American Consequences - January 2018

with at least 450 arrests and 21 deaths. Iranians have become frustrated with the country’s lagging economy. The protestors are seeking an overhaul of the antiquated system of government. And despite an elected president and parliament, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has the final say. We can’t know for sure how these situations will play out in the months and years ahead... But it’s more evidence that the smallest levels of tension could quickly erupt. Trump keeps his promise. Tax “reform” becomes law... In a rush to complete his campaign promise of tax reform before Christmas, President Trump hastily signed the GOP’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act into law on December 22. As expected, the bill falls short of the dramatic improvements many had hoped for. Permanent cuts or not, the tax bill will add more than $1.4 trillion to the deficit.” It won’t simplify the tax code in any meaningful way. It won’t make it any less time-consuming or expensive for most folks to file their annual returns. And it won’t significantly ease the tax burden for most Americans over the long term. According to non-partisan think tank the Tax Policy Center (“TPC”), most Americans should expect to see a modest reduction in their tax bill next year. The TPC reports 143 million will pay lower federal income taxes in

2018, compared with just 8.5 million who will pay more. However, under the current bill, these individual tax cuts will expire in 2025. If no change is made before then, today’s tax cuts will become tomorrow’s tax hikes . And let’s not forget that permanent cuts or not, the bill will add more than $1.4 trillion to the deficit. As U.S. consumers ramped up spending over the holidays, many of them turned to credit cards. Consumer credit-card debt increased $11.2 billion in November, the largest monthly increase in a year, according to the latest Federal Reserve data. Consumers now own a mountain of credit-card debt in excess of $1 trillion – the highest level since before the 2008 financial crisis. Meanwhile, the savings rate for consumers dropped to just 2.9% as of November, versus nearly 6% just two years ago. The only time Americans have been saving less than today was 1929-1931 – during the peak of the Great Depression . In other words, Americans are borrowing more and saving less than virtually any time in history. How long can that last? In his new book, American Consequences contributor Porter Stansberry details how it’s all likely to play out... and explains exactly what concerned investors need to do to protect themselves and their savings. To learn more about his book, The American Jubilee , click here . Credit-card debt hits a new record...

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