Entries by Edward Lyon

Pied-a-Terrible!

When it comes to raising revenue, governments usually find it most efficient to follow the immortal advice of bank robber Willie Sutton and go “where the money is.” They turn to income, payroll, property, and sales taxes to fund most of their operations. They’ll throw in the occasional gas tax or sin tax for fun. […]

A Song of Fire and Taxes

Sunday night, millions of Game of Thrones fans who waited breathlessly for 20 months finally got rewarded with their next installment what’s become the biggest TV show on the planet. Cersei discovered (redacted). Jon Snow learned that …. (sorry, no spoilers here). And that guy with the eye patch and flaming sword probably does great on Tinder. (Seriously, what […]

Game of Taxes

On April 14, millions of fans will gather around the biggest screen they can find for the start of one final season in Westeros, the setting of George R.R. Martin’s epic Game of Thrones. The show, which producers pitched as “The Sopranos in Middle Earth,” has leaped from television into the broader culture. In 2013, 241 […]

AP Fraud

Early on a Tuesday morning, FBI agents fan out across the country to arrest dozens of people in six states on racketeering charges and other offenses. The next Gambino family mob “rollup”? No, it’s “Operation Varsity Blues” — the newest celebrity scandal, featuring CEOs and Hollywood stars bribing their children’s way into competitive colleges! And, […]

Batter Up!

Choosing where to live is one of the most important decisions we make on this journey we call life. Do we embrace the familiar comfort of the small town where we grew up, or do we strike off for fame and fortune in the big city? Do we celebrate new advances in home snowblower technology, […]

Always in Fashion

She’s a long-haired European exotic beauty. She lives a life of glamour and luxury that most of us can only dream of. She has 300,000 followers on Instagram. She’s earned $3 million in royalties and endorsements. She’s launched fashion lines, and been the subject of two books. Oh, and she has absolutely no idea how […]

And the Oscar Goes To . . . the IRS!

Oscar night is the biggest night in Hollywood. The stars shine just a little bit brighter. The red carpets stretch just a little bit farther. And the bloated egos get just a little bit bloatier, if that’s possible. (Here’s looking at you, Bradley Cooper.) Ironically, fewer and fewer of us tune in to the actual ceremony. […]

Don’t Worry, No One Will Notice

Would anyone in their right mind sit down from scratch and develop the tax withholding system we have today? The IRS publishes tables telling employers how much to take out of everyone’s paycheck, depending on their income, their filing status, and the amount they guesstimate they’ll be claiming in deductions and credits. Then, at the […]

Champagne Wishes and Caviar Dreams

Just a couple of generations ago, it just wasn’t polite to discuss money. We mostly knew who was rich and who wasn’t. But it wasn’t until about 1984, when crack investigative journalist Robin Leach launched Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, that Americans began following celebrity houses, cars, and bank accounts with the same gusto as […]

Kondomania

America’s economy has morphed throughout our history, starting from agricultural to manufacturing to service to technology. Now it seems we’re moving towards a celebrity-based economy. The world is full of D-list celebrities competing for attention: third-rate rappers hoping to break through their own noise, random Kardashian cousins, and spurned bachelorettes fighting for one last rose. […]