Tag Archive: Dynamic Scoring


Oregon has long been a taxing problem for California.

Motoring south along Oregon 101 last March, your author noted the strategically located presence of “Stateline Cannabis” about 100 yards north of the California line … and 0.40 mile away the Golden State’s Smith River Agricultural Inspection Station.

Driving my Mazda Miata little green chariot with its Oregon “Pacific Wonderland” plates, your clean-cut Almost DailyBrett author and his wonderful spouse, Jeanne, were simply waved through the inspection station.

Had to think: ‘What’s the point of the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) Smith River Agricultural Inspection Station, if they just send you on your merry way?’

The short answer is California is trying to protect its largest industry – agriculture — from dangerous pests. The question that immediately came to mind: What about Stateline Cannabis’ agricultural products?

Statewide Cannabis describes its business as a homeopathic pharmacy. Does the State of California agree?

Why should the Golden State care?

Oregon has zero sales tax.

In contrast, California has sales taxes up the wazoo, including an incomprehensible 10.5 percent in Los Angeles County.

Immediately germane to the Oregon 101 border region, California’s Del Norte County collects sales taxes of 7.5 percent and Humboldt County, 8.75 percent.

Oregon does charge a 17 percent tax on cannabis sales, including marijuana sold at Statewide Cannabis.

California in turn assesses the statewide sales tax, plus a given county’s portion of the sales tax, a 15 percent excise tax and a cannabis business tax. A $100 retail pot price results in a $124.20 total sales price.

Any which way you assess the question, cannabis is cheaper in Oregon than California.

More to the point, the export of cannabis from Oregon across state lines ist verboten, regardless of the fact that Mary Jane is also legal in Washington to the north and California to the south.

What if the Almost DailyBrett author was sporting a ratty beard and was driving a wreck on wheels with California plates … would he and his wonderful spouse, Jeanne, be merely waved through the Smith River Agricultural Inspection Station?

Don’t think so.

California Sales Tax + Interest for An Oregon Subaru?

Back in the 20th Century, your author purchased a new $16,000 Subaru Legacy as a lawful resident of Portland, Oregon. There were zero sales taxes charged or paid.

As Martha (Stewart) would say: “That’s a good thing.”

Two years later with a move to the Bay Area, there was the necessary evil in the form of an agonizing, mind-numbing and desultory visit to California DMV to register the Subaru and secure its plates and tags.

Houston we have a problem.

The State of California under the aegis of former Governor Pete Wilson’s Department of Motor Vehicles would not register Almost DailyBrett’s Subaru Legacy even though the car was bought legally two years prior in Portland, Oregon with no-sales-tax.

No amount of honey or vinegar was going to change a bureaucrat’s mind that day. It was pound sand all the way.

Pleasanton DMV flat-out refused to register the Subaru and provide the necessary plates and tags unless and until the applicable Alameda County sales tax was paid (presently 9.75 percent) applicable at the time of the sale (forget about depreciation) plus two years of compounding interest.

Your frosted author wrote a four-figure check on the spot in order to register the car. As the say in Avenue Q, it sucks to be me.

You can only imagine the surprise two years later when an unexpected envelope from California DMV arrived in your author’s mail box. California lost a lawsuit and was required to pay back the two years of improperly assessed sales tax, plus interest.

Thank you, Howard Jarvis Tax Association.

The Dynamic Effect of Tax Increases

“The art of taxation consists in so plucking the goose as to procure the largest quantity of feathers with the least possible amount of hissing.” – France Minister of Finance Jean-Baptiste Colbert

“Tax the rich. Tax the rich. Tax the rich. We did. Now, God forbid, the rich leave.” — New York Governor Andrew Cuomo

Almost DailyBrett is not making any aspirations against the folks at Stateline Cannabis, who are making a living selling a once-taboo product.

The inevitable issue is that many Californians will one way or another react and respond to ever-increasing taxes – call it the dynamic effect.

If a short drive over the California-Oregon border will result in paying less … plenty less … for homeopathic pharmaceutical products, don’t you suppose more than a few folks will be naughty rather than nice?

