Ethan Explains California Proposition 56

Ethan Explains California Proposition 56

This is number 6 of 17 of the California statewide ballot initiatives that I’ll cover, Proposition 56, “Cigarette Tax to Fund Healthcare, Tobacco Use Prevention, Research, and Law Enforcement. Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute.”

I hate smoking, it’s gross, it stinks, and it’s bad for your health. I am also sick and tired of you dangling your beloved cigarette out the window in traffic so I have to inhale that stench. Hot box in your car if you love smoking so much.

This initiative is supposedly to stop kids from smoking and to fund Medi-Cal and other health programs. While more expensive cigarettes will deter some kids (a big win), the rest of it falls apart.

Cigarette sin taxes fail because the dependency on a dwindling revenue stream, as people stop legally purchasing those smokes, becomes a problem.

Also, higher cigarette taxes increase illegal smuggling, thus funding criminal enterprises.

Last, this is an exceptionally regressive tax since 26.3% of smokers are below poverty level, according to the CDC. Think they’ll all quit?

I say NO to Proposition 56.

Tune in to The Ethan Bearman Show Monday through Friday, noon to 2 p.m. on KGO 810 – www.kgoradio.com

Ethan Explains California Proposition 55

Ethan Explains California Proposition 55

This is number 5 of 17 of the California statewide ballot initiatives that I’ll cover, Proposition 55. Proposition 55 is “The California Extension of the Proposition 30 Income Tax Increase Initiative.”

Remember the Proposition 30 “temporary” tax increase for K-14 to save the children during the Great Recession? Proposition 55 is the nearly permanent extension of the .25% sales tax and large income tax increase for brackets of $250,000 and above.

Wait, what happened to temporary? Because of the Great Recession?

If you listen to the majority politicians in Sacramento, the economy in California is doing great! So, which is it: is it doing great or not? If it is then the temporary tax is ready for a sunset.

Further, the highly progressive income tax leaves this funding to the gyrations of the stock market, which is what caused the problem in the first place.

Lastly, even proponent of Prop 30 argued with me that Prop 30 had to pass so then they could go back and fix the structural problems with education in California. Which never happened.

I say NO to Proposition 55.

Tune in to The Ethan Bearman Show Monday through Friday, noon to 2 p.m. on KGO 810 – www.kgoradio.com

Ethan Explains Trump Paying Taxes

Ethan Explains Trump Paying Taxes

There is a big to-do this week speculating about Donald Trump’s level of taxation based on his non-release of his tax forms. Even Mark Cuban the billionaire, who was front and center at the debate on Monday night, is jumping into the fray, with this quote:

And I tell my tax lawyers and everybody, you know, take advantage of — do what the law recommends. But I’m not against paying taxes. And I’ll give you a perfect example. When the Dallas Mavericks were building a new practice facility, which we’re just opening, I had the opportunity to go to Dallas and and play different cities against each other to get different rebates and everything. I didn’t do it.

Mr. Cuban realizes that was a choice, right?

We don’t have to pay any more than the minimum necessary under the tax code. If you don’t like the tax code, then blame your elected officials in Washington, D.C. They control how much we pay and are responsible for the 74,000+ page tax code.

Famously, Judge Learned Hand stated in Commissioner v. Newman in 1947 – “Over and over again courts have said that there is nothing sinister in so arranging one’s affairs as to keep taxes as low as possible. Everybody does so, rich or poor; and all do right, for nobody owes any public duty to pay more than the law demands: taxes are enforced exactions, not voluntary contributions. To demand more in the name of morals is mere cant.”

Tune in to The Ethan Bearman Show weekdays from noon to 2pm Pacific Time on KGO 810 – www.kgoradio.com

KGO 810

Ethan Explains Bayer Buys Monsanto

Ethan Explains Bayer Buys Monsanto

Who owns your food? Well, with Bayer AG buying Monsanto for $66 billion, one giant company is about to own nearly every aspect of the food chain.

