Republicans Are About To Pass The Most Important Tax Bill In A Generation

Republican members of Congress are racing to pass the tax reform bill so that they can get home in time for Christmas, and it looks like it is actually going to happen.  The key is the Senate, and at this point it looks like there will be enough votes, but we have seen surprises before.  As I have stated previously, I would have voted for this bill, but nobody should pretend that this fixes our tax system.  The tax code is still going to be more than two million words long, the regulations are still going to be more than seven million words long, and Americans are still going to spend billions of hours and tens of billions of dollars complying with the most complicated tax system on the entire planet. (Read More...)

Government Plan Would Transform Israel Into The World’s First Cashless Society

Israeli CoinsWill Israel be the first cashless society on the entire planet?  A committee chaired by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s chief of staff has come up with a three phase plan to “all but do away with cash transactions in Israel”.  Individuals and businesses would still be permitted to conduct cash transactions in small amounts (at least initially), but the eventual goal is to force Israeli citizens to conduct as much business as possible using electronic forms of payment.  In fact, it has been reported that Israeli officials believe that “cash is bad” because it fuels the underground economy and allows people to avoid paying taxes.  It is hoped that requiring most transactions to be conducted in cash will reduce crime and help balance the national budget.  And once 98 or 99 percent of all transactions are cashless, it will not be difficult for the Israeli government (or any other government) to go the rest of the way and ban cash transactions altogether.  But is a cashless society actually desirable?  This is a question that people all over the world will have to start asking as governments increasingly restrict the use of cash. (Read More...)

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