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Posts Tagged ‘taxes’

        How many of you have ever had knowledge of an emergency situation where someone is bleeding profusely?  Emergency training teaches to apply pressure; or, to use a tourniquiet to temporarily stop the blood loss.  It is no different with our financial crisis; yet, apparently in a move that goes against common sense…we are bleeding green…sending more and more money to problematic areas that are already bleeding out.

           What we need is a check and balance here…someone to triage…find out who we can afford to let go on to their great reward.  We can’t save everyone here financially speaking.  So, if we are going to attempt to try to turn the tide with this financial mess…we need to find the most effective way to pump money back into the economy in a way that is going to repair the situation.  Not prolong the agony.  Those companies that would abuse the help provided them should be held accountable.  The governmental leaders who are in charge should be held accountable if they fail to serve honorably; by not keeping track of the ebb and flow of the bailout plan.  It should be considered a crime to fail at accounting for each and every dime of the bailout money that does not produce a positive outcome on the economy.  It would challenge those who benefit from the rescue plan to strictly monitor the use of such money entrusted to them!

         Americans are angry about this whole situation.  They are struggling and there is no safety net waiting for them when they fail financially…so, their expectations of our leaders who are guiding the ship in regards to the bailout, are high.  Those expectations are not currently being met…and Americans have had their fill of leaders and organizations who abuse their power and influence over our society.  The impact of such irresponsible behavior is what has brought us to this place and time in history; it is unacceptable.

         Allegedly, reports have surfaced, twice now, on AIG as having pricey get-to-gethers since they have come knocking on the government’s door begging for bailouts to keep them from filing for a $150 billion dollar bankruptcy.  This is seen by many as an excessive fly- in- your- face disregard for the sacrifices that tax payers are taking on, by dolling out the $40 billion dollars that the treasury has set aside to help put AIG back in black.

          What is madness is that this kind of behavior seems to go without consequences except to the country as a whole.  We are drowning in poor choices, in excesses that failing business expect others to dig them out of.  If a small business owner took on that kind of attitude…there would be nothing but financial ruin in their future…not a reward of an all expense paid trip to a spa on the taxpayers!

           The average American is drowning as well.  There are no individual life rings being tossed to the middle class taxpayer.  We are being hit from all sides by the economy, taxation, educational funding, rising cost of living bills, home heating costs, gasoline, medical costs; and still, more and more people are loosing their jobs or their investments.  Home foreclosure is at an all time high.

           How in the world are taxpayers going to pay more to bailout anyone when they are barely keeping afloat themselves with the drain on their incomes?  If people don’t have jobs, they can’t pay taxes.  Common sense dictates that we examine closely where all of this bailout money is coming from; and, limit those who are benefitting from the rescue money. If some business or organization is not being fiscally responsible they should not then be given a blank check to continue the party.  

        This is not a free for all…We need someone in a position to regulate the flow of green; apply some pressure.  We are living in an unprecedented time of national debt…it just makes sense to be watching our bottom line.  There is nothing wrong with taking a little time to evaluate the situation and make an informed decision about the best way to tackle this mess.   Remember Russia and the collapse of their union?  Are we looking to make history as the next nation to collapse from the inside out?

          

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      This past week’s political temperature has left me feeling a bit feverish.  The final Presidential debate was held on Wednesday evening.  The debate finally covered some topics that helped to clarify the Presidential candidate’s political positions.  This was good.  It is too bad that it took 3 debates for us to get to the nitty gritty.  In this election… having a clear understanding of those positions is very important.

       During the debate, John McCain brought up a reference to a question that was asked of Barack Obama earlier in the week, in Holland-Ohio, while campaigning.  Sen. McCain nicknamed the questioner “Joe the plumber”.  Well, needless to say…Joe the plumber became a focal point of this back and forth between Obama-McCain.  “Joe” became an instant celebrity…much to his surprise!  His question to Sen. Obama was to the heart of taxation…a topic of contention in this election. 

       Well, Joe the plumber’s real name is Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher.  He asked Sen. Obama, when he showed up in his neighborhood stumping for the campaign; “Your new tax plan is going to cost me more money, isn’t it”?  He told him he wanted to buy the business that he worked for; in the future and would hope to make 250,000 dollars or more in business. 

       To make a long story short….Joe the plumber has taken on the personna of every-man.  This ignited a firestorm of interest in Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher, which amazed him and triggered some natural curiosity about him.  However, since that time…he has become the focus of some real background, investigative work.

       Whether this is from the media…or both campaigns…who knows.  The problem is…that Mr. Wurzelbacher has been put through a ringer.  He is not a public person…nor is he a candidate.  Is it fair for him to be put under a microscope?  Somehow the information has come to light that he is not a licensed plumber; even though he works for one.  He is about to receive chastisement for working without a license from the city of Toledo.  There could be repercussions for his employer i would think.  Information about his income was reported on.  As well as personal information such as a lien because of owing back taxes.  All of this attention has turned public focus on a private citizen. 

        Just by asking a candidate a question in this election, “Joe the plumber” has become an unwitting political pawn.  This reminds me a bit of the old political tactics called McCarthyism; where thousands of Americans were very aggressively investigated and put under suspicion…many loosing their jobs, some careers were negatively impacted and some were even imprisioned after the investigations.  This should be considered unacceptable!

