Category Archives: Economy

Scotland Yes or NO

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The clock is ticking down for a yes or no vote on Scotland’s break with Britain, and things are getting ugly. Hope the clock’s not attached to a bomb. English politicians are pulling out all the stops in Scotland to buy no votes.

Keeping the Scotch in Scotland

Even Bill Clinton got into the act to say a yes vote could be financially risky. Big banks and businesses have threatened to leave Scotland if the yes voters win. On the bright side, that’s not an option for Scotch makers.

Economic Patriotism

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President Obama’s favorite billionaire is making a run for the border. Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway will finance Burger King’s purchase of Canadian donut dynamo, Tim Hortons.

Economic Patriotism

As a Canadian operation, Burger King will still have to pay US corporate taxes on earnings inside the United States. But earnings outside the US will only be taxed at the rate of the country where they occur. US companies have to pay taxes in the countries where they operate and also must pay IRS the difference between those rates and the US rate. The Obama administration calls this economic patriotism.

Burger King’s move is called a tax “inversion”. Matt Levine gives a great explanation in this Bloomberg article.

The US corporate rate, including state and local taxes comes to about 40%. That’s the highest in the world outside the Islamic State jizya. Roberto A. Ferdman provides a nice chart in the Washington Post showing the tax rates of the 34 OECD countries.

The nominal corporate tax rate in the U.S., which combines national, state, and city-level tax rates, is nearly 40 percent—the highest across all 34 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) member countries. Canada’s, by comparison, is just over 26 percent.

James Foley

140822 james foleyThe New York Times reported that ISIS wanted $130,000,000 ransom for James Foley. European countries have paid ransom in the past. It’s a major source of income for ISIS. The US policy is not to pay ransom for hostages, on the theory it encourages more hostage taking.

The same theory doesn’t seem to apply when it comes to swapping terrorists for American hostages. We gave up five of GITMO’s worst bad asses to bring home alleged deserter Private Bergdahl.

Bergdahl’s parents were flown in from Idaho to celebrate the joyous occasion with President Obama in the White House Rose Garden.

James Foley

James Foley met his grim fate with courage. His parents showed the source of that fortitude in their meeting with the media to discuss their son on the day of  his death.

Obama played golf.

Poor Mouth

140625-hillary-poor-mouthHillary’s book tour got off to a poor start during an interview with Diane Sawyer.  We learned that Bill and Hill came to the White House “with no money” and left “not only dead broke but in debt“. People used to call her Patches.

It wasn’t for lack of effort, though, or “dint of hard work” as Hillary put it.

The threadbare baggage the Clintons brought to Washington from Arkansas in 1993 included the Whitewater real estate scheme. They lost $40,000 on that one. According to prosecutors, dubious loans through a failed S&L didn’t profit them either. More hard work and nothing to show for it. Plucky Hillary did finally manage to shoo the wolf from the door by turning $1,000 into $100,000 on a cattle futures trade. She attributed her investing acumen to reading the Wall Street Journal.

All that hard work finally blossomed into a happy ending with $200,000 speaking fees, multi million dollar book advances, and a bankroll over $100,000,000.

As a candidate for the 2004 nomination Howard Dean said he led the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party. Poor Patches now leads the limousine liberal wing of the Democratic Party.

Only in America.

Smart Money on Cantor

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Eric Canter’s role as House Majority Leader is dead and buried. The smart money assumed Cantor was a sure thing. But he lost his seat in a primary challenge by David Brat, a college economics professor.

As Majority Leader Cantor couldn’t avoid the insider ways of Washington. That didn’t sit well with voters in his Richmond, Va district. He also moved toward comprehensive immigration reform which Ann Coulter insists only sits well with Washington Insiders.

Smart Money

Speaking of smart money, Brat only spent $122,793 on his campaign. Cantor spent that much on steak houses!

In the general election the conservative economics prof will face a sociology prof, Jack Trammell… from the same faculty lounge at Randolph-Macon college.