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FEDs, AGs, Law, Weaponized Gov’t – Business Risk, and Defense

May 29th, 2018 Comments off

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There is in all communications efforts the risk of saying too much, or too little, when seeking to make an important point.

 

In an era when thousands of messages are heard or seen daily by the average American, the risk of tuning out news or issues that seem disquieting is real.

This report may appear to some readers who skim as a partisan column, but the point is non-partisan and far more nuanced.

Specific examples will be used to make broader points that are important for investors, business owners, and all others too.

Before we dive into them, a quote from Sam Zell, Chairman, of Equity Lifestyle Properties (ELS), which helps make the point on one of a blizzard of reasons why this issue of the law and its application matters to every investor and business professional.

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See those quotes and more in two MHProNews exclusives on Zell, linked here, and here.

 

Equal Justice Under Law

Equal Justice Under Law” is a powerful slogan, and a noble ideal.

Justice, like affordable housing, ought to be non-partisan issues.

The words “Equal Justice” are etched in stone on some judicial edifices, plaques, and statues. To be meaningful, they must be etched into minds and hearts.

As an example, the Special Counsel Robert Mueller investigation of so-called Russian collusion with the Trump campaign is now seen by the majority of Americans much as President Donald J. Trump has defined it. Over half of those polled now see the Mueller probe as a partisan witch hunt. After a year and tens of millions spent by the special counsel, that reflects the reality with a majority, even though some 90 percent of big, mainstream media news reports have an anti-Trump bias or slant, per Vox and the Media Research Group. Yet, the president is still winning on that issue. Would that be true without his regular Twitter or video push-backs and counter-punches?

But the point here isn’t the president or Mueller, per se.  Rather, it’s as an example of how governmental power can be weaponized.

There are several people who are being investigated that are being driven to the brink of bankruptcy by federal officials associated with the Mueller investigation. That ought to be a concern to every American. “Michael Thomas Flynn is a retired United States Army Lieutenant General who served in the U.S. Army for 33 years, from 1981 until 2014. In January 2017 he briefly served as National Security Advisor to U.S. President Donald Trump,” says Wikipedia. Flynn is an example of one of those being targeted for something that Democratic Harvard Law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz says is an investigation into an allegation that isn’t even a crime.

Flynn was charged, even though FBI interrogators said they saw no evidence of deception, and Dershowitz said there is no underlying crime involved.  Nevertheless, Flynn was charged with lying to the FBI.  His legal bills were overwhelming their family.

So, even though there are plenty of grounds for defense, Flynn has plead guilty to lying. Why? Some sources say it is because of the high cost of his legal defense. Others add that it was to protect a Flynn family member that the special counsel’s office was threatening to “squeeze” in a similar fashion.

Those are arguably un-American tactics.

But this could just as easily happen to you, your partner, or a colleague. It can happen unintentionally. It can occur even when there is arguably no citizen who has been harmed.

There was a claim by an author some years ago that there are an estimated one million laws and regulations on the books in the United States, at all levels of government.

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Sam Zell and ELS had the money to fight back. But what about you, and your business?

 

Another author used as a theme in his book the notion that the average American has broken three laws each day. That means, you, family, friends, others could get the retired Lt. General Flynn treatment. You could be charged with an offense and be forced to pay the cost of defending against a potentially unjust charge.

This isn’t just a matter of what a federal or state attorney general’s office can do. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) allegedly misused their power to target conservative groups, starting around March 2010, per Wikipedia. Lois Lerner has suffered little obvious consequences from that tragic recent chapter in our nation’s history.

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Still from the second video, below.

If you or your business was unjustly targeted by prosecutors, the costs of a good legal defense could drive many into bankruptcy in a period of months.

People in government aren’t automatically angels. It’s a fallacy of those who believe in big government, with big bureaucracies.

The Fredric Bastiat video on this page teaches principles that are similar to those of America’s founders. Like American’s founders, Bastiat believed in limited government that gave maximum liberty to people, which in turn protected private property rights. Bastiat felt that law should routinely negate government power, as a check against an abuse of power.

