Suggestions for Reporters: January 20, 2023

-A good subject for reporters is the massive expansion of government by waiver over the last few decades—where Congress mandates the executive branch and then gives the president a waiver authority based on vague criteria that have no boundaries other than the whim of the president. Article on this by Bruce Fein in the new Congressional newspaper the Capitol Hill Citizen.

-New York City Mayor Eric Adams is predicting approaching deficits of sizable dimensions, but he’s not urging that the state keep at least $15 billion in transaction sales taxes on trading in stocks, bonds and derivatives which they collect every day and electronically rebate back to the brokers. Some lawmakers in Albany want to stop this and use the money for health, education and the environment. Also, observers say that New York State expects deficits in two years. Revenues from this stock transaction tax will be more needed. Why isn’t the New York Times, Daily News and other New York media covering this story? There have been coalitions of labor, consumer and others who have repeatedly in press conferences and statements urged attention to this bizarre situation of collecting sales tax and rebating it every year.

-Exxon Mobil announced a $50 billion stock buyback. That’s a huge buyback… which means they don’t know what to do with their money in terms of R&D, pollution, the environment, increasing pension funding or any other productive activity. Economists say this does nothing except provide higher metrics for executive compensation.