Tax Revenue

...And Now For The Bad News

This is the most important thing to understand about US federal government spending: the built-in costs are so extreme that they can’t possibly make ends meet. And the problem becomes worse each year...

Illinois Democrats In Senate Pass 33% Hike Of Personal And Corporate Income Taxes

Senate Democrats in Illinois are pushing ahead with a new budget proposal that includes a massive personal and corporate income tax hike and an expansion of the state's sales tax, after saying they are no longer willing to wait for a broader deal with Republicans.  In all, the package is expected to cost Illinois taxpayers an incremental $5 billion.

The Final Show Of The Greatest Country On Earth

Yesterday, the Greatest Show on Earth held its final performance in Uniondale, New York, after 146-years in the business. A century ago this would have seemed impossible... And just like how people viewed Ringling Brothers 100-years ago, it’s difficult for anyone to imagine a world in which the US isn’t the dominant superpower...

Asia Jumps, Europe Stutters As Political Rumblings Return; Oil Nears $51

Global stocks were mixed to start the week, with Asian stocks higher, European stocks initially advancing then fading gains, while S&P futures are little changed after the biggest weekly drop since April (which for those keeping record was -0.4%). European shares, the euro and the pound all stumbled on Monday as rumblings in Spain, Britain and Brussels reminded investors that the region still has plenty of political uncertainty left in the tank.

Congress Is Coming After Your 401(k)

“It's not really a question of whether retirement plans will get a haircut, but of how much.” A proposal floating around in Republican circles in Washington would add insult to injury: They want to end the tax-deductibility of your pension contributions so they can give a $1.5 billion tax break to U.S. corporations.

US Treasury Collects A Record $1.929 Trillion In Taxes In Fiscal 2017 YTD

According to the just released Monthly Treasury Statement, in April the US Treasury collected $456 billion and spent $273 billion, resulting in a budget surplus of $182 billion, higher than the $179 billion expected, and well above last year's $106.5 billion surplus. In a surprising jump in government revenues, receipts rose 3.9% y/y to $455.6b in April while outlays fell 17.7% y/y to $273.2b in April, liiely the result of debt ceiling considerations.

Visualizing The Global Black Market For Oil

The value of the crude oil production alone is worth a staggering $1.7 trillion each year. The only problem when an industry becomes this lucrative? Eventually, everybody wants a piece of the pie – and they’ll do anything to get their share. While pipeline theft in places like Nigeria and Mexico are the most famous images associated with the theft of hydrocarbons, the problem is actually far more broad and systematic in nature.

Angst In America - Turning Today's Millennials Into Tomorrow's Debt Serfs

"Being young and having no job remains stubbornly common... Like medieval serfs in pre-industrial Europe, America’s new generation, particularly in its alpha cities, seems increasingly destined to spend their lives paying off their overlords, and having little to show for it. "

Why We Should Be Concerned About Low Oil Prices

Most people assume that oil prices, and for that matter other energy prices, will rise as we reach limits. This isn’t really the way the system works; oil prices can be expected to fall too low, as we reach limits. Thus, we should not be surprised if the OPEC/Russia agreement to limit oil extraction falls apart, and oil prices fall further. This is the way the “end” is reached, not through high prices.

Weekend Reading: Sentient Illumination

With a continuing resolution for $1 Trillion passed this week, which will fund the government for 5-whole months, there seems to be little consideration given to the disconnect between increase debt levels and slower economic growth.