 

We, the People

The founding founders created a system of checks and balances, precisely as a counter to government overreach.

But research indicates that in the U.S., most don’t know the Constitution, much less their constitutional rights. For example, the Annenberg Public Policy survey in Sept 2017 found that ”Nearly half of those surveyed (48 percent) say that freedom of speech is a right guaranteed by the First Amendment. But, unprompted, 37 percent could not name any First Amendment rights.”

Millions have little or no understanding of the historic reasons why the principle of constitutionally limited government matters.  That’s a recipe for an abuse of power by people in government.

The ultimate check on an abuse of government power is the citizen jury system.

A single informed juror can keep an unjust law, or a law that is being unjustly applied, from being enforced. They can do so by voting, “not guilty.”

Education, motivation, and a keen sense of curiosity for objective truth are useful in business. Those skills are also useful in society.

The power to tax, and the power to regulate, are the power to destroy.

Weaponized education, agenda journalism, and government overreach are among the reasons for voting for those who support limited government that operates within constitutional boundaries.

The entire notion of constitutional government is that it limits government power.  Legitimate government gets its power from the “consent of the governed.” But more than that, legitimate government protects life, liberty, and private property.

 

The 5Ws and the 1 H

Who. What. When. Where. Why. How.” They are the basic questions that must be answered by objective journalism. They are the basics of police investigations, and the core of all research. By all research, that means research by investors too.

That means they 5Ws and 1 H are – or should be – at the core of informed professional and investor question when probing any issue.

In an era where there seems to be clear examples of “Weaponized Justice,” everyone ought to be alarmed. Again, this isn’t a partisan issue.

There is a need to be informed, but a challenge of getting authentic information. That’s why analytical thinking is so important.

Take the time to understand. Encourage others to be informed.

Vote wisely for those who want to roll back bloated government, which can become weaponized.

Understand the Constitution and it’s principles.

 

Vote at the ballot box, and vote in the jury box. Every vote is important, but your vote as a juror may be one of the most powerful rights any citizen possess.

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The well-informed citizen juror is a great check on potential abuse of power by simply being able to vote, “not guilty.” Someday, you or someone you know could be targeted by government overreach. Applied knowledge is an important tool to stop such abuse. ## (News, analysis, and expert commentary.)

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Related Reports:

“Death by Government,” Fascism, Communism, Socialism, ‘Big Brother,’ per Williams, Rummel and Owens

MHAction activists all reflect the fingerprints of left-wing, anti-business, pro-socialist thinking.

Behind So-Called “MH Resident Activists,” MHAction’s Kevin Borden, Anti- HUD Secretary Ben Carson, Manufactured Housing Industry Protests

The headline below is not to imply that only Democrats embrace such anti-property-rights notions.  Attention to the details are necessary in every campaign you, and your circle of influence can vote in.

Hold Your Wallet, More Democrats Openly Embrace Socialism, Plus MH Market Updates

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President Trump on Special Counsel Bias, Rogue FBI Agent, Taxes, & Roy Moore

December 15th, 2017 Comments off

Video12152017PresidentDonaldJTrumpDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsWashington, D.C. – White House, South Lawn, 12.15.2017.  The White House press room has provided the Daily Business News, on MHProNews, the following Q & A with reporters, prior to President Trump’s departure on Marine One this morning.

Q (Inaudible.)

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, it’s a shame what’s happened with the FBI.  But we’re going to rebuild the FBI.  It will be bigger and better than ever.  But it is very sad when you look at those documents.  And how they’ve done that is really, really disgraceful, and you have a lot of very angry people that are seeing it.  It’s a very sad thing to watch, I will tell you that.

And I’m going today, on behalf of the FBI, their new building.  But when everybody — not me — when everybody — the level of anger at what they’ve been witnessing with respect to the FBI is certainly very sad.

Q    Should Roy Moore concede?

