Friday, September 28, 2018

88 Percent Of Taxpayers Projected To Use Standard Deduction Under New Tax Law

From Tax Foundation, "Nearly 90 Percent of Taxpayers Are Projected to Take the TCJA’s Expanded Standard Deduction" by Erica York:
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act increased the standard deduction from $6,500 to $12,000 for single filers and $13,000 to $24,000 for taxpayers who are married filing jointly. Thus, millions of households will no longer need to go through the complex process of itemizing their deductions. The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that the number of filers who itemize will fall from 46.5 million in 2017 to just over 18 million in 2018, meaning that about 88 percent of the 150 million households that file taxes will take the increased standard deduction.
Source: Tax Foundation

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Majority Of Voters Want New Government Spending Offset By Other Cuts In Federal Budget

From Rasmussen Reports, "Most Think New Gov Spending Should Be Offset By Cuts Elsewhere":
Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Congress is set to pass a spending bill this week to avoid another partial government shutdown, but most voters think any new spending should be offset by cuts in other areas of the budget.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 54% of Likely U.S. Voters agree that any new spending approved by Congress should be offset by cuts in other areas of the federal budget. That’s up 10 points from July 2017, when voters similarly lost faith that spending cuts would be coming, but in line with findings earlier in the year. Twenty-five percent (25%) of voters think new spending should not be offset by budget cuts, but 20% are undecided.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

2018 Long-Term Budget Outlook in 25 Slides: CBO

From CBO, "The 2018 Long-Term Budget Outlook in 25 Slides" Published on Sep 20, 2018:

At 78 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), federal debt held by the public is now at its highest level since shortly after World War II. If current laws generally remained unchanged, CBO projects, growing budget deficits would boost that debt sharply over the next 30 years; it would approach 100 percent of GDP by the end of the next decade and 152 percent by 2048. That amount would be the highest in the nation’s history by far. The prospect of large and growing debt poses substantial risks for the nation and presents policymakers with significant challenges.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

How Many Hurricane And Flood Deaths Are Due To US Flood Insurance Subsidies?

From The Wall Street Journal, Opinion, "The U.S. Is Rich, So Storms Are Worse: Donald Trump’s thought processes may be a mystery, but better hurricane policy isn’t." by Holman W. Jenkins, Jr:
[H]ow should aid be conditioned so it doesn’t become an artificial incentive to live and build in high-risk places?

A 2016 study ["The Perverse Effects of Subsidized Weather Insurance" by Omri Ben-Shahar & Kyle D. Logue, Stanford Law Review, Volume 68, March 2016] published in the Stanford Law Review pointed out what everybody in Washington quietly knows: “We call weather-related catastrophes ‘natural disasters,’ but the losses” are often due to “questionable government policies.”

... the National Flood Insurance Program, which long ago turned into a perverse subsidy for coastal development.
As the respected insurance consultancy AIR Worldwide put it in 2015, not climate change but “the growing number and value of coastal properties is the largest factor impacting hurricane risk today.” A whopping $17 trillion in property now exists inside the U.S. storm-surge zone.

... one could even legitimately ask how many have died over the decades as a result of artificial subsidies for Americans to locate in harm’s way.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Home Cooked Meals Increasing: Restaurant Meals Declining

From Bloomberg Business, "American Eating Habits Are Changing Faster than Fast Food Can Keep Up" by Leslie Patton:
Restaurants are getting dinged by the convenience of Netflix, the advent of pre-made meals, the spread of online grocery delivery, plus crushing student debt and a focus on healthy eating. Eighty-two percent of American meals are prepared at home -- more than were cooked 10 years ago, according to researcher NPD Group Inc. The latest peak in restaurant-going was in 2000, when the average American dined out 216 times a year. That figure fell to 185 for the year ended in February, NPD said.

Don’t be fooled by reports of rising U.S. restaurant sales at big chains like McDonald’s Corp. Increases have been driven by price hikes, not more customers. Traffic for the industry was down 1.1 percent in July, the 29th straight month of declines, according to MillerPulse data.

Dining Dip
Americans are shifting to more in-home meals versus dining out
Source: Bloomberg Business