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Supreme Court Upholds Trump-Era Foreign Earnings TAX

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US Supreme Court Upholds Trump- Era Tax

On Thursday, the US Supreme Court upheld an obscure tax established as part of Trump’s big 2017 reform package that targets U.S. taxpayers who own shares in certain foreign firms.

The Supreme Court concluded 7-2 that the so-called mandatory repatriation tax, or MRT, is constitutional under Article I and the 16th Amendment, rejecting a lawsuit by a Washington couple, Charles and Kathleen Moore, who claimed the provision violated the Constitution. Justice Brett Kavanaugh authored the majority opinion. Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch dissented.

The Supreme Court’s decision was narrow, but by declining to overturn the tax, the justices avoided closing the door on Democrats’ proposals to levy taxes on the nation’s richest earnings. Kavanaugh emphasized that the court’s analysis ignores the difficulties created by holdings, wealth, or net worth taxes, as well as appreciation taxes.

“Those are potential issues for another day, and we do not address or resolve any of those issues here,” the Supreme Court judge’s counsel wrote. “In the Moores’ instance, Congress has long taxed an entity’s shareholders on its undistributed revenue, as it did with the MRT. This Court has long sustained such taxes, and we continue to do so with the MRT.

The high court opinion is also expected to allay fears about the impact of a sweeping decision rejecting the required repatriation tax on other elements of the tax legislation. Kavanaugh acknowledged the potential repercussions of such a finding, stating that if the Moores’ argument is adopted, “vast swaths” of the Internal Revenue Code may be declared unconstitutional.

“And those tax provisions, if suddenly eliminated, would deprive the U. S. government and the American people of trillions in lost tax revenue,” he wrote on behalf of the coalition. “The logical ramifications of the Moores’ thesis would thus oblige Congress to either dramatically slash important national programs or significantly increase taxes on the remaining sources available to it—including, of course, ordinary Americans. The Constitution does not need such a fiscal disaster.”

Dan Greenberg, general counsel of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, which represented the Moores, expressed disappointment with the verdict, which allows the government to collect income taxes on overseas stockholders who have never earned income.

“We think that is unfair, because the Constitution authorizes Congress to tax people on their income, not the income of foreign businesses that they do not control,” according to a press release.

US Supreme Court

Supreme Court Moore v. U.S.

The tax at the center of the case, known as Moore v. U.S., is imposed one time on U.S. taxpayers who hold shares of certain foreign corporations. The Moores challenged the measure after they were hit with a nearly $15,000 tax bill for 2017 as a result of the law, which required them to pay levies on their share of reinvested lifetime earnings from an India-based company called KisanKraft Tools.

The Moores had invested $40,000 in the company in 2006 in exchange for a 13% stake, and did not receive any distributions, dividends or other payments from it.

But the mandatory repatriation tax, enacted through the Tax Cut and Jobs Act that was signed into law by former President Donald Trump, taxed U.S. taxpayers who owned at least 10% of a foreign company on their proportionate share of that company’s earnings after 1986. The tax was projected to generate roughly $340 billion in revenue over 10 years.

Though KisanKraft reinvested its earnings in the years after its founding, rather than distributing dividends to shareholders, the tax still applied to the Moores.

The Moores paid, but filed a lawsuit against the federal government to obtain a refund and challenge the constitutionality of the mandatory repatriation tax.

A federal district court ruled for the government and dismissed the case, finding that the mandatory repatriation tax is permitted under the 16th Amendment, which grants Congress the authority to tax “incomes, from whatever source derived.”

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit upheld the lower court’s decision, ruling that nothing in the Constitution prohibits Congress from “attributing a corporation’s income pro-rata to its shareholders.” The 9th Circuit noted that courts have consistently upheld other similar taxes, and warned that finding the measure unconstitutional would call into question many other long-standing tax provisions.

The Supreme Court affirmed the 9th Circuit’s ruling and found that by 1938, its precedents had established a rule that contradicted the Moores’ argument in their case. That line of prior decisions, Kavanaugh wrote for the court, “remains good law to this day.”