THE PRESIDENT:  I think he should.  He tried.  I want to support — always, I want to support the person running.  We need the seat.  We’d like to have the seat.  I think we’re doing very well on the tax.  We’ll see what happens.  But I think we’re doing very well.  It’s something that’s going to be monumental.  It will be the biggest tax decrease, or tax cut, in the history of our country.

But as far as Roy Moore, yeah, it’s certainly — I would certainly say he should.

Q    Is the special counsel biased?

THE PRESIDENT:  You’ll have to make that determination.  We’re hoping for a very — let’s put it this way:  There is absolutely no collusion.  That has been proven.  When you look at the committees, whether it’s the Senate or the House, everybody — my worst enemies, they walk out, they say, “There is no collusion but we’ll continue to look.”  They’re spending millions and millions of dollars.

There is absolutely no collusion.  I didn’t make a phone call to Russia.  I have nothing to do with Russia.  Everybody knows it.  That was a Democrat hoax.  It was an excuse for losing the election, and it should have never been this way, where they spent all these millions of dollars.

So now even the Democrats admit there’s no collusion.  There is no collusion — that’s it.  And we got to get back to running a country.

What we have found, and what they have found after looking at this, really, scam, is they found tremendous — whatever you want to call it; you’re going to have to make up your own determination — but they found tremendous things on the other side.  When you look at the Hillary Clinton investigation, it was — I’ve been saying for a long time — that was a rigged system, folks.  That was a rigged system.

When you look at what they did with respect to the Hillary Clinton investigation, it was rigged.  And there’s never been anything like it in this country that we’ve ever found before.  It’s very, very sad.  Very, very sad.

Q    Mr. President, when did you find out that Michael Flynn lied to the FBI?  When did you find out?

THE PRESIDENT:  What else is there?  You know the answer.  How many times has that question been asked?

Go ahead.

Q    Have you seen the final tax bill?

THE PRESIDENT:  I have.  I have seen it.  I think it’s going to do very, very well.  I think that we are going to be in a position to pass something as early as next week, which will be monumental.

Q    Marco Rubio, Mike Lee?

THE PRESIDENT:  I think they’ll be great.  They’re great people.  They want to see it done.  I know them very well.  I know how they feel.  These are great people and they want to see it done, and they want to see it done properly.

Go ahead.

Q    Do you support talks with North Korea without preconditions?

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, we’re going to see what happens with North Korea.  We have a lot of support.  There are a lot of nations that agree with us — almost everybody.  We can’t let that happen.  And we’re going to see what happens with North Korea.  We hope it works out.

Q (Inaudible) child tax credit?

THE PRESIDENT:  Yeah, I think we will.  I think we will.  The child tax credit, just so you understand, the Democrats have done nothing in terms of children, in terms of child tax credit.  We’re putting in a tremendous child tax credit, and it is increasing on a daily basis.

Q    How was your call with Vladimir Putin?

THE PRESIDENT:  It was great.  He said very nice things about what I’ve done for this country in terms of the economy, and then he said also some negative things in terms of what’s going on elsewhere.  But the primary point was to talk about North Korea, because we would love to have his help on North Korea.  China is helping.  Russia is not helping.  We’d like to have Russia’s help — very important.

Q    About Michael Flynn — would you consider a pardon for Michael Flynn?

THE PRESIDENT:  I don’t want to talk about pardons for Michael Flynn yet.  We’ll see what happens.  Let’s see.  I can say this:  When you look at what’s gone on with the FBI and with the Justice Department, people are very, very angry.

Thank you very much, everybody.  Thank you.

END. ## (News.)

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Sunday Morning Weekly Recap Manufactured Housing Industry News, September 3 to September 10, 2017

September 10th, 2017 Comments off
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Featured image credit, MHProNews.

Our new September issue is live. Our featured articles will be available on the MHProNews.com home page. Our September theme will be available mid-week this week.

 To see the line-up of over 2-dozen featured articles for this month, along with the headline commentary, please click the link above.

Manufactured, modular and prefabricated home professionals know that how a home got to its location should not define a person or their dwelling.

