Posts filed under “Current Affairs”

We Know What’s the Matter With Kansas

@TBPInvictus

When pushing his tax cuts for Kansas in July 2012, Governor Sam Brownback wrote: “Our new pro-growth tax policy will be like a shot of adrenaline into the heart of the Kansas economy.” Art Laffer and Stephen Moore wrote that “many states like Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma are seriously considering abolishing their income taxes to accelerate growth,” and that they “have advised Oklahoma, Kansas, and other states to cut their income tax rates if they want the most effective immediate and lasting boost to their states’ economies.”

So, how’s it going?

Census released its 2014 Annual Survey of State Government Tax Collections today, which was not a good day if you’re Sam Brownback, Art Laffer, or Stephen Moore.

Kansas turned in the third worst performance in the US – its tax revenues dropped 3.8%. Below is the chart of total tax revenues for Kansas for the last 20+ years. As noted, Brownback made his comment in 2012 (highlighted on the chart). Tax revenues then slowed significantly in 2013, and turned decidedly negative in 2014:

Screen Shot 2015-04-16 at 11.43.55 AM

(Source: FRED through 2013, author’s entry of 2014)

Below are the individual line items for tax categories in Kansas, with the collapse – by 15%, or $499 million – of Income Taxes, both personal and corporate, highlighted.

Screen Shot 2015-04-16 at 2.10.42 PM

(Source: Census.gov, author calculations)

Perhaps the rebuttal will be that insufficient time has passed. Perhaps there will be some other excuse. However, as things stand right now, the Brownback tax experiment is looking like somewhat of a failure.

Category: Current Affairs, Data Analysis, Economy, Politics, Really, really bad calls

Jobless in Seattle? Not Yet, Anyway. Part 2

@TBPInvictus On Wednesday, I threw in my $0.02 about the controversy surrounding the increase in Seattle’s minimum wage. Unlike any of those who have been decrying the new law and its impact, I used some data to demonstrate the absence (as yet) of any ill effects. Specifically, I looked at restaurant permit issuance and found…Read More

Category: Current Affairs, Data Analysis, Economy, Employment, Really, really bad calls

Jobless in Seattle? Not Yet, Anyway.

@TBPInvictus Barry wrote yesterday about how political bias can corrupt economic analysis. It’s something he and I discuss all the time and are always on the lookout for. We’ve documented over the years how leaning too heavily on one’s politics is a recipe for disaster when it comes to asset management. In the wealth management…Read More

Category: Current Affairs, Data Analysis, Economy, Employment, Really, really bad calls

The Not So Friendly Skies

@TBPInvictus I’m excited about skiplagged.com, the website that is currently being sued by United Airlines and Orbitz for enabling “hidden city ticketing” (which you should read up on before continuing). I needed to travel to Cincinnati last spring. During a period in which my plans were tentative, round-trip fares were in the mid-$300 range or…Read More

Category: Consumer Spending, Current Affairs, Really, really bad calls, Travel, Web/Tech

Art Cashin: 2015 Issues to Watch

I am never a fan of forecasts, but I am interested in an informed discussion from knowledgeable people like Art Cashin who have have a half of a century experience on the NYSE floor:

Category: Current Affairs, Investing, Video

Rapidly Changing Social Attitudes

Fascinating comparison of popular acceptance of non-traditional (in some jurisdictions, they were called “Deviant”) marraiges. Note how the slopes of the lines showing legality and popular acceptance have shifted. Not just change, but the rate of change has accelerated. This suggests to me a more progressive attitude on Social Issues. Add Marijuana legalization to the…Read More

Category: Current Affairs, Digital Media, Legal, Psychology

Here is What I Am Watching, Lately

Every few months, I like to pull together an assortment of unrelated items that I find interesting (See this). These items include things that are not quite fully baked in my mind, not yet a full column. While I wait for these to jell, I like to put them on paper to create a bookmark…Read More

Category: Current Affairs, Markets

About That Labor Force Participation Rate . . .

@TBPInvictus here: On April 17, 2012, North Carolina Congresswoman Virginia Foxx stood before her colleagues in the House of Representatives and said (emphasis mine): Ms. FOXX. Mr. Speaker, the March employment report continues to show us that the Federal Government has not been helping to create jobs in our economy. A Wall Street Journal editorial…Read More

Category: Current Affairs, Cycles, Data Analysis, Economy, Employment, Politics

Containing Ukraine

Containing Ukraine David R. Kotok April 25, 2014     The process is simple. Look at the front page of the Wall Street Journal and then the markets. Will Russia move troops across the border and seize Eastern Ukrainian territory? If so, what will be the consequences? There are several geopolitical scenarios being discussed. Punditry…Read More

Category: Current Affairs, Think Tank, War/Defense

Happy Thanksgivingukkah !

~~~ 25 Little-Known Facts About Thanksgiving ~~~

Category: Current Affairs, Weekend