Best of the Week
Most Popular
1.Crude Oil Price Trend Forecast 2016 Implications for Stock Market - Nadeem_Walayat
2.Odds of Winning Walkers Crisps Spell & Go olidays K, C and D Letters - Sami_Walayat
3.Massive Silver Price Rally During The Coming US Dollar Collapse - Hubert_Moolman
4.Pope Francis Calls For Worldwide Communist Government - Jeff_Berwick
5.EU Referendum Opinion Polls Neck and Neck Despite Operation Fear, Support BrExit Campaign - Nadeem_Walayat
6.David Morgan: There Will Soon Be a Run to Gold Like You've Never Seen Before - Mike Gleason
7.British Pound Soars on BrExit Hopes Despite Remain Establishment Fear Mongering - Nadeem_Walayat
8.Gold Price Possible $200 Rally - Bob_Loukas
9.The Federal Reserve is Not Going To Raise Interest Rates and Destroy Gold - Michael_Swanson
10.Silver Miners’ Q1’ 2016 Fundamentals - Zeal_LLC
Free Silver
Last 7 days
Will the Fed be Blind Sided by Stagflation? - 31st May 16
Gold Price Not Ready for a Final Intermediate Cycle Low - 31st May 16
EU Referendum - British People vs Establishment Elite, Vote LEAVE an Act of Defiance! - 31st May 16
Gold - Mr. Cool Cucumber is starting to Sweat - 31st May 16
AMAT Chirps, b2b Ramps, Yellen Hawks and Gold’s Fundamentals Erode - 31st May 16
Stock Market Re-Testing Overhead Resistance - 30th May 16
David Cameron Questioned on Out of Control Immigration at TEN TIMES Conservative Election Pledges - 30th May 16
Bitcoin Price Skyrockets And Is Now Up More Than 100% This Jubilee Year - 30th May 16
This Is Not The America My Parents Immigrated To In 1957 - 30th May 16
“Debt, Not The Economy, Reaches Escape Velocity” With Graham Mehl - 29th May 16
EU Referendum, Black Vote LEAVE or REMAIN? Which is Worse for Racism for Britain's Ethnic Minorities? - 29th May 16
Billionaire Gross: Jubilee Debt Relief as Prelude to New Global Economic Order - 29th May 16
Wargaming North Korea - Assessing the Threat - 29th May 16
EU REMAIN Population Forecasts - England 4.1 million Explosion, London Migration Crisis - 28th May 16
A Guide to the Trump-Sanders Debate - 28th May 16
Gold And Silver – At Significant Support. New “Story” Developing - 28th May 16
The Next Systemic Lehman Event - New Scheiss Dollar & Gold Trade Standard - 27th May 16
Energy and Debt Crisis Point to Much Higher Silver, Metals Prices - 27th May 16
Gold Junior Stocks Q1 2016 Fundamentals - 27th May 16
These Crisis Markets Are Primed to Deliver Big Gains, Platinum Never Cheaper! - 27th May 16
Operation Black Vote BrExit Warning for the Wrong EU Referendum - 27th May 16
UK Immigration Crisis Hits New Extreme, Catastrophic ONS Migration Stats Ahead of EU Referendum - 27th May 16
Many of the World’s Best Investors Made Their Fortunes This Way…And You Can Too - 27th May 16
The Ugly Truth About Stock Market Manipulation and Gold Prices - 27th May 16
Gold Price Looking Vulnerable While Gold Stocks Correct - 27th May 16
The 5 Fatal Flaws of Trading - 27th May 16
The Next Big Crash Of The U.S. Economy Is Coming, Here’s Why - 27th May 16
A New Golden Bull or Has the Market Gone Too Far Too Fast? - 27th May 16
It Feels Like Inflation - 26th May 16
Negative Interest Rates Set to Propel the Dow Jones to the Stratosphere? - 26th May 16
S&P Significant Low has Occurred – Not Likely! - 26th May 16
Statistics for Funeral Planning in UK Grave - 26th May 16
Think Beyond Oil And Gold: Interview With Mike 'Mish' Shedlock - 26th May 16
Hard Times and False Mainstream Media Narratives - 26th May 16
Will The Swiss Guarantee 75,000 CHF For Every Family? - 26th May 16
Is There A Stocks Bear Market in Progress? - 26th May 16
Billionaires Are Wrong on Gold - 26th May 16
How NOT to Invest in the Gold Market - 26th May 16
The Black Swan Spotter...Which Saw the Oil-Crash coming; now says the “Invisible Hand” will push Brent to $85 by Christmas - 26th May 16
U.S. Household Debt Still Below 2008 Peak - 25th May 16
Brexit: Wrong Discussion, Wrong People, Wrong Arguments - 25th May 16
SPX is at Strong Resistance - 25th May 16
US Dollar, Back From the Grave? - 25th May 16
Gold : Just the Facts Ma’am - 25th May 16
The Worst Urban Crisis in History Could be Upon Us - 24th May 16
Death Crosses Across The Board Are IRREFUTABLE Stock Market Sell Signals - 24th May 16
Bitcoin Trading Alert: Bitcoin Price Stays below $450 - 24th May 16
Stock Market Crash Death Cross Doom Prevails - 23rd May 16
Did AMAT Chirp? Implications for the Economy and Gold - 23rd May 16
Stocks Extended Their Rebound On Friday - Will They Continue Higher? - 23rd May 16
UK Treasury Propaganda Warns of 3.6% Brexit Recession, the £64 Billion Question? - 23rd May 16
Stock Market Support Breached, But Not Broken! - 23rd May 16
George Osborne Warns of 18% Cheaper House Prices - BrExit for First Time Buyers - 22nd May 16
Gold Bull-Phase I Continues to Confound (The Trek to “Known Values”) - 22nd May 16 r
Avoiding a War in Space - 22nd May 16

