Thomas Eastwood
         IRS, Political, Economic, and Business Topics
             Medicare For All - Fiscal Analysis

      Health care for all is a laudable idea.  Doing our best to sidestep politics, we will examine the fiscal realities of Medicare as it is today and how it could be in the future.  Can we achieve increases in efficiency and lower health care costs resulting in better service for more people?  Can we do so without middle class tax cuts?  Topics: the promises; cost and funding proposals and projections;  the Sanders and Warren plans; taxing the rich; wealth taxes;  tax credits; fraud and waste; lessons from the VA and Medicaid;  SS and Medicare economic projections; Boyles-Simpson.

              Hurricanes and Global Warming

      Is climate change increasing the frequency, strength, and duration of hurricanes?  What does history and science say?  Who can we trust? We will explore these questions and the politics behind the answers.  Sources:  Colorado State University, NOAA, University of Colorado. University of Wisconsin, AAAS, IPCC, American Meteorological Society.  Topics:  hurricane databases, hurricane deaths, strongest storms, Independence hurricane, The Great Hurricane, Galveston, Labor Day Hurricane, Camille, modern day storms.

             Climate Change and Global Warming

      An analysis of climate change with an emphasis on the politics behind the science.  Both sides of the issue and proposed policy will be examined.  Can be combined with Hurricanes into a 2 or 3 session presentation. 

                       Democratic Socialism

     What it is and why it's gaining popularity.  A brief discussion of capitalism, democracy, socialism,  communism, social democracy, and democratic socialism.  Topics: Bernie Sanders; FDR's New Deal; Venezuela; the Nordic Model; European social democracies;  Milton Friedman;  minimum wage;  "free" stuff; and government effectiveness.

IRS Corruption - The "Tea Party" Scandal

o be effective, IRS must be honest, fair, efficient, and above all impartial.  The unfair targeting of conservative groups has called the agency's trustworthiness into question.  This candid discussion with a retired IRS executive examines the scandal and the future of the IRS.

What you should know about the IRS but were afraid to ask

        Not everyone has IRS problems, but everyone has questions.  This unique, informative, and entertaining discussion by a retired IRS executive will address scams, avoiding problems, divorce and taxes, and common but serious mistakes in dealing with IRS.

IRS Criminal Investigations

      This rare discussion on IRS enforcement measures will emphasize the little-known world of criminal investigation.

Avoiding the Audit Lottery

       Learn how IRS selects returns for audit and to avoid/survive them.  This discussion could save you time and money.  If you think all you need is a good accountant, you are wrong.

Having "Safe Relations" with IRS

       Can you really settle for less than you owe?  This discussion addresses the collection process and includes practical advice that can keep you out of  trouble.

Get Elected, Get Rich - Congressional Corruption

A review of how members enhance their personal wealth while in office (shameful and corrupt, but legal).  Topics include the STOCK Act, land deals, horse-trading, insider trading, cronyism, and ethics.

Politics vs History - Ideology and Historical Accuracy

      An analysis of narrative history - including Killing Lincoln, Killing Kennedy, The Killer Angels, Band of Brothers,  and other popular books and films (Lincoln, The Civil War, The War) that have been criticized by academics (often unfairly).  A timely discussion of why popular history is both fun and informative and texts are not.  Are allegations of inaccuracies valid?

Voter ID Laws - Access or Integrity

        A major partisan issue of our time - most states require ID to vote.  Do these laws disenfranchise and discriminate or minimize voter fraud?  An detailed discussion to help you decide. 

Economic Equality - Social Justice

       An examination of the "war on poverty".  Topics include: welfare, SS disability, the gender wage gap, and preschool programs.  Emphasis will be placed on program effectiveness, cost and benefit, fraud, and the current political debate.

Economic Justice - Cost and Benefit

       An examination of selected topics regarding "economic equality" and the "war on poverty".   This presentation concentrates on minimum wage and unemployment insurance.  We will address effectiveness, fraud, compassion, and reform/alternatives. 

