next 75 years.&nbsp; That comes to approximately <a href="http://cnsnews.com/news/article/medicare-faces-unfunded-liability-386t-or-328404-each-us-household" target="_blank" title="$328,404">$328,404</a> for each and every household in the United States.</p> <p><strong>#14</strong> If the number of Americans enrolled in the Social Security disability program were gathered into a single state, it would be the <a href="http://cnsnews.com/news/article/record-10978040-now-disability-disability-would-be-8th-most-populous-state" target="_blank" title="8th largest state">8th largest state</a> in the entire country.</p> <p><strong>#15</strong> In 1968, there were 51 full-time workers for every American on disability.&nbsp; Today, there are just <a href="http://cnsnews.com/news/article/record-10978040-now-disability-disability-would-be-8th-most-populous-state" target="_blank" title="13 full-time workers">13 full-time workers</a> for every American on disability.</p> <p><strong>#16</strong> It is being projected that the number of Americans on Social Security will rise from about <a href="http://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/quickfacts/stat_snapshot/" target="_blank" title="62 million">62 million</a> today to more than <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2013/09/17/debt-study/2826499/" target="_blank" title="100 million">100 million</a> in 25 years.</p> <p><strong>#17</strong> Overall, the Social Security system is facing a <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/USCP/PNI/Front%20Page/2012-08-20-PNI0820wirSocial-SecurityOptionsADV20_ST_U.htm" target="_blank" title="134 trillion dollar shortfall">134 trillion dollar shortfall</a> over the next 75 years.</p> <p><strong>#18</strong> According to the most recent numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau, an all-time record <a href="http://cnsnews.com/news/article/terence-p-jeffrey/census-49-americans-get-gov-t-benefits-82m-households-medicaid" target="_blank" title="49.2 percent">49.2 percent</a> of all Americans are receiving benefits from at least one government program each month.&nbsp; Back in 1983, <a href="http://news.investors.com/Article/598993/201201260805/entitlements-soar-under-president-obama.htm" target="_blank" title="less than a third">less than a third</a> of all Americans lived in a home that received direct monetary benefits from the federal government.</p> <p>Many will read this and will assume that I am against helping the poor.&nbsp; That is completely and totally not true.&nbsp; There will always be people that are impoverished, and this happens for many reasons.&nbsp; In many cases, people simply lack the capacity to take care of themselves.&nbsp; It is a good thing to take care of such people, whether the money comes from public or private sources.&nbsp; In every society, those that are the most vulnerable need to be looked after.</p> <p>But it is a very troubling sign that the number of people on government assistance is now far, far greater than the number of people with full-time jobs.&nbsp; This is not a sustainable situation.&nbsp; The federal government is already <a href="http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/33-stats-that-prove-that-something-desperately-needs-to-be-done-about-the-national-debt" title="drowning in debt">drowning in debt</a>, and yet more people become dependent on the government with each passing day.</p> <p>The long-term solution is to get more Americans working or starting their own businesses, but the federal government continues to pursue policies that are absolutely killing the creation of jobs and the creation of small businesses in this country.&nbsp; So our epidemic of government dependence is going to continue to get worse.</p> <p>And many of these programs are absolutely riddled with fraud and corruption.&nbsp; Just check out the following excerpt from&nbsp;<a href="http://www.naturalnews.com/044727_Medicare_data_medical_fraud_drug_companies.html" target="_blank" title="a recent Natural News article">a recent Natural News article</a>&hellip;</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>To understand the extent of this fraudulent waste, go no further than Dr. Salomon Melgen, <b>a Florida ophthalmologist who raked in $20.8 million from Medicare in 2012 alone</b>. Dr. Melgen isn&rsquo;t the only one bathing in the fraud of this crony government program. <b>Medicare dished out over $1 million to almost 4,000 doctors in 2012</b>, according to the new data release analyzed by <i>The Washington Post</i>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Jonathan Blum, principal deputy administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, is calling on the public for help in identifying fraud. He says, &ldquo;The program is funded by and large by taxpayer dollars. The public has a right to know what it is paying for. We know there is fraud in the system. We are asking for the public&rsquo;s help to check, to find waste, and to find potential fraud.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p>Instead of fixing their own problems, they want us to help them do it.</p> <p>Just great.</p> <p>And of course they always want more of our money to help fund these programs.&nbsp; In fact, according <a href="http://www.atr.org/obama-has-proposed-442-tax-hikes-taking-office" target="_blank" title="to Americans for Tax Reform">to Americans for Tax Reform</a>, Barack Obama has proposed <strong>442 tax increases</strong> since entering the White House&hellip;</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>-79 tax increases for FY 2010<br />-52 tax increases for FY 2011<br />-47 tax increases for FY 2012<br />-34 tax increases for FY 2013<br />-137 tax increases for FY 2014<br />-93 tax increases for FY 2015</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Perhaps not coincidentally, the Obama budget with the lowest number of proposed tax increases was released during an election year: In February 2012, Obama released his FY 2013 budget, with &ldquo;only&rdquo; 34 proposed tax increases. Once safely re-elected, Obama came back with a vengeance, proposing 137 tax increases, a personal record high for the 44th President.</p> </blockquote> <p>The more we feed the monster, the larger and larger it grows.</p> <p>And yet poverty is not decreasing.&nbsp; In fact, the poverty rate has been at 15 percent or greater for three years in a row.&nbsp; That is the first time that has happened in decades.</p> <p>Barack Obama promised to &ldquo;transform&rdquo; America, and yet poverty and government dependence have just continued to grow during his presidency.</p> <p>Not that anyone really believes anything that he has to say at this point.&nbsp; In fact, one recent survey found that&nbsp;<a href="http://www.trunews.com/poll-many-americans-consider-obama-liar/" target="_blank" title="only 15 percent">only 15 percent</a> of Americans believe that Barack Obama always tells the truth and 37 percent believe that he lies &ldquo;most of the time&rdquo;&hellip;</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>A Fox News poll released Wednesday shows that six out of every ten Americans believes that President Barack Obama lies to the American people, at least some of the time. A plurality &ndash; 37% &ndash; say that he lies &ldquo;most of the time,&rdquo; while another 24% say he lies &ldquo;some of the time.&rdquo; Another 20% say he lies once in awhile, while only 15% say that he never lies.</p> </blockquote> <p>So what do you think?</p> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-04-18/18-stats-prove-government-dependence-has-reached-epidemic-levels#comments Barack Obama Census Bureau Corruption Florida Fox News Medicare Mexico Obamacare Oklahoma White House Fri, 18 Apr 2014 19:21:08 +0000 Tyler Durden 487469 at http://www.zerohedge.com Peak "Greatest Fool" http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-04-18/peak-greatest-fool <p>Confirming everything US "investors" already knew but were afraid to admit... <strong>earnings-less IPOs just hit peak greatest fool levels</strong> in the most uncomfortable deja vu moment of the 'recovery'...