Effective Tax Rates vs Marginal Tax Rates

Plus the Curmudgeon’s Tax Reform

Using the Congressional Budget Office definition of Effective Tax Rate of taxes paid divided by total income.

Case 1 – A hypothetical family of four, using 2015 tax rates.

TaxRate

Of course if they could itemize deductions their taxes and effective tax rate would be less.

Case 2 – Hillary & Bill Clinton, no children claimed, itemized deductions, $10,748,378.00 total income ($100.00 salary), 39% marginal tax rate.

Filing jointly, $2,242,022 itemized deduction, taxable income $8,352,507..
Total tax bill $3,236,975.00.

Using the CBO formula $3,236,975/$10,748,378 yields an Effective Tax Rate of 30.1%

OBTW – Of their $2,242,022 itemized deductions $1,042,000 was their charitable donations, $1 million of that went to the Clinton Family Foundation. The other $42,000 went to Desert Classic Charities.  These donations reduced their tax bill by $412,632.00.

PS: In 2015, Desert Classic Charities donated $700,000 to the Clinton Foundation.

The CBO provides this graph of historical effective tax rates, by quintile (20% of taxpayers).  The lowest 20% historically paid less than 10% and in 2005 paid less than 5%.  The middle 60% historically paid between 15% and 20% and in 2005 it was 10% – 18%.  While the top 20% typically pay about 25%.

cbototaleffectivetax

Curmudgeon’s Tax Reform Plan

This leads to the curmudgeon’s  version of tax reform.  If the CBO would redo their historical calculations with:

  • Only taxpayers with income in excess of 1.5 x the poverty level.
  • Median Effective Tax Rate per Quintile vice Average.

Then the Curmudgeon’s tax plan would be:

  • 5 tax brackets, based on the quintiles, 
  • Deduct 1.5 x poverty level from your gross income, this is your taxable income,
  • Determine your tax bracket and multiple your taxable income by the percentage.
  • The result is your Base Federal Income Tax,
  • Your total Federal Income Tax would be the Base plus a prior year deficit surtax prorated between personal and business taxpayers and a historic deficit surtax that would pay off the historic deficit in 20 year.

The Curmudgeon’s business tax would be a percent of gross revenue, the value would be a revenue neutral value base on a 10 year analysis of business tax filings. Likewise this would be a base value plus the prior year deficit surtax and historic deficit surtax.

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My Letter-To-The-Editor Was Published!

I penned a reply to “The Last Straw” in Wednesday’s News-Leader.  My reply was published Friday.  Unfortunately I didn’t proof it very well, it was early morning.  The paper’s editor caught one omission (hard) and missed one (had).  I alway blame my inability to proof my own work on Florida’s experiment in “sight reading”, when I proof read I know what I intended to say.

 

August 10, 2016

The final straw

 

Well, I just got the numbers, and over 2,000 Democrats and No Party Affiliates have registered Republican in Nassau County. They will vote in the Republican primary. I guess this fall under the final straw.

Many were tired of efforts to disenfranchise their right to vote. When one party has someone run as either a write-in candidate (no one ever sees their name) or has a Republican reregister as a Libertarian (about 180 in the county) to keep the Democratic and nonaffiliated voters from voting, it becomes unacceptable.

This year they went too far (the final straw). The book closed last Monday for the primary. You are for the primary what you were that day. So to all who did this, I say, go vote, and vote the entire ballot. Once your vote is cast, take the final stand and reregister as you were. The moment you turn in your ballot, fill out the paperwork to return to your prior status. You can do this at the Supervisor of Elections office or at the Democratic headquarters. You do not have to wait until after the primary. The day after the primary, the supervisor will flip the switch and you will be home. The point will have been made quite clear. Stop trying to rig elections and disenfranchising voters!

Carla Voisard

Yulee

August 12, 2016

Party switching

 

Carla Voisard, chair of Democratic Executive Committee (DEC), urged the approximately 14 percent registered Democrats who recently defected to the Republican Party to come home. Her premise is they did this to gain a vote in the uncontested races that would normally be “Universal Primary Contest” if not for a write-in candidate. It is (hard) to believe that 14 percent of the registered Democrats felt so strongly about which Republican is elected in a primary which the Democrats didn’t even field a candidate. She ignores the possibility that they (had) become dissatisfied with the Progressive agenda of the Democratic Party. Or did the DEC organize the re-registrations of 2,000 voters? I doubt it. If they had, Carla wouldn’t need to write a letter to the editor to urge them to return to the Democratic fold. She should have their contact info and could email, robocall or send a mass mailing to let them know it was time to come home. If the letter was to highlight her perception of disenfranchisement via the write-in process, she needs to be clearer in her explanation of the disenfranchisement. Note, the courts have ruled on the write-in issue and the Democrats use it when it suits their agenda.

