Some recent links of note:
- Earn less money so you owe less taxes and fund less of the government’s bad deeds, or earn more money so you can donate more to good causes and offset the damage done by your taxes? Such a decision becomes even more complex when your finances are entwined with those of a partner. Lindsey Britt thinks over her options at NWTRCC’s blog.
- The Congressional Budget Office recently released its projections for what the U.S. federal government budget is likely to look like in the future based on current law and economic conditions. It is an eye-opener. Last year when they issued their report, they thought the U.S. government debt would be about 79½% of the nation’s gross domestic product, a number that raised eyebrows at the time. But that was before the coronavirus. Now they say the number will be upwards of 98% — a level the country has not seen since the all-out mobilization for World War Ⅱ. And it just keeps climbing from there. By 2050 it is projected to nearly double to 195%. This is because government spending as a percentage of GDP is expected to rise, from “rising interest costs and the costs associated with an aging population and excess health-care cost growth”. The federal budget deficit this year is projected to be $3.3 trillion, which is just freaking unprecedented. “It is hard to overestimate what a dismal fiscal future the Congressional Budget Office foresees.”
- The human battle against traffic ticket robots continues, with the robots taking casualties in Belgium and France; France and Italy; and Canada and France in recent weeks.
- Businesses in Galkayo, Somalia have launched a hartal to protest tax increases.
- Panorama recently interviewed Venetian separatist Federica Piran. Veneto voters elected to seek greater autonomy from Italy in a 2017 referendum. But that has not translated into much real change. Piran thinks a tax strike is all that is needed to make independence a reality, but doubts the Venetians have the will to pull it off.
- Catalan separatists, on the other hand, seem to be turning up the heat. They have identified a set of basic infrastructure companies that are in favor of Catalan secession and that are working to disentangle their Catalan operations from the Spanish state: companies in the telecom, energy, petrol, insurance, and banking sectors for example. They are encouraging people in Catalonia to shift their consumption to those companies, and also to pay their federal taxes through the Catalan tax agency, as a way of easing the eventual transition to independence.