       Is this the kind of America that we want to live in?   Why can’t political campaigns run on issues and political stances alone and skip all of the negativity?  Why can’t they spend their advertising dollars on more important things and do good with that money.  They just might find the American voters more receptive to those tactics and avenues than they are to all of this destructive negativity!!!  What’s your opinion on this subject?

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        It should have been a fairly local news story…however, a mayor from a fairly large metropolitan city in America who is being accused of felony charges of perjury and other assorted charges; throw in some secret behind the scene deal, allegedly made with lawyers regarding the officers who had recordings showing alleged proof of his salacious, sexual text messages between him and his alleged former (female) chief of staff; as well as, a formal legal proceedings (initiated by the City Council and signed into motion by Govenor Granholm) trying to forcibly remove him from office…and you have a national news story worthy of a tabloid newspaper.  Still, Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is basically saying, Heck No…I won’t Go.

         His basic legal argument is that the council doesn’t have legal standing to remove him from office because he says the law states that the only legal grounds a council has to remove him is a felony conviction or for a lack of qualifications. 

          So, when the council formally asked the Governor to remove Kilpatrick from office and went through the formalities….Mayor Kilpatrick vetoed the Council’s vote requesting his ouster by Governor Granholm. Wow!!!  There is some fancy footwork going on.

          No, I won’t leave office…because I haven’t been “convicted of a felony” even though i am being charged with felony charges…i haven’t been convicted yet…therefore…i don’t have to leave office (yet).   

            Can you imagine having to try to work together effectively to run a city as large as Detroit with such opposite agenda’s?  Is this fair to the citizen’s of Detroit to have this kind of standoff going on in their city’s governing body?  I wonder how long of a process this will take, to get a decision that is definate in whether he will be allowed to stay or forced out of office. 

          Some of the allegations are downright embarassing.  His wife appears to be still standing behind him.  After all, if the texts truly represent that he had an ongoing relationship with his female former chief of staff…that is damaging to a marriage and will take some major time and energy to repair (if the people involved are truly repentent for their actions…which doesn’t appear to be the case based on this ongoing legal defiance). 

           Then you get into the legal stuff and it would seem that his professional hands would be bound so tight that he would not be able to perform his duties as Mayor.   Is he in denial about the situation; or, is it just a delaying technique?  If he is going to end up removed…who is paying for all of this legal wrangling…are our tax dollars going into this legal battle?  Is there such a thing as being sued for political malpractice?  If so, this situation seems to invite such a suit.  Do you think Mayor Kilpatrick should stay or go?

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         Yesterday, Wesley Snipes was sentenced for 3 years for tax fraud; for not filing his tax returns for approximately three years.  Wow, they are really making an example of him.  I am sure…Joe Smoe will think twice about it if they are tempted not to file; or, not to pay when they owe taxes.   This conviction will have a huge IMPACT on those tempted not to pay.   No-one wants to, willingly, go through this kind of trauma, if they can avoid it…unless they got screws loose.

         On the radio this morning, i heard that Mr. Snipes allegedly paid the court 5 million dollars in back taxes….with something like 30 million, or so to go!  Wowee, how many zillions of dollars does a person have to make to OWE that kind of money in taxes and penalties?  I, for one, don’t want to ever be in that position.  Maybe it isn’t so bad being a middle class Joe Smoe!  🙂 

         I am sure that Mr. Snipes’ lawyers will appeal this sentence; but, more than likely, that will only delay the event.  There was plenty of star power personal references presented to the court, attesting to Mr. Snipes character…but, it didn’t seem to make a difference.  The government is going to hold up this conviction so that the public will pay close attention to the consequences.

        I feel badly for Mr. Snipe’s family.  The stress of paying that kind of money plus, worry over their loved one going to prison has to be overwhelming.  If Mr. Snipes was a victim of poor tax advice…that is bad enough.  However, if he choose to put himself in this position, rebelling against having to part with his money…then the sentence is deserved.   It was alleged, in court, that he not only willfully was rebelling, he was hiding money overseas and through friends and family.  Understand that the prosecution presented evidence that this was not just a whim or a mistake…they alledged that this went on for a decade.  In that case, three years of prison time, should allow for enough time to reflect on the error of his ways.

          None of us have the ability to read his mind and determine his actions; thankfully, that responsibility was up to the judge and jury.  If nothing else, this conviction just reinforces the old saying…there is nothing sure about life, except death and taxes!!!

         

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      Well…we made it through the deadline for the temporary shutdown.  I would almost sigh with relief, except that it is not a done deal.  Basically, they now have 30 more days to work out the rest of the deal.  Both sides had to cave a bit to achieve the moratorium.

        At what cost, i say.  They are going to raise our taxes here. Both sales tax and income taxes will be raised.   They have already announced that.  They are now going to tax luxury services such as having your carpet cleaned, mowing your grass, legal fees, accounting fees and HAIRCUTS!    Geez. 

         Yes, here in michigan we live the lifestyle of the RICH AND FAMOUS.  Why… we think nothing, of spending $10.00 on a haircut.  Now, we get to add a little more to our bragging rights on how much our haircut cost us!  Don’t stare when you see some of us running around looking like we tried to save money on the sales tax by combining our services…such as….say…HAVING OUR HAIR CUT BY OUR LAWNMOWERS!!!!!  Good grief.  *****************************Pullleeezzzzzzzzzzze! (more…)

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