Pope Francis in a papal paper yesterday criticized trickle-down economics and the “idolatry of money.” Clearly countering the Gordon Gekko motto, “Greed is good,” the Pope referred to a “New Tyranny,” of unregulated Capitalism that will increase power for the few and worsens poverty for the many.  “Such an economy kills,” and, is “unjust at its roots,” he said, pointing to the growing inequity of this Darwinist system of rewards.

(To the tune of “Everything’s Coming Up Roses,” by Julie Styne and Stephen Sondheim from the Broadway show “Gypsy” (1959) performed in the original stage show by Ethyl Merman)

Something smells, something stinks.
All the narrowness Rush Limbaugh thinks
But the Pope, is no dope
He says: “everyone cover your noses.”

What is rank? What is foul?
All those free-market cultists who growl.
“All for one. You’ll get none.”
People: everyone cover your noses

Cynics grinning. Get a whiff of the air.
Most not winning; Hope for their future is thinning.

Self-inspired. All for self.
Put morality up on the shelf
Want no rules.  Trash Gibran.
Don’t be fools.   Read Ann Rand.
Pretentious self-made-winners greed propels.
People: everyone cover your noses,
Cause something here smells.

Lyric © by Robert S. Steinberg, Esquire
All rights reserved


(To the tune of Chattanooga Choo-Choo (1941) by Harry Warren & Mack Gordon)

To get on a court,
you need approval from the Senate.
It takes sixty votes.
So don’t be getting up hopes

You’ll get nowhere sport.
No matter how much you’ve been vetted.
for the appeals court in DC.

Obama’s nominations linger in committee for years.
Reid is talking nuclear to GOP jeers.
To need one more than fifty
only, would be nifty.
Have confirmation passage in a jiffy.

Sad to report,
with empty seats up on the benches,
misuse of the rules,
by filibustering fools.

Lyric © 2013 by Robert S. Steinberg, Esquire
All rights reserved


One of the difficult aspects of U.S. tax law for foreign persons to understand is how they become accidental U.S. tax residents.  Even those here without a Green Card on non-immigration visas, can be required in any given year to file a U.S. tax return on the regular Form 1040 (as opposed to Form 1040 NR) reporting and paying U.S. tax on worldwide income, not just U.S. source income; and, required to file information returns about non-U.S. based assets and income.  It happens if they are present in the U.S. for too many days over a three-year look-back test period. This post expresses the surprise and chagrin of those caught in this trap for the unwary.

(To tune of, “Smile” by Charles Chaplin from the silent movie “Modern Times” (1936) with lyrics added in 1954 by John Turner & Geoffrey Parsons)

Smile, while we classify you
Smile, though our laws shanghai you
Just yesterday, NRA*
Not today

You’ve been here, too long without leaving
Where, dawdling leads to grieving
When days above 182

Sore? No use in complaining
Your CPA’s explaining
Now for returns, you must gear
Every year

Paying tax on your world-wide income
Taxed, feeling like a victim
But watch your gift tax domicile
And try to smile

Lyric © 2013 by Robert S. Steinberg, Esquire
All rights reserved

* NRA is a Non-resident Alien who would file Form 1040 NR only if he or she had U.S. source income.


Income disparity is rising in America.  But, the disconnect goes beyond how much people earn. The most troubling aspect of this statistic questions the value to our society and economy of what these highest earners do; or, said another way, questions the honesty of their earnings. There is a growing gap between the rewards for those who speculate on Wall Street and the earnings of those who labor on Main Street.

(To the tune of, “On Broadway,” by Barry Mann, Cynthia Weill, Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller; most popularly recorded by The Drifters in 1963 and George Benson in 1978)

They say if you can make a deal on Wall Street.
The streets are paved with bucks to steal, down there.
Because your compensation’s tied
To EPS that’s glorified.
In limousines  you ride that go somewhere.

You know you’re really out of luck on Main Street
Forgotten desperate people stuck out here
Where there’s no job security
And nothing that you need is free
You realize you’re totally, nowhere

Feels good to be the 1 percent on Wall Street
Where lobbyists you pay don’t miss a beat
Keep carried interest on hedge funds
The tax exemption on your bonds
And never have to work for crumbs
On Main Street
Not on Wall Street
No, not on Wall Street

Lyric © 2013 by Robert S. Steinberg, Esquire
All rights reserved


Yesterday it was reported that West Hollywood Halloween festival-revelers danced to electronic music and cheered as a man engulfed in flames burned to death.  Another recorded the event and posted the horrific scene to a video website.  Some did try to help, albeit to no avail.  One must ponder whether the digital revolution is engendering a generation of hollowed-out people lacking empathy; whether in the age of reality shows and desperation for You-tube fame, we are disconnecting from our common humanity.

(To the tune of, “Day in – Day out,” by Rube Bloom and Johnny Mercer)

Tuned-in, Tuned-out.
These days most kids don’t see what life’s about.
Young faces bolted to a screen, Life fast going by unseen.
While squandering precious time
Tuned-in and Tuned-out.

Tuned-out, Tuned-in.
They wake up texting as the day begins
And when they talk, they’re conversing with but Google
Are they any smarter than their phones?
Perfectly happy somewhere in a cloud like drones

Come rain, Come shine
They’ve got an i-phone with them and their fine
And should another need help, they’ll pause for a shot
For You-Tube fame, to give aid not
There’s a disconnect here, we should worry about
With people all,
Tuned-in and Tuned-out

Lyric © 2013 by Robert S. Steinberg, Esquire
All rights reserved


(To tune of, “I Guess I’ll have to Change my Plan,” by Arthur Schwartz and Howard Dietz)

They’ve told me I must change my plan.
The one they said that I could keep when this began
Obamacare has changed the landscape
For every woman, every man

Now I must buy maternity
Though I’m a male and giving birth is not for me.
For some it saves, for others premiums soar
When common sense walks right out the door
And now I’m simply boiling mad
I want to keep the plan I’ve had

Lyric © 2013 by Robert S. Steinberg, Esquire
All rights reserved