What the Daily Business News spotlights day-by-day are the tragedies, triumphs and struggles for acceptance of the obvious solution for millions for the growing affordable housing crisis in the U.S. and beyond.

When you read the lineup for the month found on the home page, you can reflect on another motto as you chart your own professional path ahead: “We Provide, You Decide.”  ©

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What’s New On MHLivingNews

Manufactured Home Community Survives Hurricane Harvey, Damage Reports, and Relief Efforts

September 9th, 2017

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September 8th, 2017

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Featured image credit, KreditGoGo.

September 7th, 2017

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September 6th, 2017

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Featured image credit, AccuWeather

September 5th, 2017

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Featured image credit, CPAPracticeAdvisor.

September 4th, 2o17

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Featured image credit, Ewoow.

September 3rd, 2017

## (Headline news recaps.)

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How Much Does the Average American Pay in Taxes?

September 1st, 2017 Comments off
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Featured image credit, Pixabay, MHProNews.

Our self-destructive tax code costs Americans millions and millions of jobs, trillions of dollars and billions of hours spent on compliance and paperwork,” said President Donald Trump, in a speech in Springfield, MO., per Newsmax.

The president’s words are not an exaggeration.

Data released this week by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) found that the average American spent $10,489 on federal, state, and local taxes combined in 2016.

That broken down, is $8,367 in federal taxes, $2,046 in state and local income taxes, and $75 in other taxes.

Last year, Americans spent more on taxes than they did on food and clothing – combined.

The BLS used data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau in their Consumer Expenditures report for 2016.

The study looks at individual “consumer units,” which include

  • all members of a particular household who are related by blood, marriage, adoption, or other legal arrangements,”
  • or “a person living alone or sharing a household with others or living as a roomer in a private home or lodging house or in a permanent living quarters in a hotel or motel, but who is financially independent,”
  • or “two or more persons living together who use their income to make joint expenditure decisions.”
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Americans spending on taxes compared to food and clothing. Image credit, CNS News.

In just three years, the amount spent on taxes has increased by 41.13 percent. In 2013, Americans spent $7,423 on taxes, compared to the $10,489 in 2016.

The only cost that was higher than taxes, was housing – which included mortgage or rent, and utilities – totaling at $18,886.

No Surprise

Regular readers of the Daily Business News will not find this to be a surprise.  Note the recent reported that rents are growing out of reach of low-wage workers, and that there are over 8 million people who are at risk of losing their home over a single emergency expense.

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Featured image credit, HUD.

The study determined that the average consumer unit had $74,664 in annual income. The Bureau of Labor Statistics full break-down on how American’s are spending their money is available here for download.

Trump “Doesn’t Want to be Disappointed by Congress” on Tax Reform

Coincidentally, as this information was released President Trump was in Springfield, MO, giving a speech on tax reform.

This is our once-in-a-generation opportunity to deliver real tax reform for everyday hard-working Americans,” Trump told employees of the Loren Cook Co.

You can watch his full address and crowd interaction in the video below.

The Daily Business News has reported that tax reform is one of the key issues that industry professionals, and the National Federation of Small Businesses (NFIB) want to see tackled soon.

We want to renew our prosperity — and to restore opportunity, then we must reduce the tax burden on our companies and on our workers,” President Trump said. ## (News.)

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Taxes, Rep Gohmert (R-TX), GOP Slow Walking President Trump’s Big Agenda?

July 13th, 2017 Comments off

SlowWalkigTaxReformManufacturedHousingDailyBuisnessNewsMHProNewsMembers from both parties have acknowledged the shortcomings of our current tax system and the need for meaningful reforms to encourage economic growth and alleviate many of the burdens imposed on hardworking taxpayers…As we work to achieve those goals, it is essential that Congress has the best possible advice and insight from experts and stakeholders.” –  Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Senate Finance Chair.

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Official photo.

Representative Louie Gohmert (R-TX), worries that President Donald J. Trump’s big tax agenda is going to get stalled, slow walked.  Some of that stall, frets the Freedom Caucus member, are from members of the president’s own party.

