This week’s eLetter editorial meeting here at DSWP brought many worthy suggestions for a topic: Brexit still unsettled, troubling German economic numbers, all manner of things Venezuelan, China Tariffs, Kim Jung Un’s No-Ko-Nukes and the Virginia Minstrel Show — just to name a few. But, as important as those things are, we couldn’t stop thinking about The New Green Deal put forth by the newly elected 29-year-old Congress critter from NY, Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez — AKA ‘AOC’.

Here’s some irony for you: Although The New Green Deal was presented in the House as a non-binding resolution it did receive support (including some co-sponsorship) from several key Democrat 2020 presidential hopefuls. Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Lizzie Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand, Julián Castro, and Beto O’Rourke all gave it a thumbs up. (Do these people really want to be seen as The Unicorn Brigade?) In an admission that maybe some of the GND was not all that well thought out, within 48 hours the details of the plan were taken down at the website of Representative Ocasio-Cortez.  It did, unfortunately, return after a variety of modifications were made – one in particular to remove some rather low-brow language.

Here are some of the main points in the GND:

  • Ban affordable energy (‘fossil fuels)
  • Ban Nuclear Energy
  • Eliminate 99% of automobiles
  • Rebuild nearly every building in America
  • Eliminate jet airplanes
  • A government guaranteed income (for those unwilling to work)
  • Free college education
  • Ban Flatulent cows.

Jim Geraghty at National Review points out: “Vast chunks of the resolution are vague, like the call to “promote justice and equity by stopping current, preventing future, and repairing historic oppression of indigenous communities, communities of color, migrant communities, de-industrialized communities, depopulated rural, the poor, low-income workers, women, the elderly, the un-housed, people with disabilities, and youth.” What does that mean in terms of policy?” Who knows?

Kimberly Strassel in the Wall Street Journal noted that ‘The GND encapsulates everything Americans fear from government, all in one bonkers resolution.’

The cow thing elicited some great comments. Humorist and political pundit Mark Steyn noted that he was quite concerned because he always takes a flatulent cow along with him as a support animal when flying. He says it helps him to have First Class all to himself. Steyn also expressed concern of where this could be heading — maybe we will have a Secretary of Flatulism to decide who, what, where and how much.

In case you missed it:

(From the IRS website, posted Jan 16, 2019):

The IRS is generally waiving the penalty for any taxpayer who paid at least 85 percent of their total tax liability during the year through federal income tax withholding, quarterly estimated tax payments or a combination of the two. The usual percentage threshold is 90 percent to avoid a penalty.

This relief is designed to help taxpayers who were unable to properly adjust their withholding and estimated tax payments to reflect an array of changes under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), the far-reaching tax reform law enacted in December 2017. 

“We realize there were many changes that affected people last year, and this penalty waiver will help taxpayers who inadvertently didn’t have enough tax withheld,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “We urge people to check their withholding again this year to make sure they are having the right amount of tax withheld for 2019.”

It’s a rare day when you can put IRS and compassion into the same sentence.

Market Minute — A Bit of a Pullback

After the huge bounce up from the December 24th low (we hope it’s the low!) it would be reasonable to expect a 2-3% consolidation (pullback) in the major indexes. We are seeing that now. I was somewhat surprised to see the S&P 500 Index* blow through overhead resistance at 2600, but it did – and that’s positive. We are at another resistance point and at a place where we could expect either a consolidation or reversal back down. Defensive sectors, Real Estate and Utilities, are the only sectors showing strength and that’s not really good. But the S&P Index did manage to break above its long-term moving average and that shows some strength. The long-term direction for markets is still down – and that’s still a concern. So, for now, it’s time to give Mr. Market another week or so to see if he can clarify his most likely next direction.


Ronald P. Denk, CFP®
Investment Advisor
Denk Strategic Wealth Partners
10000 N. 31st Avenue, Suite C-262
Phoenix, AZ 85051
Phone (602) 252-8700
Fax (602) 252-8701
Toll-Free (877) The-Denk

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