</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2014/04/20140418_IPO.png"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2014/04/20140418_IPO.png" width="593" height="419" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We are sure, however, that Yellen and her compatriots will still not see any bubbles here...</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.sentimentrader.com/"><em>Chart: sentimentrader.com</em></a></p> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-04-18/peak-greatest-fool#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2014 18:28:46 +0000 Tyler Durden 487468 at http://www.zerohedge.com These Are America's Most And Least "Taxing" States (And Everything Inbetween) http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-04-18/these-are-americas-most-and-least-taxing-states-and-everything-inbetween <p>One of the most consistent debates emanating out of Washington in the past 6 years has been that dealing with income tax. Whether high, low, "fair" or "unfair", said discussions, however, focus solely on tax paid at the Federal level, and largely ignore that "other" key tax: <strong>state</strong>. Which is surprising, considering some states such as California demand a total contribution amounting to a third of the highest marginal Federal tax bracket, which could make some wonder if those bracing sea breezes are really worth it. But what about the other states? Here is the full breakdown of the states with the top income tax rates, those with the lowest, and all the states inbetween.</p> <p>As Bloomberg <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/money-gallery/2014-04-14/most-least-taxing-states-2014.html">reports </a>citing <a href="http://www.taxfoundation.org/">Tax Foundation data</a>, as of Jan. 1, nine states don't levy income tax on wages, and eight have a flat tax. Brackets in which taxes kick in differ by state, as do exemptions.</p> <p><strong>Here are the highest "taxing" states in the US:</strong></p> <ol> <li>California 13.3%</li> <li>Hawaii 11%</li> <li>Oregon 9.9% (a, b)</li> <li>Minnesota 9.85%</li> <li>Iowa 8.98% (b)</li> <li>New Jersey 8.97% (a)</li> <li>Vermont 8.95% (tie)</li> <li>Washington, D.C. 8.95% (tie)</li> <li>New York 8.82% (a, c)</li> <li>Maine 7.95%</li> </ol> <p><em>a) Local income taxes are excluded.</em><br /><em>b) Allows "some or all federal income tax paid to be deducted from state taxable income," according to the Tax Foundation.</em><br /><em>c) The Tax Foundation notes that New York has "'tax benefit recapture, by which many high-income taxpayers pay their top tax rate on all income, not just on amounts above the bracket threshold.” </em></p> <p><strong>And the lowest:</strong></p> <ol> <li>Pennsylvania 3.07%* (a) </li> <li>North Dakota 3.22%</li> <li>Indiana 3.4%* (a) </li> <li>Michigan 4.25%* (a) </li> <li>Arizona 4.54%</li> <li>Colorado 4.63%* ** (d) </li> <li>Kansas 4.8% (a)</li> <li>New Mexico 4.9%</li> <li>Alabama 5% (a, b): tied with Illinois*, Mississippi, New Hampshire* (c) and Utah</li> </ol> <p><em>*flat rate</em><br /><em>**of federal adjusted gross income with modifications </em></p> <p><em> a) Local income taxes are excluded.</em><br /><em>b) Allows "some or all federal income tax paid to be deducted from state taxable income," according to the Tax Foundation.</em><br /><em> c) Tax applies to interest and dividend income only.</em><br /><em>(d) of federal taxable income</em></p> <p><strong>And all the other ones, sorted alpabetically:</strong></p> <p><img src="http://www.bloomberg.com/image/ijU7mEaDYVjY.jpg" alt="&nbsp;" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; width: auto; max-width: 620px; max-height: 100%; color: #333333; font-family: AG_regular, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 13px; orphans: auto; text-align: center; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; display: inline; background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial;" id="main_slideshow_image" /></p> <p>Alabama has the lowest state and local property tax collections per person, though it's one of seven states that don’t provide a sales tax break for groceries. It doesn't give beer drinkers a break, either, imposing the nation’s third-highest beer excise tax, at $1.05 per gallon. Taxes get complicated for same-sex couples in Alabama. Because the state doesn't recognize their unions, couples must each file single state income tax returns and apportion their joint income according to a ratio.</p> <p>At least one obsolete tax law remains on the books here -- a tax for Confederate veterans of the Civil War. The tax now supports the Confederate Memorial Park, which includes a museum.</p> <p><img src="http://www.bloomberg.com/image/iclwqyh7gxL0.jpg" alt="&nbsp;" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; width: auto; max-width: 620px; max-height: 100%; color: #333333; font-family: AG_regular, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 13px; orphans: auto; text-align: center; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; display: inline; background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial;" id="main_slideshow_image" /></p> <p>Alaska gets significant income from corporate taxes, mostly from the oil-and-gas industry. The state collects high revenue per person -- $19,686 in 2012, according to the Tax Foundation -- without collecting income, state sales tax or inheritance tax. Alaska's average local sales tax rate is 1.69 percent.</p> <p>Property taxes, however, at $2,076 per person, are relatively high. And while a full day on a fishing boat or oil rig will likely put many of the state’s residents in the mood for a cold one, Alaska’s beer excise tax is the second-highest in the nation, at $1.07 per gallon.</p> <p><img src="http://www.bloomberg.com/image/iXWU6z90W3Qo.jpg" alt="&nbsp;&nbsp;" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; width: auto; max-width: 620px; max-height: 100%; color: #333333; font-family: AG_regular, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 13px; orphans: auto; text-align: center; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; display: inline; background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial;" id="main_slideshow_image" /></p> <p>With a comparatively low income tax, Arizona relies heavily on other levies. It gets a little more than 70 percent of its state and local tax collections from property tax and general sales taxes. Still, its tax revenue is lower than other states' -- it collects $4,812 per capita (as of 2011), ranking 49th out of 50. </p> <p>Arizona doesn't recognize the marriage of same-sex couples. The state instructs those who file joint federal returns to file state income tax returns as single filers and then requires an additional form to determine how to allocate joint income from the federal return.</p> <p><img src="http://www.bloomberg.com/image/ikrYmfMoVYmM.jpg" alt="&nbsp;" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; width: auto; max-width: 620px; max-height: 100%; color: #333333; font-family: AG_regular, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 13px; orphans: auto; text-align: center; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; display: inline; background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial;" id="main_slideshow_image" /></p> <p>Arkansas has the sixth-lowest state and local revenue per capita, according to the Tax Foundation. More than 60 percent of state and local tax collections come from general sales tax, individual income tax and corporate income tax. Arkansas does not recognize same-sex marriage and requires single returns from both members of same-sex couples.