Citing those earlier rulings and the similarities between the mandatory repatriation tax and other tax provisions, the court concluded that the measure “falls squarely within Congress’s constitutional authority to tax.”

Justice Amy Coney Barrett issued a concurring opinion, joined by Justice Samuel Alito, in which she agreed with the outcome of the case, but split with the majority’s reasoning. Addressing the question that was before the court, Barrett said that the 16th Amendment does not authorize Congress to tax unrealized sums without apportionment to the states.

In a dissenting opinion joined by Gorsuch, Thomas said the Moores were correct in challenging the mandatory repatriation tax as unconstitutional. Because the couple never actually received gains from their investment, those unrealized gains couldn’t be taxed as income under the 16th Amendment, he wrote.

“The fact that the MRT has novel features does not mean that it is unconstitutional. But, the MRT is undeniably novel when compared to older income taxes, and many of those differences are constitutionally relevant,” he wrote. “Because the MRT is imposed merely based on ownership of shares in a corporation, it does not operate as a tax on income.”

Thomas criticized the majority over its concerns about the impact a broad decision would have on other longstanding taxes, writing that “if Congress invites calamity by building the tax base on constitutional quicksand, ‘the judicial power’ afforded to this court does not include the power to fashion an emergency escape.”

He also rebuffed the majority’s contention that its ruling does not speak to the constitutionality of other taxes that may be passed by Congress, such as a wealth tax.

“Sensing that upholding the MRT cedes additional ground to Congress, the majority arms itself with dicta to tell Congress ‘no’ in the future,” Thomas wrote. “But, if the court is not willing to uphold limitations on the taxing power in expensive cases, cheap dicta will make no difference.”

During oral arguments in December, the justices seemed sympathetic to concerns about how a sweeping ruling would reverberate across the U.S. tax system and threaten existing tax laws.

But some of the justices sought clarity on the limits of Congress’ taxing power. Lawyers for the Moores had warned the court that allowing a tax on income that has not yet been realized, or received, would pave the way for lawmakers to levy taxes on all manner of things, such as retirement accounts or gains in the value of real estate.

Justice Samuel Alito had faced pressure from some congressional Democrats to recuse himself from the case because of interviews he participated in with an editor at the Wall Street Journal and David Rivkin, a lawyer who represented the Moores.

The justice declined to step aside from the case, arguing there was “no valid reason” for him to do so.

Source: CBS News

 

 

Geoff Thomas is a seasoned staff writer at VORNews, a reputable online publication. With his sharp writing skills and deep understanding of SEO, he consistently delivers high-quality, engaging content that resonates with readers. Thomas' articles are well-researched, informative, and written in a clear, concise style that keeps audiences hooked. His ability to craft compelling narratives while seamlessly incorporating relevant keywords has made him a valuable asset to the VORNews team.

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Risk-Averse Companies Choose CrowdStrike for Cybersecurity. The Software is Causing chaos.

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CrowdStrike
(AP Photo/Haven Daley)

(VOR News) – Airlines, banks, hospitals, and other risk-averse institutions worldwide have chosen cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike to protect their computer systems against hackers and data breaches.

But all it took was one misplaced CrowdStrike software update to cause worldwide havoc on Friday, including flight cancellations, Closure of banks and media outlets, and the interruption of hospitals, shops, and other services.

According to Cornell University assistant professor of engineering Gregory Falco, “This is a consequence of the highly homogeneous technology that provides the foundation for our entire IT infrastructure.”

“The root of this crisis is the fact that we are dependent on a small number of companies, and everyone employs the same individuals, resulting in a collective collapse.”

CrowdStrike says there was no hacking or cyberattack.

The business issued an apology and said that a fix was being prepared. But it turned out to be a difficult problem to fix. Analyst for Gartner Eric Grenier said that cleanup required “boots on the ground.”

Grenier said, “The fix is functional; however, it is a highly manual process and there is no magic key to unlock it.” “I believe that is the most significant challenge that companies are currently facing.”

