Category Archives: Politics vs. math

Self-dealing non-profits and the NRA

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Charity Navigator

The recent filing of a civil action to dissolve the National Rifle Association by the New York State Attorney General will generate headlines and political debate for months to come. I have done a lot of work over the years with “not-for-profit” organizations (more commonly called “non-profits”), serving on the boards of several in various roles, including president and treasurer…. Read more »

Covid math you learned in elementary school

Desk

The three major Covid-19 mitigations available to “normal folks” have clearly become highly politicized. The frustrating thing here is that all three are based on science and mathematics principles that you likely learned in elementary school, but have either been forgotten or have been overridden by anti-science political cultism. So, squeeze yourself back into that 5th grade desk and let’s… Read more »

Choose your story on economic stimulus

HyVee store

Good economists (and some bad ones) disagree on the effects to the economy of this year’s $1200 per person direct stimulus payment. Lots of data get thrown around, but let me suggest that whether you believe another round of direct cash stimulus is warranted depends more, even if you are a “data person,” on which of these three “stories” answers… Read more »

A tax plan for Biden #3 – taxing corporations

World map

The first two parts of this series of posts looked at quick hits and then larger principles that I believe Joe Biden should focus on in rescuing the mess that is the U.S. Tax Code. We need to restore both tax fairness and revenue effectiveness, both of which are in rough shape today. Business and corporation taxes, the subject of… Read more »

The anatomy of an 11-day Covid-19 test report

Covid testing Sarasota

The test result finally came eleven days, almost to the hour, from getting swabbed at a mass drive-up testing site on July 2nd. Even then, the confirmation came not through the official portal, but rather via secure email from one of the several email, website response and telephone call queries I had been making for several days. I had been… Read more »

A tax plan for Biden #2 – guiding principles

Tax expenditures 2018

In Part One of this series, I looked at several “quick hit” actions a Biden Administration could take to restore some measure of sanity to the U.S. tax system. In this part, I want to lay out my basic principles for a fairer, simpler, and more effective federal income taxing system. I believe these principles also to be legislatively achievable…. Read more »

A tax plan for Biden #1 – the quick hits

tax-rate-changes-snap

Joe Biden has been honest about the reality of raising taxes to offset the reckless and economically disastrous 2017 cuts if he gets in office. “You all know in your gut what has to be done,” he told a group of fundraisers a year ago. My CPA certificate is in retirement status but I still know how to count. The… Read more »

A Florida coronavirus film noir in four acts

June Florida Coronavirus

The dramatic June resurgence of Covid-19 cases in my current home of Florida strikes me as film noir that has been playing out in four acts. You could write this story in a number of ways, but I see the plot line as a battle among the exciting(?) mathematical concepts of uncertainty, probability, and fecundity, with some ugly politics thrown… Read more »

Mail voting – an auditor’s dream

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mail-in-ballot

My Certified Public Accountant certificate is in retirement status, so I am not speaking in an official capacity here. But if I were still a legit CPA, I would assert that the best mail-in systems around the U.S. are much more secure than any in-person voting process in the country. For one thing, they are much easier to audit after… Read more »

Justice Gorsuch and the two conservatisms

Republican coalition vectors

Religious conservatives were taken aback by the recent Bostock v. Clayton County Supreme Court case, and especially by Neil Gorsuch’s blunt affirmation of the rights of LGBTQ people in the workplace under his “textual” reading of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. I see this as an unequivocally good decision, but the “surprise factor” here is worth some… Read more »