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="http://www.bloomberg.com/image/id.hVPNgyyNg.jpg" alt="&nbsp;&nbsp;" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; width: auto; max-width: 620px; max-height: 100%; color: #333333; font-family: AG_regular, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 13px; orphans: auto; text-align: center; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; display: inline; background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial;" id="main_slideshow_image" /></p> <p>Living in a place that's home to Hollywood, the Golden Gate Bridge, beaches and mountain ranges comes at a price, and this includes higher taxes. California’s top income tax rate is 12.3 percent for up to $1 million in income, and then jumps to 13.3 percent, the highest in the nation. The state’s sales tax rate (not including local sales taxes) is also the highest in the nation, as is the state gas tax rate, at 52.5 cents per gallon. </p> <p>Tax season is a little easier here for same-sex married couples than in many other states. Since California recognizes same-sex marriage, couples don't have to use different or additional forms to determine how much state tax is due.</p> <p><em>*There is an additional 1 percent tax on income over $1 million, bringing the top rate to 13.3 percent.</em></p> <p><img src="http://www.bloomberg.com/image/iaK2BtK.tDZE.jpg" alt="&nbsp;&nbsp;" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; width: auto; max-width: 620px; max-height: 100%; color: #333333; font-family: AG_regular, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 13px; orphans: auto; text-align: center; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; display: inline; background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial;" id="main_slideshow_image" /></p> <p>Of the 44 states that levy an individual income tax, Colorado's is sixth lowest, according to the Tax Foundation. Colorado made history in 2012 as one of the first two states to legalize recreational adult marijuana use, and now the state is raking in cash from taxing pot. It imposes a 15 percent excise tax on recreational marijuana and marijuana-related products and a general 2.9 percent sales tax. And that might not be all, depending on where the stuff is purchased -- localities may enact their own special taxes. Recreational marijuana sales brought in $2 million in taxes in January, and state officials expect steady revenue patterns to develop by April. </p> <p><em>*Flat rate </em></p> <p><em><br /></em></p> <p><img src="http://www.bloomberg.com/image/iGGq8V5Nu5ls.jpg" alt="&nbsp;&nbsp;" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; width: auto; max-width: 620px; max-height: 100%; color: #333333; font-family: AG_regular, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 13px; orphans: auto; text-align: center; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; display: inline; background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial;" id="main_slideshow_image" /></p> <p>Connecticut has the third-highest state gasoline tax in the country, behind California and New York, at 49.3 cents per gallon. It’s generally a high-tax jurisdiction, which is evident from its “tax freedom day,” representing how long a person would have to work into the year to have earned enough to pay all federal, state and local taxes. Connecticut has the latest such day of all states -- May 13, according to the Tax Foundation. Those high taxes also come with the highest income per capita -- $60,847 in 2013, according to preliminary numbers from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Connecticut is one of 13 states that tax Social Security income.</p> <p><em>*Exemption is $2 million.</em></p> <p><img src="http://www.bloomberg.com/image/iUrAHv2FC4o8.jpg" alt="&nbsp;&nbsp;" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; width: auto; max-width: 620px; max-height: 100%; color: #333333; font-family: AG_regular, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 13px; orphans: auto; text-align: center; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; display: inline; background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial;" id="main_slideshow_image" /></p> <p>Delaware’s top individual income tax rate was scheduled to decrease in 2014, but state officials decided to keep the rate at 6.6 percent to plug a budget shortfall. For 2012, the state had the seventh-highest individual income tax collections per person, at $1,307. It also ranks as one of the highest per capita collectors of corporate income tax, placing fifth at $288 per person.</p> <p><em>*Exemption is $5.34 million. </em></p> <p><img src="http://www.bloomberg.com/image/izviujlckjMY.jpg" alt="&nbsp;&nbsp;" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; width: auto; max-width: 620px; max-height: 100%; color: #333333; font-family: AG_regular, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 13px; orphans: auto; text-align: center; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; display: inline; background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial;" id="main_slideshow_image" /></p> <p>Retirees and millionaires have good reason to flock to Florida, since it has no personal income tax, inheritance tax or estate tax. Still, the state is projected to have more money to play with this year after state economists forecast a $1.2 billion budget surplus, thanks in part to increased sales tax revenue. Governor Rick Scott has proposed using some of the surplus to cut $500 million in taxes and fees.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="http://www.bloomberg.com/image/iye3OExeyL6A.jpg" alt="&nbsp;&nbsp;" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; width: auto; max-width: 620px; max-height: 100%; color: #333333; font-family: AG_regular, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 13px; orphans: auto; text-align: center; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; display: inline; background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial;" id="main_slideshow_image" /></p> <p>It’s cheaper to buy cigarettes in Georgia than in most of the rest of the U.S., because Georgia’s cigarette taxes rank 47th out of 50, at $0.37 per 20-pack. But not all sin taxes are equal here. It’s a little more expensive, in tax terms, to drink beer and wine than in other states. Georgia’s wine excise tax is $1.51 per gallon (eighth in the nation), while its beer excise tax is $1.01 per gallon (fourth nationwide). Want to drink and still pay lower taxes here? Choose spirits, which are taxed at $3.79 and rank 34th-highest in the country.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="http://www.bloomberg.com/image/iFRxDs0iLhKc.jpg" alt="&nbsp;&nbsp;" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; width: auto; max-width: 620px; max-height: 100%; color: #333333; font-family: AG_regular, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 13px; orphans: auto; text-align: center; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; display: inline; background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial;" id="main_slideshow_image" /></p> <p>Hawaii has the second-highest top income tax rate in the country, after California. It's one of the few states that tax net capital gains at below the top income tax rate -- they’re taxed at 7.25 percent. It's one of seven that impose the full sales tax rate on groceries. Hawaii’s combined state and local sales tax rate of 4.35 percent places it near the bottom of the pack.</p> <p><em>*Exemption is $5.34 million.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="http://www.bloomberg.com/image/iMlipY2BkhIA.jpg" alt="&nbsp;&nbsp;" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; width: auto; max-width: 620px; max-height: 100%; color: #333333; font-family: AG_regular, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 13px; orphans: auto; text-align: center; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; display: inline; background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial;" id="main_slideshow_image" /></p> <p>The Idaho State Tax Commission is among the states reminding consumers this year that all of those Internet purchases on which they didn't pay sales tax weren't tax-free -- consumers owe a 6 percent use tax to the state when the goods are used in Idaho. Consumers must include this in their income tax returns, but since these taxes are notoriously difficult to track and collect, whether they pay up is another story. Idaho is one of seven states that don't offer a sales tax break for groceries.