UK Remb TM Wed, 10 Aug 2022 01:05:52 +0000 en-US hourly 1 UK Remb TM 32 32 Electric utility TN Tangedco seeks 6% annual rate hike Wed, 10 Aug 2022 01:05:52 +0000 If TNERC approves, Tangedco consumers should prepare to pay higher, inflation-linked rates every year from next July

A year-on-year increase in the electricity tariff for all categories of consumers until 2026-27 – was mentioned in the tariff petition

Tangedco has applied for permission from the Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission (TNERC) to revise the tariff at the rate of 6% every year and also wants to link the tariff to inflation. If TNERC approves, Tangedco consumers should be prepared to pay higher rates every year starting next July.

“In the tariff petition submitted to TNERC, Tangedco stated that the May Consumer Price Index (CPI) value will be taken as the basis from next year to calculate the tariff for all categories of consumers. “said a senior Tangedco official.

Next July, electricity consumers could see an annual increase in tariffs if the Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission (TNERC) approves the proposal by the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (Tangedco).

A year-on-year increase in the electricity tariff for all categories of consumers until 2026-27 was mentioned in the tariff petition.


“We have capped the quantum of the increase at 6%. The utility considered a five-year monitoring period, which includes the current fiscal year. For the current year (2022-23), September 1 will be the date for the rate hike, subject to regulator approval,” the official said.

Also read: Why the Electricity Bill of 2022 is seen as a threat to the powers of state agencies

The 6% quantum was quoted in the tripartite agreement signed by the state government, Tangedco, and the Union government in January 2017 for the implementation of the Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY).

“Many states have followed a similar system for tariff revision or adopted the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) as the basis for calculating the tariff revision quantum,” the official said.

The petition talks about the gap between the annual revenue requirement (ARR) and the projected revenue for the next four years, the gap figures for the years 2023-24 to 2026-27 did not take into account the quantum of the increase, which will be decided by TNERC each year.

“Although we want an annual rate hike, we are not sure if we will get the green light from TNERC because the state government is not in favor of it because in 20 months the state, like the other states, will face Lok Sabha elections,” the official said.

Even after the review, if there will be a balance between the ARR and the estimated revenue, the state government is committed to fully absorbing it, the official said. The balance for the current year (after taking into account the proposed hike for seven months of the year) will be around Rs 16,000 crore, he said.

Oil plunges on possibility of increased supply from Iran Tue, 09 Aug 2022 04:17:00 +0000

Sticker reads crude oil on the side of a storage tank in the Permian Basin in Mentone, Loving County, Texas, U.S. November 22, 2019. REUTERS/Angus Mordant

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MELBOURNE, Aug 9 (Reuters) – Oil prices eased slightly on Tuesday following the latest progress in final talks to revive Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal, which would pave the way for an increase in its crude exports in a tight market.

Brent crude futures fell 14 cents, or 0.1%, to $96.51 a barrel at 0404 GMT, a gain of 1.8% from the previous session.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 16 cents, or 0.2%, to $90.60 a barrel, after climbing 2% in the previous session.

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“The specter of a US-Iran nuclear deal continues to loom in the market,” analysts at ANZ Research said in a note.

The European Union on Monday evening presented a “definitive” text to relaunch the 2015 Iranian nuclear agreement, pending approvals from Washington and Tehran. A senior EU official said a final decision on the proposal was expected in “very, very few weeks”. Read more

“While the details regarding the timing of the resumption of oil exports from Iran remain uncertain even if the agreement is revived, it is certainly possible that Iran will increase its oil exports quite quickly,” said Vivek Dhar. , Commonwealth Bank analyst, in a note.

He said Iran could increase its oil exports by 1 to 1.5 million barrels per day, or up to 1.5 percent of global supply, in six months.

“A relaunch of the 2015 nuclear deal will likely cause oil prices to fall sharply given that markets are unlikely to believe a deal will be struck,” Dhar said.

However, signs that demand may not be as weakened as feared are holding a floor below the market for now, following stronger-than-expected Chinese trade data over the weekend and the acceleration surprise in employment growth in the United States in July. Read more

The oil market has remained under pressure recently due to global recession fears, with Brent prices suffering their biggest weekly drop last week.

China, the world’s largest crude oil importer, imported 8.79 million barrels of crude a day in July, down 9.5% from a year earlier but up from June import volumes , according to Chinese customs data.