Free Instant Analysis

Free Instant Technical Analysis


Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Why 95% of Traders Fail

As Corporate Earnings Slow, What Will Happen To Taxes?

Companies / Corporate Earnings Jan 26, 2016 - 04:07 PM GMT

By: Rodney_Johnson

Companies Last week the Census Bureau reported retail sales for December, and the numbers weren’t pretty. Sales dropped 0.1% overall last month, and were down the same 0.1% when auto sales were excluded. Removing volatile gasoline sales only moved the number to flat. Making matters worse, retail sales increased a paltry 2.1% for all of 2015 – the smallest gain since 2009, and well below the 3.9% growth in 2014.

The report justified our negative view on earnings. Fourth-quarter numbers should be ugly. All of this plays right into our forecast for a general market decline and tough economic conditions in the months ahead.


But it also means something else.

Higher taxes.

Over the past five years, the U.S. budget deficit, as well as those of most states, has improved. Through a combination of higher sales tax receipts, higher tax rates in general and higher capital gains taxes, government entities have pulled in a lot of cash. But the days of easy tax revenue growth are over.

Consumers aren’t spending more, and in some cases are spending less, as noted by retail sales. This cuts into sales tax growth. Falling markets put the kibosh on capital gains tax revenue, which has been a constant source of cash in California, in particular.

These two trends cramp the spending style of governments large and small, leaving them with few options. They can curb their spending (don’t hold your breath for that one), or they can raise tax rates.

As the U.S. economy struggles in the face of a global economic downturn, expect tax rates to move up… and then go even higher.

While falling revenue might cause the federal government and states some short-term pain, the real problem is that their costs keep climbing. It almost doesn’t matter what happens in Congress or in state legislatures across the country. Even if they held their spending flat, costs would still jump because they have non-discretionary expenses such as Social Security and pensions, which are zooming out of control.

The case of the federal government and Social Security is well known, and state pension issues surface from time to time, but the issue at the state level is about to get markedly worse, even as the pension managers make the right moves.

Through September of last year, large pension funds held more than 5% of their assets in cash, which is a huge allocation. Clearly, the investment managers of these funds were worried about the markets.

Based on the market action of the last couple of weeks, their caution was warranted. On the face of it, these managers look like investment heroes. Unfortunately, even if they held 100% cash and saved their funds from any losses at all, they would still be losing.

All pension funds have an estimated rate of return. These anticipated gains add to the value of the fund, thereby reducing the contributions required of the plan, participants and employers. Both fund gains and contributions are used to pay benefits. In years where no gains are made, the funds don’t grow, but they still have to pay benefits.

In an odd way, investment managers can be great at sidestepping market landmines, but if they can’t hit their targeted returns, typically around 7.25%, then they are still failing at their jobs!

This might sound like a problem for state pension fund managers and probably state retirees, but the pain won’t end there. Illinois has less than 40% of the money it needs to pay benefits to retirees, and half of all states have 70% or less of the necessary funds.

When these institutions go broke, they won’t simply close their doors and tell pensioners “too bad.” Many of these states guarantee the benefits in their constitutions, which means the burden will fall squarely on taxpayers.

So, as earnings season kicks into high gear, the global economy slows and the markets suffer, remember that governments will still increase their spending. They’ll just need more of your cash to do it.

Rodney

Follow me on Twitter ;@RJHSDent

By Rodney Johnson, Senior Editor of Economy & Markets

http://economyandmarkets.com

Copyright © 2016 Rodney Johnson - All Rights Reserved Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.

Rodney Johnson Archive

© 2005-2016 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

Catching a Falling Financial Knife