</p> <p><img src="http://www.bloomberg.com/image/iozgQnE1RJ.4.jpg" alt="&nbsp;&nbsp;" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; width: auto; max-width: 620px; max-height: 100%; color: #333333; font-family: AG_regular, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 13px; orphans: auto; text-align: center; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; display: inline; background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial;" id="main_slideshow_image" /></p> <p>Illinois’s income tax rate is slated to drop to 3.75 percent in January, but Governor Pat Quinn has proposed making a 2011 income tax hike permanent that would keep the current 5 percent rate. The debate could spill over into the governor’s reelection season.</p> <p><em>*Flat rate </em>; <em>**Exemption is $4 million. </em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="http://www.bloomberg.com/image/iUouIntqeF6w.jpg" alt="&nbsp;&nbsp;" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; width: auto; max-width: 620px; max-height: 100%; color: #333333; font-family: AG_regular, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 13px; orphans: auto; text-align: center; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; display: inline; background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial;" id="main_slideshow_image" /></p> <p>Amazon began collecting Indiana’s 7 percent sales tax on Hoosiers’ purchases on its site this January. Indiana was originally supposed to phase out its inheritance tax over 10 years beginning in 2013, but instead the state repealed the tax for people dying after Dec. 31, 2012. In coming years businesses could pay less in taxes, too. Governor Mike Pence signed legislation in March that includes a provision that will gradually reduce corporate income taxes in Indiana to 4.9 percent in 2023. Indiana’s current corporate income tax rate is 7.5 percent, but that is scheduled to decrease on July 1 to 7 percent.</p> <p><em>*Flat rate</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="http://www.bloomberg.com/image/ij3nWvDf4nvo.jpg" alt="&nbsp;&nbsp;" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; width: auto; max-width: 620px; max-height: 100%; color: #333333; font-family: AG_regular, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 13px; orphans: auto; text-align: center; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; display: inline; background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial;" id="main_slideshow_image" /></p> <p>The top bracket of Iowa’s state income tax reaches 8.98 percent at $68,175 in 2014. The state phased out its tax on Social Security income in 2014. If you want to raise a toast in celebration, it’ll cost you: Iowa has some of the highest excise tax rates on table wine and spirits, according to the Tax Foundation and the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States. </p> <p>A potential gas tax increase, intended to pay for transportation infrastructure, has been percolating in the Iowa Legislature this session, but nothing had passed as of mid-April.</p> <p><em>Note: Spouse, lineal-ascendant and lineal-descendant transfer is tax-free; sibling or child-in-law transfer is taxed at 5 percent to 10 percent; all other transfers are taxed at 10 percent to 15 percent.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="http://www.bloomberg.com/image/iX7yYP8GsqRk.jpg" alt="&nbsp;&nbsp;" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; width: auto; max-width: 620px; max-height: 100%; color: #333333; font-family: AG_regular, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 13px; orphans: auto; text-align: center; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; display: inline; background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial;" id="main_slideshow_image" /></p> <p>A few years ago Kansas enacted sweeping tax cuts. Recently, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a Washington-based group that supports programs that assist the poor, released a study citing Kansas' experience as a cautionary tale for other states. "As other states recover from the recent recession and turn toward the future, Kansas's huge tax cuts have left that state's schools and other public services stuck in the recession, and declining further," the report said.</p> <p>The Sunflower State is one of 13 that tax Social Security Income; an exemption applies to Social Security income received by taxpayers with annual federal adjusted gross income of $75,000 or less. Kansas does not recognize same-sex marriage, so for income tax purposes that means same-sex couples who file a federal joint return must allocate their income on two separate single returns using a state-provided schedule.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="http://www.bloomberg.com/image/ithXv63gSsB0.jpg" alt="&nbsp;&nbsp;" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; width: auto; max-width: 620px; max-height: 100%; color: #333333; font-family: AG_regular, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 13px; orphans: auto; text-align: center; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; display: inline; background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial;" id="main_slideshow_image" /></p> <p>&nbsp; The Bluegrass State may cater more to jockeys than car drivers. Kentucky ranks 16th among the states on gas tax, making drivers pay 30.8 cents per gallon. The gas tax has been largely debated this legislative season, with some legislators proposing to raise it to pay for transportation projects. ??</p> <p><em>Note: Spouse, parent, lineal-descendant and sibling transfer is tax-free; aunts, nieces, nephews, and child in-law transfer is taxed at 4 percent to 16 percent with a $1,000 exemption; all other transfers are taxed at 6 percent to 16 percent with a $500 exemption.</em></p> <p><img src="http://www.bloomberg.com/image/ijr_VhFf5L6g.jpg" alt="&nbsp;&nbsp;" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; width: auto; max-width: 620px; max-height: 100%; color: #333333; font-family: AG_regular, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 13px; orphans: auto; text-align: center; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; display: inline; background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial;" id="main_slideshow_image" /></p> <p>The home of “Duck Dynasty” has long been a destination for sportsmen and partiers. Visitors should be prepared to be taxed heavily on their fun. Louisiana’s state and local sales tax rate of 8.89 percent is third-highest of the states. That doesn’t mean the state is rolling in dough: Its general sales tax collections per person in 2012 were $614, putting Louisiana in 37th place. Its income tax can be burdensome for same-sex married couples. It requires them to each fill out pro forma single federal returns and then use that information on their single state returns.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="http://www.bloomberg.com/image/icuXBoiwejcE.jpg" alt="&nbsp;&nbsp;" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; width: auto; max-width: 620px; max-height: 100%; color: #333333; font-family: AG_regular, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 13px; orphans: auto; text-align: center; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; display: inline; background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial;" id="main_slideshow_image" /></p> <p>Maine recognizes same-sex marriage, so any married couple there can file a joint state tax return. The state’s cigarette excise tax is $2 per 20-pack, making it the 11th-highest cigarette excise tax in the country. Maine imposes a 5.5 percent state sales tax on medical marijuana, but the 7 percent tax rate on prepared food applies if the herb is baked into brownies.</p> <p><em>*Exemption is $2 million.