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Politics => Vox Populi => Topic started by: imchills on January 27, 2017, 03:07:48 pm

Title: Counting the Winners and Losers From an Import-Based Tax
Post by: imchills on January 27, 2017, 03:07:48 pm
The idea of a broad tax on importers is suddenly at the center of the Washington policy debate, with the inevitable counting of potential winners and losers.

Such a tax could hit retailers the hardest if it takes full effect, with their heavy reliance on products as varied as microwave ovens from China and T-shirts from Bangladesh. But few sectors of the American economy and few consumers would be unaffected.

If such a tax were imposed on imports from around the world, automakers could face hefty tax bills not only for cars imported from Mexico and elsewhere but also for the many auto parts they buy from overseas for their assembly lines in the United States. Chemical companies, supplying practically every industry, could find themselves paying more for feedstocks. And energy companies could wind up paying more for imported oil.

The Republican leadership of the House Ways and Means Committee has been working in recent months on such a plan, a border-adjusted tax, as part of an effort to cut corporate tax rates. On Thursday, the plan got caught up in a discussion of ways to make Mexico pay for a proposed border wall, before the White House stepped back from endorsing that course.

Continue reading the main story

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If a border-adjusted tax is used to offset a reduction in corporate tax rates, American exporters and their employees would rank among the winners.

Yet, even in its broader form, the tax plan could be politically tricky. If a tax covers oil imports, for example, it would end up falling most heavily on rural Americans, who voted heavily for President Trump but also tend to drive farther each year than residents of heavily Democratic large cities.

The tax “would be a boon for producers but it would be a negative for consumers — it’s going to hit the pocketbooks of his supporters the hardest,” said Ed Hirs, a managing director of Hillhouse Resources, an oil and gas company based in Houston.

Even those seemingly safe from import taxes, exporters like Boeing and American farmers, could also lose sales if other countries retaliated. Banks on Wall Street could lose overseas contracts to represent initial public offerings if foreign governments responded by steering their companies to European or Asian rivals.

By international standards, the United States puts few taxes on consumption, while taxing producers more heavily. The House Republican proposal would start to shift that balance, and one likely effect would be somewhat higher prices at retailers including gas stations and Walmart.

Many small manufacturers without overseas factories have long favored an overhaul of the United States tax code that would increase corporate taxes on importers. The money raised from such a tax increase, they have argued, could then be used to offset a reduction in the overall corporate tax rate of 35 percent.

Powerful business groups like the American Chamber of Commerce have said little about such proposals, because of deep divisions in corporate America based on who would pay the import tax and who might benefit from a reduction in corporate taxes.

But Mr. Trump and his spokesman, Sean Spicer, may have complicated the House Republicans’ efforts by raising the possibility of imposing such a tax on goods from Mexico first, with the money used to pay for a wall along the Mexican border to deter illegal immigration. The White House later said it was just one of the methods being considered.

Linking the plan to Mexico left corporate groups mostly silent, leery of offending the president by criticizing him but also leery of offending Americans who dislike Mr. Trump’s denunciations of Mexico and Mexican immigrants.

Industrial labor unions in the United States have been more open to increased taxes on imports from Mexico. After the November election, Dennis Williams, president of the United Automobile Workers, expressed support generally for the president’s advocacy of tariffs on Mexican imports.

“I think his position on trade is right on,” Mr. Williams said.

If a tax is imposed, the retailing industry, and particularly apparel retailers, could be among the hardest hit. Much of the clothing sold in the United States is made overseas, and retailers have little wiggle room to raise their prices to compensate for higher costs.

And the timing could not be worse: Retailers, particularly apparel companies and department stores, have struggled more than other sectors of the economy to recover from the recession.

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Title: Re: Counting the Winners and Losers From an Import-Based Tax
Post by: Battle on December 19, 2019, 09:37:40 am
Thursday, 19th December 2019
Ohio Attorney in Walmart Price Tag Scam Suspended
by Melissa Heelan Stanzione


An Ohio attorney who put price tags from cheaper items on more expensive ones at Walmart and then checked them out was given a one-year stayed suspension by the state supreme court.

These acts violated professional conduct rules prohibiting a lawyer from committing an illegal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer’s honesty and from engaging in conduct involving fraud, the Supreme Court of Ohio’s December 18th opinion said.

Terrence Scott pleaded guilty to a third-degree-misdemeanor count of criminal mischief and received a suspended 10-day jail sentence and a fine of $185, the court said.
The supreme court determined that a one-year stayed suspension, rather than a stayed six-month suspension as recommended by the court’s board of professional conduct, was appropriate.

The court considered Scott’s “dishonest and selfish motive” to be an aggravating factor but noted several mitigating factors.

Those included no prior disciplinary record, witnesses who testified to his good character, and that he self-reported his misconduct.

As long as Scott engages in “no further misconduct,” his suspension will be stayed, it concluded.

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Title: Re: Counting the Winners and Losers From an Import-Based Tax
Post by: Battle on December 29, 2021, 05:55:09 am
Wednesday, 29th December ~Two Thousand & Twenty One
How Walmart prices the same items differently throughout departments
by Rachel Kiley

A TikToker is drawing attention to price discrepancies at Walmart in a series of videos comparing products in different sections of the store.

@georgia_bassmaster shared a video to the platform in late November, warning,

“Don’t let Walmart rip you off.”

This video received 3 million views.

In it, he shows a 16gb SanDisk SDHC card for sale in the camping department of Walmart for $10—something he says is more than it should be, “just ‘cause they put these things in camouflage casing.”

In comparison, he heads over to the electronics section, where a 32gb SanDisk SDHC card is being sold for just $7.28.

Viewers pointed out that there may be other differences between the cards that aren’t immediately apparent without examining the products more closely.

Still, @georgia_bassmaster seemed to be making the point that if you want to know what options are available to you at Walmart, you may have to check multiple departments for similar items.

In another video, the TikToker showed 50 feet of 550 paracord by Walmart brand Ozark Trail on display in the camping section for $5.20.

But another Walmart brand, Hyper Tough, also offers 50 feet of 550 paracord for $3.94 over in the hardware department.

Viewers suggested other items they knew were offered at different price points between departments in the store, leading to additional videos on cast iron skillets and lunch boxes.

They also shared frustrations that this type of practice seems to be common throughout companies and industries, and certainly isn’t limited to Walmart.

“This is exactly why you throw a big party and not a wedding,” @triajace wrote.

Another commenter pointed out that it’s similar to stores selling “salsa in the chip aisle vs the Spanish rice aisle.”

And women know this practice all too well.

“I’m a pink tax survivor,” commented @brittanystrauss, referencing the way basic products marketed towards women, such as razors and shampoo, often cost more.

“It’s so sad that guys get ripped off for their rope.”

The items @georgia_bassmaster are comparing may not be perfectly equivalent to one another, but it’s a good reminder that thinking outside of the box at a store like Walmart might lead you to more options if you’re looking to save a buck or two.

At the same time, having to go to this much effort just to compare similar items may explain why so many people just do their shopping online these days.

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