Marketplace Fairness Act Adds Automation to Tax Confusion
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It is not a new tax. It is simply a tax that nearly everyone currently reading this column is successfully evading without prosecution.

Do Tariffs Protect an Infant Industry?
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Do infant industries need tariffs to protect them from their own inefficiency and stupidity?

Is There A Moral Case for “Buy American”?
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Perhaps we would be economically better off with global trade, but do we have an obligation to maintain a higher moral standard?

Is “Buy American” Un-American?
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America will continue to lose jobs where we don’t have a comparative advantage and gain jobs where we do. This change should be welcome.

Better to Bank with Cyprus Than the United States?
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Without any authorizing legislation, the U.S. government has quietly taken more value than Cyprus tried and failed to confiscate.

Is 95% of the Trade Imbalance Legal Tax Evasion?
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As one of Forbes’s 25 largest fictional companies, Stark International could avoid $4 billion in U.S. corporate taxes with this one simple technique.

The Benefits of Free Trade Agreements: The Country Always Wins
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Average Americans think about trade imbalances the wrong way. They have it exactly backward.

The Benefits of Free Trade Defined: The Consumer Always Wins
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All I want is a simple cup of coffee near where I work. Is that asking too much of free trade?

Should We Raise Taxes to Balance the Budget?
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The only two ways to balance the federal budget are to spend less or to collect more. Spending less is the preferred method, but that is just not happening. As a result, politics is pushing many in Congress to try to balance the budget by raising taxes.

Should We Starve the Beast?
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Even to conservative political parties, starving the beast is not the ideal solution.

What Is Rent-Seeking Behavior?
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Studies suggest that $1.5 trillion is wasted on public sector rent-seeking.

Are Property Rights Human Rights?
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Does a property owner have the right to use and dispose of his property as he sees fit even if that means he is being irrational, arbitrary, capricious, even unjust?

Is a National Sales Tax Really Fair?
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Claims of “fair” or even “regressive” or “progressive” depend very much on what is used as the denominator.

Let the Income Tax Die at Age 100
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The income tax penalizes productivity, discourages hard work, and suppresses investment.

Am I Safer If My Neighbor Has A Gun?
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Currently homicides are largely committed by minority men age 18 to 39 with criminal records in urban areas killing others in the same demographic.

Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Punishes Marriage
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The maximum income for a couple is not double what it is for a single person. Your spouse’s income can disqualify you from credits you could have received if you had not been legally married.

EPA: Green Gone Wild
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Stewardship suggests limits on how people ought to rule over their environment. It is not a justification for bureaucrats’ limitless rule over people.

New Year’s Resolutions for the Country
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To fulfill the financial resolutions of spending less, living within our means, and paying off our debt, the country first needs to encourage production rather than discourage it.

Trickle-Down Taxation
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One of the strange and unintended consequences of targeting the rich with more taxes will be a greater gap between the rich and the poor as employees will shoulder their fair share no matter what.

The Lord Mayor Would Have Spoiled “A Christmas Carol”
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Studies suggest that both a gambling addiction and success in politics correlate with psychopathic behavior. Had Dickens included a gambler personality in a Christmas Carol, it would have been a different story.

The Ninth Amendment: The Value of Our Unenumerated Rights
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Few of us ever think about how the Ninth Amendment preserves all of our rights not cited in the Constitution. What are some examples of these unenumerated rights?

The Fiscal Cliff Is Almost Everything the Democrats Want
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It is a crisis fabricated 100% by politicians. And avoiding the fiscal cliff is being used hypocritically for additional political gain.

Tax on Dividend-Paying Stocks Rising to 74%
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With the enormous increase in the taxation of dividends, high net worth investors may be tempted to abandon dividend-paying stocks entirely. This is not necessary.

Capital Gains Tax is an Economic Monkey Wrench (2012)
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Tax on capital gains is scheduled to rise and become much more complex at the end of this year. Keeping your head in the midst of these changes can help your bottom line. Government should tax either the value of an asset or its yield but not both.

Seven Tax-Planning Strategies to Dodge the Tax Bullet
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The victors in the recent election have declared it open hunting season on the rich, which they evidently believe will solve our spending problems. Tax hikes everywhere are aimed at the most productive members of society.

Should We Write a Blank Check to Emergency Relief?
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Many people support public funding of disaster relief partly because they fear being described as unfeeling and selfish. Is there a moral obligation to support this public funding?

The Election Should Be Settled by a Single Question: Who Caused the Financial Crisis?
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The presidential election should be settled by a single question: “Who caused the financial crisis of 2008?” President Obama’s entire campaign has centered on his claim that he inherited a mess caused by the failed policies of the past.

