Jamesb101.com

commentary on Politics and a little bit of everything else

Anyone that votes to take away my mortgage deduction…Does so at their own risk…..

I mean that shit!

I grew up in the projects in New York…

I am still in the first house I brought….

It’s small….

And I’ll be paying for it for the rest of my life…

But one of saving graces of this house is the fact that I get a nice deduction for paying the mortgage….

I give my congressmen a warning…

DON’T MESS WITH MY DEDUCTION!

Failure to heed that warning will insure dire consequences in the housing market….and your politcal career….

There are a awful lot of people with me on this one…..

Don’t f*#k this up!………

The new spotlight on the mortgage deduction and other tax expenditures comes as the Obama administration and Congress consider ways to reduce deficits the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) expects will average nearly $1 trillion over the next decade.

Policymakers seeking savings have tried to cap the mortgage interest deduction before — and failed. Five years ago, a bipartisan tax reform commission created by President George W. Bush proposed ending the mortgage tax break. But the commission’s plan stalled in Congress, partly because of popular support for the mortgage deduction.

Obama’s proposal, which would cut the deduction rate for itemized expenses for those making more than $250,000 to the rate paid by the middle class, was panned last year by members of both parties. They worried about its effect, during a recession, on charitable deductions and the housing market.

The White House says it was included in the president’s budget proposal again this year because it remains a good idea.

“The proposal will correct inequities in our tax code that allow millionaires to benefit from higher itemized tax deductions than middle-class families enjoy,” said Meg Reilly, spokeswoman for the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

Although the backers of the mortgage interest tax break defend it as a key incentive for people to own rather than rent their homes, some say that’s not so. A Brookings-Urban Tax Policy Center study found that the mortgage interest tax break costs more than $100 billion annually but does little to encourage the middle class and less wealthy to buy homes.

“I’m not sure that we need to subsidize homeownership at all through the tax system,” said Eric Toder, the study’s lead author.

This guy must live in an apartment…..

More…..

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June 8, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Counterpoints, Government, Home, Law, Media, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Projections, Taxes, The Economy, Updates | , , | 3 Comments

BDog on highflying Companies that know how to avoid the IRS and Taxes…..Legally!

They register parts of their businesses in other countries…..

Thus avoiding some of their tax liabilities in the United States…

Thus making them more profits…

And they would say leting them charge you and me less for their product..

Although it doesn’t seem at all fair to me……

It’s entirely legal……

Tyler Hurst swiped his debit card at a Walgreens pharmacy in central Phoenix and kicked off an international odyssey of corporate tax avoidance.

Hurst went home with an amber bottle of Lexapro, the world’s third-best selling antidepressant. The profits from his $99 purchase began a 9,400-mile journey that would lead across the Atlantic Ocean and more than halfway back again, to a grassy industrial park in Dublin, a glass skyscraper in Amsterdam and a law office in Bermuda surrounded by palm trees.

While Forest Laboratories Inc., the medicine’s maker, sells Lexapro only in the U.S., the voyage ensures most of its profits aren’t taxed there — and they face little tax anywhere else. Forest cut its U.S. tax bill by more than a third last year with a technique known as transfer pricing, a method that carves an estimated $60 billion a year from the U.S. Treasury as it combines tax planning and alchemy. (See an interactive graphic on Forest’s tax strategy here.)

Transfer pricing lets companies such as Forest, Oracle Corp., Eli Lilly & Co. and Pfizer Inc., legally avoid some income taxes by converting sales in one country to profits in another — on paper only, and often in places where they have few employees or actual sales.

After an economic bailout in which the U.S. government lent, spent or guaranteed as much as $12.8 trillion, the Obama administration faces a projected budget deficit of $1.5 trillion this year. In February, the administration said it would target some of the techniques companies use to shift profits offshore — part of a package intended to raise $12 billion a year over the coming decade.

More……..

May 15, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Counterpoints, Government, Law, Media, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Taxes, The Economy, Travel, Updates | , , , , | 1 Comment

Hard Economic times find States rethinking objections to Gambling, Strip Clubs, Alcohol and Yes…. Marihuana….

Money is money…..

And States just like Companies and people….

Think twice when they don’t have it…

While the Federal Government starts it’s climb out of the Economic Recession from the last year…

(Hell…they print the money..they’ll never run out ! )

The states find themselves still in the lag behind the downturn…

Quite a few Governors and legislatures have BIG holes in their budgets….