Among the most well-known cybersecurity companies are CrowdStrike and its Falcon platform, which is not available to everyone. This is especially true for the banking and transportation industries, where the efficiency of computer systems is critical.

“They are typically risk-averse organizations that prefer something that is not only workable but also provides a safety net in the event of a mishap.” Falco said, “That is the essence of CrowdStrike.”

“They are observing their colleagues in other sectors and remarking, ‘Oh, you know, this company also uses that, so I’m going to need them, too.'”

It is hardly new to voice concerns about the susceptibility of an international technology ecosystem. This is the same thing that raised concerns in the 1990s about a possible technological glitch that might cause widespread chaos come the new year.

An Australian cybersecurity analyst named Troy Hunt said on the social media site X that “this is essentially what we were all concerned about with Y2K, except it’s actually happened this time.”

Worldwide computer systems began to display the “blue screen of death” on Friday, signaling a problem with Microsoft’s Windows operating system.

Falco clarified, though, that the current circumstance is unique as “these companies are even more entrenched.” “We like to believe that we have a large pool of players at our disposal.”

Despite that, CrowdStrike’s biggest companies use the same technology.

Established in 2011, CrowdStrike claims to have “reinvented cybersecurity for the cloud era and transformed the way cybersecurity is delivered and experienced by customers” in its yearly report to financial authorities. It highlights the use of artificial intelligence in enabling it to maintain its competitiveness.

One of the most well-known cybersecurity companies in the world, with its headquarters located in Austin, Texas, makes large marketing investments, which include Super Bowl commercials.

At cybersecurity conferences, the business is well-known for its expansive booths whereby they showcase massive action-figure statues that symbolize different state-sponsored hacking groups. CrowdStrike technology is meant to take on these kinds of organizations.

George Kurtz, the CEO of CrowdStrike, is among the highest paid people in the world with nearly $230 million in remuneration over the last three years. In addition, Kurtz drives for a team of auto racers that CrowdStrike sponsors.

Kurtz issued an apology in a follow-up social media post on Friday and on NBC’s “Today Show” following criticism of his previous comments addressing the matter for lacking remorse.

“We are profoundly sorry for the inconvenience and disruption and comprehend the gravity of the situation,” he said on X. Richard Stiennon, a cybersecurity industry analyst,

Claims that CrowdStrike made a historic error.

According to Stiennon, who has spent 24 years keeping an eye on the cybersecurity industry, “this is unquestionably the most severe technical error, faux pas, or glitch of any security software provider in history.”

He said that even if there is a simple technical solution to the problem, there may be long-term effects for some companies. “It is exceedingly challenging to interact with millions of machines.” In a few weeks, the CEO will return from his trip to the Bahamas, and since many others are now on holiday, he won’t be able to access his computers.

Stiennon said the outage did not point to a larger problem with Crowdstrike or the cybersecurity sector.

“The markets will forgive them, the customers will forgive them, and this will be resolved,” he said.

SOURCE: USN

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Bob Newhart, Iconic Comedian and TV Star, Dies at 94

Too Soon For Comedy? After Attempted Assassination Of Trump, US Politics Feel Anything But Funny

California Representative Adam Schiff urges Biden to relinquish his position.

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Bob Newhart, Iconic Comedian and TV Star, Dies at 94

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Bob Newhart, Iconic Comedian and TV Star, Dies at 94

Bob Newhart, the deadpan accountant-turned-comedian who became one of the most popular TV personalities of his time after striking gold with a classic comedy album, died at 94.

Bob Newhart’s publicist, Jerry Digney, says the actor died Thursday in Los Angeles following a series of brief illnesses.

Bob Newhart, best known today as the star of two famous 1970s and 1980s television sitcoms bearing his name, began his career as a stand-up comedian in the late 1950s.

He rose to national prominence when his routine was recorded on vinyl in 1960 as “The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart,” which won the Grammy Award for album of the year.

While other comedians of the day, such as Lenny Bruce, Mort Sahl, Alan King, Mike Nichols, and Elaine May, regularly garnered laughs with their forceful attacks on current norms, Bob Newhart was an exception.