Something tells Almost DailyBrett the Smith River Agricultural Inspection Station is looking for more than hitch-hiking insects.

https://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/news/2018/12/31/oregon-pot-marijuana-exporting-weed-out-state/2415786002/

https://www.wweek.com/news/2018/04/18/oregon-grew-more-cannabis-than-customers-can-smoke-now-shops-and-farmers-are-left-with-mountains-of-unwanted-bud/

https://www.currypilot.com/csp/mediapool/sites/CurryPilot/News/story.csp?cid=4264302&sid=919&fid=151

https://www.salestaxhandbook.com/california/rates

https://www.oregon.gov/olcc/marijuana/Pages/FAQs-Taxes.aspx

https://lumatax.com/blog/california-cannabis-sales-tax-everything-you-need-to-know/

https://mjbizdaily.com/legal-hurdles-interstate-cannabis-exports-oregon/

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2018/07/23/mary-jane-supply-and-demand/

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2019/04/01/californias-rarefied-air-tax/

 

“We have a deep sense of responsibility to give back to our country and the people who help make our success possible.” – Tim Cook, Apple chief executive officer

The largest taxpayer in the world is paying more … $38 billion more … in one lump sum.

Apple is repatriating $200 billion in the world’s largest amount of overseas corporate assets, $252 billion.

The company also announced $350 billion in direct investments in the U.S. economy, not just share buy-backs. Apple will create 20,000 jobs right here in America.

Almost DailyBrett is proud to be an Apple shareholder, for more than the 83 percent in share appreciation since 2015.

Tim Cook and his lieutenants are proving to the world that a great company can be more than the innovator and producer of wonderful products (i.e. iPhone X, iPads, Mac). Apple is more than 123,000 jobs with full benefits and a terrific return for its shareholders

Apple is also redefining the relationship between fiduciary responsibility and corporate social responsibility (CSR).

To a few misguided, well-meaning souls, major corporations are somehow the enemy of the masses. And yet how does one who holds these views explain Apple’s good deeds?

The $38 billion is happening right now. These are additional revenues for the government that would have remained trapped overseas without a reduction in the world’s largest 35 percent corporate rate to 21 percent.

Think of $38 billion in terms of 38 x 1,000 x $1 million. That amount can start to make a quite a dent in fixing our highways, airports, bridges and other major infrastructure needs.

FILE PHOTO: The Apple Campus 2 is seen under construction in Cupertino, California in this aerial photo taken January 13, 2017. REUTERS/Noah Berger/File Photo

So much for those who say that tax reform is not a dynamic scoring stimulus.

These are the same folks who conveniently forgot the nation’s largest peacetime expansion occurred during the Reagan Presidency years in which 19 million jobs were created.

Yes, there will be a $1.75 billion-over-20 years impact to the federal treasury using static scoring.

But how much additional economic stimulus will come from putting more revenues back into the economy and lifting time-consuming, expensive regulations? This is the serendipity of dynamic scoring.

Now that Apple has announced the one-time payment of record taxes, a flood of domestic investment and five-figure increases in hiring, will Microsoft, Cisco, Google and Oracle do the same?

According to Standard & Poors, Microsoft has $132.1 billion in overseas holdings; Cisco, $69.1 billion, Google, $60.5 billion and Oracle, $58.5 billion.

Messrs Satya Nadella (MSFT), Chuck Robbins (CSCO), Larry Page (GOOG) and Mark Hurd (ORCL), it is time for each of your companies to follow Tim Cook’s lead and to give back to America.

Great Time To Be A College Graduate

As a tenure-track assistant professor of public relations, integrated marketing communications, corporate communications and investor relations, the author of Almost DailyBrett could not be more excited for my graduating students.

Please do not dismiss my excitement as Greenspanesque “Irrational Exuberance.” There is little doubt that our 26,000-point Dow is in need of a healthy correction, maybe 10 percent or more.

Nonetheless, when was the last time that our GDP (gross domestic product) was growing at a 3 percent annualized rate?

Our unemployment rate stands at 4.1 percent, very close to full employment.

Wages and salaries are rising, reflecting a labor shortage for skilled employees.

Our inflation rate (e.g., Consumer Price Index) was 2.1 percent in December.

The Federal Reserve’s Fed Funds rate is 1.25 percent.

Hmm … bull market, expanding global economy, low unemployment, labor shortage, low inflation, miniscule interest rates … sounds like a Goldilocks Economy. What’s not to like?

To top it off, we now have tax reform and regulatory relief.

Certainly, all of these factors will not last forever. They can’t and they won’t.

Having said all of the above, this is a great time to start or revive a career. Your author could not be more stoked for his students.

