Is the Great American Songbook still being written? The so-called Great American Songbook is defined as a canon of the memorable “standards” of popular song that helped to define American culture in the first half of the 20th century. Its great composers included Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, the Gershwins, and Jerome Kern. These songwriters’ names were just as well-known as the names of famous singers, because it was an age when the song stood proudly independent from the performer. Standards such as “Stardust” by Hoagy Carmichael would be uniquely recorded by many singers, from Frank Sinatra to Doris Day to Nat King Cole. One of the last songs to receive such multi-artist treatment was Paul McCartney’s “Yesterday” (1965), the most recorded song in history, with over 4,000 versions by everyone…
A new report today by Parliamentary Budget Office analyst Ben Segel-Brown estimates subsidizing wages for companies during the COVID-19 pandemic will cost $67.9 billion through the end of December.
Finance Minister Bill Morneau estimated in his July fiscal report it would cost $82.3 billion.
The program was initially just for three months but it has since been extended and the amount of the subsidy now ranges from 10 percent to 75 percent depending on how much a company’s revenues have dropped each month.
The report also expects another $500 million in foregone payroll contributions such as employment insurance, but the costs are offset by an expected $9.1 billion in corporate taxes on the wage subsidy.
That would mean the ultimate cost of the program could be around $59.2 billion.
More than 285,000 employers have been approved for the subsidy as of Aug. 9, and Ottawa has paid out $26.5 billion to date. More than 800,000 employees have seen their wages subsidized.
The maximum weekly benefit in the first four months was $847. That amount will get smaller for most employers each month, until it hits $226 in November. Some companies whose revenues are most affected by the economic shutdowns can apply for a top-up that could increase the amount.
Focus News: Budget Watchdog Says COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Might Cost Less Than Predicted
The White House would prefer to see a tax on capital gains cut to 15 percent, said adviser Larry Kudlow, who noted that President Donald Trump will not cut them by way of an executive order. “We are looking at middle-class income tax cuts and capital gains tax cuts to spur investment and jobs and liquidity,” Kudlow told reporters at the White House on Tuesday. He added: “In another era, we used to call them tax cuts 2.0. The president has never lost those thoughts,” while adding that Joe Biden, the president’s 2020 rival, would raise taxes. Kudlow said that it’s imperative that legislators in Congress work to come up with a cut to capital gains taxes, adding that it’s “not part” of any Trump executive order or plans on…