Happiness

By John Lumbard. Our economy is accelerating.  Monthly employment gains have grown from 150,000 to 200,000, and the net worth of US households has hit a new high. Dirt-poor farmers and ranchers are getting rich;  we just heard of a hardscrabble North Dakota rancher whose oil royalties are now $1.2 million...
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Another British Invasion

By James Schaefer. "[If] you have to have to gripe," says Jim Ratcliffe of Great Britain, "[it is that America] has the highest corporate taxes in the world.  They're too high in my view, [at] nearly 40%.  And that's a pity because in most other parts of the world corporate tax...
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Young In America

By John Lumbard. According to The Daily Kos, 27% of recent college graduates (ages 21 to 24) are either unemployed or underemployed.  The Democratic Underground says that recent college graduates earn $3,200 less than they did 13 years ago.  Of course, it’s not just college graduates;  low starting salaries and meager...
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(Dis)Ability

By John Lumbard. Guy walks into a bar, orders a beer, and stands there drinking it while he watches a Bruins game.  Orders another beer, and stands there drinking it . . . While he’s drinking the third one, he’s asked what he does for a living . . . . “I’ve...
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On Taxes and Growth

By James Schaefer. The U.K.'s Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, wrote an op-ed recently in the Wall Street Journal ("How Britain Returned to Growth", December 17, 2013), on Britain's changes to their tax rates and spending as a means of stimulating growth of the British economy.  The results were dramatic. They...
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Adults in the Room

By James Schaefer. At a time of partisan warfare, inside-the-beltway gridlock, and a Congressional approval rating chronically below 10%, the recent budget accord worked out by  Senator Patty Murray (D, Washington State) and Representative Paul Ryan (R, Wisconsin) is a step in the right direction, and evidence of adult leadership in...
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Motown Blues

By John Lumbard. "Addressing a lunchtime rally of more than 6,000 state workers in front of the State House Annex on Monday, [New Jersey Governor] Corzine pumped his fists and vowed to keep his pledge to increase the pension contributions. ''I will fight for you,'' Corzine told the crowd, made up...
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Common Sense

By James Schaefer A friend I knew many years ago used to say, "A little stupidity goes a long way."   Let's re-phrase that and say, "A little Common Sense goes a long way." Herewith are some bits of wisdom that have been shared with me over the years. 1)  Live below your means. No...
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Bipartisan Tax Reform Is Underway; Your Input Is Wanted!

By James Schaefer. The non-partisan Tax Policy Center of Washington, DC, calls the current Internal Revenue Code "an incomprehensible mess." The latest good news on tax reform has shown up in an article by Laura Saunders in the Wall Street Journal ("Will 'Tax Reform' Really Happen?", Aug 3-4, 2013; the article is...
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On Tax Reform and Bipartisanship

By James Schaefer. The last time the tax code underwent a major revision was nearly 30 years ago, in the mid-1980s, under bi-partisan legislation led by Ronald Reagan and House Speaker Tip O'Neil. The existing tax code is nearly 4 million words long!  Our source here is an IRS document, "The Complexity of the...
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