In the video below, shares the Texas Congressman’s views on health care first, then tax reform.

There is no lack of support from business and investors in favor of a pro-growth agenda.

This week, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce filed comments in response to Chairman Hatch’s call for feedback.

So, what did it have to say?

Not to sound like a broken record,”  wrote Caroline Harris, “but we [The Chamber] would love to see comprehensive, pro-growth tax reform as soon as possible.”

What does that reform looks like for the Chamber?

CarolineLHarrisCHiefTaxCounselVPTaxPolicyUSChamberCommerceManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNwesMHProNewsPer Harris:

Lower rates for all businesses – Our C corporations and pass-through entities face some of the highest marginal rates in the world. And, to top that off, while other countries are slashing rates, we are falling behind simply by standing still. It’s time to cut rates for all businesses.

·        An internationally competitive system – We are the last member of the major industrialized OECD countries to cling to an anti-competitive worldwide system of taxation. Let’s jettison that like a Members Only® jacket at the end of the 1980s and adopt an internationally competitive territorial system of taxation. And while we are doing that, let’s make sure any anti-abuse rules are minimally invasive and that we use a bifurcated rate on any previously untaxed earnings. After all, that cash isn’t just sitting offshore taking a vacation – much of it has been reinvested in property, plant, and equipment, or used in restructuring so companies can stay globally competitive.

·        Faster cost recovery – Let’s let businesses write off their investments more quickly so they can focus on doing what they do best: drive economic growth and job creation. And let’s make sure our research and development incentives encourage conducting research in the United States and locating the ensuing intellectual property that is created here.

·        Investment taxes –Taxes on investment income and capital gains drive up the cost of capital, thereby reducing the amount of capital productively employed, productivity, wage gains, and international competitiveness. We strongly urge that in tax reform, investment taxes be kept as low as possible to avoid damaging economic ramifications.

·        Compliance – No surprises here – the business community would like to see less complex tax rules to reduce compliance costs!

·        Transition rules – How we get from here to there is as important as the new tax regime we adopt. Tax reform should include effective transition rules to provide adequate time for implementation of any new system of taxation and to help minimize economic hardships that businesses may encounter in moving to a new tax system. “

As regular Daily Business News readers know, the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) have also called for robust tax reform, this year.

The president and his team want it done. 

Will Congress work through August, if necessary and make even more economic growth and job creation happen? ##

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VP Elect Pence Vows Promises Will Be Kept, Jobs, ObamaCare and Regs in Video

January 4th, 2017 Comments off
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Image credits, Live Satellite News, text graphics, MHProNews.

We are in the promise keeping business, said Vice-President-elect Mike Pence at a Capitol Hill News conference today.

Pence told reporters that in keeping with President-elect Donald Trump’s classic three-part agenda for the American people, “Jobs, Jobs, Jobs” that the House and Senate Republicans were already planning moves to scale back on regulations that kill jobs.

Much of the press conference focused on repealing and replacing ObamaCare, which Pence reminded viewers that he and others recalled the broken promises that the health care legislation was passed upon.  He vowed that a market-oriented replacement solution would be put in its place, that would save taxpayers money, as well as protect those who were currently covered under that law.

Democrats have vowed to battle some issues – such as ObamaCare and Dodd-Frank, but could cooperate on others – like infrastructure.  See politically related article, linked here.

The video on this page covers the balance of the details for the start of the Trump agenda.

The Daily Business News has been following post-election results closely, for its impact on stocks, the dollar, builders, small business and consumer confidence.  ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)

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Cavco Industries Reports Q2 Results

November 10th, 2016 Comments off
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Credit: Cavco Industries.

Cavco Industries (NASDAQ: CVCO) reported financial results for Q2 2016 on November 8th.

Net revenue for the second quarter was down 1.9 percent from Q2 2015 to $188.3 million, while net revenue was up 5.6% for the first six months of the year compared to the same period in 2015.

Pretax income was up 4.8% to $13.1 million, powered by operating leverage from homes sales volume. Net income was up 14.8 percent to $9.3 million.

