Biden’s Proposed Capital Gains Tax Rate Would be Highest for Many in a Century

The Biden administration is proposing to tax long-term capital gains at ordinary income rates for high earners, which will bring the top federal rate to highs not seen since the 1920s. Taxing capital gains at a lower tax rate than ordinary income is partly a feature of savings-consumption neutral taxation.

The highest capital gains tax rates in history date to the 1920s, when capital gains income was subject to a maximum rate of 77 percent. Those high rates were reduced starting in 1922 due to concerns about decreasing capital gains tax revenues, and going forward, long-term capital gains have mostly been taxed at lower rates than ordinary income.

Biden’s proposal would reverse that—raising the top rate on capital gains up to 43.4 percent when including the 3.8 percent Net Investment Income Tax (NIIT). While not as high as the rates seen in the 1910s and 1920s, a 43.4 percent top rate would be the highest in modern times. (Of note, some taxpayers experienced a top rate of 49.875 percent in 1978 due to other tax interactions.) …

Click here to read the full article from the Tax Foundation.

San Francisco Set To Approve Reparations Task Force

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors is slated to approve a 15-member African American Reparations Advisory Committee on Tuesday, which would make the city the first of its size to take such a concrete step to explore what reparations could look like for its Black residents.

Over the next two years, the committee plans to explore possible financial compensation and other recommendations for the descendants of enslaved people. It would examine how slavery, segregation, redlining, predatory financial practices, and other social and political ills contributed to the mistreatment and subsequent wealth gap and other disparities affecting Black people in the city.

In January 2020, District 10 Supervisor Shamann Walton announced legislation calling for reparations for Black people whose ancestors were enslaved and those who were discriminated against under Jim Crow laws enacted at the state and local levels to enforce segregation. …

Click here to read the full article from the San Francisco Chronicle.

Biden’s Plan To Have IRS Audits Target The Wealthy

President Biden has a straightforward idea to help pay for his massive infrastructure and economic reform package: Give the Internal Revenue Service more money to collect the taxes the government is owed.

On Wednesday, Biden proposed giving the IRS $80 billion and more authority over the next 10 years to crack down on tax evasion, especially by wealthier Americans and corporations.

The revenue recouped would be the largest source of funds for his $4-trillion infrastructure and jobs plan to help the economy recover from the effects of COVID-19 shutdowns.

Why is this a big deal? Doesn’t the IRS already do audits?

Not as much in recent years. You’d be surprised. …

Click here to read the full article from the L.A. Times.

Dozens of Arrests in EDD Jobless Fraud Cases

A California task force formed five months ago to investigate fraudulent unemployment claims involving incarcerated people said that there have so far been 68 arrests and that it has opened 1,641 other inquiries.

The report last week by the statewide task force comes after local prosecutors warned that potentially tens of thousands of fraudulent claims have been filed involving people in prison and jail that could total $2 billion.

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced in November that he was asking state officials to form a task force with federal prosecutors and county district attorneys who had already begun investigating improper claims filed in the names of people behind bars, including those on death row.

The Newsom administration released an update on its investigations April 26, shortly after Secretary of State Shirley N. Weber reported there were sufficient signatures to qualify for the ballot an effort to recall the governor. …

Click here to read the full article from the L.A. Times.

Newsom Recall Helps Orange County Republicans

Photo courtesy of DonkeyHotey, flickr

Heading into the 2020 election, Orange County Republicans had about 2,000 volunteers helping to knock on doors and make phone calls for GOP candidates.

Today, party chair Fred Whitaker says his party is on the verge of tripling that army, and that some 6,000 people have contacted the local GOP asking how they can help.

In terms of political engagement, 2021 should be an off year. Instead, the effort to recall Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom has been a shot in the arm for the Republican Party of Orange County, which clawed back two House seats in November but has otherwise been losing ground for years as the county has become more diverse, more Democratic, and less supportive of Donald Trump-brand Republicanism.

GOP leaders believe the energy that’s boosting the Newsom recall effort will extend though next year and help Republicans hold or win back House, state and local seats in the 2022 midterms. …

Click here to read the full article from the OC Register.

Who’s Driving the Newsom Recall?

From the L.A. Times:

Recall backers have gathered more than 1.6 million valid voter signatures, enough to place a proposed ouster of Gov. Gavin Newsom on the ballot. For the second time in California’s history, voters will decide if a sitting governor should be removed before a regularly scheduled election.