Raising taxes on people who are hurting and getting unemployment isn ‘t going to get much revenue and many votes come election time….

What do you do?

What about taxing peoples vices?

You know if they are having a good time…..

And they are addicted to having that good time….

What the heck?

Voters and politicians in Ohio used to slap down attempts to expand gambling in their state. But last week, many cheered as demolition crews razed an old auto-parts plant in Columbus to make way for a new casino.

Facing high unemployment and the aftermath of a $3.2 billion state-budget shortfall, Ohioans voted to allow casinos in November. Gov. Ted Strickland dropped his longtime opposition to video lottery machines, proposing to add them to racetracks to generate new tax revenue.

Nationwide, the public-funding crisis has led many state and local leaders to similarly reverse course. Hampered by withering funds for law enforcement, health care and other public services, a growing number of officials are condoning activities and businesses they’d be apt to restrict in better economic times.

For fiscal 2011, 38 states project combined budget shortfalls of $89 billion, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, a bipartisan policy research group. Thirty-one states expect budget gaps totaling $73.5 billion in 2012. As a result, says Todd Haggerty, an analyst at the group, lawmakers are “trying anything and everything in order to bring their budgets into balance.”

Americans have a time-honored tradition of banking on vice in tough economic times, says David Laband, an Auburn University economics professor who studies the alcohol industry. “Blue laws” restricting Sunday alcohol sales, he says, are a common casualty of recessions.

“Every time there’s an economic contraction, sure enough, you start seeing local repeal efforts,” says Mr. Laband.

Since early 2008, five states have expanded Sunday alcohol sales, and counties and cities in Alabama and Texas have also scrapped longstanding restrictions on booze sales, says the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, a liquor-industry group. In February, the mayors of Connecticut’s three largest cities asked the legislature to lift a statewide ban on Sunday alcohol sales in stores—one of only three in the country. Such a move, they argued, could help mitigate the state’s budget crisis by raising about $8 million a year in tax revenue. The following month, a bill that would have allowed stores to sell alcohol on Sundays died under fierce opposition from liquor-store lobbyists.

Peter Heise is a securities analyst with the stock-research firm RedChip who has followed publicly-traded vice-industry companies like alcohol marketers and strip-club chains. He says strapped local governments are smart to turn to such businesses for revenue since “vices are a consistent source.” Earlier this year, Mr. Heise boosted his rating on Rick’s Cabaret International Inc., a publicly owned chain of strip clubs.

More……..

May 11, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Counterpoints, Entertainment, Government, Law, Media, Men, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Taxes, The Economy, Travel, Updates, Women | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Taxes are the lowest in 60 Years?

Ah, ……I don’t think you’re gonna get too many of us to believe that one…….

This from PoliticalWire……

Taxes at Lowest Levels in 60 Years

Despite big tax cuts included last year’s economic stimulus package, the latest CBS News/New York Times poll finds that as many as 34% of Americans think President Obama raised their taxes.

William Gale, head of the Tax Policy Center at the Brookings Institution, tells CBS News that federal taxes are actually “at their lowest levels in 60 years.”

Said Gale: “The relation between what is said in the tax debate and what is true about tax policy is often quite tenuous. The rise of the Tea Party at at time when taxes are literally at their lowest in decades is really hard to understand.”

More……..(Check the comments out..there are a LOT of them…He, he, he….)

April 15, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Counterpoints, Government, Law, Media, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Taxes, The Economy, Updates | , | 8 Comments

Will a tax increase be necessary down the road for the Middle Class?…are the Republicans walking into trap?

With all of the things that President Obama is doing…..will taxes have to increased?

One war winding down…One gearing up…..Healthcare…..and Economic down turn…then slow recovery……

Pay outs of unemployment money…..

Is there going to be need for taxes to be raised?

This question is addressed by several in a The Hill piece……

The Dog agrees with McManus ( Yea, The John Birch Society Guy )……..Any tax raising isn’t going to completely solve the poblem…..but the Dog does not think McManus’s idea of government cuts are going to work…..

I have always thought that a robust economy is the ONLY way to refund the Government deficyits…..which last happened on Bill Clinton’s watch……

Some of the nation’s top political commentators, legislators and intellectuals offer insight into the biggest question burning up the blogosphere today.

Today’s question:

From the The Hill……

Will the United States have to eventually raise taxes on the middle class to pay down the national debt?

