February 6, 2007

Couldn’t Help But Notice (020607)

Filed under: Business Moves,Economy,Environment,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 6:17 am

German estate tax law actually has different confiscation tax rates depending on what is in the estate. And in a strange ruling, it appears that a court says that the practice can continue, but only for two years:

German inheritance law which charges heirs a higher tax for cash, shares and bonds than for property or businesses is unconstitutional, the country’s highest court ruled Wednesday.

The current system can operate only through the end of 2008, and from 2009 a new inheritance law will be necessary, the Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe said.

Maybe the Expatica writer meant that the adjusted estated tax law (correcting for the inequity in tax rates) can continue, but that isn’t clear.

Regardless, 12/31/2008 would thus appear to be a golden opportunity for Angela Merkel to ax the tax completely, but it doesn’t look she will.

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The Institute for Supply Management reported last Thursday that manufacturing, which makes up about 14% of the economy, slipped back into contraction mode in January, recording a reading of 49.3 (50 or above would signify contraction). The overview says: “New Orders Growing; Production, Employment and Inventories Contracting; Deliveries Slowing.” As long as new orders continue to grow, the index should get back into expansion mode soon.

Monday’s “Non-Manufacturing report from ISM on the remaining 86% of the economy was a barn-burner — The index rose from 56.7 to 59.0, blasting past expectations of 57.0.

The weighted average of the two indices (14% of the former and 86% of the latter; this is a BizzyBlog calc ISM doesn’t do) is 57.6. The economy continues to move along just fine, thank you.

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Second-hand smoking BS — The supposed science behind claims that second-hand smoke kills 50,000 people a year or that there is no safe level of second-hand smoke ….. is a smokescreen (HT Wizblog)
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So Nancy Pelosi wants, in essence, “carte blanche for (a military) aircraft any time.” No surprise there — her party seems to expect carte blanche from taxpayers.
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Okay, here’s a reason to root for (of course not caused by humans) global warmingPipes won’t burst as often.

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File this underHow Convenient“:

Apple: iTunes users should wait on Vista

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