Traders will also be watching weekly US oil inventory data, first from the American Petroleum Institute on Tuesday and then from the Energy Information Administration on Wednesday.

Five analysts polled by Reuters expect crude inventories to have fallen by around 400,000 barrels and gasoline inventories to have also fallen by around 400,000 barrels in the week to August 5, while that distillate inventories, which include diesel and jet fuel, remained unchanged. Read more

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Reporting by Sonali Paul and Emily Chow Editing by Shri Navaratnam

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

141 suspected drug offenders arrested in a month in Punjab Mon, 08 Aug 2022 21:33:25 +0000

In the past month, the Punjab Police have successfully apprehended up to 141 registered offenders (POs)/fleees in drug cases.

Revealing this here at a press conference, IG HQ Sukhchain Singh Gill said drug dealers had started using women to smuggle contraband in hopes that cops wouldn’t wouldn’t suspect them.

“It has also emerged that drug traffickers nowadays prefer public transport systems for contraband, due to which a strong human intelligence network is needed for tracking,” he added.

Giving weekly drug updates, he said Punjab Police arrested 472 drug traffickers/suppliers after registering 354 first information reports (FIRs), 36 of them commercial, under the Drugs Act. narcotics and mind-altering substances (NDPS) statewide. the week.

Police also recovered 5.53 kg of heroin, 21.9 kg of opium, 21.5 kg of ganja, six quintals of poppy shell and 1.46 lakh of opioid tablets/capsules/injections/vials pharmaceuticals in addition to recovery. 23.37 lakh in drug money after carrying out cordon and search operations in drug-affected areas in addition to laying nakas on vulnerable roads across the state, he said .

The IG said that apart from tightening the noose around the drug dealers, the Punjab police have also made every effort to keep the youths away from drugs besides helping to rehabilitate those who have already been prey to this menace.

He said as part of the ongoing campaign against drugs, Barnala Police have organized a four-day basketball league for under 17s (boys) to motivate youngsters towards sport and maintain their physical and mental health.

Call and data costs will double as FG invokes new telecommunications tax Mon, 08 Aug 2022 13:38:56 +0000

VSall and data rates may increase by up to 100% if the federal government’s plan to increase the consumption tax on telecommunications services materializes, Daily Trust can report.

Daily Trust reports that the federal government recently unveiled plans to introduce a 5% excise tax on telecommunications services, increasing the total consumption tax on telecommunications services to 12.5%.

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The new tax regime, according to industry sources, will not only affect subscribers, but will also add a tax burden to telecom operators, which would result in higher tariffs.

If the 5% increase is finally implemented, according to industry experts, Nigerians will now pay up to N40 per call minute, up from around N20. And data rates could also rise to around N2,500. naira per gigabyte.

The finance minister, who unveiled the plan at a stakeholder forum on the implementation of excise duty on telecommunications services in Nigeria organized by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), said the 5% excise duty was included in the 2020 finance law.

She said accrued taxes would be paid on a monthly basis, no later than the 21st of each month. The move, according to the minister, was part of the government’s efforts to boost non-oil revenues in the face of falling revenues, especially from the oil sector.

The proposal, however, put the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, and the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Ali Pantami, on a collision course.

While the Ministry of Finance cites presidential approval to apply the new excise duty on telecommunications services, as provided for in the finance law, the Ministry of Communication and the Digital Economy kicked on the grounds that the new tax would be harmful to the sector and to subscribers .

Telecom players, experts oppose it

In addition, Nigerian Telecom Consumers, under the umbrella of the National Telecommunications Subscribers Association, described the Federal Government’s decision to increase the total consumption tax on telecommunications services, which include GSM to 12.5%, as “irresponsible and inopportune”.

According to the association, Nigerians are already suffering from the harsh economic conditions and another telecom subscriber tax is making them even poorer, especially since telecom services are essential for everyone.

The President of the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), Gbenga Adebayo, has called the excise duty unusual, saying it will increase the burden on telecom operators as they already have 39 other taxes which were imposed on them.

Adebayo, who spoke virtually at a forum last week, said his association may not absorb the tax on behalf of subscribers, noting that they will shift the burden on subscribers to pay higher prices for the services.

The Executive Secretary of the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Ajibola Olude, has also opposed the proposed tax, saying it fails to adhere to principles of taxation which include equity.

The implementation of the excise duty will, according to him, lead to job losses; pointing out that the proposed excise duty on all telecommunications companies is ill-intentioned, he said.