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His attitude was modern, but he rarely spoke above a timid, even stammering tone. His only prop was a telephone, which he used to pretend to converse with someone on the other end of the line.

In one memorable skit, he played a Madison Avenue image-maker who urged Abraham Lincoln to stop tampering with the Gettysburg Address and stick to the script written by his speechwriters.

“You changed four scores and seven to 87?” Newhart asks in disbelief. “Abe, that’s supposed to be a grabber…” It’s like Mark Antony saying, ‘Friends, Romans, countrymen, I’ve got something to tell you.'”

Another favorite was “Merchandising the Wright Brothers,” in which he attempted to persuade the aviation pioneers to launch an airline despite acknowledging that the distance of their first flight might limit them.

“Well, see, that’s going to hurt our time to the Coast if we’ve got to land every 105 feet.”

Bob Newhart initially hesitated to join a weekly television series, thinking it would overexpose his material. Nevertheless, he accepted an enticing offer from NBC, and “The Bob Newhart Show” debuted on October 11, 1961.

Despite receiving Emmy and Peabody awards, the half-hour variety program was canceled after one season, but it became a source of Newhart’s gags for decades afterward.

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He waited ten years before doing another “Bob Newhart Show” in 1972. This was a situation comedy starring Newhart as a Chicago psychotherapist who lives in a penthouse with his schoolteacher wife, Suzanne Pleshette.

Their neighbors and his patients, particularly Bill Daily, an airline navigator, were a crazy, neurotic group who provided an excellent backdrop to Newhart’s deadpan remarks.

The series, one of the most celebrated of the 1970s, ran until 1978.

Four years later, the comedian debuted another show, “Newhart.” This time, he was a successful New York writer who decided to reopen a Vermont inn that had been closed for many years. Again, Newhart stood out as the calm, rational man among strange locals. Again, the show was a big success, spanning eight seasons on CBS.

It ended unforgettably in 1990, with Newhart waking up in bed with Pleshette as his old Chicago psychologist character, wincing as he tells her about his bizarre dream: “I was an innkeeper in this insane tiny hamlet in Vermont. The handyman continued missing the point, and then there were three woodsmen, but only one spoke!”

The stunt was a parody of a “Dallas” episode in which a main character was killed off and then revived when it was discovered that the death was a dream.

Two subsequent series were comparative duds: “Bob,” 1992-93, and “George & Leo,” 1997-98. Despite multiple nominations, his only Emmy was for a cameo appearance on “The Big Bang Theory.” “I suppose they think I am not acting. That it’s simply Bob being Bob,” he moaned at not receiving television’s highest prize during his prime.

Newhart has also appeared in several films, most of which are comedies. Among them are “Catch 22,” “In and Out,” “Legally Blonde 2,” and “Elf,” as the small father of adoptive full-size son Will Ferrell. More recent work includes “Horrible Bosses,” the TV series “The Librarians,” and the “The Big Bang Theory” spin-off “Young Sheldon.”

After his fourth sitcom ended, Bob Newhart continued appearing on television occasionally and swore to work as long as possible in 2003.

“It’s been so much, 43 years of my life; (to quit) would be like something was missing,” remarked the actor.

Source: AP News

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Too Soon For Comedy? After Attempted Assassination Of Trump, US Politics Feel Anything But Funny

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Political jokes: is it too soon?

Many quarters responded with a loud yes at midweek, days after an assassination attempt on Republican former President Donald Trump shook the nation over decades of political violence in the United States.

Several late-night shows that rely on political humor instantly modified their plans, with Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” canceling its Monday show and intending to broadcast from the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee this week. Its host, Jon Stewart, and his guests gave sad monologues.

By Tuesday, the comic rock duo Tenacious D, comprised of Jack Black and Kyle Gass, had canceled the remainder of their global tour “and all future creative plans” after Gass proclaimed onstage his birthday wish: “Don’t miss next time.” Gass apologized.

