Be Like Sweden

That’s what the Progressive-Democrats say we should do, especially when it comes to taxes.  Here’s what the Swedish tax structure, that we’re supposed to emulate, looks like, pretty much straight from the horse’s mouth: Catherine Edwards, Europe Editor, for The Local, headquartered in Stockholm.

  • Property tax: virtually eliminated 10 years ago. Nationwide, property owners pay an annual tax of 0.75% of the property’s taxable value, capped at 7,412 kronor ($820).
  • Inheritance tax: abolished (not reduced to zero; this tax no longer exists) in 2005
  • Gift tax: abolished (not reduced to zero; this tax no longer exists) in 2005

All Your Prosperity Belong to Me

Senator Bernie Sanders (I, VT), who caucuses with the Progressive-Democrats, has joined the Progressive-Democratic Party’s race to the bottom.  The President wannabe has proposed his cynically named For the 99.8% Act, which is targeted explicitly against the 588 Americans he hates the most: the 588 most successful of us.  His bill would deny these few Americans their ability to pass on the outcome of their success to their heirs, their families; his bill would overtly punish these most successful—and their families—for their success.

It’s a bill that’s borne of personal animosity and rank envy.  It’s a bill that would

The Party’s Core Philosophy

And it even attacks its own.  In a Wall Street Journal article centered on Beto O’Rourke’s potential for a Progressive-Democratic Party Presidential campaign, there appeared this giveaway.

[S]ome Democrats have privately groused that he should have shared some of the $80 million he raised in 2018 with fellow candidates in the party.

There is the Progressive-Democratic Party’s core ideology: their demand to redistribute OPM, ideally to their own special interests.

“That’s not the O’Rourke campaign’s money.  He didn’t earn that.  He had help.”

Gimme, gimme, gimme.

German Intransigence

Last Tuesday, the British Parliament voted to send Prime Minister Theresa May back to Brussels to renegotiate the status of Great Britain’s Northern Ireland border with the Republic of Ireland, which is part of the Brit-EU exit agreement that the Parliament had earlier rejected.  The same day, the Parliament also rejected an attempt by Labour to delay by nine months the actual departure of Great Britain from the EU, leaving the date set at 29 March.

European Council President Donald Tusk said through his spokesman

The backstop is part of the Withdrawal Agreement, and the Withdrawal Agreement is not open for renegotiation.

Germany’s Cost of Going “Green”

Germany is moving decisively to eliminate coal-fired plants as a source for its economy’s energy.

Germany has already banned nuclear power, which was a singularly stupid thing to do—that source of energy already had no CO2 emissions. Nevertheless, the destruction of that industry already is ongoingly expensive.

Merkel’s decision in 2011 to dump nuclear energy by 2022 and to accelerate the build-out of renewable sources such as wind and solar power is already costing them €27 billion [$31.8 billion] each year in the form of a renewable-energy tax.

Some Tax Data

These are via the Tax Foundation and are from 2016, which happens to be the last year of the Obama administration and so represent the culmination of Obama’s tax policies.

  • The share of income earned by the top 1% of taxpayers rose to 20.6% in 2014. Their share of federal individual income taxes also rose, to 39.5%.
  • In 2014, the top 50% of all taxpayers paid 97.3% of all individual income taxes while the bottom 50% paid the remaining 2.7%.
  • The top 1% paid a greater share of individual income taxes (39.5%) than the bottom 90% combined (29.1%).

Increase Spending, Taxes?

Americans seem to favor that, according to a Fox News poll released last Thursday and discussed on Fox Business Online.

[T]here is broad support for increasing taxes on the wealthiest families. Voters support tax increases on families making over $10 million annually by a 46-point margin (70% favor-24% oppose), and support a hike on those making over $1 million by 36 points (65-29%).
There is less support for a broader tax increase: 44% favor raising rates on those with income over $250,000, and a small minority, 13%, approves of an increase on all Americans.

“Proper Tax Rates”

According to the EU.  Or at least the European Parliament’s Green Party.

An investigation by the Greens in the European Parliament has shown big companies throughout the bloc are failing to pay their statutory taxes. The party has called for more social responsibility.

I’m always amused by claims that studies—statistics—show anything.  At most, they can indicate, even strongly indicate, something, but showing—proving?  Not so much.

Be that as it may, and it really is more sloppy elocution than it is factual error in this sort of context, what really interests me is that “failure to pay,” and “social responsibility.”

The Teachers Union Strike in LA

The subhead on Monday’s Wall Street Journal article on the United Teachers Los Angeles union strike against the Los Angeles Unified School District says it all.

Nearly one in five LA public school students attends charters unaffected by the strike; union wants a cap on them

Herein lies one more proof of the disingenuousness of the UTLA. While the UTLA is striking, demanding a cap on the number of charter schools (and money, money, money), all the while holding Los Angeles’ public school students hostage to their demand, the charters are open and actually educating their students.

California Has Banned Insurance for Car Drivers

As everyone (apparently except the California Insurance Commission members) knows, insurance is the transfer of risk and fiscal responsibility for its realization from one party to another for an agreed fee that’s commensurate with the risk and expected cost being transferred.  The California Insurance Commission has eliminated that for California drivers, mandating that driving coverage be provided independently of the risk transferred.

California has banned auto insurance companies from considering gender when setting insurance rates for private passenger cars.
The Gender Non-Discrimination in Automobile Insurance Rating Regulation went into effect on Jan 1, 2019.