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="http://www.bloomberg.com/image/irtwz16lTbME.jpg" alt="&nbsp;&nbsp;" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; width: auto; max-width: 620px; max-height: 100%; color: #333333; font-family: AG_regular, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 13px; orphans: auto; text-align: center; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; display: inline; background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial;" id="main_slideshow_image" /></p> <p>Maryland and New Jersey are the only states with both an estate tax and an inheritance tax. This year Maryland is expected to enact significant changes to its estate tax that will increase the exemption amount. The current $1 million exemption would be gradually increased over five years to match the federal government’s exemption amount, which is now $5.34 million, and is indexed for inflation. </p> <p>The General Assembly had a recent brush with Hollywood when "House of Cards" star Kevin Spacey visited Annapolis to persuade lawmakers to increase the Netflix show’s subsidy for its third season. The show is set in the District of Columbia, but much of it is filmed in Maryland. </p> <p><em>Note: Spouse, lineal-descendant, spouse of lineal-descendant, and sibling transfer is tax-free; all other transfers are taxed at 10 percent.;*Exemption is $1 million.</em></p> <p><img src="http://www.bloomberg.com/image/iTt6XDd66ECI.jpg" alt="&nbsp;&nbsp;" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; width: auto; max-width: 620px; max-height: 100%; color: #333333; font-family: AG_regular, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 13px; orphans: auto; text-align: center; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; display: inline; background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial;" id="main_slideshow_image" /></p> <p>Massachusetts’ individual income tax rate decreased at the beginning of December, because state revenues had grown enough to trigger a rate cut from 5.25 percent to 5.2 percent. Last year, the Massachusetts legislature enacted a sales tax on computer software services in 2013, only to repeal it a few months later when it proved unpopular with businesses. </p> <p>The state has one of the highest cigarette taxes -- at $3.51 per 20-pack, it's second only to New York. Gamblers here might notice that they're taking less in winnings home since last year, when the state started withholding income tax from winnings of more than $600, regardless of the original wager amount.</p> <p><em>*Flat rate; **Exemption is $1 million. </em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="http://www.bloomberg.com/image/inRAoYiNFZl0.jpg" alt="&nbsp;&nbsp;" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; width: auto; max-width: 620px; max-height: 100%; color: #333333; font-family: AG_regular, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 13px; orphans: auto; text-align: center; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; display: inline; background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial;" id="main_slideshow_image" /></p> <p>The Great Lakes State has a gas tax of 39.1 cents per gallon, the sixth-highest in the country. Michigan, like many other states, gets more in property tax revenue, in percentage terms, than from any other state and local tax. Property tax makes up 37.6 percent of state and local tax collections, followed by general sales tax (26.3 percent), individual income tax (18.8 percent) and corporate income tax (2 percent). </p> <p><em>*Flat rate</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="http://www.bloomberg.com/image/iFFnLIAw9esk.jpg" alt="&nbsp;&nbsp;" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; width: auto; max-width: 620px; max-height: 100%; color: #333333; font-family: AG_regular, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 13px; orphans: auto; text-align: center; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; display: inline; background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial;" id="main_slideshow_image" /></p> <p>Tax cuts are coming in after this legislative session. Last year Minnesota became the only state besides Connecticut to impose a gift tax, but this year legislators repealed it. Those who already had paid the tax should look for a check -- the state will refund any payments. Lawmakers also increased estate tax exemption amounts and repealed several “business-to-business” sales taxes -- warehousing or storage services for tangible personal property, repairing and maintaining electronic precision equipment and repairing and maintaining commercial and industrial machinery and equipment.</p> <p>*Exemption is $1.2 million.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="http://www.bloomberg.com/image/iNNAsZZteWqA.jpg" alt="&nbsp;&nbsp;" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; width: auto; max-width: 620px; max-height: 100%; color: #333333; font-family: AG_regular, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 13px; orphans: auto; text-align: center; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; display: inline; background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial;" id="main_slideshow_image" /></p> <p>Missouri has the country’s lowest cigarette taxes, at 17 cents per pack. There had been talk of raising that tax, but voters narrowly defeated a tobacco tax initiative in 2012. Low taxes on beer, too: Missouri ranks 49th with a beer excise tax of 6 cents per gallon. </p> <p><img src="http://www.bloomberg.com/image/iRcmEXUVtF5U.jpg" alt="&nbsp;&nbsp;" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; width: auto; max-width: 620px; max-height: 100%; color: #333333; font-family: AG_regular, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 13px; orphans: auto; text-align: center; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; display: inline; background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial;" id="main_slideshow_image" /></p> <p>Montana is among the 13 states that tax Social Security income. However, it's also one of five states that don't impose a state-level sales tax. It gets 39 percent of its state and local revenue from property tax.</p> <p><img src="http://www.bloomberg.com/image/i8pHK1rCydNE.jpg" alt="&nbsp;&nbsp;" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; width: auto; max-width: 620px; max-height: 100%; color: #333333; font-family: AG_regular, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 13px; orphans: auto; text-align: center; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; display: inline; background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial;" id="main_slideshow_image" /></p> <p>Nebraska enacted several tax cuts in early April, which include indexing tax brackets for inflation, exempting more Social Security income from taxes, a sales tax exemption for farm machinery, an increase to the state's property tax credit program and the expansion of a property tax homestead exemption.</p> <p> Note: Transfer to a spouse or charitable organization is tax-free; transfer to descendants and siblings is taxed at 1 percent with a $40,000 exemption; transfers to aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews are taxed at 13 percent with a $15,000 exemption. All other transfers are taxed at 18 percent with a $10,000 exemption.</p> <p><img src="http://www.bloomberg.com/image/in3FHUHhC6m4.jpg" alt="&nbsp;&nbsp;" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; width: auto; max-width: 620px; max-height: 100%; color: #333333; font-family: AG_regular, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 13px; orphans: auto; text-align: center; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; display: inline; background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial;" id="main_slideshow_image" /></p> <p>Nevada’s lack of an income tax makes sales and property taxes crucial revenue generators. And since January, Nevada residents have been paying sales tax on their Amazon.com purchases. </p> <p>For visitors who make it to Las Vegas for a little fun, Nevada imposes an additional tax of 5 percent to 10 percent on admission, food, refreshments and merchandise. Visitors can gamble from their hotel rooms now, since Nevada was the first state to legalize online gambling last year.