Tag Archives: taxes

Republican introduces bill to end California space tax

A state Republican legislator has introduced a bill that would end the special taxes that California’s Franchise Tax Board imposed on space companies last year.

The bill would repeal the space tax formula and exempt space flight income from state taxes, which Lackey contends would give companies like SpaceX, Virgin Galactic and United Launch Alliance an incentive to stay in the state. For example, Moon Express, a startup working to mine the moon for natural resources, moved from Mountain View to Florida in 2016, Lackey said.

In an email, Moon Express CEO and founder Bob Richard reiterated a statement he made last year that the decision to move was “in part due to the state of Florida’s progressive economic development incentives designed to attract commercial space companies.”

Since California has rigged its elections in a way that makes it impossible for Republicans to win, Republicans have little power in the state legislature. I therefore don’t expect this bill to pass.


The corruption in Washington DC

If you think there has been any draining of the swamp in Washington DC with recent elections, think again. The passage this weekend of the new tax package illustrates that the Republican-led Congress really is little different than the Democratic-led Congress that passed Obamacare without reading it.

PJMedia asked Rounds if he would have time to read the full text before casting his vote.

“No, because the entire bill, there’s two separate parts, first of all, there’s a summary of what each of the parts does, that part we’ve been able to read. The actual text itself will be completed and then it will go into a conference committee where it will come back out again. So most of us have looked at all of the analysis of each one of the sections, section-by-section, that part has been completed,” Rounds told PJM on Capitol Hill on Friday evening.

“But there will still be more work to be completed in terms of the actual fine language within the bill itself.”

In other words, we need to pass the law to find out what’s in it.

This stinks. Though there is some evidence that the new tax law will lower taxes (which generally is a good thing), no one really knows what the law’s full consequences will be. A responsible Congress would never pass such a thing. Congresses before the 1960s never did.

Laws are made of words. If you vote for a law but don’t know the words that actually make up the law you guarantee that some of those words will impose tyranny. This process, and the law that results, is no different than Obamacare, and will likely result in similar disasters.


California proposes taxes on commercial space companies

We’re here to help you! The Franchise Tax Board of California has proposed new regulations that would allow the state to tax commercial launch companies.

You can read the full proposal here [pdf].

The rules are designed to apply to any company operating in California that generates at least half the money it takes in from “space transportation” — defined as the movement of people or property 62 miles above the surface of the Earth. That’s the internationally recognized line that separates our planet from the rest of space. It would apply to companies that use California as a launchpad, not California companies launching from other states, like Texas or Florida.

Essentially, they will tax any launch from Vandenberg, basing the tax on the distance the payload flies while still attached to the rocket and still the responsibility of the launch provider.

This is essentially a tax on SpaceX, since they are California’s only major launch company. This is also a tax on Vandenberg, the only spaceport in the state. The result? Expect future companies to flee California. Expect new spaceports to spring up elsewhere. As noted in the article:

At least one company has already been lured away from California for the promise of greater financial incentives — though of a more earthly variety. Moon Express, a company working to mine the moon for natural resources, moved from Mountain View to Florida. In an email, the company’s CEO and founder, Bob Richards, said the company “relocated from California to Florida in part due to the State of Florida’s progressive economic development incentives designed to attract commercial space companies


Obamacare taxes hit the poorest the hardest

Finding out what’s in it: An H&R report has found that more than half of the poorest Obamacare enrollees face a tax liability of around $500 at tax time.

The report also found that the Obamacare penalty for not having insurance is now averaging about $172. This number however will go up in future years as the full penalty is phased in.

But isn’t Obamacare the “Affordable Care Act”, as Obama and the Democrats named it? It can’t cost us more. They said so! They promised!


Senate Republicans call for gas tax hike

Lying slime: A number of Senate Republicans have joined with Democrats to call for an increase in the gas tax.

Though the last time the gas tax was increased was during Bill Clinton’s presidency, the only reason the highway fund is short of money is that they don’t spend it wisely, wasting a lot on stupid projects. (Sounds a lot like almost everything the federal government does, doesn’t it?) Rather than increase the tax, Congress should take a close look at how the money is being spent, and clamp down.

I should note that House Republicans have already said that they will oppose this increase. Whether they stay that course however remains to be seen.


In his weekly radio address today, President Obama called for new taxes and increased spending.

Broken record: In his weekly radio address today, President Obama called for new taxes and increased spending.

It is always the same. No matter what happens, Obama calls for more spending and higher taxes. It seems quite unimaginative on his part to never propose some other ideas for solving the federal deficit and the government’s other problems.


Documents now show that IRS officials in Washington DC and California were also involved in targeting conservative organizations.

Working for the Democratic Party: Documents now show that IRS officials in Washington DC and California were also involved in targeting conservative organizations.

IRS officials at the agency’s Washington headquarters sent queries to conservative groups asking about their donors and other aspects of their operations, while officials in the El Monte and Laguna Niguel offices in California sent similar questionnaires to tea-party-affiliated groups, the documents show.

The IRS tried at first to make it sound as if only low level employees in Ohio were involved. That lie isn’t standing up very long.