Youth Vote May Support More Economic Freedom
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In 2008 Obama captured 66% of the youth vote. But unlike the liberal ideological baby boom generation, millennials are more pragmatic. Support for Obama among the 18- to 29-year-old age group has dropped to 48%.

Lower Taxes, Fewer Deductions: Are Romney and Ryan Dodging the Specifics?
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Perhaps the most significant part of the vice presidential debate was the exchange over Romney’s proposal to lower tax rates by 20% and close loopholes and deductions. Does the math add up?

Obama vs. Romney — Which Presidential Candidate Favors Small Businesses?
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Two critical questions were raised during the first presidential debate: Are small businesses important to American’s prosperity? And if they are, which candidate will unleash that engine of economic growth and employment? Fact-checking the candidates offers a clear answer.

Romney’s Return Suggests He Paid 57.9% in Taxes and Gifts to Charity
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Much has been made about Mitt Romney’s tax returns. Reviewing them clarifies both public policy and personal wealth management. A quick calculation assumes their overall tax rate was 14.1%. But this number is highly misleading.

How Much Should I Have Saved Toward Retirement?
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Measuring progress regularly on the path toward retirement is critical. Fall too far behind, and you risk not being able to save enough to catch up. There is no downside to arriving early.

How Much Should I Save Toward Retirement If I’m Starting Late?
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Knowing how much you should save for retirement is critical. But what if you are late getting started? The longer you delay, the shorter the time that compound interest can do its magic on your savings.

Public Funding for the Arts
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Many communities such as Charlottesville identify themselves as an arts community. This image translates into passionate support for public funding of the arts. But the common justifications for public funding don’t hold up under careful scrutiny.

A Progressive Tax Code is Economically Destructive
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Most Americans assume a progressive tax code is needed to promote equality and remove some of the burden of other taxes on those with the lowest income. But the progressive nature of the tax code changes behavior in many ways.

How Much Should I Save for Retirement?
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You should save 15% of your take-home pay for retirement over your working career. As your situation varies, you must adjust your safe savings rate.

The False Promises of Annuities and Annuity Calculators
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The entire selling point of the immediate fixed annuity is a lower return in exchange for a guarantee. But when analyzed, the purchase price is a loss from which you can never recover.

Paul Ryanomics
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Mitt Romney’s recent announcement of Paul Ryan as his running mate makes this election even more about government spending, programs and taxes. Ryan is the primary author of the Republican-led House’s 2013 budget proposal. Consider these five proposals to evaluate Romney’s wisdom in selecting him.

Smart Tax Planning for the Gap Years
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Many families seek financial planning advice specifically for retirement. But if they wait too long, they miss an important tax-planning opportunity. A great strategy is to take advantage of the time between retirement and Social Security at age 70, the so-called gap years.

Ignore the Politicians and Take Control of Your Financial Freedom
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During elections the political dialogue assumes that the well-being of your future is out of your control and in the hands of politicians. This is simply not true. You have the freedom to take control of your finances and your life.

What Kind of Power Is the Most Dangerous?
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Americans continue to talk past each other by using a similar vocabulary while really discussing very different concepts. Views also differ on the concept of power.

Fund a Teenager’s Million-Dollar Retirement
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We teach teenagers a lot more about sexuality than we do about money. This can confuse them about what they should be learning. Give this article to a teenager and encourage him or her to start a Roth IRA.

Squirrel Away Money While You Can
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Franco Modigliani won the Nobel Prize for a simple technique that squirrels know intuitively from birth. You have to squirrel away some nuts during times of plenty so you can survive during times of scarcity.

What Equality Should We Seek in Society?
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Studies suggest that brains may be wired with either a utopian or a tragic view of the world, corresponding roughly to liberals and conservatives. We continue to talk past each other in political debates.

What Is Comprehensive Wealth Management?
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Advisors who offer comprehensive wealth management are like financial concierges. Their only goal is to meet your needs. If you ask for fresh strawberries, they try to find them for you.

Are Investment Management Fees Tax Deductible?
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I often get asked, “Are investment management fees tax deductible?” The answer is not a simple “yes” or “no.” Like many tax questions, the answer is “It depends.”

How Do Financial Advisors Earn Their Fee?
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Investment fees are generally about 1% of assets under management and drop as assets rise. The critical question to ask is “Where do financial advisors add value that might exceed the 1% fee they charge?”

Fee-Only Financial Planner: What’s the Difference?
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Fee-only financial planners are registered investment advisors with a fiduciary responsibility to act in their clients’ best interest. They do not accept any fees or compensation based on product sales.

Emerging Market Bond Funds
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Emerging market bonds are an attractive way to get a higher yield, but historically they have come with higher volatility and a high incidence of default. But that has been changing.

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