Hunt & Associates P.C.

Dec 21, 2016

Privacy: Should the Law Protect the Secrets of a Cheating Spouse?

PrivateIn a recent case the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals held that a wife who had apparently discovered her husband’s infidelity by intercepting his emails to and from various women could be liable for violating the federal Wiretapping and Electronic Surveillance Act. 18 U.S.C. §2520.  In his concurring opinion, Judge Richard Posner questioned whether the law should protect the husband’s privacy interest in concealing his infidelities from his wife.

As Judge Posner wrote: “I … Read more

Dec 20, 2016

King County’s Publicly Employed Dumpster Divers

dumpster-1517830_1280In a recent act of performance art, illustrating that city and county governments may truly be the sewers of American politics, King County Washington is now sending its employees out digging through residential garbage in the early morning hours when they’re least likely to be discovered.  Residents have found men outside their homes at 5:30 in the morning going through their garbage with flashlights. The highly-paid King County public servants engaged in this dumpster diving … Read more

Disabled Individuals Can Now Establish Their Own Special Needs Trusts

vintage-1537992_1920Congress has just enacted legislation that allows disabled beneficiaries of means tested programs such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to establish their own special needs trusts.  Until now, such trusts had to be established by persons other than the disabled individual even when the trust’s funding source was the disabled individual’s own assets.  The new law, known as the Special Needs Trust Fairness Act, changes that and allows such trusts to be established … Read more

Dec 12, 2016

Portland Claims the Cure for Income Inequality and Homelessness is More Tax Money for City Government; Surprise!

Homeless manThe City of Portland has just enacted an ordinance imposing a 10% surcharge to the annual city business license tax paid by publicly traded corporations whose CEOs earn compensation when compared with the median worker pay is a ratio of 100:1 or more.  The surcharge increases to an additional 25% of the city business tax if the ratio of CEO compensation to median worker compensation is 250:1 or greater.

The ordinance rationalizes the surcharge as … Read more

Dec 9, 2016

Poetic Justice? Federal Tax Revenues and Spending

taxes-646511_1280Even if it may not be poetic justice it is certainly ironic that to the extent the federal government redistributes federal tax revenues it receives from each state in federal spending among the federal states, the biggest losers are the states which consistently vote for candidates who support higher federal taxes.

While it’s generally accepted that American conservatives and “Red States” generally favor lowering levels of taxes while American liberals and “Blue States” generally support … Read more

Oregon Launches its ABLE Savings Plan

Piggy bankBeginning December 6, 2016, Oregonians can take advantage of the federal “ABLE Act” which allows persons with disabilities to establish accounts which can be used to pay their disability related expenses.[1]  Those eligible can now open an ABLE account by enrolling via the Oregon ABLE website.  The enrollment process is estimated to require no more than 15 minutes to complete.

Up to $14,000.00 can be contributed to an ABLE account each year without jeopardizing … Read more

Dec 8, 2016

The Perils of Do It Yourself Estate Planning

DIYI used to attempt home repairs more than I do now.  Experience can be such a harsh teacher.  On one notable occasion, my do it yourself plumbing “repair” caused a flood inside my home.  I was so confident, before the fact, that the initial problem (the steady drip, drip, drip from a leaky valve) would require but a simple fix.  Not so.  If you have ever watched Mickey Mouse perform the role of The Sorcerer’s … Read more

Government Regulation of Cow Farts! Really?

Cow buttsCalifornia has just enacted legislation regulating methane emissions from, among other things, cows.  Implementation is only possible with significant government subsidies despite which it’s likely that the dairy industry will further decline through emigration of dairies to other states or cessation of operations.  The story is here.  The legislation will, no doubt, magically turn manure into gold for someone.

© 12/8/2016 Lawrence B. Hunt of Hunt & Associates, P.C.  All rights reserved.… Read more