Monday, December 19, 2016

December 2016 SDADA Column

Red sky at night, sailors' delight.
Red sky at morning, sailors take warning.
- from an ancient rhyme often repeated by mariners

It's almost morning in the Trump administration and I see a red sky!

Tax reform is a recurring threat in DC. Every politician that runs calls for tax reform and every incumbent up for reelection calls for tax reform. It's a standard line in every candidate's stump speech. There's been much lip service paid to the topic and very little elbow grease expended.

That could be changing. It would appear that the Republican Congress and the Trump administration are both serious this time - as in they want real tax reform!

House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) released a "Tax Reform Blueprint" in July 2016 that outlined the general provisions of a comprehensive tax reform package. When the new Congress convenes in January, the House Ways and Means Committee, the Senate Finance Committee, and the Trump Administration will begin developing the actual text for a tax reform bill.

Here's where it gets complicated...One of the provisions included in the Tax Reform Blueprint, the “Border Adjustment Tax” (BAT), has generated significant concern among several industries, including the automotive sector.  The BAT is not a tariff.  Tariffs are taxes imposed on specified imported products (e.g., the 25% chicken tax imposed on the import of light pickup trucks since 1963).

The House Republican proposal (including the BAT) would modify business income taxes in several ways: reduce the rate from 35% to 20%; accelerate depreciation schedules, eliminate all interest deductions; exempt the cost of exported goods from the taxable receipts subject to income tax (they would be taxed in the jurisdiction in which they were sold); and disallow the cost of any imported goods as a deductible business expense.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

I Shot an Arrow Into the Air...

After my failed elk hunt of 2013, I would have to wait for nine years to apply for a Black Hills Firearms elk tag. In an effort to get another chance in the Black Hills a bit sooner, I wanted to try archery again. I had owned a bow back in the early nineties but really never spend enough time with it to become proficient.

I bought a PSE bow on eBay in the summer of 2015. I started practicing in September of 2015. I did hunt a bit in 2015 but had a busy schedule during the deer rut and did not get out enough to really see the traffic patterns. I was not very confident with my shot either - maybe 30-35 yards.

This year, I made a commitment to practice as much as possible in September. I spent a half hour each evening that I could and fired 20-25 shots. I was confident up to 45 and would take a shot up to 50 yards.

I got out to watch the deer a bit in September and early October. I knew where they were moving and what was out there.

As the calendar moved into late October, I was getting out for an hour each evening. I saw deer and was getting close to does. I had does within 20 yards. But I did not see any bucks.

Finally, I saw a nice whitetail buck one evening. I saw him several times over the next week and got to within 70 yards of him. But I could not get within a reasonable range.

I started to panic a bit because we had a trip to Spain-Portugal planned for November 3-13 and that was supposed to be peak rut. I'd only have a couple days left to hunt when we returned before the rifle season started and then the rut would be over and the bow hunting would become much more difficult.

I did not get close to anything before our trip. We returned on a Sunday and I was exhausted on that Monday. On Tuesday, I went to Omaha for the Creighton-Wisconsin basketball game and returned home about 2:30 AM.

I had three days left. I had to go to my stores in Winner and Mission on Wednesday and teach religious education that evening. And now the forecasters were predicting a winter storm for Thursday/Friday. My window of opportunity was quickly closing - and fast!

Friday, December 16, 2016

2016 Knust Kronicle

2016 Knust Kronicle

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year from the Knusts!

Click here to see the 2016 Knust Kronicle

You can find previous Knust Kronicles and Christmas letters here.