</p> <p><img src="http://www.bloomberg.com/image/i_jJP88ZA7YA.jpg" alt="&nbsp;&nbsp;" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; width: auto; max-width: 620px; max-height: 100%; color: #333333; font-family: AG_regular, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 13px; orphans: auto; text-align: center; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; display: inline; background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial;" id="main_slideshow_image" /></p> <p>The “Live Free or Die” state doesn’t tax most types of income, other than a 5 percent tax on interest and dividend income. New Hampshire relies heavily on property taxes, getting more than 60 percent of its state and local tax collections from them, according to Tax Foundation data. </p> <p>New Hampshire may have a tough time following the lead of other states to capitalize on sales of recreational marijuana. In late March the state’s House of Representatives killed a bill that would have legalized small amounts of recreational marijuana for those 21 and up.</p> <p><em>*On interest and dividend income, not wages</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="http://www.bloomberg.com/image/iXdFGBE8TFm4.jpg" alt="&nbsp;" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; width: auto; max-width: 620px; max-height: 100%; color: #333333; font-family: AG_regular, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 13px; orphans: auto; text-align: center; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; display: inline; background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial;" id="main_slideshow_image" /></p> <p>Same-sex married couples in New Jersey can use a joint tax return for both federal and state income tax filings. And gamblers can choose whether they place their bets by computer or in person, since New Jersey recently started allowing online gambling. In February, online gambling brought $10.3 million in revenue to the state.</p> <p><em>*Exemption is $675,000.</em></p> <p><em>Note: Transfer to a spouse, domestic partner, lineal descendant or charitable organization is tax-free; transfer to children-in-law is taxed at 11 percent to 16 percent with a $25,000 exemption; all other transfers are taxed at 15 percent to 16 percent with a $500 exemption.</em></p> <p><img src="http://www.bloomberg.com/image/iLAaZlaasNZs.jpg" alt="&nbsp;&nbsp;" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; width: auto; max-width: 620px; max-height: 100%; color: #333333; font-family: AG_regular, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 13px; orphans: auto; text-align: center; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; display: inline; background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial;" id="main_slideshow_image" /></p> <p>The fictional home of “Breaking Bad” may not be the ideal place for service providers. New Mexico is one of a handful of states in which services are presumed to be subject to sales tax. It depends more on general sales tax than on other levies for its state and local tax revenue, and collects some of the lowest property taxes in the country, ranking 47th. It doesn't have an inheritance tax, and its gas tax is relatively low at 18.88 cents per gallon. Same-sex couples can file a joint state income tax return, because New Mexico recognizes same-sex marriage.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="http://www.bloomberg.com/image/iDIYC1kwrSMI.jpg" alt="&nbsp;" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; width: auto; max-width: 620px; max-height: 100%; color: #333333; font-family: AG_regular, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 13px; orphans: auto; text-align: center; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; display: inline; background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial;" id="main_slideshow_image" /></p> <p>New York collects more individual income tax per person than any other state: $2,289 as of 2011. And its gas tax of 49.6 cents per gallon is the second-highest in the U.S. But under its recently enacted budget, some New York residents may pay less in property taxes.</p> <p>A plan was announced earlier this year to allow 20 hospitals to distribute medical marijuana via executive order, but it’s unclear whether the trial program will lead to a larger plan to tax and regulate the herb.</p> <p><em>Note: For people who die on or after April 1, 2014, and before April 1, 2015, the exclusion amount is $2,062,500 and the rate range is 3.06 percent to 16 percent. New York is increasing the estate tax exclusion amount over three years. By April 1, 2017, it will be $5,250,000.</em></p> <p><img src="http://www.bloomberg.com/image/ib1pC.6rZo4E.jpg" alt="&nbsp;&nbsp;" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; width: auto; max-width: 620px; max-height: 100%; color: #333333; font-family: AG_regular, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 13px; orphans: auto; text-align: center; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; display: inline; background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial;" id="main_slideshow_image" /></p> <p>North Carolina residents have had to wave goodbye to their tax-free online shopping days. In February, Amazon started collecting sales tax on purchases delivered here, ending a long disagreement with the state. And last year’s first-time-in-a-century Republican control of the state’s executive and legislative branches helped usher in a new era of a flat income tax rate of 5.8 percent, replacing the state’s graduated rate structure. </p> <p>Like some other states, North Carolina has grappled with how to make up lost gas tax revenue due in part to more fuel-efficient vehicles on the road. Electric car owners now pay a new $100 registration fee.</p> <p><img src="http://www.bloomberg.com/image/idv9B3LBHOc8.jpg" alt="&nbsp;&nbsp;" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; width: auto; max-width: 620px; max-height: 100%; color: #333333; font-family: AG_regular, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 13px; orphans: auto; text-align: center; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; display: inline; background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial;" id="main_slideshow_image" /></p> <p>These are boom times for North Dakota. According to the most recent annual U.S. Census information, the state's severance taxes -- a tax on natural resources taken out of the ground -- accounted for 56.7 percent of its total tax collections in 2012. At the same time, its top income rate of 3.22 percent applies only after the taxpayer’s income reaches $405,100. Retirees are taxed on Social Security income.</p> <p>There are downsides for some taxpayers in the Roughrider State. It doesn't recognize same-sex marriage, so the couples must allocate income to two single returns using a schedule provided by the state.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="http://www.bloomberg.com/image/idt1oxxp4rto.jpg" alt="&nbsp;&nbsp;" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; width: auto; max-width: 620px; max-height: 100%; color: #333333; font-family: AG_regular, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 13px; orphans: auto; text-align: center; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; display: inline; background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial;" id="main_slideshow_image" /></p> <p>Ohio Governor John Kasich has again proposed cutting the income tax, but this time he wants to make up the revenue with a new tax on oil drillers, a hike in the Commercial Activity Tax and a tax increase on cigarettes, tobacco products and electronic cigarettes. The state doesn't recognize same-sex marriages, so couples must allocate their income between two single state returns and use an additional state-provided schedule to determine their state income tax liability.