Too Soon For Comedy? After Attempted Assassination Of Trump, US Politics Feel Anything But Funny

Democratic President Joe Biden, no stranger to criticizing Trump, contacted his wounded competitor, paused his political advertisements and messaging, and urged the country to “cool” the rhetoric.

So, if comedy is tragedy plus time, when is joking acceptable again? And who gives a thumbs up, given that the shooter who targeted Trump also killed former fire chief Corey Comperatore while protecting his family?

The attempted assassination on Saturday, or any of the bloodshed that has afflicted the United States since its inception, is not funny. Trump was smacked in the ear while speaking to rallygoers in Pennsylvania. A Trump supporter and the gunman were dead, while two onlookers were injured. The attack sparked severe concerns about security shortcomings. It was the most recent example of political violence in America, where attacks on politicians date back to at least 1798 when two legislators from opposite parties brawled in the United States House.

Other examples abound in history texts, but the list from this century is particularly striking. Former Arizona Representative Gabby Giffords, D, was shot in the head in 2011. Republican Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the current House majority leader, was shot and badly injured in 2017. On January 6, 2021, a mob of Trump supporters invaded the US Capitol, preventing Congress from certifying Biden’s election. Paul Pelosi was bludgeoned at his home in 2022 by a guy looking for his wife, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

In addition to that, unwavering fears about Biden’s fitness for office following his catastrophic debate performance, Trump’s conviction on 34 felony counts, and American politics in 2024 appear anything but hilarious.

However, political comedy is as old as politics and administration.

It softens the impact of democratic decisions and is a powerful tool for politicians aiming to alleviate or increase concerns about themselves or their opponents. And in recent years, Trump has been the focus of more jokes than anyone else. According to a 2020 study by George Mason University’s Center for Media and Public Affairs, late-night hosts made 97% of their jokes about Trump.

“It’s never too soon, unless it’s not funny,” Alonzo Bodden, a 31-year-old stand-up comedian, said in a phone interview Wednesday. He is not a Trump supporter but stated that comedians “will always make it funny no matter what happens.” That is what we do. “It is how we communicate.”

“In this case, Donald Trump is such a character and the fact that he wasn’t killed, the jokes started immediately,” said Bodden. “And I don’t believe he minds. He’s one of those persons who is always happy to be mentioned.”

Humor humanizes large figures.
Perhaps most effectively, political humor can make arrogant leaders appear more human or at least self-conscious.

Consider “covfefe,” Trump’s strange middle-of-the-night tweet in 2017 that went viral, prompting Jimmy Kimmel to despair that he’ll never write something funnier. “Make the Pie Higher,” a poem by late Washington Post cartoonist Richard Thompson, was composed solely of President George W. Bush’s botched words and was published for his inauguration in 2001.

“It is a very complicated economic point I was making there,” Bush said with a smirk at the Radio and Television Correspondents Dinner a few months later. “Believe me, what this country needs is taller pie.”

Before the debate, Biden attempted to use humor to bring the age issue to the forefront, but it became evident that the concern was more about his cognitive ability. “I know I’m 198 years old,” Biden declared, to wild laughter and clapping.

 

Too Soon For Comedy? After Attempted Assassination Of Trump, US Politics Feel Anything But Funny

Humor is such an effective campaign tactic that candidates flock to guest appearances on late-night shows, which have risen in political prominence. However, following the assassination, a pause settled over everything, as indicated by Stewart’s serious address on Monday.

“None of us knows what’s going to happen next other than there will be another tragedy in this country, self-inflicted by us to us, and then we’ll have this feeling again,” Stewart told the crowd.

“The Late Show’s Stephen Colbert recalled his astonishment at the attack, joy that Trump had survived, and “grief for my great country.”

“Though I could just as easily start the show moaning on the floor,” he laughed, “because how many times do we need to learn the lesson that violence has no role in our politics?”

As is customary for social media, it was acting more freely. “I think it’s ironic that Trump almost died from a gun today because he was too far right-leaning,” comedian Drew Lynch remarked on YouTube. “Alright. That’s all I have. I believe my neighbors might be listening.”

SOURCE | AP

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