With all of the partisan fights over absurdities like the President’s dalliances with a porn star, Facebook personality quiz apps, and whether the President can find a competent lawyer, one would think that a subject as anodyne as the decennial census would be safe from inter-party bickering. Unfortunately, that’s no longer the case, as seemingly every aspect of government is being fought over these days, even the incredibly boring (although important) ones.
Although it has been positively swamped by the news of the Nunes memo, you may have heard about another Amtrak crash over the weekend, this time in South Carolina. The crash, between an Amtrak passenger train and a CSX freight train carrying automobiles, killed two Amtrak employees and injured over 100 passengers on the train.Read More »
Yesterday, the Trump administration announced the imposition of steep punitive tariffs on specific materials manufactured abroad and imported into the United States, particularly on solar products from China and washing machines from South Korea. This was a terrible error by the administration and does not bode well for the extremely important next few weeks, which will largely determine the course of American economics and trade for the coming decade or longer.Read More »
Now that the Department of Justice is planning to crack down on legalized cannabis, how should we respond?
As you may know, the Republican leadership along with the Trump administration have recently put out the general outlines of their planned tax reform package, which will focus on lowering rates for businesses and individuals, as well as incentivizing business growth and investment through a number of different mechanics, including ‘loophole’ reduction and alteration of some tax treatments. I will have far more to say with respect to this plan as it moves through Congress, but this article is only focused on one specific proposal within the basic GOP plan that is not getting a lot of coverage outside of the business-oriented press (and not even much there). The proposal is known as ‘full expensing’ and allows businesses to treat investments in physical property, intellectual property, and other long-lived assets as expenses that only last one year versus the current treatment which maintains that those expenses must be spread out over multiple years (this is known as ‘depreciation’). Why focus on this seemingly minor proposed change, when there are big rate changes and other important proposals within the plan? As a former auditor and licensed CPA with plenty of experience in reviewing financial statements of large public companies, as well as smaller private firms, I see this proposal, said to boost growth by its backers in the Republican party, as one that will throw the accounting system and financial statements into a world of chaos.Read More »