Taxes & Independence: Happy Fourth Of July

Today, kids will decorate wagons with streamers and drag them down small town streets while big marching bands play John Philip Sousa tunes. There will be floats and beauty queens with big smiles (and even bigger hair). Smells from cookouts and barbecues will fill neighborhoods as folks fire up the grill to make hotdogs, hamburgers and pulled pork. Picnic tables will groan underneath the weight of piles of cole slaw, potato salad, baked beans, fresh tomatoes out of the garden and spectacularly decorated red, white and blue cupcakes. Grown ups will kick back a few beers as kids run around …

Marc Rich, Famous Fugitive & Alleged Tax Evader Pardoned By President Clinton, Dies

Marc Rich, one of the most famous white collar criminals in recent memory, has died in Switzerland at age 78, as the result of a stroke. Rich became a millionaire before he turned 50 – but not without controversy. The college dropout (he never finished New York University) found a profitable market in trade. By the time he turned 30, he was trading crude oil at sky high prices. He made other lucrative investments, including a share of the 20th Century [entity display=”Fox” type=”organization” subtype=”company” active=”true” key=”fox” natural_id=”fred/company/91215″]Fox[/entity] studio which he sold to Rupert Murdoch for $250 million. In spite …

Federal Gas Tax Passes Another Milestone: What Is The Future?

Happy birthday, federal gas tax! Yes, on this day in 1932, President Herbert Hoover signed the Revenue Act of 1932 authorizing the first federal gasoline tax. It was the first gas tax on a federal level but not the first gas tax in the country: all of the states at the time had their own gas tax. The tax was a whopping one cent per gallon: the average cost of gas in 1932 was ten cents per gallon. The federal gas tax was not originally earmarked for highways or roads projects but was rather intended to help close a gap …

Never Forget: Celebrating Memorial Day

You’re probably firing up the grill later today. It is, of course, the unofficial first day of summer. But it’s also something more: Memorial Day. It’s the day to remember those men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving our country: those who have died while in the military service. Even though the day itself has been celebrated by Americans since the Civil War, it wasn’t officially called Memorial Day until 1967 (it was originally called Decoration Day). While individuals marked the day across the country, the day wasn’t observed uniformly until 1971; Public Law 90-363 was signed …

As Many Celebrate 4/20, Feds Still Won’t Budge on Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana

Today is April 20 or 4/20. If I get a blank stare with that proclamation, then you’re among the millions of Americans who are outside of counterculture. You see, 420 is famously (or infamously, depending on who you ask) associated with the celebration of marijuana. While there are dozens of theories about how the date came to have such significance, the most widely accepted can be traced to a group of teenagers from San Rafael, California. The group, nicknamed the Waldos for their favorite hangout spot (a wall outside of school), used to meet after school to smoke pot. The …

As Squabbles Over Budget Continue, Annual White House Easter Egg Tradition Rolls On

My kids are minutes away from their annual Easter Egg Hunt. Set among the backdrop of rural North Carolina, it’s miles away – both literally and figuratively – from the White House Easter Egg Roll. Both are scheduled to go on this year, despite fears to the contrary. While there was no scandal at my house (just some worries over my mom’s health and the weather), the White House has spent the last three weeks answering “will they or won’t they?” questions about its event due to remarks over a potential cancellation. Here’s what happened. On March 1, a series …

Tax Trivia Giveaway #2: Presidential Income

(Update: We have our winners!) Our second tax trivia question is: In honor of President’s Day, this question focuses on presidential tax returns. Since Richard Nixon, almost all of our U.S. Presidents (and most presidential candidates) have reported this specific kind of additional income on their tax returns. Since it’s occasional income for our Presidents, it tends to get reported on a separate schedule – taxed as ordinary income – but other taxpayers (who receive this kind of income regularly) may opt to report it on a Schedule C. What kind of additional income is it? For more about the …

Tax Trivia Giveaway #1: St. Valentine’s Day Massacre

(Update: We have a winner!) Our first tax trivia question is: On this day in 1929, gunmen in Chicago wearing stolen police uniforms murdered seven members of a rival crime organization run by Bugs Moran. The murders would come to be known as the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. The boss of those gunmen was suspected of a number of crimes, including murder, weapons charges and bootlegging but efforts to make any of the serious charges stick were unsuccessful. In 1931, he was finally brought down on federal income tax charges and subsequently sentenced to 11 years imprisonment, which was at …