The Democrats in the Senate have passed their tax plan.

The Democrats in the Senate have passed their tax plan, extending the Bush tax rates for families making under $250,000 for one year while allowing the rates for families earning above $250,000 to expire.

The big Democratic claim has been that in order to balance the budget richer people have to pay more of their fair share. Okay, so now they’ve made their point by law. If I were the Republicans I’d accept it, since we all know that this tax increase on higher income taxpayers will do nothing to lower the deficit. We could raise the tax rate for anyone earning more than $250K to 100 percent and we would still have a gigantic yearly deficit.

What will the Democrats next claim when this tax increase fails? It won’t matter. The problem is spending, and the failure of this tax plan will further demonstrate that point. The federal government has to learn to live within its means.


If you own that art, it’s not yours. The IRS owns it instead.

If you own that art, it’s not yours. The IRS owns it instead.

The object under discussion is “Canyon,” a masterwork of 20th-century art created by Robert Rauschenberg that Mrs. Sonnabend’s children inherited when she died in 2007. Because the work, a sculptural combine, includes a stuffed bald eagle, a bird under federal protection, the heirs would be committing a felony if they ever tried to sell it. So their appraisers have valued the work at zero.

But the Internal Revenue Service takes a different view. It has appraised “Canyon” at $65 million and is demanding that the owners pay $29.2 million in taxes.


A Modest Proposal

“A Modest Proposal.”

Now that the Roberts Court has affirmed that the government has the power to mandate purchases of private goods and services as long as it’s structured as a tax, I propose that we put this new-found authority in the service of an explicit Constitutional right. For far too long, too many Americans have suffered from an inequal distribution of firearms, despite the Second Amendment’s express exhortation to “keep and bear arms,” in large part because income inequality in this nation has kept the poor and working classes from having the proper protection for themselves and their loved ones. We need to end this disparity now by applying the ObamaCare model immediately.


Obama to propose $1.5 trillion in new taxes

Obama to propose $1.5 trillion in new taxes today.

A quick look at this proposal tells me that most of it is made of gimmicks and smoke and mirrors. The cuts are elusive, while the tax increases are real. More important, none of it actually appears to cut spending at all, merely reducing the rate that spending increases over the next decade.

Sadly, I don’t expect anything much better from the present Republican leadership.


One man’s response to Obama’s demand that taxes on the rich be raised

One man’s response to Obama’s demand that taxes on the rich be raised.

I deeply resent that President Obama has decided that I don’t need all the money I’ve not paid in taxes over the years, or that I should leave less for my children and grandchildren and give more to him to spend as he thinks fit.


Governments have an obligation to spend our tax money on programs that work. They fail at this fundamental task. Do we really need dozens of retraining programs with no measure of performance or results? Do we really need to spend money on solar panels, windmills and battery-operated cars when we have ample energy supplies in this country? Do we really need all the regulations that put an estimated $2 trillion burden on our economy by raising the price of things we buy? Do we really need subsidies for domestic sugar farmers and ethanol producers?

Read the whole thing.


What Democrats did wrong on the debt ceiling in 2010

Analysis from a liberal at the Washington Post: What Democrats did wrong on the debt ceiling in 2010.

Raising the debt ceiling is really, really unpopular. The idea that Congress should vote itself more authority to run deficits is really, really unintuitive. Even now, after many months of coverage and the most aggressive communications campaign this White House has attempted, Americans are closely split on whether we need to raise the debt ceiling by Aug. 2. Whenever I try to run out the logic of Obama simply refusing to allow Republicans to take the debt ceiling hostage, I end up with us approximately where we are now, but Obama’s numbers are lower, the GOP’s numbers are higher, a number of congressional Democrats have broken ranks, and Washington elites are firmly arrayed against the White House.


Minnesota government shuts down over budget and taxes

The Minnesota state government shut down on Friday over budget and taxes.

“We have divided government, and a governor that believes that he has a mandate to raise taxes and increase spending, and we have a Legislature that believes we should cut taxes and reduce spending,” said House Majority Leader Matt Dean. “It is a sort of a microcosm, in the middle of the country, of what’s going on throughout the nation.”


All new cars starting in June will have a mandatory black box

Big brother arrives: Starting in June all new cars will have a mandatory black box.

The installation and use of these black boxes can have infinite possibilities for local, state, and federal governments to monitor and record data for a number of other revenue programs that are currently under consideration. In March, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) issued a proposal to institute a tax on mileage to help pay for the federal budget deficit. Additionally, local cities and counties can download information from these black boxes, and they can be used to issue driving citations after the fact in the case of speeding or not wearing a seat belt.

I think the value of my old used Subaru Forester has just gone up!


Obama to call for tax increases in tonight’s speech

Tone deaf: The day before tax day, Obama is expected tonight to call for more tax increases.

More here about what Obama is proposing.

I meanwhile ask this obvious question: Why didn’t Obama make this proposal in his earlier budget proposals? Could it be that he isn’t serious, and is simply responding to the pressure he is getting from the right?