Peter Navarro, professor of economics and public policy at UC Irvine, said:
It’s not the U.S. that it is the issue. It is the Obama administration. If it keeps creating unfunded entitlements AND it keeps taxing capital, our economy will be choked by debt and slow growth and EVERYONE will have to pay more taxes. But that will only be self-defeating. Dumbest smart economics team I’ve ever seen.

Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist, said:
People out here fear that we have to pay for tax breaks for the rich, and for the Iraq war somehow, and maybe raising taxes is the only way.
David Schanzer, director of the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security, said:

Fixing Social Security, paying for Medicare, funding our military, and meeting our domestic obligations, while at the same time reducing the debt, is going to require a package consisting of both benefit and spending cuts and revenue enhancements. Everyone knows this and anyone that excludes either benefit cuts or tax increases is not being honest or is more interested in politics than problem-solving. On the revenue side, whether there will be taxes and fees on the middle class depends on how you define the term “middle class.”  The revenue burden should fall as much as possible on those who can afford it the most, but the enormity of our fiscal problem cannot be solved by targeting only the super-rich and rich. Eventually, to solve this problem, we are going to need additional revenues from two-worker families making in the low- to mid-six figures — perhaps a police officer and a teacher. Many would consider such a family to be middle class.

John F. McManus, president of The John Birch Society, said:

The national debt is so huge that paying it down cannot be done by raising taxes alone.  The other recourse, the far more substantial recourse, is to cut back the size and cost of government.  It is in this area that substantial debt relief can be found.

Any sensible person would say that a nation so heavily indebted as ours already is would cease a foreign aid program.  The fact that our leaders don’t even consider this is a measure of the times in which we live.  The United States is already the most heavily indebted nation in all history.  We are headed for self-inflicted destruction and we give away tens of billions each year!  Brilliant!

What else besides foreign aid should be abolished?.  How about the Departments of Education, HUD, Energy, Transportation, and many more?  How about repealing the recently enacted monster healthcare measure before it lives up to its potential to cost more mega billions?  How about bringing military forces home from the more than 100 nations where we have posted them?  No one has to have a Ph.D. in economics to know the huge cost of what has rightly been termed empire building.

Unemployment dogs the land but the federal payroll has risen while so many Americans can’t find a job.  This is looneyville and worse.

Our situation is the equivalent of inmates running the asylum.

More……..

The second part to the main question is……

Is Obama setting the Republicans up?

This piece in PoliticsDaily points out that if the Republicans just sit back and complain about the Democrats spending…..

And don’t  cover their rears..they will be setting themselves into the position they just went thru with Healthcare……working a problem that the administration and democrats tackle from the outside in…with no real input……

The Politics Daily piece offers some suggestions for the Republicans,,,,,,

President Obama is in the early stages of setting a political trap for the GOP — one he hopes will take one of his greatest weaknesses and turn it into a strength.


The weakness Obama has is that he is viewed as fiscally reckless by much of the electorate, having engineered an unprecedented spending binge even before he passed into law a hugely expensive new entitlement program in health care. At a time when the deficit and debt are more potent political issues than ever, and when those who are viewed as responsible for them are more vulnerable than ever, Obama and Democrats in Congress are in a quandary.


What to do?

If you’re Obama, the answer is to admit America faces a fiscal crisis, ignore the fact that you are now a key contributor to it, then force Republicans into an uncomfortable choice: either sign on to large tax increases to cut into the deficit and the debt, or refuse to do so, in which case Obama will then blame Republicans for not taking the necessary steps to put our fiscal house in order.

The deficit commission is one vehicle the president will use; there are sure to be others.

So what can Republicans do to keep Obama’s attempt from succeeding?

More……..

April 14, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Counterpoints, Government, Healthcare, Law, Media, Men, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Taxes, The Economy, Updates | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Sending the Senate Finance staff to talk to the Banks about being taxed is lunacy……

Ok…When I read this I couldn’t stop laughing…..Ha, ha, ha…….

Why would send staffers to talk to bankers about taking their money away in more taxes?…..

Why…or who…. would think they would be happy to talk about THAT?

Only politicians in DC….. would even think about doing something like that…….

Senate Finance staffers on Friday met with bank executives for informal discussions on creating a tax on banks and left the meeting frustrated as executives effectively questioned how the tax could work, sources said.

The conversation lasted more than two hours and focused primarily on President Barack Obama’s charge to Congress to create a fee that would stop financial firms from taking on too much risk.

