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I received this press release from Clark Gascoigne of The Fact Coalition, an organization that acts as a watchdog and taxpayer advocate. His articles and statements have appeared in Fortune Magazine, The Huffington Post, and various other prestigious publications. If this upsets you, please contact your Congressperson. If we all make our voices heard, we can accomplish change.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NOVEMBER 9, 2017

House Advances Tax Bill that Increases Offshoring of Jobs & Profits

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. House Ways and Means Committee’s voted 24-16 to advance proposed tax legislation (H.R.1) Thursday afternoon, after making some last-minute amendments.  The bill, which now moves to the House floor next week, maintains measures that grant multinational corporations a discounted tax rate on the profits they currently hold offshore, while exempting many profits booked offshore from future taxation, according to the Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency (FACT) Coalition.

Clark Gascoigne, the deputy director of the FACT Coalition, issued the following statement:

“Today’s changes to the House tax bill did little to address the incentives for companies to offshore profits and jobs.  The differences in tax rates still favor overseas profits to those booked at home. And, it still entirely exempts oil and gas companies, mining companies, and financial services firms from all taxes on their profits booked offshore.

“We are still reviewing the changes to the excise tax on profit-shifting but, after gutting the provision earlier this week, the most recent changes appear only to restore a portion of the anti-gaming measure.

“Despite minor changes to the rates on repatriated profits, the tax break is still worth hundreds of billions of dollars on profits already earned.  There is simply no economic case for discounted tax rates on economic activity that’s already happened.

“This legislation remains out of step with the American people, who overwhelmingly oppose these types of tax giveaways to tax dodgers.”

 

Tonight will be our first date. Luke is taking me to dinner. Just two more hours before I get to see him! I feel a tingle as I move the queen of hearts below the king of spades. I’m like a teenage girl with the rush and crush of it all. You’d never know I was a 34 year old professional woman. I feel like snapping my gum and calling my girlfriends flat out on my stomach on the bed with legs raised behind me kicking off shoes and yammering into the phone, “and he’s all, and I’m like, and he’s like…” Christ. But I can’t help the delicious burst of joy that’s running from my tummy into my chest.

My life is about to change. I smile and move the four of clubs across to the five of hearts. Yes, my life is about to change. I can just feel it. A new man. A new adventure.

I look up. Andie is shouting, “You can’t go in there! You can’t go in there without an appointment!” And from the hallway, the thundering of heavy footsteps advancing across the oak plank floor. “Wait!”

Then a man rushing through my open office door. His handsome face is puffy, red and vaguely familiar. It blurs as he speeds to the front of my desk. He upends a black satchel and my eyes grow large as they move from his face down to stacks of bound hundred dollar bills tumbling onto the desktop, off the desk onto the floor. Mounds and mounds of them. I can’t even guess how much.

“Pay the IRS for me.” The words tumble just as rapidly from his mouth as the packets tumble onto the desktop. A waft of stagnant scotch hits my nose. Is he drunk?

I finally recognize the new client with the horrendous tax problem who paid me a small advance a couple of months ago, signed the IRS’ Power of Attorney form, but never returned with the paperwork I needed in order to proceed. “Simon? What’s going on?” He is so intent on his task that he doesn’t answer. “Simon?” I prompt again this time a little more insistently.

Simon scoops the last banded pack from the satchel, finally looks at me and says, “I trust you Kim. Pay the IRS for me. I’ll be in touch.”

By then Andie is in the doorway but rears back quickly when he barrels back through it. We watch him leave then stare at each other slack jawed for a beat. Then I’m up and running after him. “Simon! Wait!” He’s gone through the front door. I whip the door open, step out to the landing, and pause. I look to the right, nothing. I look to the left and see him running down the sidewalk. Shielding the late afternoon sun from my eyes with one hand, I call out to him again, “Wait, Simon. You have to come back!”

A squeal of brakes causes me to look across the street. A bronze vintage Oldsmobile, something out of the 1960’s, pulls to a stop. A woman in big round sunglasses, sun hat, and gloved hands, lowers the window, brings up a revolver and shoots Simon. I watch as he crumbles to the ground and the satchel flies out of his hands.

The car door swings open and the woman starts to get out but looks over at me as I scream. She turns toward me, raises the gun and before I can react, she fires. I hear a hiss and smell gunpowder as the bullet whizzes by my ear and lodges into the door frame behind me. Throwing myself to the ground, I crawl back inside and slam the door with my foot. I hear the crack of one more bullet then hear the sound of peeling rubber.

I stay on the floor. Tears erupt from my eyes as I hyperventilate. Alarmed, Andie is leaning over me. “What happened? What’s going on?” Her voice is anxious.

I put my hand over my heart and breathe deeply, exhaling loudly, trying to slow my breathing. Finally, I can speak. “Call the police, Andie. Call the police. And get an ambulance. She shot Simon.”

“What? Who? Who shot Simon? What?”

I glower at her. “Andie. Just. Call. Now.”

The door bursts open. I scream and pull myself into a fetal position, covering my face with my hands. Andie jumps back. After a terrifying moment, I hear her say, “Damn! I was just about to call you.”

Slowly, I pull my hands down from my face to see a police officer, hand poised over his weapon. It’s Mac, Officer McCarthy, who interviewed me several months ago when Dominic Rodriguez disappeared. Outside I hear another officer speaking into a two-way, asking for an ambulance.

I sit up feeling a tad embarrassed. Andie lowers a hand to help me up. I brush off my skirt. Mac sighs and drops his hand to his side. “It’s Kim, right? Kim Stillwell?” I nod as he pulls a small notebook from a chest pocket. “Well, you want to tell me what happened this time?”