Net income per share for the second quarter, based on basic and diluted weighted average shares outstanding, was $1.04 and $1.03 respectively, compared to net income per share of $0.91 and $0.89 for the comparable quarter last year.

Net income per share for the six months ended October 1, 2016, based on basic and diluted weighted average shares outstanding, was $1.65 and $1.63, respectively, versus basic and diluted net income per share of $1.52 and $1.49 for the prior six-month period.

 

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Cavco's Joe Stegmayer. Credit: Cavco.

Cavco’s Joe Stegmayer. Credit: Cavco.

We are pleased to report improved profitability this quarter while still operating in a highly competitive housing market,” said Cavco Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Joe Stegmayer.

We remain encouraged by the continued housing recovery and our solid backlogs. Interest from manufactured home retailers, developers and community operators for our product offerings remains strong heading into the winter season.

As Daily Business News readers are aware, Phoenix, AZ-based Cavco Industries produces manufactured homes, modular and park model homes, vacation cabins and commercial structures. Factory-built homes are designed and produced under such brand names as Cavco Homes, Fleetwood Homes and Palm Harbor Homes.

 

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Credit: Bloomberg.

 

Cavco is also one of the manufactured home industry connected stocks tracked every business day by the Daily Business News, with the most recent report, linked here.

For an exclusive interview with Joe Stegmayer, click here. ##

Cavco Q2 Results

(Image credits are as shown above.)

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.

NFIB By The Numbers: Trump, Clinton and Small Business

October 20th, 2016 Comments off
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Credit: MHProNews.

As part of their “Election Center” feature, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) has published Who Will You Choose? Presidential Issue Comparison, that analyzes each candidates position on issues that are important to small business.

The data is pulled directly from candidates’ plans.  NFIB notes that they don’t endorse candidates for the highest office in the land, but they do provide a head-to-head comparision, so their members can make an informed choice.

So, where do they stand? Let’s take a look.

Income Tax Rate

Trump: Proposes reducing the number of tax brackets to three: 12%, 25%, and 33%.

Clinton: Proposes a new tax surcharge on high-income taxpayers effectively raising the top rate to 43.6%. Proposes increasing capital gains taxes and implementing the “Buffett” rule to enact a new minimum tax rate on those with over $1 million adjusted gross income.

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Hillary vs Trump – credit BBC.

Business Tax Rate

Trump: Proposes a new 15% business rate that would apply to corporations and pass through businesses.

Clinton: Proposes no change in corporate tax rates.

Estate Tax

Trump: Proposes elimination of the Estate Tax, but capital gains held until death will be subject to tax, with the first $10 million tax-free as under current law to exempt small businesses and family farms. 

Clinton: Proposes restoring the federal estate tax to 2009 levels and create new brackets for estates over certain sizes: 45% for estates over $3.5 million, 50% for over $10 million, 55% for over $50 million, and 65% for over $500 million.

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Regulation

Trump: Proposes eliminating the EPA’s Waters of U.S. rule and Clean Power Plan rule.

Clinton: Supports the EPA’s Waters of the U.S. rule and Clean Power Plan rule and proposes additional measures to transition U.S. energy sources to renewables.

Health Care

Trump: Proposes repealing the Affordable Care Act and replacing it with Health Savings Accounts.

Clinton: Proposes expanding the Affordable Care Act by creating a new “public option” government-run insurance plan. She proposes increasing tax credits to assist with health insurance premiums. She also proposes allowing people over 55 buy into Medicare.

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For Frank Griffin’s report on this issue, complete with videos, please click here. Credit: Wikipedia.

Energy

Trump: Proposes opening onshore and offshore leasing on federal lands.

Clinton: Proposes putting additional regulations on oil and natural gas development.

Paid Leave 

Trump: Proposes expanding unemployment insurance (UI) programs to pay for six weeks of maternity leave. Trump proposes paying for increased leave by eliminating fraud in the UI program.

Clinton: Proposes 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave. Clinton proposes paying for the increased leave with higher taxes on the “wealthy.

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.