Financial executives seriously questioned the effectiveness of tax and warned it might create other headaches. They also asked about the underlying policy goal behind the initiative since, at least publicly, it seemed to punish firms from the recent collapse of the financial markets.

Apparently, no Republican members support the creation of the tax and Democratic members are unsure how to move forward on the issue.

Participants at the meeting included representatives from the American Bank Association, SIFMA, and executives from insurance companies that trade annuities.

It is unclear how the Senate will move forward on the tax.

He, he, he….these are the first two comments to the piece…..

Comments (6)

Too funny and scarey too. The clueless, taking orders from the clueless, interrogating financial experts, end up getting questioned and totally lack answers? ….. on 03/12/2010 at 22:27

Sending ill prepared children to do a grown-ups work. That makes no sense, just like most all of this juvenile administrations childish work efforts. What a utter waste of a presidency. Shame on American voters. Come on November to Remember. ……..on 03/13/2010 at 09:47

March 13, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Counterpoints, Government, Law, Media, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Taxes, The Economy, Updates | , , | Leave a comment

Senate Passes a $140 billion unemployment, taxes and benefits extension……A 'Jobs' Bill….

This one has bipartisan support…..Remember when the Republicans complained about anymore spending bills?

So much for that…elections are coming up…….

Where was Senator Jim Bunning?

The Senate approved $140 billion in extended tax breaks and unemployment benefits on Wednesday in a largely partisan vote.

The bill was approved on a 62-36 vote, with six Republicans joining most Democrats in backing it.

Senate Democrats are calling the measure a jobs bill, though it includes tax breaks extended by Congress on a near-annual basis as well as a fix to Medicare payments for doctors that lawmakers also have previously extended.

It’s the second package of legislation that Senate Democrats have labeled as a jobs bill this year, joining a $15 billion measure approved by the Senate last week.

GOP Sens. Kit Bond (Mo.), Susan Collins (Maine), Olympia Snowe (Maine), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), David Vitter (La.) and George Voinovich (Ohio) voted for the bill.

Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) voted against the bill after voting for cloture to allow the legislation to move forward a day earlier. Brown supported the procedural vote Tuesday, saying he “wanted the process to move forward” despite his opposition to it. Brown had concerns over the measure because it wasn’t paid for, his office said Wednesday.

Sen. Ben Nelson (Neb.) was the only Democrat to vote against the bill.

Liberals in the House argue the two measures approved by the Senate are too heavy on tax cuts, and are frustrated the Senate hasn’t picked up a jobs bill the House approved last year.

In December, House lawmakers approved a $154 billion bill that included infrastructure spending, unemployment benefits and fiscal aid for state and local governments trying to avoid layoffs to government employees.

House Democrats suggested they may make changes to the Senate bill when they take it up.

More…….

March 10, 2010 Posted by | Breaking News, Government, Law, Media, Men, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, The Economy, Updates | , , , , | 2 Comments

Senate Passes a $140 billion unemployment, taxes and benefits extension……A ‘Jobs’ Bill….

This one has bipartisan support…..Remember when the Republicans complained about anymore spending bills?

So much for that…elections are coming up…….

Where was Senator Jim Bunning?

The Senate approved $140 billion in extended tax breaks and unemployment benefits on Wednesday in a largely partisan vote.

The bill was approved on a 62-36 vote, with six Republicans joining most Democrats in backing it.

Senate Democrats are calling the measure a jobs bill, though it includes tax breaks extended by Congress on a near-annual basis as well as a fix to Medicare payments for doctors that lawmakers also have previously extended.

It’s the second package of legislation that Senate Democrats have labeled as a jobs bill this year, joining a $15 billion measure approved by the Senate last week.

GOP Sens. Kit Bond (Mo.), Susan Collins (Maine), Olympia Snowe (Maine), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), David Vitter (La.) and George Voinovich (Ohio) voted for the bill.

Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) voted against the bill after voting for cloture to allow the legislation to move forward a day earlier. Brown supported the procedural vote Tuesday, saying he “wanted the process to move forward” despite his opposition to it. Brown had concerns over the measure because it wasn’t paid for, his office said Wednesday.

Sen. Ben Nelson (Neb.) was the only Democrat to vote against the bill.

Liberals in the House argue the two measures approved by the Senate are too heavy on tax cuts, and are frustrated the Senate hasn’t picked up a jobs bill the House approved last year.

In December, House lawmakers approved a $154 billion bill that included infrastructure spending, unemployment benefits and fiscal aid for state and local governments trying to avoid layoffs to government employees.