 

Jim Miller

Yulee

Photographers Association of America

34th Annual Convention
Atlanta, Ga
June 15th to 20th 1914

Grandfather, Alexander Augustus Miller Sr., was a professional photographer in Goldsboro, NC.  He attended the convention and this 9″ x 59″ panoramic photograph has come down to me.

group merged 9x59.jpg

Grandfather is in the middle row, left hand side, wearing a straw boater’s hat.

Sr

The panoramic photo was taken by C. F. McDannell.

credit

It’s Disenfranchisement If The Republicans Do It In Majority Republican Counties. But The Democrats Also Do It In Majority Democrat Counties.

On the Editorial Page of today’s Fernandina News-Leader was this Letter-to-the-Editor by Carla Voisard, Chairperson of Democratic Executive Committee (emphasis & notes mine):

“The final straw

Well, I just got the numbers, and over 2,000 Democrats and No Party Affiliates have registered Republican in Nassau County [see note 1]. They will vote in the Republican primary.  I guess this fall under the final straw.

Many were tired of efforts to disenfranchise their right to vote. When one party has someone run as either a write-in candidate [see note 2] (no one ever sees their name) or has a Republican reregister as a Libertarian (about 180 in the county) to keep the Democratic and nonaffiliated voters from voting, it becomes unacceptable. [see note 3]

This year they [Republicans?] went too far (the final straw). The [voter registration?] book closed last Monday for the primary. You are [registered?] for the primary what you were [registered?] that day. So to all who did this, I say, go vote, and vote the entire [Republicans?] ballot. Once your vote is cast, take the final stand and reregister as you were. The moment you turn in your ballot, fill out the paperwork to return to your prior status. You can do this at the Supervisor of Elections office or at the Democratic headquarters. You do not have to wait until after the primary. The day after the primary, the supervisor will flip the switch and you will be home. The point will have been made quite clear. Stop trying to rig elections and disenfranchising voters!

Carla Voisard Yulee

Voter registration, as of June 30th 2016:

COUNTY               REPUBLICAN   DEMOCRAT     MINOR                 NONE               TOTAL

CLAY 77,209 31,372 3,822 29,389 141,792
DUVAL 211,817 230,401 16,526 102,635 561,379
NASSAU 33,565 13,823 1,957 9,919 59,264

Nassau as of 8/10/16: Republican:34,653,  Democrat:13,427,  Other:11,746, Total:  59,826

Note 1:  Carla, your premise is that they have changed parties in order to have a say in races that Republicans have no Democratic opposition in the State/Local Primary and have a write-in candidate to keep that race from being open to all voters (Universal Primary Contest).

Isn’t it also possible that some are simply Bernie supporters who can’t bring themselves to vote for Hillary R. Clinton?

Note 2:  For the uninitiated the write-in conspiracy is detailed below, both Republican & Democrats use it. and  the courts have upheld it:

Floridians in 1998 approved a constitutional amendment opening primaries to all voters if all of the candidates are from a single political party. Two years later, then-Secretary of State Katherine Harris issued an opinion that said the existence of a write-in candidate was enough to cause a primary to be closed. It has been used as a campaign tool ever since.

Critics of this practice have sued various times to open primaries when the presence of a write-in caused them to be closed but have lost repeatedly, most recently in a February Florida Supreme Court ruling.

Last week, three Republicans filed paperwork to become candidates for state attorney in the 4th Judicial Circuit of Florida that includes Duval, Clay and Nassau counties. My colleague Larry Hannan reported that incumbent Angela Corey’s campaign manager also helped a fourth person qualify as a write-in, therefore limiting the primary to just Republican voters.

As a result, Hannan wrote, “about 440,000 registered voters in Duval, Nassau and Clay counties will not be allowed to cast ballots in the Aug. 30 primary because they are Democrats or have no party affiliation.” Write-in candidates also closed the primaries in the public defender’s race, where Matt Shirk is trying to keep his job.

Note 3:  Florida is a closed primary state, you only vote the ticket of your registration, Universal Primary Contest and Nonpartisan, so if you register:

  •  No Party Affiliation, you can only vote this ballot,
  • Libertarian, you can only vote this ballot,
  • Republican, you can only vote this ballot,
  • And if Democratic, you can only vote this ballot.

A write-in qualifies for the primary election, but their name won’t be on the ballot, they will either have to file paperwork at different times leading up to the primary election or pay fines for failure to file.  But the fines are based on the amount of money raised, and most don’t raise any money.  In state wide contest here are 35 write-in this election cycle.

The write-in loophole is used by both parties, in Palm Beach County, which has a 120,000 Democratic majority, the House race between Democrats Skidmore & Slosberg was closed by Mary Kathryn Johnson, of St. Petersburg, a 150 miles from the district.

This situation was created by a 1998 constitutional amendment passed by voters.

