by Michael DePaoli
According to The Arizona Republic, a drug catapult was found along the Mexican border that was capable of launching packages of marijuana weighing almost fifty pounds (Ed. Note: Or Mexican ninos y ninas?)
In a related story, my ladder at home was manufactured in Mexico. So, they have ladders in Mexico, in addition to catapults.
In another related story, Reuters is reporting that the current estimated price of the Mexican “wall” is $21.6 billion. It will not even be a complete wall, because there will be fences in certain spots, not walls.
In yet another related story, Pew Research reports that approximately 52% of the recent unauthorized immigrants in the United States are coming from Mexico. The other 48% of the unauthorized immigrants in the USA are coming from other countries (i.e. where it would not be possible to build a border fence/wall) (Ed. Note: Giant sand castle fortress?)
BORDER ADJUSTMENT TAX?
In a further attempt to isolate the USA from civilized relationships with the rest of the world, some members of the GOP have proposed a border adjustment system of taxation.
According to CNN Money, the Chief Executive Officers of various large retail chains (Target, JC Penney, Best Buy, Gap, Tractor Supply, Joanne) are meeting with Congress to discuss this GOP proposal to create a “border-adjustment” reformation of the tax code. Reportedly, the major retailers are opposed to the border adjustment tax because it would increase their tax burden and force them to increase prices.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 17, 2017
It is very complicated (admittedly the last time I took a cost accounting class was in 1987), but I think I am able to explain the bottom line of the hypothetical proposal: All goods sold would be hit with a 20% tax. However, all goods made in the USA and exported would be granted a deduction for the 20% tax, whereas all imported goods would be forced to pay the 20% tax. So, the net effect would be that the border adjustment tax allows you to impose a “tariff” of 20% on all imported goods, but you call it a “tax” and not a tariff.
The border adjustment tax would probably have (or might not have) the following consequences: (1) Trump would violate his “contract with the American voter” because the border adjustment would not be an across-the-board tax rate reduction for businesses to 15% like he promised, (2) The short term results would be a tremendous increase in collected tax revenue, (3) The businesses in the USA would pass on most if not all of the new tax to the consumer by increasing prices, (4) Businesses would adjust to the border adjustment and find ways to avoid the new tax over the long term, thereby decreasing future tax revenue, (5) The dollar would have the tendency to strengthen, which sounds nice until you remember that the USA is trillions of dollars in debt, (6) If the dollar did in fact strengthen, then the long term price of imports might come down because of the higher buying power of the dollar, (7) Inflation would probably return, especially if the dollar did not strengthen significantly as compared to the other currencies, (8) Wages would have to increase to keep up with inflation, which might be great for the worker but would be bad for businesses, (9) There would probably be an avalanche of court cases necessary to interpret and implement the new system of taxation, including a case before the World Trade Organization because the border adjustment tax would be nothing more than a disguised tariff.
President Trump said recently that the border adjustment tax is “too complicated.” Republican Representative Devin Nunes on the House Ways and Means Committee said on CNBC that “there won’t be a tax bill” unless border adjustment tax is included.
It is a scary reality when the two branches of government that create our laws do not even know the correct direction to take on the issue of corporate taxation.
Some people are angry and calling for a boycott of the Grammy Awards because of alleged racism. The primary evidence this year is that Adele won the award for album of the year and Beyonce did not win it.
Are the Grammy Awards really racist? The awards are chosen by The Recording Academy, which is an organization based in the USA, and the USA has had a long and sordid history of outright racism. So, it would probably be safe to assume that at least some of the members of The Recording Academy are racist.
However, when you make an accusation that someone lost a contest because of racism, you are also making the concomitant accusation that someone else won the contest who did not deserve to win. So, once you allege that Beyonce should have won, you are making the argument that Adele should have lost.
Adele’s album titled “25” is an amazing work of art. In terms of album sales it was a tremendous success. According to Billboard, “25” is the sixth album since 2001 to sell more than eight million copies. The other five albums in this category are Usher’s “Confessions, 50 Cent’s “Get Rich or Die Tryin,’” Norah Jones’s “Come Away With Me,” and Eminem’s “The Eminem Show.”
So, did Adele deserve to lose? In answering this question, I must first admit that no matter how many times I hear the song “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” I still cannot figure out why the Devil lost to Johnny (Ed. Note: Solid point, but I’m not a fiddle expert either)
Adele deserved to win album of the year over Beyonce in 2017, but Beyonce deserved to win album of the year over Beck in 2015, and Rihanna deserved to win album of the year over Adele in 2012, and Lady Gaga deserved to win album of the year over both Taylor Swift and Beyonce in 2010.
The real tragedy of the Grammy Awards this year was that Disturbed’s “Sound of Silence” was perhaps the best and most unique remake of any song of all time, and yet the song was only nominated for a lesser category (Best Rock Performance) and did not win the award. Take a listen:
This is a good listen….