House Democrats suggested they may make changes to the Senate bill when they take it up.

More…….

March 10, 2010 Posted by | Breaking News, Government, Law, Media, Men, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, The Economy, Updates | , , , , | 2 Comments

The Dog is not for any middle class tax breaks going away…..

Grappling to contain record deficits, President Barack Obama is seeking to end a middle-class tax break he once said would be permanent.

The $3.8 trillion budget request rolled out by the White House on Monday would renew the Making Work Pay tax credit for fiscal 2011, but then would have it sunset.

That’s a switch from last year, when Obama’s budget called for making the tax credit permanent.

The cut costs the federal government about $63 billion in annual revenue while putting up to $400 in the pockets of workers making less than $95,000. It was approved for the first time in last year’s $787 billion stimulus package.

An administration official said the tax credit reflects changing realities in Congress on climate change legislation.

The tax initially was intended to compensate middle-class families for increased energy costs related to a cap-and-trade mechanism that would have capped greenhouse gas emissions by businesses while setting up a system allowing emissions credits to be bought and sold, the official said. The credit was to be paid for by revenue from the cap-and-trade system.

Now that Congress is considering different ways of compensating middle-class families for higher energy costs related to a cap-and-trade bill, using the Making Work Pay credit is not necessary, the official suggested.

The Dog is very unhappy about this…..any and all tax breaks for middle class couples are something the Dog wants to stay….Now the Dog again, leans Democratic…but that doesn’t mean that Dog wants to see any new taxes (except for Healthcare) and will not fail to mention this whenever the Dog can…..

The 2010 budget said that with “families squeezed, this tax cut will put needed money in their pockets for them to make ends meet and cover the costs of necessities.”

They where right…and that need is still there Congress should leave this alone….

February 2, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Government, Home, Law, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Taxes, The Economy, Updates | , , , | 1 Comment

Taxes……..and my wife ain't happy……..

The Dog’s accountant just emailed back the rough draft of the 2009 taxes situation……

The Dog just fell of the chair…….

We owe Federal taxes money….again……

My wife is pissed……We have a vehicle coming off lease…a Chevy Trailblazer…and we will need money to replace the vehicle…

[Sidebar.…..It won’t be another Chevy…..though we’ve had Chevy trucks for the last 20 years….we won’t be going back….I love the Trailblazer, but the gas mileage is killing me….It looks like a Toyota, Honda or even a Hyundai replacement is in it the works…..and we’re trying the Credit Union, if we can…not the bank…..and hopefully not the car dealer’s bank...]

Back to main story……..

While we earned less money and upped our withholding…we still owe the Feds money!

The accountant emailed us…..’Remember when Obama gave you that break on your payroll taxes?’……’Well’, he explained..you gotta give that money back’…….

‘And the tax rate also kinda creeped up a little’…..

So you mean…I asked…even though we made less…we’re paying more?

‘Yep’…….

My wife looked at me and started…….’Why hell are we paying to go to the Moon?’…..I don’t know….I answered……

‘And another thing’… she asked……’why are they stopping the shipping of Haitian’s to Florida hospital’s for surgery?’

I stopped and remembered seeing the headline…I took a gamble……

I’m sure the people in Florida started to realize that there was going to be a lot of people coming for surgery…and while they wanted to do the right thing…..Someone is going to have to pay the bill for all that surgery….And I guess the state of Florida wants the Feds to pay the bill…….

She looked at me…….

Then shook her head…..’You mean WE ARE GOING TO PAY THE BILL……RIGHT?…the Federal tax payers’……

I just shook my head…….

she was right……

Now I lean democratic…..I think that there should be Healthcare for all Americans …my son doesn’t have it because he works a partime job……and believe that those people from Haiti should get medical care……but my wife has a point…..

WHO IS GONNA PAY FOR ALL THIS STUFF?

The president wants to hold the line on his budget…but the military is exempt…….hHe’sflyingin a 35-year-old helicopter why a nine new ones, which are paid for, and are sitting around doing nothing, because they want to spend more money to buy ‘American’ ones…We spend tens of millions of dollar each year on Bullshit studies, while all these other things, that need money, have to wait…..

My wife looked me…..she then shook her head…and walked away…muttering …

……’I guess we ‘ll just have to find the money….  somehow’……

January 31, 2010 Posted by | Automobiles, Breaking News, Family, Government, Haiti, Healthcare, Men, Military, Politics, Taxes, The Economy, Women | | 4 Comments