Yes, that’s right, they’ll own it. Because Monsanto produces Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) seed and Bayer makes the farm chemicals, they will own it. They own it because each of those components the farmer relies on is patented. They’re able to patent that seed because they’ve modified it through genetic engineering. Then they own what you eat and have the financial clout to “own” members of Congress and the Senate in those farm states.

The agricultural policy of the United States is skewed in favor of these big companies because of their financial clout. It is not in favor of the farmers or the consumer (you and me,)  I had a Midwestern farmer/rancher friend explain to me how the giant ag companies pay for crops right below the subsidized price so the farmer makes little and the agri-giant makes money from the federal subsidies and own the supply chain marking up the food to the food manufacturing companies. Our tax dollars make Monsanto and Bayer AG their profits.

Do you think a giant, German based, multi-national, mega-corporation should own a huge chunk of the food supply?

Listen to The Ethan Bearman Show weekdays from 12-2pm Pacific Time on KGO 810 – www.kgoradio.com

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Ethan Explains Tax Money Waste

When a government employee lies on their timesheet, that is theft. Theft of our money. Well, some US Patent Office employees just got caught lying on their timesheets to the tune of ~300,000 hours totaling $18.3 million. That’s a lot of waste. Of my money and yours.

Government waste and fraud is always a problem, whether it’s military waste (read my book), Medicare fraud, Social Security fraud, or any number of ways people bilk our government, it is all wrong. Especially by employees.

Should we prosecute vigorously to deter future offenders or just wave our hands in disgust and say that the government wastes so much that this is just a drop in the bucket?

Tune in to The Ethan Bearman Show on KGO 810 weekdays from noon to 2pm Pacific Time – www.kgoradio.com

800,000 Sent Wrong Tax Info From Healthcare.gov

800,000 people were sent incorrect tax information after 50,000 had already filed their tax returns. Thanks Healthcare.gov!

How hard is it to build functioning websites and systems? How many people lost their jobs over these endless mistakes? How much money are we getting back from the billions blown so far?

Big Government is busy with their cronyism and looking out for themselves, not you. Sign up for a free chapter of my upcoming book Liars & Whores: How Big Government and Big Business Are Looking Out For Their Own Asses, Not Yours – http://www.liarsandwhores.com

Internet Sales Tax

Ethan Bearman

 

I had the pleasure of joining Glen Biegel on the air this morning at KBYR, Anchorage, AK to discuss the Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013 a.k.a the new Internet sales tax. We discussed the salient points of what it means to consumers and businesses across the United States. Click the link below for the 8:53 interview.

Glen Biegel Interview April 29, 2013

No On Proposition 30

Do the proposed taxes increases affect you? Proposition 30 in California won’t affect my income tax, but it will my sales tax like everyone else to the tune of .25%. Federal taxes are going up in 2013 according to the budget. So why are people in California arguing that the Proposition 30 tax increase of up to 30% not going to affect wealthy people’s behavior? It doesn’t make sense.

Michael Hiltzik of the Los Angeles Times wrote a scathing article titled Would Prop. 30 really drive millionaires out of California? He argues that data doesn’t support millionaires leaving California with tax increases in the past.

I argue that California hasn’t had a 30% tax increase on top of a federal tax increase before with which to measure against.

For the sake of everyone, I have created a nice, easy to read chart of what these tax increases look like:Proposition 30 Tax chartsI know my share of wealthy people, business owners, CEOs, and others. There is something called a tipping point where frustration reaches a level where action occurs. California already has a poor economy that is not recovering well, an unemployment rate of an official 10.2%, and we want to potentially drive more business away?

Proposition 30 has many issues, such as not addressing the fundamental failure to properly fund education, dealing with the perennial pension shortfall, and the structural problem of three layers of management with the County Offices of Education. But driving more business away to other, tax friendlier states, is a terrible idea.

If you live in California, vote no on Proposition 30.