Closing The Loopholes


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By Judith Gayle | Political Waves

With Mars moving toward a retro in Scorpio, 8th House issues are popping up like mushrooms in the dark corners of the garden. Sex, death, and taxes come to mind, and today we’ll look at what’s going on with taxes. No, not the Panama Papers, which is growing into something much larger: perhaps a palm tree to relax under with one’s ill-gotten gains.

Speaking of Mars retrograde, there is a rich tapestry of detail available on how that effects your sign(s) along with other transiting influences, during our Spring Reading pre-sale. You’ll find the information you need to help you swim these choppy spring waters here.

271+Judith_GayleI’ve written before about corporations that establish their headquarters overseas in order to reduce their tax liability. Both Walgreens (drug store chain) and Burger King mulled a merger with foreign companies in 2014, a move known as corporate tax inversion. Walgreens stood to gain somewhere in the neighborhood of $4 billion with this increasingly popular procedure, Burger King around $275 million.

While this process is not illegal, the thought of making such a change to evade taxation strikes most Americans as highly immoral. The public, sensitized by the fraudulent behavior of Wall Street and banking loopholes that had birthed the fledgling populist movement, met the Walgreens and Burger King plans with a squeal of outrage and threats of boycott. Both corporations received such a drubbing that each decided to keep their headquarters stateside.

This week, President Obama threw an e-brake on plans by Pfizer Pharmaceutical to do the same by merging with an Irish company, Allergan (maker of Botox), in order to establish a new corporate entity. The deal would have saved them $160 billion — read that BILLION — in federal taxes.

The mechanics of having sufficient size/holdings to make such a merger is as convoluted as is our tax system, but suffice to say that this is a process that Pfizer has been working toward for years. No surprise, then, that investors became alarmed when Treasury Secretary Jack Lew announced a new rule on acquisition, which threw their goal into doubt. In the hours after the announcement, Allergan shares fell 22 percent.

Besides putting a hitch in Pfizer’s giddy-up, this has also put the unwieldy U.S. corporate tax code into the spotlight. Much as Obama’s “You didn’t build that” speech fostered Elizabeth Warren’s further declaration that “There is nobody in this country who got rich on their own. Nobody,” the attention has underscored the need for corporate tax reform and scrutiny of loopholes benefiting the wealthy.

That said, almost a year ago, Elizabeth Warren launched an investigation into the perks and pay-offs received by financial advisers. She was troubled that there was no law protecting consumers who assumed they were receiving financial advice that would benefit them, not their advisers. Turns out the perks received by some of these brokers were, as feared, lavish, while the investors were routinely encouraged to buy into risky annuities that lost them much-needed retirement funds.

This week, the administration put out new rules that require retirement advisers to put their clients’ interests before their own. All of us owe Elizabeth a debt of thanks for her influence, and Obama a thumbs-up for following through. These are important and necessary protections. Now if we could just get the entire corporate community to put their clients’ interests before their own, and approve a Supreme Court that favors real citizens over corporate personhood, we’d be on our way!

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15 thoughts on “Closing The Loopholes

  1. Barbara Koehler

    Con men come in all sizes shapes and form as well as wardrobe. From the halls of justice to Wall Street to the small town carnival, there is always somebody wanting to pitch you a deal that will make you rich if you just listen to their advice.. Amazing that this tactic still works, century after century. It is the human condition of never being satisfied with what you have that makes us vulnerable to the likes of these people. Live and learn I guess.

    Indeed the 8th house and Scorpio deal in this kind of deception, among other more reputable partnership deals, but somebody always has to play the role of the sucker. In the USA it would be the taxpayers more often than not. The 8th house in the Sibly version of that U.S. chart is the Moon. The Moon rules the People and the majority of them are also the Taxpayers.

    I don’t know much about con men, ‘cept what I see in the movies, but astrologically speaking it would take some Mars and some Neptune and some Pluto to be good at it wouldn’t you think? Well, when Neptune met Pluto in Gemini (a flim-flam-man sign if ever there was one!) they were sextile Mars in Leo who was conjunct Chiron (pain leads to wisdom). Pluto and Neptune in Gemini were conjunct the U.S. Uranus in Gemini and that leads one to wonder how long has this been going on?

    In 1891, 115 years after the U.S. became the U.S.A., Neptune and Pluto were conjoined to begin the cycle we now find ourselves in and guess what? Transiting Neptune has been square (off and on) the degree where he met transiting Pluto; right where the Great Awakener resides, the U.S. Uranus. Last year during March and April, again last year in August and September, and this year in January and February, transiting Neptune challenged its own cycle with Pluto from his position in Pisces. Then during this past December, transiting Saturn opposed that same degree where natal Uranus resides and where the Neptune-Pluto cycle began. Saturn specializes in facing reality.

    Transiting Saturn won’t return to oppose the U.S. natal Uranus for another 30 or so years, but he will square transiting Neptune again in June when both are in retrograde motion (review, etc.) and again in September. Transiting Saturn will in 2020 conjunct transiting Pluto, as will transiting Jupiter, before transiting Saturn and Jupiter start their new cycle at the end of that year.

    Before that happens though, transiting Saturn will oppose the U.S. Sun in Cancer and square the U.S. Saturn in Libra and that will entail change in the way business is conducted in the U.S. Before that happens though, transiting Saturn will trine transiting Uranus (3 times) for some unexpected and perhaps shocking action. That starts right after this November’s election; on Christmas Eve I believe. Then comes the transit of Saturn to agitate the square between U.S. Sun and U.S. Saturn, and then after that, he will conjunct transiting Pluto and after that he will start a new 20 year cycle with Jupiter that most certainly will make it more difficult to con the U.S voters/taxpayers.

    This can be viewed then as a possible period of (1) facing the consequences of being conned, (2) of changing the rules of the game and (3) breaking through corrupt practices between big business and government. Or not. This period starts now, goes through the U.S. Presidential election, through the following 4 years and on to the new 20 year cycle between Jupiter and Saturn, a cycle of cultural and societal evolution.

    It can’t be said often enough that Bernie Sanders and only Bernie Sanders puts ending corrupt business practice at the top of his to-do list as President of the U.S. If that is good enough for the Universe then it should be good enough for the citizens of the U.S. Courage fellow Americans.

  2. Barbara Koehler

    I left out “rules”. . the Moon rules the 8th house Sibly chart. Sorry! A;so, that next Jupiter/Saturn cycle that starts in December 2020 will be conjunct Elizabeth Warren’s Jupiter. 🙂

  3. Geoff Marsh

    Hi Jude. Just thought I’d just let you know that the Cruz video has been replaced by a caption card reading: “This video has been removed for violating YouTube’s policy on spam, deceptive practices, and scams.”

    Shame. I was dying to see it. It’s a pity the U.S. doesn’t have a similar policy for swiftly deleting presidential candidates who scam and deceive.

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