</p> <p><img src="http://www.bloomberg.com/image/ipb4t5bA7BNc.jpg" alt="&nbsp;&nbsp;" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; width: auto; max-width: 620px; max-height: 100%; color: #333333; font-family: AG_regular, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 13px; orphans: auto; text-align: center; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; display: inline; background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial;" id="main_slideshow_image" /></p> <p>Oklahoma has a pretty low income tax rate but is one of seven states that tax groceries at the full sales tax rate. Its combined state and local sales tax rate of 8.72 percent ranks fifth-highest among the states. Drivers of gas-guzzlers get a break here -- the state’s 17-cents-per-gallon gas tax ranks 47th in the nation.</p> <p><img src="http://www.bloomberg.com/image/iGL3tBrU8VHM.jpg" alt="&nbsp;&nbsp;" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; width: auto; max-width: 620px; max-height: 100%; color: #333333; font-family: AG_regular, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 13px; orphans: auto; text-align: center; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; display: inline; background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial;" id="main_slideshow_image" /></p> <p>Oregonians have no sales tax but pay one of the highest state income tax rates in the country, at 9.9 percent for top filers. That's right behind California and Hawaii. When same-sex married couples in Oregon file their taxes this year, they'll be able to use their federal adjusted gross income on their joint return.</p> <p><em>*Exemption is $1 million</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="http://www.bloomberg.com/image/iHAxWZOuXbbA.jpg" alt="&nbsp;&nbsp;" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; width: auto; max-width: 620px; max-height: 100%; color: #333333; font-family: AG_regular, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 13px; orphans: auto; text-align: center; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; display: inline; background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial;" id="main_slideshow_image" /></p> <p>Pennsylvania's 3.07 percent flat income tax rate is the lowest top rate of states that impose individual income tax, according to the Tax Foundation, and its property tax collections per capita of $1,305 are 25th lowest nationally. Taxpayers here work until April 17 to earn enough to pay the year's total tax bill.</p> <p>Pennsylvania has one of the highest corporate income tax rates of the states, at 9.9 percent. Only two jurisdictions -- Iowa (12 percent) and the District of Columbia (9.975 percent) -- have higher rates. Not all of the state’s taxes are high; a recent report found that Pennsylvania has among the lowest taxes on gas drilling in the country.</p> <p><img src="http://www.bloomberg.com/image/ivkqqRVSoEDw.jpg" alt="&nbsp;" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; width: auto; max-width: 620px; max-height: 100%; color: #333333; font-family: AG_regular, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 13px; orphans: auto; text-align: center; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; display: inline; background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial;" id="main_slideshow_image" /></p> <p>Rhode Island’s largest source of state and local tax collections is property tax, which makes up 44.7 percent of the collections. Rhode Island allows medical marijuana, but whether it will legalize and then tax adult recreational marijuana is unclear. Governor Lincoln Chaffee indicated in a Bloomberg News interview that he may consider “whether to ‘regulate it and tax it in these tough times.’ ” </p> <p><em>*Exemption is $921,655. </em></p> <p><img src="http://www.bloomberg.com/image/i42muOpIpKOw.jpg" alt="&nbsp;&nbsp;" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; width: auto; max-width: 620px; max-height: 100%; color: #333333; font-family: AG_regular, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 13px; orphans: auto; text-align: center; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; display: inline; background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial;" id="main_slideshow_image" /></p> <p>For those taking driving vacations this summer, South Carolina would be a good choice for gas tax savings -- its tax of 16.75 cents per gallon is the 48th-lowest in the nation. And if you're a South Carolina taxpayer, the state may owe you money. The IRS recently estimated that South Carolina owes taxpayers $10 million from unclaimed 2010 refunds. Better hurry -- the return filing deadline is April 15. </p> <p>Since South Carolina doesn't recognize same-sex marriage, couples must make pro forma federal single returns and use that information on their state single returns.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="http://www.bloomberg.com/image/i.GHd9MsyauM.jpg" alt="&nbsp;&nbsp;" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; width: auto; max-width: 620px; max-height: 100%; color: #333333; font-family: AG_regular, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 13px; orphans: auto; text-align: center; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; display: inline; background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial;" id="main_slideshow_image" /></p> <p>South Dakota's tax-friendly trust laws are among the reasons it is becoming a legal tax shelter for nonresidents, as wealthy families from outside the state finding ways to stash their assets here.</p> <p>With no income tax, investors in South Dakota are happy to hold on to their capital gains. But shoppers have to shell out a little more in tax than in many other states, because it's one of seven states that don't offer a sales tax break on groceries. </p> <p><img src="http://www.bloomberg.com/image/iq8asahlZS.w.jpg" alt="&nbsp;&nbsp;" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; width: auto; max-width: 620px; max-height: 100%; color: #333333; font-family: AG_regular, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 13px; orphans: auto; text-align: center; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; display: inline; background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial;" id="main_slideshow_image" /></p> <p>Tourists have long been entertained by the state's thriving music scene. High sales taxes will likely leave them singing the blues. Tennessee has the highest combined state and local sales tax rate, at 9.45 percent, according to the Tax Foundation. It doesn't tax income apart from a 6 percent levy on interest and dividends, and capital gains are exempt. Tennessee has an inheritance tax now (see the note below), but it will be phased out in 2016. </p> <p><em>*On interest and dividend income; none on wages</em><br /><em>**Plus a 2.75 % tax on certain sales worth $1,600.01 and up to $3,200</em><br /><em>***Tennessee calls this an "inheritance tax," but it functions as an estate tax. The exemption is $2 million.</em></p> <p><img src="http://www.bloomberg.com/image/iGbXD5qBUPfA.jpg" alt="&nbsp;&nbsp;" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; width: auto; max-width: 620px; max-height: 100%; color: #333333; font-family: AG_regular, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 13px; orphans: auto; text-align: center; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; display: inline; background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial;" id="main_slideshow_image" /></p> <p>Texans don't pay state income tax, but some of their income tax savings gets spent on state and local sales tax, ranked 11th in the nation, at 8.15 percent. Property taxes are higher here than in a lot of other states, too, with $1,557 in per-person collections coming in at 15th in the nation. Will that always be the case? One candidate for the state’s comptroller of public accounts recently spoke about getting rid of property taxes. The state is in the middle of a drilling boom that contributed to its 2012-2013 budget surplus.