A Times analysis of data released by Secretary of State Shirley N. Weber shows where support was the strongest. Though petitions were signed all across the state, the highest concentrations of signatures were found in the rural northeast, areas with low coronavirus case counts and where voters heavily favored former President Trump.

The Times analysis studied the 1,626,042 voter signatures verified by local election officials and reported Monday by the secretary of state’s office. Not included are about 400,575 signatures that officials rejected.

Though the threshold to trigger the recall has already been passed, roughly 149,571 signatures still must be processed and have not yet been analyzed. Before the recall can be certified by Weber, triggering action by Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis to call an election within 60 to 80 days, voters who signed the petitions will be given time to withdraw their signatures and state officials will determine the cost to conduct the election, steps that could take up to three months to complete. …

Click here to read the full article from the L.A. Times.

Amid Pandemic, Companies Gave Big Amounts to Newsom’s Causes

From the L.A. Times:

Facebook, Google and Blue Shield of California are among the companies that contributed $226 million to government causes on Gov. Gavin Newsom’s behalf last year, an unprecedented level of spending that is raising alarms about the influence large corporations are amassing in Sacramento.

State records reviewed by The Times show that so-called “behested payments” surged in 2020 compared with the year prior, when companies gifted $12.1 million on Newsom’s behalf. The governor’s haul last year during the COVID-19 pandemic was six times as much as that reported by the preceding governor, Jerry Brown, during his final eight years in office combined.

With no limit on how much money can be donated by organizations or individuals at the behest of the governor, millions of dollars flowed in to prop up public services during the pandemic and fund Newsom’s favored programs, including an effort to address homelessness and a public safety campaign promoting the importance of wearing masks. …

Click here to read the full article from the L.A. Times.

California Ethnic Studies Program Blasted As ‘Hate For America’

From the L.A. Times:

California’s new ethnic studies curriculum is being put to an early test in Orange County, where organizers are riling up parents in the Los Alamitos Unified School District to oppose elective coursework and materials they say promote divisive, anti-white rhetoric.

“These courses are filled with hate for America and all America stands for,” opponents wrote in a letter to the Los Alamitos community, adding that the curriculum “teaches children that America is based on white supremacy and that white people are racists, even if they don’t know it.”

The ethnic studies model curriculum — which is intended to help educators develop classes that guide students through the histories, struggles and contributions of Asian, Black, Latino and Native American communities, among other groups — was unanimously approved in March by the state Board of Education after nearly two years of discussions, protests and rewrites.

But the lessons hailed by state Board of Education President Linda Darling-Hammond as a path to helping students “understand the forces that stand in the way of our shared humanity” are prompting some in Los Alamitos to push back. …

Click here to read the full article from the L.A. Times.

Caitlyn Jenner Can’t Rely On Fame Alone To Win

In the California of popular myth, the air is sweetly perfumed, and endless sunshine warms the Beautiful People — perfect hair, flawless teeth — for whom stardom waits just around the corner.

A parade of Hollywood celebrities — Ronald Reagan, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sonny Bono, Clint Eastwood — have stepped from the screen to help lead this fantasy version of the Golden State, where anyone who’s ever walked a red carpet is instantly a credible candidate for political office. After all, fame is what Californians supposedly worship, and A-listers are who they elect.

The reality, of course, is far different. (And that’s not speaking of the smog, traffic, homelessness and deep income and social inequalities that plague our seaside idyll.)

California has had 40 governors and 47 U.S. senators. If you add George Murphy, a former song-and-dance man who served a single Senate term in the 1960s, the entire roster of celebrity politicians elected to statewide office comes to three: Murphy, Reagan and Schwarzenegger. …

Click here to read the full article from the L.A. Times.

Newsom Recall Officially Triggered as Verified Signature Threshold Met

The effort to recall California Gov. Gavin Newsom has received the necessary number of verified signatures to trigger a recall election later this year.

The California Secretary of State said on Monday that the threshold of verified signatures reported by counties, which was set at 1,495,709, had been met.

The campaign collected more than 1.6 million verified signatures, according to the secretary of state’s office.

“This now triggers the next phase of the recall process, a 30-business-day period in which voters may submit written requests to county Registrars of Voters to remove their names from the recall petition,” Secretary Weber said in a statement. “A recall election will be held unless a sufficient number of signatures are withdrawn.” …

Click here to read the full article from Fox News.