The President of the National Association of Telecommunications Subscribers (NATCOMS), Chief Adeolu Ogunbanjo, also lamented that the sector is already heavily taxed with payment made on each recharge card coupled with the existing 7.5% VAT.

According to him, the new excise duty will cumulatively increase the tax to 12.5% ​​including VAT, which will be a huge burden on Nigerians. The move, he said, is “insensitive and unpleasant”.

Ogunbanjo urged the government to reverse its decision to increase the tax for the benefit of the people, as the telecommunications industry is the last hope of the common man and should not be destroyed.

A telecommunications consumer in Lagos, Mr Lawrence Abi said the masses might not feel the impact of the excise duty since it does not apply to edible products.

He said: “As essential as communication is, how many people know how much they are charged per minute? More so, we paid a higher amount at the beginning of GSM. It will therefore have no effect on goods and services. We also have alternatives to calls such as WhatsApp calls.

“Overall, it’s better than additional consumer loans,” he said.

However, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) said there were no immediate plans from the operators to raise tariffs.

The Minister of Communications and the Digital Economy had, last Monday, expressed his dissatisfaction with the federal government’s efforts to introduce excise duties on telecommunications services.

Pantami, in his address at the first edition of the Nigerian Telecommunications Indigenous Content EXPO (NTICE), on the theme “Stimulating Indigenous Content Development through Innovation and Commercialization”, held in Lagos, underlined the need for government and stakeholders to continue to support the sector, not burden it unnecessarily.

“The Minister for Communications and the Digital Economy is not happy with any effort to introduce telecommunications excise duties. When the VAT was increased to 7.5% I was not consulted I only heard the announcement and I think there is something questionable and I am glad we are on the same wavelength with our members of the National Assembly. They too were not consulted despite the fact that they are part of the committee.

“Beyond making our position known, we will go behind the scenes and oppose any policy that destroys the digital economy sector. It is a sector that we cherish so much and we are ready to go all the way, legitimately and legally to defend its interests. he said.

Contacted yesterday, Pantami maintained his lack of support for the planned excise duty hike.

When asked why Pantami is not in favor of the new tax hike, his spokesman Uwa Suleiman said. daily stufft reporter to contact the NCC for clarification on his principal’s statement about his lack of support for the excise duty on telecommunications services.

But when contacted, the NCC’s public affairs director, Mr. Reuben Mouka, said that “the minister had made his position public (at the Lagos event). He didn’t hide it. »

Why the Minister of Communication opposed the excise bill

A senior ministry official said Pantami was against raising excise duties on telecom services as it could scare off investors and make it harder for Nigerians as telecoms could raise data and call rates due to tax.

Furthermore, Daily Trust understood that the Minister was bitter over the lack of proper engagement by the Ministry of Finance on the issue.

“Yes, there was a letter from the Ministry of Finance informing us of the plan to start the collection of excise duties, but the Minister replied to let them know that we had not been consulted and also pointed out how this law will increase hardship for our citizens and harm the growth of the digital economy sector,” he said.

According to him, there was no proper stakeholder engagement by the Ministry of Finance, including a public hearing on the proposed arrangements to allow all stakeholders to provide inputs.

“We have not been informed and the competent committees of the National Assembly have not been informed either,” he added. Another source at the ministry said the minister had promised telecom operators that he would meet with President Muhammadu Buhari on the matter.

One of the telecom operators’ officials told one of our reporters that they were not given a date as to when the new excise duty would come into effect.

“But you, they can take us by surprise and start this month; we can never tell,” the senior telecommunications official, who asked not to be named, told our reporter.

We consult on implementation – Department of Finance

However, a spokesman for the finance minister said the ministry was consulting with stakeholders on excise duty collection.

Responding to Daily TrustDuring yesterday’s inquiry, the finance minister’s special adviser for media and communications, Yunusa Tanko Abdullahi, said that the new tax regime stipulated that the collection of excise duties should take effect from the 1st June 2022, the end of a three-month moratorium provided by the ministry.

He said the minister had, “see circular dated March 1, 2022, informed the Nigeria Customs Service and other Heads of Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) including the Federal Ministry of Communication and the digital economy, the President’s approval of the implementation of the 5% excise duty on telecommunications services as of June 1, 2022. The circular provided for a moratorium of four- ninety (90) days from March 1, 2022 before the implementation of the excise duty”.

