Overstuffed Back in 1997, Delaware Senator Bill Roth sponsored a new kind of retirement savings account with a back-end benefit. In contrast to traditional IRAs, which let you deduct your contributions and defer tax until you pull money out, the Roth IRA lets you contribute after-tax dollars in exchange for tax-free withdrawals. Roth designed his… Read More

Writing a funny tax column every week, and keeping it as consistently brilliant as we do, is actually harder than it looks. (Less glamorous, too.) Sometimes there just isn’t an obviously fun story to cover. What do we write about in a week with no criminals cheating, celebrities misbehaving, or holidays we can skewer? If… Read More

  Pure Imagination Fifty years ago on June 30, Paramount Pictures released an enchanting spun-sugar delight of a movie that remains a classic. Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory features Gene Wilder as the reclusive confectioner who hides five Golden Tickets in his candy bars and promises the finders a tour of his mysterious factory… Read More

The post-punk philosopher and M&Ms enthusiast David Lee Roth once said, “Money can’t buy you happiness, but it can buy you a yacht big enough to pull up right alongside it.” So, if you like big boats and you cannot lie, this week’s discussion will put a salty smile on your face. Summer is here,… Read More

Eat the Rich Most Americans would agree that capitalism is the greatest wealth creation engine the world has ever known. But it’s hard to argue that capitalism distributes its rewards equally, and today’s “winner take all” economy is concentrating wealth beyond Gilded Age levels. Forget about that top 1% the “Occupy Wall Street” movement targeted;… Read More

Rope, Shoot, Fry, Tax Taxes were in the news this Memorial Day weekend: the new administration leaked word that the higher capital gains taxes included in their American Families Plan would be retroactive to April when they first rolled out the bill. That’s drawn predictable fire from the usual suspects on Team Red and the… Read More

Free Advice People have loved advice columns, in print and elsewhere, since Daniel Defoe launched the “Scandalous Club” back in 1704. Since then, we’ve lobbed questions to Abby, Ann, Polly, Prudence, Miss Manners, Dr. Phil, Dr. Ruth, Dr. Drew, Dr. Laura, and even Frasier Crane. (“I’m listening.”) But few letters stand out like the one… Read More

The More Things Change… The Biden administration has rolled out an ambitious set of tax hikes to support new spending on infrastructure, families, and other priorities. While the plan includes raising rates, much of the action focuses on closing loopholes, especially for corporations. But if you’ve ever had front-row seats to that particular horror show,… Read More

The Price of Fame This is a story about a boy, a dream, a voice, and a legend. It has no beginning or end, but opens under the boundless California sky on a June afternoon in 2009. There’s an ambulance speeding down the mansion-lined streets of LA’s “Platinum Triangle.” In the ambulance, about to be… Read More

Unintended Consequences Prussian Minister Otto von Bismarck once said that laws are like sausages: it’s better not to see them being made. Frankly, that comparison is unfair to sausage makers. When was the last time a kitchen full of lawmakers cooked up something as tasty as a delicate Bavarian weisswürst, or as satisfying as a… Read More