Friday, July 22, 2011

Loopholes, not for everyone, just the rich

Loopholes, according to New Webster's Dictionary is: "a textual basis in a document or law for escape or evasion of taxes, legal commitment, or obligation".
For those who would like to read a book about "loopholes" in the Internal Revenue Department, I recommend David Cay Johnston's book" Perfectly Legal--the covert campaign to rig our tax system to benefit the super rich--and cheat everybody else.  This book discusses and explains the various dodges the super-rich and their accountants take to insure they do not pay any taxes.
Perhaps you have heard in the Debt Ceiling discussion, the Democrats saying they want to eliminate the private jet exemption.  What they are talking about is an exemption for the super-rich, that the normal person does not have the option to take.  First, the super-rich can afford a passenger jet, and they get to write off the cost/ maintenance/pilot expense/fuel/ repairs/ you name it, right off their Income.  Second, they get to have many houses in different areas, and get to write it all off because they have to entertain their potential clients, same with athletic tickets. 
Perhaps you or your parents have participated in the mortgage interest deduction, it brings down your gross income down to less of a tax to pay, that one you get to participate in, " however the strategy to broaden home ownership has instead morphed into a vast subsidy for the best-off Americans.   The more the house cost, the bigger the tax subsidy.  And the more owners earned, and thus the higher their tax rates, the bigger the subsidies.  Combining these two factors created a huge benefit for highly affluent Americans but only a minuscule one for those most in need of help to buy their home."
The "Recession" we are in today comes as a result of lending to people who desired that tax "subsidy", however, did not have the money to pay for any increases in interest raises, nor the backup funds to cover them if they should be laid off.
Currently the debt ceiling discussion has talked about eliminating the "Mortgage Deduction" from the tax code.  President Obama mentioned to Boehner that it could be put on the table.  That would really hurt the lower 90% of the population, but not the affluent.  That looks dead now, because the Republicans would not budge on tax increases.
I won't go into all the loopholes discussed in the book.  He has another one out that is newer, I have to get a copy.  I would recommend reading this book as a minimum, then get the next one if you want.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Compromise - settle by mutual agreement

As an educated citizen, you follow the discussions on TV, radio, media.  One of the biggest political problems that is facing America at this date, is raising the deficit limit.  America has a good credit rating to this point, however, if the deficit limit is not raised so America can continue to write checks to pay bills, America could be faced with defaulting on interest payments to the bond holders that have been supporting our economy.  That would be very bad for America.
Currently the Republican Party has a majority in the House of Representatives, the body in Congress that is the only one that can initiate revenues for the government.  The President and the Senate are in the hands of the Democratic Party.  There is an impasse between the two majorities about the deficit limit.  The Republicans are unwilling to have any taxes raised on the wealthy, nor taking away subsidies to corporations, or tax breaks for the wealthy.  The Republicans desire the Democrats to make spending cuts in Medicare and Welfare, of which there is starting to have some movement towards Compromise.
The date for the settlement must be struck by August 2nd.
Both sides of this "battle" seem to be weakening, which is what is necessary to reach a compromise. It is up to you as an educated citizen to search out both sides of the issue, study them and be able to support your position to neighbors, letters to the editor and Congressmen, and friends.  Up to this point the Republicans have been adamant they were not going to compromise in any way.  They are taking a second look, can you find out what they are looking to compromise on?  The Democrats? Once they try to "Compromise" can either side get everything they want?  Both sides will be able to go back to their constituencies and explain that they fought hard for their positions, however the compromise included what was good for the entire population and the economy.  They will have to attempt to get what they were trying to get in their original ideals at some later time.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Best System of Government in the World

Becoming an educated citizen, takes a long time. Your frame of reference must be large. Your beliefs must be well earned, not just latched on to on a whim. In an article in the local paper, Robert J. Samuelson, Washington Post writer, explains, "Our huge national pride which often strikes others as arrogance--rests on economic accomplishments and even more on what scholars call the American Creed: the faith in freedom; the rule of law; equal opportunity; and democratic ideas and political institutions. What defines us (and this differs from most societies) is not ethnicity, race or religion but our bedrock beliefs." (AZ Rep Jul 4, 2011, page B7)
Because our society is so vast, well-educated and ever diligent watching over the government activities, people have tended to move in two basic directions.
Conservatives: "those people who respect existing institutions and traditions that anchor the social order, to them, Change--especially radical change is a last resort, not because today's world is perfect, but because efforts to improve it might make it worse."
What has occured in current politics is the Republican party, the Conservatives, have been endowed by their followers with enough money to legislate, to use their weight in select committees to tip the balance of "tax breaks to their followers, thus the wealthy few are making most of the money, while the remainder are slipping further and further behind in economics.
Liberals: (Reactionaries), "those that desire a return to an earlier system, or order." This is the view of the normal citizen. " They have more confidence in a large government to enhance social justice." "They defend virtually all Social Security and Medicare benefits. Everything can be financed, they suggest by cutting defense or increasing taxes on the rich.
I have just touched the surface about politics in America. You need to start thinking about which way you think, do you want to change? Do you want to stay the same? Are you willing to help the side that you have chosen? Will you go door-to-door to help explain those things you advocate? The only way a Democractic-Republic can change or leave things as they are is in the voting booth. Your vote is very important, but can you convince others to vote the way you support? It takes "bedrock beliefs" to convince people to your way of thinking.