And he has more than once cautioned his students against taking the first offer. Don’t be arrogant. At the same time, don’t be afraid to be confident and maybe a tad bold.

Tim Cook and Apple have the wind in their sails. And to prove it, they are paying record taxes, investing in America and hiring Americans.

We have at least 200 billion repatriated reasons to rejoice.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/apple-to-pay-38-billion-in-repatriation-tax-plans-new-u-s-campus-1516215419

 

 

 

“I think if there’s anything CWU needs, it’s campus tradition, campus spirit and overall unity,” — Rob Lane, Vice President of Student Life and Facilities.

Predictably, there was some relatively quiet grumbling among the easily excitable faculty types and a few students. The status quo was being disturbed and at least for a moment inertia, because of change, was not reigning supreme.

Central Washington University just spent anywhere between $55,800 (low estimate) to $160,000 (high estimate) for a 9-foot long, 300-pound bronze statue of a ferocious Wildcat. And for what purpose, the critics huffed and puffed?DSC01528

This coming Saturday, June 13 is graduation on the Central Washington Campus. Close your eyes and just imagine tasselled graduating students in their caps and gowns having their photos taken in front of … The Wildcat statue? Yes, CWU now has a “location shot” as they call it in the television business.

Certainly, the Wildcat statue will never be confused with famous locations (i.e., Kremlin in Moscow, Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Big Ben in London, White House Portico in DC, Statue of Liberty in Gotham or the Golden Gate Bridge in Frisco), but it’s a start for Central Washington.

And maybe some of these proud parents of graduating students or alums remembering the best days of their lives will be tempted to write a check or two. And pretty soon those checks will start adding up. And wouldn’t these checks help CWU Development …err Advancement … in fundraising? And could this activity relieve some of the pressure on those who would raise tuition?

Sounds like a dynamic effect to the author of Almost DailyBrett.

Static Scoring vs. Dynamic Scoring

The whining and complaining by the static quo bunch in Ellensburg, Washington is similar to the fight back in the other Washington about static scoring and dynamic scoring. The real issue is whether the federal behemoth should give back any tax dollars to the dwindling number of taxpayers, who are actually still contributing to the government.

Using static scoring, the methodology of choice for anyone trying to stop anything and everything, one could accurately conclude that each dollar used for the Wildcat statue (or substitute any other out-of-elite-favor activity) is one less dollar for some other noble deed for the deemed public good.

Using dynamic scoring, the methodology of choice for anyone wanting to stimulate economic activity and entrepreneurship, each activity triggers responses. Reminds one of Newton’s First Law of Motion about a body in motion remaining in motion.TommyT

Thinking about these examples, one marvels how many stop to have their pictures taken in front of Tommy Trojan on the USC campus before making the trek over to the Los Angeles Mausoleum for a football game. How many Trojan alums are wiping a tear or two out of their eyes when they see “Tommy T” and they hear Dr. Arthur C. Bartner’s “Spirit of Troy” band play “Fight On!” Time to write a check?

Even though Penn State has been through the college football definition of hell with the Jerry Sandusky scandal, the firing/passing of Joe Paterno, and the crippling NCAA sanctions, there are literally thousands of Penn State alums who still stop and have their picture taken with “The Nittany Lion.”nittanylion

During a recent visit to the Valley of the Sun, the author of Almost DailyBrett took the time to have his picture taken with the bronze likeness of Frank Kush, ASU’s feared and very successful football coach.

You may be tempted to think that CWU will never enjoy the athletic prowess of USC, Penn State or ASU, and considering the disparity in the size of the athletic budgets of the former with the three aforementioned Big 5 Conference members, you most likely will be right.

But also weigh that San Jose State also built a statue focusing on its lone athletic achievement: John Carlos and Tommie Smith, winning Gold and Bronze respectively, at the Mexico City Olympic Games in 1968.JohnCarlosTommieSmith

For some reason, one suspects there was not too much faculty grumbling at SJSU about the building of the Carlos/Smith statue.

Maybe there is a glimmer of hope for dynamic scoring after all.

http://www.cwu.edu/bronze-wildcat-statue-installed-campus

http://cwuobserver.com/3651/news/student-government-planning-wildcat-statue/

http://www.dailyrecordnews.com/members/bronze-sculpture-of-a-wildcat-installed-in-front-of-the/article_db09890c-0945-11e5-aa2f-2b7c38bae26a.html

http://www.freedomworks.org/content/static-versus-dynamic-scoring

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dynamic_scoring

 

 

The World’s Most Evil Product

The setting was serene, a cool morning with the sun rays starting to win their way through a resolute coastal fog.

