A Look at the Life and Times and U.S. Education Secretary Betsey DeVos

Since arriving in Washington, D.C., Betsy DeVos been a controversial and polarizing figure. She has been soundly criticized by her opponents. This has not been easily understood by people from Michigan who have known for DeVos for an extended period of time.


In Michigan, even DeVos’ political opponents consider her to be generous and pragmatic. They may disagree with her on some issues, but they speak highly of her abilities.


She is the daughter of wealthy parents who herself married into a very wealthy family. Her husband is the son of the founder of Amway. Her husband, Dick, ran for Governor of Michigan.


Her confirmation hearings were described by some as brutal. A good many people have editorialized that she did not do herself any favors during the confirmation hearings. She ended up being confirmed on a party-line vote, with some GOP defects that necessitated the Vice President voting to break a tie.


She has not always initially agreed with President Donald Trump when it comes to education policy issues. For example, DeVos evidently was opposed to Trump’s decision to rescind an Obama era policy regarding restroom use in public schools. The Obama Administration promulgated a rule which permitted public school students the ability to utilize the bathroom for the gender with which they personally identified.


According to Education Department insiders, DeVos attempted to dissuade Trump from making the change, and failed. Before the President made his announcement about the policy change, she reached out to her own employees, particularly to give transgender staff members a heads up Trump’s policy change.


When the President made the announcement rolling back this Obama era policy, DeVos was fully on board in public. She made an important speech in the immediate aftermath supportive of the President’s decision. She spoke at the Conservative Political Action Conference, an annual event. She gave absolutely no public indication that she had ever been opposed to what the President did in regard to the public school bathroom policy and transgender students.


Directly upon being sworn in as Education Secretary, DeVos reached out to the leaders of the two major teacher’s unions in the United States. She left word that she would like to meet with them and ascertain if there was any common ground upon which they might work together on some issues. One union leader took her up on the invite, while the other took a wait and see position. Learn more: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/23/us/politics/education-secretary-betsy-devos-donald-trump.html

Ted Bauman Writes About How To Prepare For The New Federal Tax Law

Ted Bauman is an editor for Banyan Hill Publishing. The publications he is responsible for are Plan B Club, Alpha Stock Alert, and The Bauman Letter. His focus is on investment strategies that are low-risk, asset protection, and how international migration affects markets. For a number of years he was a consultant who provided information to his clients which included, among others, the South African government, the World Bank, and the United Nations.

Writing about the recently passed federal tax bill, Ted Bauman says that there are moves to make now order to maximize your benefit and limits your riks. The law changes how much is charged for each tax brackets, decreases how much you can deduct as a homeowner, limits SALT deductions (State and Local Taxes), and makes other changes that people need to be aware of. He says that at first most taxpayers should see the amount they have to pay decrease but over time it will creep back up to where federal taxes are now. Learn more at Crunchbase about Ted Bauman

One way to prepare, he says, is to prepay your 2018 property taxes before the end of 2017. This will get you the maximum amount of benefit property tax deductions get you before the new law takes effect for 2018. Ted Bauman also recommends doing the same on your mortgage interest for the same reasons. As the student loans deduction is also being decreased he says a prudent move would be to also prepay any student loans you still have.

The new cap on SALT deductions will be $10,000. Ted Bauman says that those who live in states that have high taxes should do what they can to move some of their 2018 income back to 2017. As an example, he says that many companies pay bonuses in January of each year. He says you should convince the company you work for to move this up to December to get that income out of 2018.

A lot of people convert their traditional IRA’s to Roth IRA’s. Ted Bauman says that anyone thinking of doing this should run the numbers now, before the end of 2017. He says that you might find that by doing so in 2017 as opposed to 2018 or later you can offset some of the other deduction strategies you are using to decrease your tax liability.