A Novel – Excerpt From Chapter One

“Kim, your one o’clock is here.” Andie’s voice comes through the intercom over little waves of static.

I swing my chair back around from the window where I had been gazing at the view of rain streaming from a sky that looks just as slate gray as the sidewalk below it. The view is gorgeous even if the day is dreary.  My office overlooks the plaza, a gem of a park with tall redwoods and green grass crisscrossed by walking paths in the center of downtown Sonoma.  Exotic ducks from all over the world grace the pond in the southwest corner. At one time chickens roosted near the pond and would wander all over the downtown area giving new meaning to the question, “Why did the chicken cross the road?” My window’s exterior is nicely framed with a Meyer lemon tree plump with fruit and white blossoms plump with promise. If the rain doesn’t knock them off, that is.

It couldn’t be the view so I’m guessing it’s just the unseasonal rain that has me down. The mad rush and long, long hours of tax season have been over for six weeks but I haven’t had a vacation yet. Okay, I took a spa day but that proved to be tantalizingly depressing, knowing it will be another two months before I can enjoy a proper hiatus. And boy, do I need one. It’s that and the rain that pushes me into doldrums. I press the intercom button. “Have him take a seat. See if he wants anything to drink. I’ll be out in about five.”

I pull a little compact out of my purse and check my makeup. Not that I wear very much. I come from a family blessed with great skin – pale with naturally rosy cheeks that set off my blue eyes and long blond tresses. I refresh my passion pink lipstick, shuffle the papers on my desk into a basket, stand and straighten my pencil skirt. Most tax professionals in this wine country tourist town dress casually, some even show up to work in shorts on a hot day but I like the idea of formal office wear – like what I have on today: a light pink Chanel suit with Gucci heels. Totally trendy. Even if I am all business, I’m still a woman. I enjoy the flirty half-buttoned blouse that shows off some cleavage. My mom used to say, “If you got it, flaunt it.” And like Mom, I do, so I do. A little bit sexy is fine, but most of all my clothing must be classy.

I button my suit jacket as I head to reception to receive my new client. He’s a musician. I’ve handled a few artistic types before so this is nothing new. Scattered, oblivious, usually not numbers oriented and always scared of the IRS. If only they knew that the IRS is not as demonic as they imagine. In fact, I’ve run into quite a few mensches in that bureaucratic jungle.

As I open the door to the reception area, I see the back of my new client’s head and I stop dead in my tracks. Suddenly it feels as if the wind is knocked out of me. Recovering, my breath hitches.  From the top of his chair I see thick wavy brown hair tucked behind his ears sweeping just below his collar line then curling up. His broad shoulders bend over an open worn leather satchel on his lap. I have a feeling I’ve known him all my life. I hear a voice inside of me saying, “Is he your soul mate?” And I have this weird out-of-nowhere thought that I will marry this man.

Overcome, I return to the hall where I gather myself. I lean against the wall and mutter, “What the hell was that?” Okay, I’m used to encountering good looking men – they’re all over town, in all the clubs and at business affairs. I’m constantly surrounded by them. And I’ll look at a guy and go, ‘oh yeah, I’d like some of that.’ Or I’ll look at a guy and even if he’s drop dead gorgeous, I might find there is absolutely no connection, no chemistry whatsoever. But I have never looked at the back of some guy’s head, even if he has luscious hair that I’m dying to run my fingers through and thought, ‘I wanna marry him.’ Marry? I haven’t even seen his face. And I haven’t thought about marriage since my ridiculous jump 14 years ago when I was just a babe of 19 into supposed wedded bliss that lasted all of six months. And now all of sudden words like soul mate and marriage have dropped into my brain like a ten pound barbell landing on my foot.

Okay, Kim, take it down a notch. I exhale. I’ve been exceptionally happy on my own. Maybe that’s what happens with maturity, in arriving at your 30s, you don’t want all the drama and unhappiness that seems to sprout up in most relationships.

What I’d like to know is how in the world I could be so taken and shaken by someone whose face I haven’t even seen yet? Oh, I’ve heard of this before. Where a woman points to a stranger across a crowded room and tells her BFF, “I’m going to marry him.” And sure enough she does, usually two weeks later or maybe even the same day. And they go off hand in hand for the next 60 years into the sunset, smiling contentedly at each other. But I always figured that was just part of some movie.  This can’t really be happening to me now. Or is it?

I take another breath and decide I must be losing my ever loving mind. Maybe I stood up too fast from my desk. Yeah, that has to be it. I take another deep breath and exhale loudly. With new resolve I open the door to reception and say, “Luke? Luke Hunter? The wavy brown hair turns, I swear in slow motion like a shampoo commercial, and large intense blue eyes meet mine. He’s got the most handsome yet rugged face I’ve ever seen. Chiseled perfectly formed lips, high cheekbones and ears that are just a little too big. I stanch the melt down I feel coming on.

“That’s me.” Luke shuffles some papers into the leather case and rises from his chair. I almost gasp again. He is tall. I mean really tall. His smile is engaging. I grin back hoping that I’m not leering.

“I’m Kim Stilwell.” I extend my hand and it all but disappears into his firm grasp. He’s leaned in and I get a whiff of clean but earthy masculine scent. A little tingle runs up my spine as I attempt to maintain a business like composure. “Follow me back, please.”

Fountain PenI’ve started writing my next book.

I’ll share snippets from the book with you it in future posts.

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©2017 Taxpertise | Bonnie Lee, E.A. | Ph: 707.935.1755 Fax: 707.938.1891 | 453 2nd Street West, Sonoma, CA 95476