There were pine cones littering the ground having fallen from shade trees not long before.

cambriacemetery

Most of all there was a granite marker telling the story of a “mother,” a “wife,” an “artist” and a “writer.” Robin was born on January 24, 1955 and she passed away on July 10, 2005…about three decades short of what should have been her expected lifetime.

Even though I can’t prove it conclusively and never will, I am nonetheless certain that cigarettes robbed 30 years or more of her life. These highly addictive and inexplicably still legal killers deprived my daughter, Allison, of her mother and me of my dear wife of more than two decades.

Both Allison and I repeatedly encouraged Robin to quit, to find another way, to say goodbye to smoking, but there was always another rationale, another excuse, another reason…it was the nicotine talking, the same nicotine that took control of her life…until the end. The official diagnosis was stomach cancer, but I am convinced it was cigarettes.

As I sat beside the grave marker last week in the Cambria Central Cemetery in Central California, a ritual that I undertake two-or-three times each year, I became incensed. The reason was the realization that this repeated pilgrimage didn’t have to be, at least not this early in her life or this early in my life. How many others are going through a similar exercise and coming to the very same conclusion?

Let me ask right here and now: Why aren’t cigarettes banned outright? They kill. They are poisonous. We know this as an empirically proven, peer-reviewed scientific fact. Why don’t the federal and state authorities just say no to cigarettes?

Are we worried about losing jobs in North Carolina, Kentucky and Virginia? Are we concerned about electoral votes from these very same tobacco-growing states? Do you smell smoke, the kind that wafts in a backroom when a deal is being struck?

In November 1998, 46 state attorneys general reached agreement with Big Tobacco on a Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) calling for the tobacco companies to cough up (appropriate verb) $206 billion during the next 25 years. The end result is the government gets bigger (the government always gets bigger), the tobacco companies are free from liability for their murderous actions, cigarettes are sold and people keep on dying.

Just three years ago, Congress passed and the president signed the sweet sounding, “The Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009.” The key was a tax increase on smoking, increasing the federal tax on a pack of smokes from $0.39 to $1.01. This tax is levied on top of the myriad of state taxes on cigarettes, such as $0.80 per pack in Nevada; $0.87 per pack in California; $1.18 in Oregon; $2.00 in Arizona and $3.02 in Washington.

The question is who is really addicted to cigarettes? The poor, clinically addicted people who keep puffing away until they rob themselves of decades of their lives and leaving behind family members way too early? Or the federal and state governments that have tied themselves forever to cigarette tax revenues in order to continue their own addictive spending patterns? Or how about both the addicted smokers and the cigarette-tax revenue dependent governments?

smoking

Think of the irony, we as a nation are providing health programs benefitting children based upon people paying taxes on a product that we know leads to disease and death? How in good conscience can anyone support such a cruel policy?

But if you suggested to cash-strapped states and the federal government finance types that they get off the cigarette tax revenue gravy train, the static scorers in their green eye-shades would come in with some huge frightening number about lost revenues. How about the broken and lost lives that subsidize your revenues and thus your out-of-control spending?

What if we looked at this equation using dynamic scoring instead? What if cigarettes were outright banned? Would the most addicted of the hardened smokers seek their fix from the black market? Yes, they would. Would jobs be lost in tobacco states? Sure, but is tobacco the only cash crop in North Carolina, Virginia and Kentucky. I don’t think so.

What if fewer people were getting smoking-related diseases, leading to less Medicare and Medicaid expenditures? Instead of dying early, (e.g. 50-years-old) what if these people continued to live? What if they continued to be productive and thus contributed revenues through existing tax rates for the betterment of society? Wonder if we still would have a reduction in revenues that would exacerbate the deficit? Maybe this ethical policy would be an actual revenue enhancer.

The bottom line is that cigarettes are evil. We know they are addictive. We know they cause a litany of diseases for those who smoke and for those exposed to second-hand smoke. And we know they kill. How can anyone justify making this product in the face of conclusive scientific evidence? And how can our governments rationalize drawing revenues directly from a product that deprives a daughter of her mother and a husband of his wife?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cigarette_taxes_in_the_United_States

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tobacco_Master_Settlement_Agreement

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicotine

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