Why millions of people are getting hit with a surprise tax bill this year

This year many Americans who are accustomed to receiving an income tax refund have found to their surprise that they actually owe money to the IRS. The truth is somewhat more complicated. The new tax law does result in some people paying higher taxes (especially over the long term), but the specific issue here is … Read moreWhy millions of people are getting hit with a surprise tax bill this year

How Milton Friedman Helped Invent Income Tax Withholding

In one of the great ironies, the great economist Milton Friedman–known for his pro-market, limited government views–helped to invent government withholding of income tax. It happened early in his career, when he was working for the U.S. government during World War II. Of course, the IRS opposed the idea at the time as impractical. Friedman … Read moreHow Milton Friedman Helped Invent Income Tax Withholding

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite climbed to record closing highs

On April 23, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite climbed to record closing highs. It marked a resurgence for the stock market after last year’s rout. Stocks have flourished recently under a more accommodative Federal Reserve and renewed optimism about the U.S. economy. One factor that helped set up the benchmarks’ record close was an … Read moreThe S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite climbed to record closing highs

Amazon’s profit more than doubled on a big jump in sales

The e-commerce company delivered its best quarterly profit ($3.56 billion) to date, beating analysts’ expectations. Its bottom line received a boost from its cloud-computing unit and advertising business, despite sluggish growth in its core online-retail business. Amazon is growing slower and earning more. Shares rose in premarket trading, propelling Amazon’s market value closer to $1 … Read moreAmazon’s profit more than doubled on a big jump in sales

The big mystery in the GDP report — where did the inventories come from?

Growth in the first quarter smashed expectations, fueled in part by strong inventory building. According to the government, $32 billion of goods were added to inventories this quarter, or $128 billion annualized. This stockpiling of goods boosted first-quarter GDP growth by about 70 basis points and helped propel growth to a 3.2% annual rate, well … Read moreThe big mystery in the GDP report — where did the inventories come from?