US and World Economies - Comparative Analysis

      How does the US economy compare to other countries?  Are we heading toward Greece and other European nations?  We will examine US government debt and what macroeconomic indicators really mean.  We will expose the political spin and media hype.

US Budget and Fiscal Highlights

      This presentation covers the highlights of the next six lectures - Social Security, US Debt, Economic Myths, Are We Broke, Bowles-Simpson, and the Housing Crisis.  A summary of the salient points with limited detail and recommendations.  Excellect introduction to the US economy and the economic lecture series.

Social Security - Reform or Bust

      Is SS going broke?  Are current and future retiree benefits at risk?   Is reform needed?  How will you be impacted?  A candid analysis of where we are headed.    

The US Debt Crisis - Are We the Next Greece

      Is there really a crisis; if so, how bad is it and what can we do?  A factual analysis of were we are fiscally, where we are headed, and how you will be impacted. 

"Busting" Myths About Our Economy

       Most of what we know about the economy comes from politicians and the media.  Much is myth.  This discussion addresses the debt, unfunded liabilities, and what is needed to fix our problems.

Are We BROKE? - A Factual Analysis

Join a retired IRS executive in a frank discussion of US debt.  Topics include the US budget, tax policy, corporate taxes, taxing the rich, reforming our tax system, and spending on Defense, intelligence, foreign aid, and entitlements.

Bowles-Simpson: Responsibility vs Politics

        A revealing discussion of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform.  We will examine what happened to this bipartisan group formed in 2010 to address our fiscal crisis.

The Housing Crisis - Affixing Blame

       This discussion will address what caused the housing crisis and who is really at fault.   It will analyze the facts behind the politicial and media hype. 

Government Waste - Fraud and Mismanagement

An analysis of the scope and impact of government fraud and waste.   We have come to expect and tolerate waste in federal programs.  This discussion puts it in context and explores the true cost.

Creating Your Memories

      Many people want to write a memoir, but they have difficulty getting started.  Learn an innovative and simple approach using your I-Pad or PC.  We will examine how easy it is to document your life and memories using Keynote or PowerPoint.  This presentation is both fun and informative.  An actual example will be used as a guide.

Federal Unions - Can Taxpayers Afford Them

        Federal unions are highly subsidized.  Collective bargaining for public unions and the cost of federal unions is a major issue of our time.  What you are paying for may surprise you. 

Tuskegee - An American Institution

      Tuskegee Institute has a facinating history.  This discussion about the university includes:  Tuskegee Airmen, Tuskegee Syphilis Study, Booker T. Washington, George Washington Carver, and more.

Political Correctness - Has it gone too far?

        PC impacts language, ideas, policies, and actions.  This presentation examines "examples" and claimed unintended consequences in the Ft. Hood massacre, Duke Lacrosse scandal, Juan Williams, Larry Summers, and PC in science, academia, and law.  

American Exceptionalism - Myth or Reality

        This term has become politically and emotionaly charged.  This discussion will address "what's so great about America".

You Might Be A Conservative If...

       America is polarized politically.  This discussion examines our problems, our differences/similarities, and how we move past ideology to fix our problems.  Our mounting fiscal concerns were be addressed. 

Savvy Cruising - Explore BEFORE You Go 
       This presentation will aid in choosing the "right" cruise - saving you money and enhancing your experience.  Learn what 20 years of cruising (both as a passenger and a guest lecturer) has revealed.


Protecting you assets

      As a business owner, board member, or officer your personal assets are at risk.  This seminar addresses how to limit your exposure and avoid mistakes that can result in financial ruin.  Topics include personal liability for business taxes, independent contractors, avoiding audits, selecting the right accountant, tip income, and IRS collection procedures.   If
you own a business or serve on a board (including a not for profit organization) this is a must.

Getting ahead in organizations

       Why do some employees advance faster than others?  What do managers really want?  What is holding you back?  How to get managers to help you.  How to overcome barriers to success.  How to deal with bias.  How to avoid limiting your own success.  This discussion includes proven strategies for enhancing your career and selling yourself.
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