Dr Tanko said the new provision has not yet been implemented due to “the need to ensure a reasonable transition period before the implementation of the new tax, as well as to provide clarification to all stakeholders on the modalities of implementation”.

He reiterated that the excise was based on the provisions of the Finance Act 2020 which “introduced ‘telecommunications services’ supplied in Nigeria as liable to excise duty under Section 21(2) of the Law on Customs and Excise Tariffs, etc. (consolidation), CAP C49, LFN 2004. This therefore means that all the stakeholders have, by this singular provision, knowledge of the Law”.

He said the ministry was working with stakeholders including the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) and the Association of Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) on how to implement the excise duty.

By Abdulaziz Abdulaziz (Abuja), Zakariyya Adaramola and Christiana T. Alabi (Lagos)

How Ukraine pleaded again for an EU army Mon, 08 Aug 2022 06:05:36 +0000 People are asking and will continue to ask with increased urgency: When will the war in Ukraine end? Will the barbarism inflicted by Vladimir Putin end one day?

The answer lies mainly in the hands of Ukraine. But ultimately also in those of the rest of us: the EU, the US, the UK and other democratic countries of the world.

Among these external actors, the decisive answer to this question should be given by the EU, whose neighborhood is the most affected by the Russian aggression against Ukraine; second to the Ukrainians themselves, of course.

The Kremlin attacked Ukraine because it thought it could afford it.

He perceived nuclear deterrence between Russia and the West as reciprocal, and therefore almost irrelevant. She also found that, militarily, Europe is disappearing from the world map.

Russia saw a declining America and a rising China; and knew that the United States would be increasingly concerned about developments in Hong Kong, Taiwan and the South China Sea.

Putin was no doubt amused but also encouraged by the US withdrawal from Afghanistan. In short, the Kremlin’s respect for the West had diminished considerably and, as for the EU, it had completely disappeared.

Military developments in Ukraine indicate that we are facing a frozen conflict of unprecedented scale, with consequences that will be difficult to bear.

Scenario “Black Swan”

Just recently, I was listening to a prominent European political scientist speak when he expressed his fear that Ukraine would suffer the fate of Korea, a divided nation with two very different outcomes. This “black swan” scenario is easy to imagine.

Especially with the awareness of how long Transnistria survived, how the Russians solidified Abkhazia and Ossetia, how quickly Moscow conquered Crimea, how we struggled for almost half a century with the question Cyprus (although Turkey is a member of NATO and a candidate country for EU membership…).

But will it be possible somehow to meet the challenge of the “black swan” in Ukraine?

If there is a meaningful solution available to the West, it is to resurrect the authority and respect the West enjoyed during the Cold War. With the difference that, this time, the key role of safeguarding democracy in Europe, of which Ukraine is an integral part, must be played by the EU through effective cooperation with the United Kingdom and the United States.

To put it bluntly, if we seek to avoid the “Koreanization” of Ukraine, if we wish to bring some reason back to the Kremlin, the EU must begin to put in place an effective military deterrent.

The time for statements, overarching strategies or “strategic compasses” is over.

Either we start building European armed forces with effective action power, or Putin’s gang and his “followers” will continue to choose – not for years but for decades – which Ukrainian city to bomb next.

And we in Europe will continue to take comfort in knowing that this disaster is still only happening in Ukraine, praying that NATO Article 5 is not just a paper tiger.

A skeptic or “European realist” would argue that increased European military strength will not necessarily stop or deter Putin.

Admittedly, a Europe with a strong army is not in itself a sufficient precondition for ending the war in Ukraine.

Yet there is no doubt that this is an essential prerequisite. Putin must be made to understand that the EU is capable not only of disconnecting from Russian energy, but also of defending itself and its allies when necessary.

It is also clear that the negotiating position of our political leaders is different if they are not only supported by bags of money, but also by a capable, strong and combat-ready army.

The United States has and will continue to have its hands full with the Indo-Pacific, as well as with North Korea and Iran. We will be grateful if they handle these challenges on their own. As for the challenges affecting our immediate neighbourhood, it will be up to us to face them, first and foremost by ourselves.

It is not easy, though tempting, to model developments in Ukraine as European military build-up takes place. But we should leave that to the soldiers.

What we should be doing is asking politicians to make bold, principled, responsible and forward-looking decisions. Among the most urgent decisions is the need to start shaping European defense capabilities.

We may not like this idea; but if we reject it, we have an obligation to immediately answer the question: what is the alternative? What awaits us for Ukraine, but also for us, the inhabitants of the EU, if we continue in the current state of non-defence?

