September 24, 2018

Joe the Plumber Will Tackle Tax Reform If Elected to Congress

Samuel Wurzelbacher (aka Joe the Plumber) is running for Congress. Yep! The man who became a hero to uncounted conservative Americans for having a slightly contentious driveway moment with then-candidate Barack Obama wants to represent the citizens of Ohio's 9th Congressional District. Despite his claims to be an outsider, JdaP has a pretty sophisticated campaign going that includes photo ops that would make one think that he's actually a plumber (he's not). But never mind all that. The issues are the important thing, right? So what is on SamJoe's platform?

His agenda: tax reform, cutting regulation. "I believe we're completely out of balance. There's got to be a center here." He's opposed to green initiatives. He thinks the auto bailouts were an example of government overreach. "Most of my neighbors work at Jeep and GM, but most of them disagreed with the bailout," he says. Neither party has been significantly aggressive on simplifying the tax code. He'd like to audit the Federal Reserve and go through the budget line by line. "They want to scare people and talk about cutting Social Security and Medicare," he says. "Nobody talks about going through the budget line by line."

What would entail being "significantly aggressive on simplifying the tax code"? Does this include sticking a plunger on Nancy Pelosi's head or eating a magic flower that will allow him to chase the do-nothings with fireballs to spring them into action? As for nobody talking about budget cutting "line by line," maybe Joe missed that driveway moment. Either way, it's not entirely clear how Joe will flush out these wonky budgetary issues. 

Can Joe the Plumber Become Samuel the Congressman? [Yahoo via @crampell

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Going Concern is Not Immune to the Michael Jackson Circus

1.michael_jackson_71246050015.jpgWe’ve been able to avoid the whole Michael Jackson debacle up until now. We couldn’t, in good blogging conscience, avoid this particular story.
The estate of Michael Jackson is probably going to have to turn over at least $80 million to the IRS and they get to cut the line right to the front to collect.
“As in a bankruptcy case, Jackson’s creditors will jockey for first crack at his fortune. But the estate’s initial obligation will be to pay the late star’s taxes, said Beth Kaufman, a Washington-based attorney specializing in estate tax issues. ‘There is no question that the U.S. government has first priority,’ she said.
Oh, and the Service is not going to take the royalty rights to She Loves You or I am the Walrus either:

To settle his tax bill, the executors of his estate may have to sell or borrow against lucrative but hard-to-value assets or ask the IRS for a multi-year extension. That could allow the estate to pay the tab over time with earnings from Jackson’s share in rights to songs by the Beatles and his own music — prized properties whose value will likely make the estate’s tax bill only bigger. “The government is not going to take a Beatles record as payment. They want to be paid in cash,” said Roy Kozupsky, a veteran estate lawyer in New York who has worked on behalf of several wealthy clients.

Reportedly, Jackson still made $40 million a year from his ownership of the recordings. This will no doubt make the calculation of the tax bill more complicated and thus, we’ll continue to be saturated with all the excruciating details about this story that we just don’t want to hear.
Death and taxes: Big IRS bill looms for MJ estate [AP via TaxProf Blog]

UBS Names Needed so We Can Pay for Healthcare Otherwise We’ll Have to Print More Money

obama_point.jpg“Rich people, I want your money.”
No, seriously. Hand it over.
We’ve covered the failure (so far) of the IRS to get UBS to name names on 52,000 Americans and we’ve heard some good suggestions but maybe chocolate isn’t what the Service is interested in.
The House passed a pricey healthcare proposal yesterday and B to the O wanted it to be “budget neutral” which means, “We’re in a deep hole you clowns. Don’t make it deeper.”
Charged with said task, they went to a cocktail party got to work and came up with a solution that they super-duper rich will foot the bill via taxes. That means, IRS, get your shit together, because Nancy Pelosi has had enough of rich people, that aren’t her, not paying their fair share of taxes. Swiss bank account holders beware, here are the gory details that you’ll be getting in on if your name gets dropped:

Under the $1.2 trillion plan passed by the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives, the wealthiest 1.2 percent of U.S. households would have to pay an additional $540 billion in taxes over the next 10 years via an income surtax of between 1 and 5.4 percent. For the super-elite, those in the top 10th of 1 percent (and presumably the type of taxpayers who have Swiss bank accounts), that works out to an additional $280,000 a year in taxes on an average annual income of $2.3 million a year, according to the Tax Policy Center.

So basically it looks as though the IRS needs to close the tax gap because…wait for it…there’s shit to pay for! We’re not slapping healthcare on the Federal Reserve credit card, no, no. Right here and now we start paying for stuff out of our own pockets. So get on these Swiss banks and get the names because they’re avoiding their patriotic duty.
Obama’s self-defeating war on the wealthy [James Pethokoukis/Reuters]