Much Ado about Nothing

The government will shut down…the government won’t shut down…Compromise!  Finally, the Federal government has came to a compromise to reduce our swelling national debt.  Or have they?  The chart below shows that cutting the deficit has a lot about rhetoric and little about substance. Congress did save $78.5 billion in their latest agreement. Since the…

An Oxygen Tax

The UK  explored selling or leasing forest land to private interests, but encounter some public backlash. “The plans were intended to give the private sector, community and charitable groups greater involvement in woodlands by encouraging a “mixed model” of ownership. But critics argued it could threaten public access, biodiversity and result in forests being used…

Proposal from the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform

Yesterday, the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform released a proposal for reducing the national debt. The full report can be found here and relies on five key pillars. These are: Enact tough discretionary spending caps and provide $200 billion in illustrative domestic and defense savings in 2015. Pass tax reform that dramatically reduces…

Is licensing tax preparers a good idea?

The USA Today writes that “the IRS has proposed a broad initiative that would require hundreds of thousands of tax preparers to register with the government, pass a competency exam and adhere to ethical standards.”  This sounds like a good idea as it will safeguard individuals from unscrupulous tax preparers.  But who will this truly…

Can the government create jobs?

On Tuesday, President Obama unveiled a plan to use repaid TARP monies to fund a job creation program.  The question is, can the government actually create jobs? Initially, one would say yes.  If the government hires more workers, this is job creation.  If the government hires more contractors, this is job creation.  If the government…

Medicare Cost Projections

The Social Security Administration’s Office of the Actuary projects Medicare costs up to 75 years in the future. How much of your taxable income will be going to pay for Medicare in the next 10, 25, or 75 years? Take a look at this chart. By 2085, 12.24% of your taxable income will need to…

Federal Health Care Regulation: Taxation

Today we will discuss how the tax code affects health care. Tax exemption of employer-provided health insurance. “In 1943, the Internal Revenue Service (ruled) that employees could exclude the value of employer-paid health insurance premiums from their taxable income. In 1954, Congress excluded by statute the value of employer-purchase health insurance from gross income.” To…