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Bombs Away (Taxes, Middle East and More)

Posted April 24, 2024

Matt Insley

By Matt Insley

Bombs Away (Taxes, Middle East and More)

Today, we’re clearing out The Rundown’s digital mailbag. First on the list, Biden’s latest federal student loan-forgiveness scheme… 

“How come more reports are not mentioning the taxes that former students will have to pay on the forgiven debt?” wonders Richard M. “That would become income according to the IRS, no? 

“Then that means a former student's income could increase by $12,000, even propelling a taxpayer into the next tax bracket. The IRS, by the way, charges interest daily on unpaid taxes.” 

Good point, Richard! We looked into IRS rules surrounding discharged debts… 

“In general, if your debt is canceled, forgiven, or discharged for less than the amount owed, the amount of the canceled debt is taxable,” says the IRS website. “If taxable, you must report the canceled debt on your tax return for the year in which the cancellation occurred.”

This likely won’t dawn on former students until it’s time to file their taxes in early 2025 — by which time, their votes will have already been cast. (We guess that’s what Team Biden is counting on.)

As for our Tesla-centric issue, Don H. writes: “The green energy transition is NOT on life support. It's only on hold until they figure out how to fit gas-powered generators in trunks.” 

Gino N. adds: “I just sold my Tesla. People don't want electric. I don't either.” 

Michael W. says: “It may turn out that EVs work best in temperate to milder climates. Plus, current battery technology is still prone to combustion and there are not enough charging facilities. Also, where is that electricity being generated, anyway? It wouldn’t be from a coal-fired or nuclear plant, would it?” 

Tom V. contributes: “It's laughable what is about to happen in California with the mandated change to EV dependence. Can anyone imagine depending on EV fire trucks? Or ambulances? How much will it cost to insure EVs over ICE vehicles? How will homeowner’s insurance be affected with EVs in the garage? Are there any adults left in California?” 

By 2035, the Golden State will require all new vehicles sold in the state to be “zero-emission vehicles.” Tellingly, this FAQ document about the transition says nothing about emergency vehicles, nor does it mention some of the other barriers to adoption our reader Tom mentions — namely, about insurance premiums, etc. 

Next stop? Israel and Iran…

[One more thing: Paradigm’s crypto investor James Altucher will be giving away $1,000 every minute for 60 minutes during a live Zoom call from our Baltimore HQ. 

It all gets underway on Thursday at 2 p.m. EDT when James unveils his investing playbook for the second half of 2024. 

I’ll be there… How about you?Register now. Space is limited to only 10,000 viewers, by the way, so don’t wait to register. See you then, and I hope you win!]

Send your opinions to,

Iran’s Un-Measured Attack

“You can take the side of Islamic terrorists who run Gaza and Iran, et al., but you left out what started this all in the first place,” says Mike P., “Hamas’ attack on civilians in Israel months ago. Interesting how you overlook history that points true blame at those you prefer to support.” 

Personally, I find Mike’s comment generally indicative of American/Western society today; specifically, I notice an unwillingness to weigh opinions that don’t neatly align with one’s own. I know I’m not alone in this observation, right? 

(Plus, not to put too fine a point on it, last Friday’s issue was meant to highlight Jim Rickards’ studied opinion. As you’ll see, I ask the questions, and Jim, who has decades of experience in D.C. and beyond, puts forth his case.Take it or leave it. What’s so special about Paradigm Press is that we don’t adhere to identical opinions; however, we universally uphold your, my — and Mike’s — right to free speech.)

Moving on, Art L. asks: “Wasn’t the consulate in Damascus determined to be a terrorist hideout?” 

Reader Gabriel L. adds: “Okay, I can not in any way verify the truth of this picture or its assertions, but this has been posted on social media: 


“If true, Israel did not attack the actual Iranian embassy itself but the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp. (IRGC) building next door.”

Officially, Art and Gabriel, Israel leveled Iran’s consulate in Syria. Citing the National Museum of American Diplomacy, a consulate is a “building that supports the embassy in a host country.” 

According to CNN: “A military spokesperson [says] Israel believes the Iranian building hit in the attack is a ‘military building of Quds forces’” — Quds force is, among other things, the intelligence branch of the IRGC — “and not a consulate.” 

Whatever the case, Jeff R. writes: “I am a subscriber based in Ontario, Canada. I enjoy reading your articles, however, this time, I would like to send my opinion regarding The Rundown article published on April 19, 2024. 

“I would argue that Israel's airstrike in Damascus was not a provoking action that would lead to a wider war with Iran. Every day of the last six months, Iran has been attacking Israel through its proxies. 

“Rather than continually defending itself by responding tit-for-tat, Israel eliminated the ones behind the proxies — key officials of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), an organization in the Iranian military that many countries, including the U.S., have designated a terrorist organization. Some say that Israel had better grounds to conduct that airstrike than the U.S. had for killing Osama bin Laden.

“Furthermore, the building struck by Israel was not an embassy. Note the following quote by Amir Tsarfati:

The notion that the target of the Damascus airstrike was a mere ‘Iranian consulate’ is laughable… 

The airstrike was aimed at military figures in a military facility and the targets were directly involved in orchestrating attacks on Israel. The fact that the building was adjacent to the Iranian embassy does not change its military character. 

“I would also say that Iran's attack was not measured or limited in any way, shape or form. They launched the largest combined drone-cruise missile-ballistic missile attack against a country in history. It was unprecedented in its scope and harshness. 

“The reason so little damage was done was because billions were invested by Israel and its allies to develop the most sophisticated air defense systems to defend against air attacks. The only reason the Iranian attack failed was because of the seamless cooperation of Israel, the U.S. and other allies that shot down 99% of the airborne threats.

“Iran suffered two major black eyes. They lost several of their most senior military planners who can’t be easily replaced, and they learned that they can’t easily overwhelm Israel. This was on display for the entire world to see. 

“Israel learned that Iran is a fierce adversary,” he concludes, “that will not hesitate to hit back hard when provoked.”

Thanks to Jeff and all our contributors today. Keep your comments, reflections, personal experiences and opinions coming!

Market Rundown for Wednesday, Apr. 24, 2024

The S&P 500 is up 0.20% to 5,080. 

Oil’s down 0.60% to $82.85 for a barrel of WTI. 

Gold is down 0.35% to $2,333.80 per ounce. 

And Bitcoin is down 1% to $65,800 at the time of writing. 

Send your comments and questions to,

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