Is the debt glass half full?

Worldwide Debt Levels

Total Worldwide Debt $247 Trillion (how many zeros is that)

 Sounds almost incomprehensible.  The question is can the world's economies grow enough to turn that debt number into an insignificant concern?  Debt in and of itself is a mechanism that tends to accelerate growth and that growth reduces the negative economic significance of that debt.  Borrow $500K to buy a home worth $700K.  Over time if the value of the home increases to $1.0 Million, the negative impact of the debt is reduced.

Government, businesses, and individuals all borrow on the assumption that they will  service their debts either by paying the principal and interest or by  rolling over the debts into new loans. More importantly, they borrow today to consume today, even though they do not have the money, because they rely on their continued ability to earn more and more as time goes by.

The 2008 crisis is a case in point.  When income stagnates debt payment become problematic.  When interest rates on that debt rise, debt payments become problematic.  When the goods and services you provide become less attractive to others income declines and debt payments become problematic.  When the value of the assets you own decline rather than increase, debt becomes a more significant negative economic burden.

Below is the content of the 2017 Tax law changes passed by the Republican controlled Congress that effectively increased US debt by primarily reducing  corporate taxes.  The hope is that this reduction of corporate taxes will spur increased hiring, increased wages, increased growth, increased well being for all Americans.  Stay tuned.

My Blog

Tax Laws - Tax Planning

Congress Passes 2017 Tax Law

The Senate voted 51-48 to pass the  Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.  The House voted  227-203 in favor.  The Executive Branch signed the Tax Bill into law.

The premise for the tax cuts is the following:

*Economic Growth has been anemic at below 3% since the 2008 Sub Prime Mortgage Financial disaster.

*In order to push growth along, the Republican Congress believes that by lowering the Corporate Tax rate to 21%, (a 14% reduction), businesses both large and small will increase capital spending, more hiring will occur, wages will rise, all causing more spending, which in turn generates more revenue to the Federal Govt. to offset the projected $1.5 Trillion Deficit this tax bill will produce.

*Lastly, that by increasing the individual exemption, while removing or limiting itemized deductions, thus simplifying the tax code, individuals will reap a modest tax cut themselves in the process.

Part A - Corporations Benefit

The Bureau of Economic Analysis, an agency of the US Dept. of Commerce, says that gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an  annual rate of 3.2 percent in the third quarter of 2017.  An indication of reasonable growth, not anemic growth.  Lowering the corporate tax rate will make them much more profitable than before the passage of the tax bill.

Many CEO's have been mum on how they will use the newfound liquidity.

Here is what to look for going forward:

Consumer Confidence

How do you feel?  Likely others feel the same way. 

Manufacturing Activity

This influences GDP (gross  domestic product).  An increase in which suggests more demand  for consumer goods. Since  workers are required to manufacture new goods, increases in  manufacturing activity should boost employment and wages.

Inventory Levels & Retail Sales

High inventory levels can reflect two very  different things: either that demand for inventory is expected to  increase, meaning higher consumer spending, or that there is a lack of demand, meaning lack of consumer spending.

Housing Market & Building Permits

Are housing prices going up or down?  Are applications for Building Permits going up, or down?  

Part B - Individuals Hit & Miss


  • The new law provides generally lower tax rates for all individual  tax filers. However, this does not mean that every American will pay lower  taxes.  Many will while others will not. The total size of the tax cut equals more than $1.2 trillion over ten years.
  • The individual tax rates fall under seven brackets with slightly lower marginal rates of 10%, 12%, 22%, 24%, 32%, 35%, and 37%.
  • The law does not change the maximum rates on net capital  gains.
  • Generally, 15% maximum rate but 20% for those in the highest tax  bracket; 25% rate on “recapture” of depreciation from real property.
  •  Individuals (as opposed to businesses) will only be able to claim an  itemized deduction of up to $10,000 ($5,000 for a married taxpayer  filing a separate return) for the total of (1) state and local property  taxes; and (2) state and local income taxes.

How to plan going forward and what does this tax law mean to you?  Likely, the answer to these questions will be quite different for each individual or family.

Tax Planning & Professional Financial Service.

Download Summary Of HR-1 Tax Cuts & Jobs Act

Estate Tax - Income & Capital Gains Tax - Property Tax

Has your CPA ever discussed with you how to manage your income tax liability?

For the most part, tax filing professionals like CPA's and enrolled agents provide high quality tax filing services to their clients.  However, they rarely, if ever, have the time or the desire to entertain tax planning strategy sessions with you.

Managing Your Taxes Requires Pre Planning

Those who fail to plan, end up planning to fail!

In our experience problems sometimes arise suddenly in peoples lives  because of unanticipated consequences.  That is the definition of "failing to plan" for the possibility of various contingencies.  Most often people call us after the fact when it is too late to do anything.

One Simple Phone Call

Do you have the time to make one phone call, or send an email?

If the answer is YES then you are on your way to planning a course of action.

If the answer is NO.  Well......there isn't much one can say about that.

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TCP Wealth Management

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