We expect political leaders to speak nicely. But today, that is no longer enough.

They must also be capable of bold actions. The first step for Europe to take up the challenge could be for France to allow Germany to put its finger on the French nuclear briefcase.

And Germany, in turn, allocates half of the annual increase in its military budget, or 50 billion euros, to the creation of the European Armed Forces.

China’s foreign trade rose 16.6% in July, thwarting fears of a slowdown Sun, 07 Aug 2022 11:51:00 +0000

Containers are loaded onto barges at a port in Jiaxing, east China’s Zhejiang Province, June 16, 2022. The throughput of containers that have been shipped between ocean vessels and river vessels has seen a sharp 69.4% year-on-year increase in the first five months of 2022, according to Ningbo Zhoushan Port Group. Photo: Courtesy of Ningbo Zhoushan Port Group

China’s foreign trade maintained double-digit growth in July at 16.6% year-on-year, official data showed on Sunday, underscoring the resilience of China’s giant export machine and thwarting widespread fears of a slowdown due to cooling global consumer demand in an environment of high inflation. as well as growing geopolitical uncertainties.

Experts noted that China’s strong import and export performance will provide impetus to the country’s economic recovery in the second half of the year, while easing market concerns about a global economic recession.

According to data released by the General Administration of Customs (GAC) on Sunday, the country’s foreign trade totaled 3.81 trillion yuan ($563.5 billion) in July, an increase of 16.6 percent year on year. .

In the first seven months, the country’s foreign trade volume reached 23.6 trillion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 10.4 percent, faster than the 9.4 percent growth rate seen in the first half. according to the GAC.

“The better-than-expected data reflects that pent-up growth momentum is being released throughout the year after the fallout from the resurgence of COVID-19 in the spring was overcome,” Bai Ming, deputy director of the Institute of international market research at the China Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, told the Global Times on Sunday.

Bai said a series of measures, including special relief for small and medium-sized businesses and tax cuts, as well as the depreciation of the Chinese yuan and a significant drop in shipping costs, have contributed to the acceleration of growth in July.

Steady growth in throughput at Chinese ports is also underpinning the strong rebound in the country’s foreign trade sector. According to data from the China Ports and Ports Association, container throughput at eight coastal container hub ports increased 12.7% year-on-year in July, while Shanghai Port and Ningbo Port – Zhoushan – two of the country’s largest ports – saw their container throughput increase by 16.8% and 25% year-on-year, respectively.

Between January and July, China’s trade with its three main trading partners – ASEAN, the EU and the United States – increased by 13.2%, 8.9% and 11.8% respectively in year-on-year. Trade with Belt and Road partners jumped 19.8 percent year-on-year, while trade with the 14 Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) economies rose 7.5 percent from January to July , according to the GAC.

China’s robust trade growth with these countries and regions is a slap in the face for some Western media outlets who have claimed that overseas demand for Chinese goods will decline in the second half as the COVID-19 pandemic continues and major economies stagnate. , noted experts. .

In July, China’s exports rose 23.9 percent year on year to 2.25 trillion yuan, while imports rose 7.4 percent year on year to 1.56 trillion yuan. The trade surplus increased by 90.9% year on year, standing at a high level.

Zhou Maohua, macroeconomic analyst at Everbright Bank, told the Global Times that imports by domestic enterprises are being affected by high energy and commodity prices as the domestic economy continues to recover amid uncertainties. global economic conditions also affect their confidence.

Tian Yun, a Beijing-based economist, told the Global Times on Sunday that the large trade surplus also indicates that the severity of global inflation and supply shortages caused by the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, Western sanctions and the restructuring of the global supply chain has gone beyond expectations.

“If the trend continues, the foreign trade sector could push up China’s GDP growth rate by 1 percentage point,” Tian said.

Looking ahead, Bai said the possibility of the United States lifting some tariffs imposed on Chinese exports and the dividends brought by RCEP will continue to boost China’s foreign trade in the second half of the year.

However, growing uncertainties and challenges such as economic contraction in Europe and the United States as well as growing competition from Southeast Asian countries like Vietnam could increase the pressure on Chinese exports, he said. he declares.

Amid lingering uncertainty, China will implement a series of measures to stabilize and improve the quality of foreign trade in the second half of the year to shore up its resilience, Commerce Ministry spokesperson Shu Jueting said at a meeting. a recent press briefing. .

