Canary in the Coal Mine, Part II

In 2011 Greece’s public debt (the cumulative net total of all government borrowing) was an estimated $515 billion. That is equal to less than 5 percent of the total $12 trillion in public debt of the seventeen EuroZone countries* So, why is so much attention being paid to such a relatively small country’s debt problem? […]

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The Canary in the Coal Mine?

Given recent events, it seems like the stock market, and perhaps the world economy, are dependent upon the health of Greece’s economy. The slightest bad news from Greece sends stock markets around the world plummeting and the pundits repeating their dire predictions of the end-of-the-world as we know it. Certainly, the Greek economy may be […]

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BEWARE of the AMT

The Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) was passed in 1969 to prevent people with very high incomes from using special tax benefits to pay little or no tax. The U.S. Congress enacted the AMT in response to the outrage generated when the Secretary of the Treasury testified before Congress that 155 people with adjusted gross annual […]

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The Top Marginal Tax Rate

The ongoing national political debate includes proposals to increase the top federal marginal tax rate on the highest income taxpayers. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) reports that less than one percent of all individual federal income tax returns were subject to the highest individual marginal tax rate of 35 percent. Taxes collected at the 35 […]

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The Top 1 percent

Recently, the top one percent, those individuals with the highest incomes, and their fair share of the tax burden has been the subject to much debate. Just who are the top one percent and what is their current share of the tax bill. Tax Stats, the public data site of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) […]

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Second Homes, Part 4

According to the most recent U.S. Census, there were 193,000 seasonal and recreational housing units (second homes) in Wisconsin in 2010. That represents an increase of 51,000 housing units or 36 percent since 2000. For comparison, total housing units¹ in Wisconsin increased by 303,000 or 13.1 percent during the same period. QUESTION: What Wisconsin county […]

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Second Homes, Part 3

In 2010, seasonal and recreational housing (second homes) accounted for 7.4 percent of the 2.6 million housing units¹ in Wisconsin. In twenty three of Wisconsin’s seventy two counties over 20 percent of the housing units in the county were second homes. In eleven counties, second homes comprised at least 40 percent of the housing units […]

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Second Homes, Part 2

The U.S. Census reports that there were 193,000 seasonal or recreational housing units (second homes) in Wisconsin in 2010. That represents 7.4 percent of the 2.6 million housing units¹ in the state. On a percentage basis, that places Wisconsin seventh among all states and compares to 3.5 percent in the U.S. QUESTION: What state had […]

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Second Homes, Part 1

According to the U.S. Census, second homes (seasonal and recreational housing) accounted for 7.4 percent of all Wisconsin housing units in 2010. As one would expect, second homes comprised a very small portion of total housing in urban areas of the state (less than one percent in Dane and Milwaukee Counties). QUESTION: The situation is […]

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Is it a coincidence?

The Coincident Index (CI) is a monthly composite economic indicator published by the Philadelphia Federal Reserve. The CI provides a snapshot of economic conditions in each state. An increase in a state’s CI over time indicates an expansion in economic activity the state while a declining CI signals a contraction in the state’s economy. The […]

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