On the upcoming Republican primary ballot we have the following races, in Nassau County, which are no Universal Primary Contest because of either a Libertarian Party of Florida, Write In,  or No Party Affiliation:

  1. State Attorney – Daniel K. Leigh WRI w/no financial activity
  2. Public Defender – Roland Falcon WRI w/no financial activity
  3. State Representative (Dist 11) – Walter E. Haynes WRI w/no financial activity
  4. Tax Collector – John L. McDowell WRI w/no financial activity
  5. Superintendent of Schools – Cheryl R. James LPF w/financial activity
  6. County Commissioner (Dist 5) – Don Tanner WRI w/no financial activity

Voter Registration by month from Florida Division of Elections

 

A Clearinghouse for Volunteers

At the recent Amelia Island Genealogy Society‘s board meeting Gloria Toomey introduced us to JustServe, a clearinghouse for volunteers (organizations needing volunteers/individual wanting to volunteer).  They have an Android & I-phone app in addition to the web site

Their about page:

“JustServe matches faith, nonprofit, community and governmental organizations that need volunteers with volunteers willing to help. JustServe.org links you to service opportunities in your community so you can make a difference wherever you are and however you want to serve.

Once we know what the needs are, we tell you about them here on JustServe then you can go and help get the job done. We make it easy to sign-up and show-up, on your time and in your way.

JustServe.org is provided as a service by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Following the Biblical admonition to “love thy neighbor as thyself,” JustServe provides opportunities to relieve suffering, assist those in need of a helping hand, and enhance the quality of life in the community. JustServe is not for proselytizing or publicity–simply a service to help link community volunteer needs with volunteers.”

Currently there is only one project listed for “Fernandina Beach” Keep Nassau Beautiful’s Adopt-a-Mile project which needs volunteers to “Meet at the corner of North 14th Street and Franklin Street and park in the Baptist Church parking lot at 8:00 a.m. on the designated Saturday.” and work on cleaning North 14th St for Atlantic Ave to Bosque Bello Cemetery.

This appears to be a service that the volunteer driven organizations in Nassau County need to join.

Would a $275.00 Evacuation Hood Have Saved Chris Steven’s Life?

I have been in high rise buildings where there is a smoke hood in every office.  Wikipedia points out the Ready.gov website recommends them.

Preparedness lists, such as those presented by Ready.Gov, often recommend smoke hoods, although some lists use alternate names such as “fume hoods,” “respirator hoods,” or “self-rescue hoods.” As most modern construction contains materials that produce toxic smoke or fumes when burned, smoke hoods can allow people to make a safe escape from buildings when it might not otherwise be possible.

Why weren’t smoke hood available at the Benghazi diplomatic compound, as part of their emergency preparedness?

Are smote hoods part of the State Department’s current preparedness plans?

  • Maybe, this CBS news report shows State Department rescue training where the victim is wearing a smoke hood (time code 0.51 – 0.55).

 

 

10 Million Job Loss in Civilian Work Force During Obama Administration

In my opinion the best measure of economic recovery is the Bureau of Labor Statistics Civilian Labor Force Level which looks like this for January 1948 through July 2016.

F1

The vertical axis in Number in thousands of  16 years and over workers in the Civilian Workforce.  The data is tabulated monthly.  I have overlaid a conservative trend line (red) from 1962 to 2016.  The red arrows indicate recessions documented in Wikipedia.

Wikipedia tells us there have been 10 recessions, red arrows above, since 1949. They cite the following definition of a recession:

The unofficial beginning and ending dates of recessions in the United States have been defined by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), an American private nonprofit research organization. The NBER defines a recession as “a significant decline in economic activity spread across the economy, lasting more than two quarters which is 6 months, normally visible in real gross domestic product (GDP), real income, employment, industrial production, and wholesale-retail sales.

Following the end of World War II and the large adjustment as the economy adjusted from wartime to peacetime in 1945, the collection of many economic indicators, such as unemployment and GDP, became standardized. Recessions after World War II may be compared to each other much more easily than previous recessions because of these available data. The listed dates and durations are from the official chronology of the National Bureau of Economic Research.  GDP data are from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, unemployment from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (after 1948). Note that the unemployment rate often reaches a peak associated with a recession after the recession has officially ended.

F2

The recession of the Early 1980s is the closest to our most recent (2009) in peak unemployment (-2.7 vice -4.3) and length (1 yr 4 mo vice 1 yr 6 mo).  But if we examine the impact on civilian labor force we see a different story.

Looking at impact on the civilian labor force we see an impact in the 1960 – 1961 recession where there was a significant plateau in the growth of the civilian labor force.  Followed by a resumption of the growth rate with a net 2 M loss of civilian jobs.

 F3

We see this again in the recession of the early 1990s.  The plateau, followed by a reduce growth rate and a net loss of 2 M civilian jobs.

F4

We don’t see this in the recession of the early 2000’s, if anything there is a spike in the civilian labor force in December 1999.   Likewise there is no significant plateau with the 2007 – 2009 Great Recession. F5

A plateau does occur post the great recession in 2009, which plateaued for 6 years (orange), before renewing an upward trend (blue), with a net loss of 10 million job.  The job loss is increasing because of the reduce rate of growth beginning in 2014 (blue).

F6