</p> <p><img src="http://www.bloomberg.com/image/iRzxYb0VKA_k.jpg" alt="&nbsp;&nbsp;" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; width: auto; max-width: 620px; max-height: 100%; color: #333333; font-family: AG_regular, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 13px; orphans: auto; text-align: center; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; display: inline; background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial;" id="main_slideshow_image" /></p> <p>The state makes solid revenue on so-called sin taxes, including those on alcohol. Utah imposes the eighth-highest state spirits excise tax, at $12.19 per gallon, and the 13th-highest state beer excise tax, at 41 cents per gallon. It also imposes a 10 percent tax on all businesses that feature nude performance. Utah is among the growing number of states that permit same-sex couples to file joint returns for state income tax purposes.</p> <p><em>*Flat rate </em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="http://www.bloomberg.com/image/ipWocaWMZDLg.jpg" alt="&nbsp;&nbsp;" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; width: auto; max-width: 620px; max-height: 100%; color: #333333; font-family: AG_regular, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 13px; orphans: auto; text-align: center; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; display: inline; background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial;" id="main_slideshow_image" /></p> <p>Vermont is one of 13 states that tax Social Security income and has the highest state and local excise collections per person in the country.</p> <p>A controversy surrounding the tax treatment of electronic cigarettes is raging in the Green Mountain State. A budget bill that recently preliminarily passed the state House of Representatives includes a 92 percent tax on the wholesale cost of electronic cigarettes.</p> <p><em>*Exemption is $2.75 million</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="http://www.bloomberg.com/image/io8RWx5TND_0.jpg" alt="&nbsp;&nbsp;" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; width: auto; max-width: 620px; max-height: 100%; color: #333333; font-family: AG_regular, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 13px; orphans: auto; text-align: center; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; display: inline; background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial;" id="main_slideshow_image" /></p> <p>Virginia recently enacted special fees on environmentally friendly vehicles, but has kept tax rates low on tobacco. In this tobacco-rich state, the cigarette excise tax rate of 30 cents per pack ranks 49th lowest out of 50.</p> <p>Last year the Virginia General Assembly passed a sweeping deal to overhaul how the state pays for transportation. This year, the legislature repealed a small part of that act -- a $64 annual fee on electric car owners, meant to ensure that all car owners contribute equally to repairing the state’s roads. </p> <p><em>*4.3% state, 1% local; the Tax Foundation includes a “mandatory, statewide, local add-on sales tax” in the state rate.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="http://www.bloomberg.com/image/igy4HcAJwrws.jpg" alt="&nbsp;&nbsp;" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; width: auto; max-width: 620px; max-height: 100%; color: #333333; font-family: AG_regular, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 13px; orphans: auto; text-align: center; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; display: inline; background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial;" id="main_slideshow_image" /></p> <p>Washington will start selling recreational marijuana for adults this year, and users should be ready to pay up. The state plans to impose a 25 percent excise tax at each stage of growing, processing and selling cannabis products. The Washington State Economic and Revenue Forecast predicted that cannabis-related sales will generate $51 million in taxes and fees for the 2015-2017 budget period. Smoking cigarettes is expensive here, too. Washington imposes the sixth-highest cigarette excise tax in the country, at $3.025 per 20-pack. </p> <p><em>*Exemption is $2.01 million</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="http://www.bloomberg.com/image/i4Vok7n2YwOA.jpg" alt="&nbsp;&nbsp;" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; width: auto; max-width: 620px; max-height: 100%; color: #333333; font-family: AG_regular, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 13px; orphans: auto; text-align: center; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; display: inline; background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial;" id="main_slideshow_image" /></p> <p>The District of Columbia’s sales tax is the lowest in its local region for the first time in 45 years, according to the Tax Foundation. The D.C. Council (the District’s local governing body) voted last year to cut the previous 6 percent sales tax rate by a quarter of a percentage point to roll back a 2009 increase that was used to cover a budget shortfall. The rate reduction and the fact that there are no other local sales tax rates give Washington, D.C., one of the lowest combined sales tax rates in the country. </p> <p>Residents may feel the pinch more in property ownership than in retail shopping. Property tax collections are some of the highest in the country, at $2,871 per person.</p> <p><em>*Exemption is $1 million. </em></p> <p><img src="http://www.bloomberg.com/image/iTuQLd1xzPPc.jpg" alt="&nbsp;&nbsp;" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; width: auto; max-width: 620px; max-height: 100%; color: #333333; font-family: AG_regular, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 13px; orphans: auto; text-align: center; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; display: inline; background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial;" id="main_slideshow_image" /></p> <p>West Virginia taxes Social Security income, but shoppers are no longer paying sales tax on groceries after the state eliminated that tax last year. Those who didn't file a tax return for 2010 but think they might have a refund coming their way have a short time to get caught up. The IRS recently announced it has $3 million in unclaimed federal tax refunds for West Virginians. The filing deadline to get those refunds is April 15.</p> <p><img src="http://www.bloomberg.com/image/i_1FdBmAE3QM.jpg" alt="&nbsp;&nbsp;" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; width: auto; max-width: 620px; max-height: 100%; color: #333333; font-family: AG_regular, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 13px; orphans: auto; text-align: center; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; display: inline; background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial;" id="main_slideshow_image" /></p> <p>The Wisconsin Assembly and Governor Scott Walker recently put through a budget bill that cuts income and property taxes by more than $500 million annually. The lowest individual income tax bracket will be lowered from 4.4 percent to 4 percent. Recent data show that Wisconsin’s property tax per person ranks 12th in the country, at $1,724, according to the Tax Foundation</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="http://www.bloomberg.com/image/i2PW5tJV_Fgk.jpg" alt="&nbsp;&nbsp;" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: #ffffff; width: auto; max-width: 620px; max-height: 100%; color: #333333; font-family: AG_regular, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 13px; orphans: auto; text-align: center; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; display: inline; background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial;" id="main_slideshow_image" /></p> <p>With no tax on income, capital gains or net corporate income, Wyoming makes up the difference in property taxes. The state has the sixth-highest property tax per person in the country, according to the Tax Foundation. </p> <p></p> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-04-18/these-are-americas-most-and-least-taxing-states-and-everything-inbetween#comments Bloomberg News Federal Tax Florida Gambling Illinois Indiana Las Vegas Mexico Michigan None Ohio Oklahoma Personal Income Recession Same-Sex Marriage South Carolina Tax Revenue Fri, 18 Apr 2014 17:41:36 +0000 Tyler Durden 487467 at http://www.zerohedge.com