Officials will work to guide foreign trade enterprises in exploring and expanding the international market, and the country will continue to hold international exhibitions, such as the China International Import Expo and Import Fair. and export trade from China, and will encourage localities and industry associations to hold online exhibitions, she said.

Cops rescue cattle from two vehicles, thieves flee | Jaipur News Sun, 07 Aug 2022 02:53:00 +0000 JAIPUR: As part of a crackdown on cow smuggling, a team of Bharatpur police intercepted two collection jeeps and rescued 17 cattle from the vehicles in the early hours of Saturday. However, taking advantage of the darkness, the smugglers managed to flee.
According to the police, cow guards informed the local police of the movement of two vehicles of Nagar Bharatpur area late Friday evening. The police prepared a team and barricades were launched in Bharatpur.
“Initially, some security guards managed to stop these vehicles and while they were arguing with the drivers of the two vehicles about the illegal transport of cows, some of them intimidated us. Our team arrived on site and saved 17 cows. A cow was found dead. They were kept in two pick-up jeeps,” said a senior police officer from Nagar police station.
“A matter under the appropriate sections of Rajasthan Cattle Ordinance was filed against the smugglers and the cows were moved to a local barn,” the officer added.
It may be recalled that Bharatpur is very close to the Haryana border where cows are smuggled and slaughtered. Nooh Mewat of Haryana, 90 kilometers from Nagar, is the area where cows are smuggled from Rajasthan and slaughtered.
“With the help of the local administration, we have also installed speed brakes every two kilometres. Special police stations are created to control this threat,” an officer said. ]]>
Lewis: The biggest tax hike in history that no one knows anything about Sat, 06 Aug 2022 18:29:00 +0000

I hate taxes. Yes, I know they are needed for certain things, but that doesn’t mean I like paying for them. I come from a time when the word “conservative” meant you were in favor of small government and frugal government spending. The word conservative seems to have taken on a whole new definition these days – one that has more to do with social opinions than fiscal policy.

Question. Which president is responsible for the largest tax increase in our country? Joe Biden? Bill Clinton? Barack Obama? Obama ranks second with Affordable Care Act that cost taxpayers $76.8 billion in his first year. (Note: if you look at this in constant dollars, this ranking drops but, in any case, it was the second since 1993). The ACA was big but whether you liked “Obamacare” or not, at least most Americans got something in return.

So are you ready? The prize for the biggest tax increase goes to Donald Trump. What is more amazing is that he accomplished it without any Congressional approval. Is your head spinning right now? Mine was when I discovered both that it was possible and the magnitude of the numbers involved.

In 2019, the Trump administration taxed nearly $80 billion new US personal taxes – the largest tax increase in history! All from one person without the need for congressional approval. What happened here? How did it happen? The trick was that it technically didn’t impose a “tax”. Instead, he imposed “tariffs,” most of which were aimed at China.

The purpose of tariffs is to force reduction in consumption of a particular thing, usually from a particular country or region, either to punish the country and/or to make your home market more competitive. Sounds admirable, but most experts agree – tariffs don’t work.

Trump’s logic was that if we increased the import tax on steel, for example (which he did up to 25%!), then all of America’s steel mills would grow and there would be more jobs, yadda yadda yadda. Almost every pundit knew that was a completely fanciful thought, but Trump went ahead with it anyway.

So what happened? We import more steel today than ever, and our domestic production has declined. When steel got more expensive, so did oil, for example, because you need a whole lot of steel for the pipes for every new well. An oil consulting firm calculated that the costs of oil drilling in the United States increased by 30% solely because of these tariffs. The next time you swear when you fill up your car, don’t forget to give thanks where it’s due.

Trump’s stated goal was for the tariffs to help American industry and punish China, but they achieved the opposite result. A recent study by the US-China Business Council indicates that these Trump policies (along with China’s retaliation) have cost the United States 245,000 jobs. The purpose of this madness was to make America stronger, but it was like putting a gun to our heads and saying, “Stop or I’ll shoot.”

The US government brought in $79 billion in 2019 from tariffs, more than double the number of the previous two years. Since the purpose of tariffs is to change behavior, when more revenue comes from tariffs, it is a clear signal that they are not working. According to Forbesthese fares now cost American families more than $2,000 a year.

