McDonald's Has A Big Tax Problem


By Neil Rubenstein

Observer Columnist

So you think you have tax problems and perhaps you do, but it’s nothing like McDonald’s. Gabby Hayes would say, “No Siree, Bob.” I’m sure it was purely an oversight that the hamburger company supposedly shorted the European tax collectors by more than $1.1 billion from 2009 to 2013.

Nobody should be misled when they hear the legislators are scraping by on only $97,196 per year. However, when all the benefits are factored in, I just bet it’s more than double. They might not get gold toothpicks or $50 cigars, but pensions, housing, per diem, medical, and vehicle allowance really adds up fast. Governor Brown gets $177,468; the governor of Tennessee gets $178,356; the governor of New York gets $179,000; and members of the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors average $238,000 per year. Starting on July 1 the rank and file State worker will get a 2.5 percent raise.

The Daimler Truck Company of North America announced it is still testing an autonomous big rig before it will be ready for the highway. Actually, many of the features that allow the high and passenger vehicles to travel solo are available today. A computer-controlled vehicle would cut expensive driver-related costs.

Upping your coffee consumption to three or more cups a day can lower your risk of type 2 diabetes, says the Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Oz says he is recommending black tea to all his female friends. Recent research, which pooled data from 170,000 women in Harvard University’s Nurses’ Health Studies, discovered drinking more than one cup of black tea a day was associated with a 31 percent reduction in ovarian cancer risk.

Frequent snoring can in some cases indicate other medical problems. One 2013 study showed problems in the carotid arteries which supply oxygenated blood to the brain. Loud snoring is also linked to sleep apnea, which can increase the risk for high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke.

The United States Postal Service finally started informing the public about operation “mail covers.” For those who have never heard about “mail covers,” it’s where the government monitored 49,000 pieces of mail during the last fiscal year. This operation merely took information on the outside of a piece of mail for use in law enforcement investigations. Don’t believe that’s all they do, because Big Brother has the ability to read the inside of your envelope without unfolding the pages.

Some people feel one of the best comedians just happened to be Milton Berle. Others have enjoyed Lucy or Jack Benny or Bob Hope or George Burns but, as for me, I got the biggest giggles in my entire life when I read page 12 of the Los Angeles Daily News April 8 issue. The unknown jokester from New York wrote, “The national average price is forecast to fall 32 percent from a year ago to $2.45 a gallon of gas between April and November.” I am laughing so hard I need a handkerchief to wipe the tears in my eyes away; last time I looked it was darn near $4.

Did you also read in the April 12 issue of the Los Angeles Daily News that California has the highest poverty rate in the country? A horrifying 24 percent. Neither Alabama nor Mississippi has a higher rate and yet taxes are way up, but not wages.

My memory is generally very good, but I don’t remember a radio DJ in the 1970s by the name Jeff Christie. I recall Robert W. Morgan and the Real Don Steele but nothing about Christie. Well, guess what – Rush Limbaugh of today was the Jeff Christie of yesterday.

Illinois, according to a May 26 article by Monica Davey and Mary Williams Walsh in the New York Times, has several choices. The legislature can cut spending or sharply raise taxes or possibly be the first state to go bankrupt because pension costs are so high.

Culver City ranks number 61 out of 450 or so cities in the Golden State. Before you take off your clothes, put on a tutu and dance on your toes around the stage, the report from Sacramento is written to designate the city in the worst financial shape as number 1 and the best as 450. I hope to get a clarification from City Hall in the near future.

For those who missed an article, all my commentaries can be found at by placing Rubenstein in that website’s search box.


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