Beyond the fact that it was a terrible idea in the first place, it’s hard to understand why the current administration isn’t taking steps to correct the mistake. President Biden says he is “still thinking about it.“Really? Last year we imported over $3 trillion worth of goods from China, an increase of 31%! Although reciprocal tariffs on US agriculture are hurting us, there is little or no evidence that these tariffs have any impact other than increasing costs.

With inflation and the inability to grow our own industries (due to labor shortages), for the sake of American households, the Biden administration must stop this madness and undo the biggest increase in taxes in the history of the United States.

Mark Lewis, originally from Colorado, has had a long career in technology, including serving as CEO of several tech companies. He retired from tech last year and now writes thrillers. Mark and his wife, Lisa, and their two Australian Shepherds – Kismet and Cowboy, reside in Edwards.

]]> Georgia president vetoes divisive surveillance bill – The Organization for World Peace Sat, 06 Aug 2022 03:56:27 +0000

For the first time since taking office, Georgian PResident Salome Zurabishvili used her veto against the controversial surveillance bill proposed by parliament. The 22ndn/a June, the president said in a statement that the adoption of these laws would allow restrictions on human rights and constitute an obstacle to the process of democratization necessary to become an EU member state.

According to Transparency International, one of the ramifications of implementing the amendment would be the ability to conduct covert investigative actions in relation to 27 additional crimes (more than 75 in total), including crimes such as illegal hoisting of the national flag. Also, the duration of covert eavesdropping was previously increased from 6 to 9 months, however, now these measures can be indefinite as long as the issue relates to one of the 100 enlisted crimes.

In an open letter to lawmakers, non-governmental organizations including the Center for Human Rights and the Georgian Democracy Initiative claimed that the bill raises the standard of human rights protections. Among the flawed nature of the amendments and the non-compliance with human rights conventions, they highlight the potential problem of an escalation of mass surveillance, which increases the risk of unlawful interference and arbitrariness. authorities.

“It is not possible to pass such a law in Georgia, which further restricts human rights, when we are asked to give more guarantees in this sense, to be more democratic and more European” , said the president, expressing her concerns about the potential violation of the right to private communication. The bill was also criticized by EU Ambassador to Georgia, Carl Hartzell, who said: “We are concerned that the current changes will significantly limit the privacy of Georgian citizens without sufficient safeguards against undue invasion of privacy. privacy and the protection of personal data”.

The activation of the veto procedure must be treated in an emblematic way and rather as a political act than as a factual mechanism likely to block the bill. Under Georgian law, a simple majority (76 votes out of 150) is required for the veto to be overridden by parliament, where currently 84 seats belong to the ruling Georgian Dream party that proposed the amendments. Deputy Speaker of Parliament Archil Talakavadze has already announced the party’s willingness to support the original bill again once it comes back to parliament for a vote.

Shortly after the outbreak of war in Ukraine, three countries, Ukraine (28e February), Moldova and Georgia (3rd March) has applied for EU candidate status. During June 23rd-24e summit, the EU adopted a resolution granting this post “without delay” only to Ukraine and Moldova. However, following the recommendation of the European Commission, Georgia, although once considered a favorite, can only become a candidate after having met a list of specific priorities.

The European Commission will have reviewed the request by the end of 2022, verifying whether Georgia will adequately address the issues of concern. Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili has already declared his commitment to “meeting all requirements” set by the EU

Georgia is currently facing one of the greatest political challenges of decades, and in light of its democratic backsliding, the 2008 war, and recent events like the passage of surveillance bills , membership of the European Union remains a political priority.

3 inmates charged in meth smuggling investigation at Troup County Jail Fri, 05 Aug 2022 13:16:21 +0000

(Troup County Sheriff’s Office)

Three inmates have been charged in connection with an investigation into alleged drug trafficking at the Troup County Jail.

On Tuesday, investigators arrested Deputy Steven Michael Crowder, 23, after what they say was a month-long investigation into allegations he smuggled narcotics into the jail and was paid off by a third party.

Days later, officials said they charged three inmates, identified as Reginal Saffold, 34, Jason Cofield, 37, and Ruby Jean Griffith, 42, in connection with the investigation.

The three inmates are charged with multiple counts of having items prohibited from inmate possession and one count each of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

Sheriff Steven Michael Crowder of Troup County (Troup County Sheriff’s Office)

Crowder, who officials said had been employed as a detention officer with the Troup County Sheriff’s Department since January, faces four counts of breach of oath by a public officer, four counts of possession by inmates and one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

Investigators believe he is the only deputy involved in the case.